The Importance of Using Organic Carpet Cleaners

organic carpet cleaner

Many consumers have become concerned about the effect that household chemical cleaners may have on the environment.  Carpet cleaning chemicals can be the worst offenders as they often contain a variety of toxic chemicals designed to penetrate and clean carpet fibers. 

These toxic chemicals often find their way into waterways after the carpet has been rinsed or washed.  Some of these chemicals have the potential to damage the natural ecosystem.  They may also present a health risk with overexposure to certain chemicals leading to serious health problems.

To help you appreciate the risk that some carpet cleaning products pose to the environment and your health, this article will examine some hazardous ingredients that these products contain.  Then we’ll take a look at some organic carpet cleaners which are both effective and safe for the environment.

The Environmental and Health Risk Posed by Chemical Carpet Cleaners
Many store-bought carpet cleaners have very strong cleaning chemicals in them including:

  1. Perchloroethylene
    This is a volatile organic compound that is very effective at removing stains from carpets.  It is also a neurotoxin that is listed by the EPA as “possibly carcinogenic”.  Acute exposure can also result in irritation of the eyes and respiratory tract, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, sleepiness and unconsciousness.
  2. Hydrofluoric acid
    This is a corrosive chemical that is used to remove stubborn stains from carpet.  When in its gas state, it can be highly dangerous and may damage the lungs or the eyes.
  3.  2-Butoxyethanol
    This chemical is often used in multipurpose cleaners and carpet cleaners.  It is a strong solvent that removes stubborn stains from both hard and soft surfaces.  The United States government does not require products to state if they contain this chemical.  The EPA suggests that this chemical should only be used in well-ventilated spaces.  Over exposure can cause a sore throat and contribute to more serious health conditions like narcosis and pulmonary edema.
  4. Perfluro-octane Sulfonate (POS)
    This is a potential hormone disruptor that is in many carpet cleaning products.  Scientists are still trying to understand what effect this chemical has when it is released into the environment. 

Carpet cleaners can also contain strong disinfectants, fragrances, acids, and pesticides.  Many people are allergic to one or more of these substances and may experience some nasty side effects when being placed in contact with them. 

Carpets Can Also Contain Hazardous Materials


The effect of chemical carpet cleaners can be worsened by the fact that most synthetic carpets are packed with other types chemicals.  The chemicals in new carpets can include:

  1. Acetone
  2. Benzene
  3. Caprolactam
  4. Formaldehyde
  5. Hexane
  6. p-Dichlorobenzene
  7. Styrene
  8. Toluene
  9. Vinylcyclohexene
  10. Xylenes

When a carpet is brand new, many of these substances are released into the air, a process known as off-gassing.  The worst part about having chemicals in your carpet is that it affects toddlers, infants, and pets the most because they are in close proximity to the carpet.

Choosing Organic Carpet Cleaners


Fortunately, many new organic carpet cleaners have come onto the market in recent years.  There are also some tried-and-true cleaning methods that use simple non-toxic ingredients like white vinegar.  Using an organic carpet cleaner means you will not be responsible for polluting the environment.  It also helps to ensure that you home remains a healthy space.  Some of the best organic carpet cleaners include:

  1. Biokleen Carpet & Rug Shampoo Concentrate
  2. Earthworm Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner Spot & Stain Remover
  3. Puracy Natural Carpet & Upholstery Shampoo
  4. Simple Green Clean Building Carpet Concentrate Cleaner
  5. Babyganics Stain & Odor Remover Spray
  6. Life Miracle Enzyme Cleaner Concentrate
  7. Earth Friendly Products Baby Ecos Stain and Odor Remover
  8. Citrus Magic Natural Instant Spot and Stain Remover Spray

You can also use a carpet that is made from a natural fiber like wool, seagrass, coir, jute or sisal to further reduce your exposure to chemicals.

When you have your carpets professionally cleaned, you should also opt for a provider who uses organic cleaning products.  Many professional steam cleaning companies now offer “natural” cleaning services where they use plain water or certain natural ingredients.

With some common sense precautions, you can reduce the number of chemicals in your home — protecting the environment and your health.

Sholl, J. (2011). 8 Hidden Toxins: What’s Lurking in Your Cleaning Products?. Experience Life. Retrieved 20 May 2016, from

Tetrachloroethylene (Perchloroethylene) | Technology Transfer Network Air Toxics Web site | US EPA. (2016). Retrieved 20 May 2016, from