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Chemicals in the Carpet Cleaning Industry

The carpet cleaning industry is notorious for using harsh and toxic chemicals. We have visited homes where the owners claimed that carpet cleaning chemicals from a previous owner were causing them health problems. We can't verify that these claims are true, but we can tell you what you'll find in carpet cleaning solutions.

Many of the "steam cleaners" use petroleum based solvents in the hot water solution that they inject into the carpet. These have been implicated in skin rashes, asthma, and also cancer. These same solutions can also contain glycol ethers which have been implicated in anemia and birth defects. These solutions are labelled and marketed as being "safe" because they pass certain industry or government standards which allow these chemicals to be used in low concentration.

If you have your rugs dry cleaned or send them to the rug store to be factory cleaned, chances are high that PERC (percholorethylene) will be used to clean them. PERC has been shown to cause liver and kidney damage as well as cancer in laboratory animals after prolonged exposure.

Most carpet and fiber protectants, such as the famous name guard spray, contain petroleum based solvents and are toxic. Other chemicals in which can be found in carpet cleaning products include dichloromethane, polymerized 2,5 furandione, styrene maleicanhydride, perfluoro alkyl acryl acetate, perfluoroalkyl sodium tripoly phosphate, and 2-butoxyethanol amyl acetate.

Green Homes Carpet Cleaning orders the MSDS (material safety data sheet) for every reagent that we use. We bring these into your home or business in a binder when we come to clean. You are free to browse through it. Any hazardous or potentially hazardous chemical in a product has to be listed on this sheet. We choose only reagents that are rated 0 or 1 on the MSDS health hazard scale. The scale goes like this: 0=minimal, 1=slight, 2=moderate, 3=serious, 4=severe. You can find cleaners on the supermarket shelf which are rated 2, 3 and 4. We also highly favor products that are completely biodegradable. We can't claim that all of our cleaners are "natural", meaning not made in a laboratory. We decided to concentrate on finding cleaners that are non-toxic and biodegradable instead. These are the key factors that make our cleaners harmless to you and the environment. Seeking only "natural" products might not achieve this and might also sacrifice cleaning effectiveness.

We also have more than one happy customer who self-identified as   severely chemically sensitive .  We bend over backwards to meet our customers needs, and these folk are no exception. We visited these folks twice. Once to give them a sample of our cleaner to "live with" for a while to see if they had a reaction. Then when everything checked out, we visited a second time to perform the cleaning.

We will always tell you what cleaner we plan to use at your home or job site before we begin work to make sure that you approve. We are always looking for effective 0-rated cleaning reagents to improve our arsenal of cleaners. If you have one to suggest, and it has awesome cleaning power, let us know about it! Many products which use words like "safe" and "eco-friendly" on the labels are proven unacceptable once we take a look at the MSDS. Once in a while, it goes the other way too. We have found great MSDS profiles for some products that don't bother to make a claim about safety.