Kiss the Ground You Walk On

by Dennis Machicao

We all like to think that we keep the place we live, whether it is a house or apartment, as clean as possible. Most cleaning materials do a good job but some can be toxic to our health and our family members, pets included. Aside from the routine house cleaning, there are times when more in-depth cleaning has to be considered. And one of those times is having your floor covering cleaned whether it is wall-to-wall, area rugs or carpeting.

Everyday we walk on it bringing in outside dirt. Frequent vacuuming can certainly keep carpeting dirt and dust free, but after a few years, more thorough cleaning has to be considered to remove bacteria, toxins and allergens. And when you do, using the right cleaning materials can help and sometimes improve your quality of life and the environment.

Quite often when a carpet cleaning service is called upon, the chemicals they use can be quite toxic. Two of the known cleaning chemicals know for there toxicity are perchloroethylene or perc that can cause dizziness, fatigue and nausea if inhaled. It’s also been know to be linked to kidney and liver damage. The other health hazardous cleaning compound is naphthalene with origins from coal tar. Naphthalene can affect the human central nervous system with possible carcinogenic tendencies. The fumes from these chemicals could cause havoc to your family’s health especially kids that play on the floor and pets that could possible ingest them.

Also you have to consider how these companies dispose of the wastewater after they are done cleaning. If they just dump it down the drain and do not have a proper waste disposal management system, then the environment suffers and possibly going into ground water.

The next time you are considering having your floor covering professionally cleaned, ask your carpet cleaning company what they use. Many now have organic plant based cleaning compounds that are much safer to you and the environment. Steam cleaning is another alternative although it might leave your carpet and padding damp that can promote mold and mildew in certain climates.

If doing it yourself is your thing then go to your local health food store and seek out natural and organic cleaning materials. There are a good number of them.

Some tips on how to use natural ingredients in cleaning are:

  1. To get rid of odors, generously apply baking soda to your carpet and leave it overnight before vacuuming.
  1. suggests spot cleaning stains by spraying a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water and minutes later sponge up with warm soapy water. For tougher stains leave overnight a paste made of salt, borax and vinegar then vacuum the following morning.

So be kind to yourself, your family and the environment by using less toxic cleaning chemicals all around your home.

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