Are Carpet Cleaners Safe For Small Children And Pets?

Among the inevitable things in life is the fact that all carpets and upholstery will get dirty over time. Carpets and rugs, of course, take a lot of abuse from rambunctious children and pets, dinner guests who spill, people who refuse to wipe their feet before entering–the list goes on and on.

So it is also inevitable that carpets have to be cleaned somehow, at some point. Like other cleaners, professional carpet cleaning solutions may contain toxic ingredients that are not safe for small children and pets and may contribute to poor indoor air quality.
Some carpet cleaning solutions used by carpet cleaning companies – especially spot removers– can be particularly dangerous, because they contain chemical solvents similar to those used by dry cleaners. These chemicals dissolve dirt without soap and water, but give off strong odors. Other potentially problematic ingredients in carpet cleaning solutions include other compounds that produce lots of fumes (like formaldehyde), acids, pesticides, disinfectants, lye (sodium hydroxide), artificial fragrances and many others.
Some fabric and carpet stain repellents or “guards” may contain plastics and other potentially dangerous ingredients. The key ingredient in 3M’s popular Scotchgard® line of products, perfluoro-octane sulfonate (PFOS), was once portrayed as chemically inert, but recent research shows that it is a persistent organic pollutant (POP). PFOS, a suspected hormone disruptor, accumulates in the environment and the tissue of animals and humans. Despite ample evidence of PFOS’s persistence, 3M kept it on the market for 40 years. In spring 2000, 3M announced it would phase out PFOS products by the year 2002. The safety of another perfluorinated compound, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), the main ingredient in Teflon®, which is used to coat non-stick pans and in fabric protectors, is currently under investigation.
During application and while drying, the chemicals in carpet cleaners and protectors evaporate and may concentrate in the air, causing indoor air pollution. This is more likely if the room is not well ventilated, the weather is hot and humid or the room is damp. Indoor air pollution can cause headaches, irritation to eyes, nose and lungs, asthma attacks, congestion, sneezing, coughing, fatigue, nausea and other symptoms.
There is some speculation that there is a link between carpet cleaners and Kawasaki Disease, though there is limited evidence to support this. Long-term exposures may increase the risks for chronic diseases, such as heart disease and cancer, depending on the chemicals involved.
Some carpet shampoos used by carpet cleaners usually leave a sticky residue on carpet fibers. The residue is hard to see or feel–though it can make carpets feel rougher and you may be able to smell it. Not only does the residue attract and latch onto dirt, but children, who crawl and play on carpets, can inhale these residues and get them on their hands, which often go into their mouths.
Dry shampoos, powders and foams (this type of carpet cleaning process is usually called bonnet cleaning or encapsulation cleaning) may also linger on carpet fibers. These products generally contain solvents and detergents that must be applied for a specific period of time, and then vacuumed to remove the cleaning product. A residue may be left behind or the product may sink deep enough into carpets to avoid being pulled out by the vacuum cleaner. Powders or dusts are easily inhaled and may irritate airways and cause asthma attacks. In fact, anti-dust-mite carpet treatments sometimes contain tannic acid or benzyl benzoate, both of which are skin, eye and respiratory irritants. Deodorizing powders often contain fragrances that irritate asthmatic lungs as well.
Mold and Mildew –Another issue related to carpet cleaning is the potential for mold growth in carpets that do not dry quickly enough. Steam cleaning carpets can thoroughly dampen the carpet AND the pad underneath. In humid or poorly ventilated spaces, a steam-cleaned carpet is an invitation for mold spores to sprout. Once mold begins to grow in a carpet or its pad, it’s almost impossible to remove adequately without professional assistance.  Even when mold is not actively growing, mold particles and spores can cause health problems, such as fatigue, headaches, allergy symptoms, asthma attacks and other breathing problems. 
Tru-Clean is a family owned environmentally responsible carpet, tile and upholstery cleaning company serving all of Lee, Collier and Charlotte County.  Our cleaning solutions are GREEN CERTIFIED and carry the GOLD Seal of Approval by The Carpet & Rug Institute (CRI).  Our cleaning solutions are non-allergen, contain no harsh residues and are effective at cleaning all carpet fiber types.
Many consumers believe “a carpet cleaner is a carpet cleaner” and don’t give much thought as to who they invite into their home.   Some consumers are motivated by the “cheapest” price they can find and could care less if the technician coming to their home is certified, has warrants out for their arrest or if they’ve ever been convicted of committing a crime against a child.  All these consumers are interested in is the “cheapest price” because they place no value in technician certification, quality or even care if the company they’ve just hired has insurance or are licensed.
At Tru-Clean each of our technicians are certified by the world’s most respected certification body for textile professionals and we routinely perform background and DMV checks on all employees.  Our certified technicians are experts in their field and our cleaning technologies are the best in the industry.  Like our clients, we have families too and we’ll clean your home just as if we were cleaning for our mother.  Our approach to cleaning will leave your carpets, tile and upholstery fresh and clean while leaving behind no caustic cleaning solutions, residues or allergens.
All carpet cleaners are NOT THE SAME and who you invite into your home matters.
For more information about Tru-Clean please visit us online at or call us any time at 239-541-4888 or 941-621-2198.  We offer convenient evening and weekend appointments and all major credit cards are accepted.