Is Carpet Cleaning Safe For Pets?

We all want are carpets to be professionally cleaned so that they look good in the house and compliment the overall ambiance of the home. For this purpose, many cleaning professionals use chemicals to take off the hard stains from our carpets. In the process, they have to use chemicals which may cause problems to pets if they ingest them. In some cases, fumes from these chemicals also prove harmful to them. Especially spot cleaners like formaldehyde, sodium hydroxide (lye) and other artificial fragrances can cause fumes which would increase indoor pollution.

One needs to understand the type of cleaning that is being done to ascertain if it would be harmful to pets. Cleaning processes using powders or dry shampoos may leave a residue. These powders can be easily inhaled and cause asthma-like issues in kids and pets. Also, the cases in which material is left on the carpet to soak in remains left in the carpet after vacuuming as it seeps deep into it. Animals may also get exposed to toxins due to use of perfluorochemicals(PFCs) which are a part of most stain-proofing chemicals used in new furniture.

Why and how are pets affected?

Pets are also like babies; they can not speak and are not aware of what may be harmful to them. In general, these chemicals are more dangerous to pets compared to humans. Pets have the habit of eating stuff like biscuits, bread crumbs and any other material from the carpet. While eating the intake, some of the chemicals along with the food and it gets into their bloodstreams. Apart from this, our pets spend more time on the carpet than us.

They may like to take their nap there. Prolonged exposure to even small quantities of these toxins may cause irritation or burning sensation on their skin. In such cases, we should wash the exposed part of the body thoroughly with water. Fire repellent chemicals Polybrominated diphenyl ethers also called PBDEs are especially harmful to cats causing hyperthyroidism which may impact their organs and cause kidney failure.

Possible Solutions

The most effective solution for this problem is to not to use these chemicals at all. There are natural products available in the market which can be used to clean the carpets effectively without causing any harm to your pets. For any products used for cleaning of your carpets, you can ask the company for safety data, and that will include the safety steps to be followed for the pets.

One can use natural products like white vinegar or other plant-based extracts for cleaning the carpets. Even baking soda might be a good substitute, but make sure that your rinse the rug thoroughly to get rid of any baking soda left after cleaning.

Another solution might be to not to use any chemicals at all and just vacuuming your carpet. A carefully chosen vacuum cleaner would be able to clean your carpet thoroughly. Apart from air vacuum, you can also use a wet vacuum for this purpose which can easily be bought or rented.

If these simple products don’t work, one can go for products used for cleaning pet stains and odors. These products are safe for pets and can be effectively used for carpet cleaning also. These can be bought directly at a pet store.

If you still decide to choose some other cleaning agent, read the label of the chemical appropriately. If it says to keep your pets away for some time, then you should avoid using it as it is not safe for them.

Natural spot cleaning.

As mentioned, Chemicals used for spot cleaning are generally active and should not be used when you have pets or babies at home. One alternative could be to use some ingredients from your kitchen which are safe for pets also.

Mix equal parts of salt, vinegar, and borax to convert into a paste. Then apply this paste on the affected spot and wait for it to dry up. After some time, wash the area thoroughly with water and vacuum it to remove the cleaner as well as the stain.

Steam cleaning.

With technology, we have an alternative way of removing the carpet of any odors without traditional washing with soaps and detergents. Steam is used to clean the carpet. In some cases, the cleaner may still add some detergent to the water to remove the stains efficiently. We advise you to mix vinegar or baking soda with water. One or two cups of vinegar can be added to every couple of gallons of water.

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