We have reached the potty training stage in our home. There have been a few instances of running with a full potty saying “Mama look!” followed by tripping. Needless to say, our area rug was developing a less-than-pleasant odor. I refuse to use commercial carpet cleaning products. Have you read what’s in those things? My kids spend the majority of their day playing on this rug and I guarantee that no amount of going over it with the machine will rinse and suck out all the residue. No thank you!
The Today Show did a piece a few years back that really struck home for me. It was called The Dirty Truth About Cleaning Products. They take a look at the words danger, warning, caution and the lack of transparency with these products. What I find amazing is that, once again, the EU has a stronger stance on chemical transparency and usage than the US. Have we not seen this before with GMOs and Egg Safety? I digress…
The biggest issues with carpet cleaners comes from nephthalene. Can I just say “yuck” for all of us? Nephthalene is made from crude oil or coal-tar. It’s found in cigarette smoke, car exhaust fumes, and is used as a pesticide in the US. It’s also used for moth balls and carpet cleaners, as well as over a dozen other cleaning products. If you can smell the moth balls, you’re inhaling it. If you get cleaner on your hands either through splashing some on your hand or in today’s case, walking on the damp carpet, you’re absorbing it into your skin and it’s damaging your skin cells. Picture your children playing in a tar pit. Yup, that’s carpet cleaner for you.
So what are you to do? Make your own healthier carpet cleaner:
Carpet Cleaner for Machines
- 1 tbsp. Dawn Detergent
- 1 1/2 tbsp. White Vinegar
- 1/4 c. 3% Peroxide
- Hot Water
Add the detergent, vinegar, and peroxide to the machine’s reservoir and then fill the rest of the way with the hottest tap water you can get. Do not use boiling water because it could melt the plastic reservoir. Use as you normally would, then repeat cleaning with just hot water to remove any residue.
Spot Cleaner Foam Cleaner
This one works great on pet and toddler stains.
- 1 tbsp. White Vinegar
- 3 tbsp. Dawn Detergent
- 3/4 c. Hot Water
Put all the ingredients in a bowl. Mix with a hand mixer on high to create foam. Use the foam to spot clean your carpet. Rinse area with a damp cloth.
I am sure you will find these homemade carpet cleaners work just as well as the commercial varieties and they’ll have you breathing easier (figuratively and literally).