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Your carpet provides comfort underfoot. If you have children, chances are that the carpet is where they sit and play. Young children crawl around on your carpet and the put their hands, and their toys in their mouths. For these reasons, keeping your carpet clean is important. However, not all carpet cleaners are kid or baby-friendly, and may contain harsh ingredients that can be more harmful than the dirt that resides within the fibers. Here are a few things to know about carpet cleaning and how it affects the health and safety of your children.
How Do Carpet Cleaning Chemicals Affect Your Children?
Carpet cleaning products are specifically designed to keep your carpets clean. While they do a good job, many cleaning products contain harsh chemicals that can be especially harmful to children, whose bodies are more sensitive. Chemicals can harm your children in a few different ways, including eye irritation, eye damage, eczema, and respiratory troubles such as allergies and asthma.
Products to Avoid
You want to avoid harsh chemicals when you clean your carpet, but how do you know which products contain these chemicals? A good place to start is by looking at the label. If the product list words and phrases such as “hazardous,” “dangerous,” “highly flammable,” or “irritating” you will know right away that these products are not safe for use around children. Specific chemicals to stay away from include hydrofluoric acid, butane, propane, glycol ethers, quaternary ammonium chloride and sodium hydroxide.
There are ways to keep your carpet clean without using any of the above listed chemicals. In fact, many eco-friendly products that can effectively clean your carpet and hardwood can be found right in your pantry. Things like baking soda, white vinegar, club soda, borax and hydrogen peroxide can all be used in the fight against dirt, grime and stains. Spills should be taken care of immediately, soaked or scraped up, not rubbed. A mixture of water with vinegar is one way of removing a stain, which should be blotted. Baking soda or cornstarch can be used for greasy stains, such as those brought in by shoes. Baking soda can even be used to freshen carpet when you vacuum. You can steam clean with only water; there is no need for detergent. If you do use store-bought products, make sure they are labeled eco-friendly or green.
You can first take measures to minimize the dirt and debris by taking preventative measures. Leave mats at entranceways into your home so guests can wipe their shoes before they come inside. You may even want to consider a “no shoes in the house” policy. Vacuuming twice a week can also help to keep down the mess. It also ensures that there is nothing dangerous for your child to pick up while controlling dust, dust mites and other irritants that may be residing in the carpet fibers. A vacuum with a HEPA filter is especially helpful.
Make Sure Carpet is Dry
If your carpet is damp from cleaning, making sure that it dries properly is essential. A slow drying carpet can promote mold and mildew growth, which can be harmful to your children’s respiratory systems, agitating allergies or asthma. A speed-drying fan or simply opening the windows on a nice day (and there are soon to be plenty coming up with spring right around the corner in Kansas City!) can greatly help to expedite the process.
Carpet cleaning is important, but not at the expense of the health of your children. Fortunately, there are plenty of kid-friendly ways to keep your carpets clean and looking fresh. Contact Windows, Floors & Decor today for more recommendations on how to keep your carpet clean without the use of chemicals, allowing you to protect the health of your family!