You can avoid health risks by taking time to research the ingredients in all the carpet cleaning products you use in your home, especially your baby's bedroom. Work with carpet cleaners who specialize in a low-water cleaning process and use non-toxic, child-safe carpet cleaning products. |
Unfortunately, some carpet cleaning chemicals pose serious health hazards. Babies often crawl on your carpet and take toys from the carpet and put them in their mouths, which makes carpet cleaning an important part of childcare.
Avoid carpet cleaners with the following chemicals: benzyl benzoate, formaldehyde, naphthalene, perchloroethylene, phenol, sodium hydroxide, sodium carbonate, perfluoro-octane sulfonate (PFOS), tetrachloroethylene, perchloroethylene, butoxyethanol, glycol ethers, hydroxyacetic acid, hydrofluoric acid, nitrilotriacetic acid.
Rather than rely on conventional cleaners with questionable chemicals to take care of the problem, consider these alternatives:
Place doormats at all entrances and encourage family members to wipe their feet. Wiping keeps dirt, pesticides, and other pollutants from getting on carpets. Large doormats that cover two or three strides will ensure that even those who forget to wipe will leave most of the dirt on the mat rather than your carpet
Encourage family members to remove shoes upon entering the home. Shoes track dirt and other substances onto carpets. If family members can't adjust to going shoeless, suggest that they wear house shoes that don't go outside, slippers, or socks. In fact, bare feet can deposit natural skin oils on carpet, and the oils, in turn, attract dirt.
Vacuum two or more times per week. Frequent vacuuming helps reduce the level of dust mites, which trigger asthma and allergy attacks. It also eliminates surface dirt on carpets before it has a chance to get ground in. A vacuum cleaner with strong suction, rotating brushes, and a HEPA filter, which prevents dirt and dust from blowing back out in the exhaust, is best. Vacuum back and forth over the same spot several times, especially in high-traffic areas, to get all of the dirt and dust. Take care also to vacuum thoroughly along walls and carpet edges, because dirt and dust accumulates there.
Clean up spills on carpets immediately to prevent stains. Soak up liquid spills by covering them with clean white (or light-colored) towels or paper towels. Scrape sticky substances off carpets with a spatula or spoon. Don't rub the spill. That will damage carpet fibers and cause the stain to spread.
To clean the stain, mix 1 cup warm water and 1/2 teaspoon mild liquid soap, such as dishwashing liquid or fine fabric detergent. Apply a small amount, blot by pressing a clean white towel into the carpet, and lift. Then repeat the process until the stain is removed. Don't scrub. Be patient.
Alternatively, use other household ingredients to clean stains. Club soda removes red wine stains.
Use an ice cube to harden gum and candle wax, then scrape off.
Sprinkle greasy stains with baking soda, cornstarch, or cornmeal. Let stand six hours or overnight. Then vacuum.
Mix 1/3 cup vinegar with 2/3 cup warm water and apply to the stain. Then blot with a clean towel and repeat until the stain comes clean.
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