How to Clean a Carpet in a Green Way

Wall to wall carpeting can be a wonderful luxury; it feels good under your feet and can look really lovely when it is kept clean. Unfortunately like everything else it has its down sides as well. The bad thing about carpet is that it doesn't stay clean. Even after cleaning and vacuuming you are left with all the dirt, dust, dander, and other hazards that your carpet collects deep into the fibers. Calling a professional carpet cleaner may sound like a good option but is it? It may be expensive plus they may use toxic chemicals to clean your carpets and leave it soaking wet for a very long time which can contribute to mold and mildew growth. You can clean your carpet in a "green" way.

Things You'll Need

  • A good vacuum with a HEPA filter
  • A wet/dry vacuum, carpet and rug shampooer, Bissell cleaner or rented Rug Doctor
  • All Natural Green Carpet Cleaners: Bi-O-Kleen, Seventh Generation
  • Pump Sprayer
  • Fan to circulate air
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Instructions

  1. Clean Your Carpet in a Green Way

    • 1

      Start by getting a vacuum that really sucks…in a good way. You want a vacuum with a HEPA filter that can suck up and trap all the dirt, dust and allergens that may be in your carpet. Vacuum really well a couple times a week. This will keep dust and dirt particles to a minimum. By thoroughly vacuuming regularly you are keeping all the dirt and dust to a minumum in your carpet fibers. This helps keep it clean and stop the dirt from being ground deep into the carpet.

    • 2

      Invest in a pump sprayer, like one you would use for outdoor staining or gardening. This is what you can put your mixture of carpet cleaning solution and water in to gently spray onto your carpets for cleaning. Most garden centerc carry sveral types. A small cheap one is fine. Don't get anything that will be too heavy for you to carry once it is full of water and cleaning solution.

    • 3

      Purchase a carpet shampooer, Bissell steam cleaner, or rent a Rug Doctor from your local grocery store. Do not fill it with water or use the shampoos that they suggest you use. Regular carpet shampoos are filled with harsh detergents and soap which does more damage than good. It leaves a residue on your carpet which will actually attract dirt faster than if you didn’t clean it at all. The only thing you want the vacuum/rug doctor for is to suck up your cleaning solution, not to put any wetness into the carpet.

    • 4

      Get great, natural carpet cleaning products like Bi-O-Kleen’s Bonnet Cleaner carpet cleaning solution. This is a great all natural cleaner that leaves no nasty residue on your carpet. Seventh Generation’s spray carpet cleaning solution is an excellent choice for spot cleaning. It gets nasty stains out easily. Both can be found in many natural stores and online retailers. If you have heavy duty stains you might also want to try Bi-O-Kleen’s Traffic Lane Cleaner, this can be mixed with the Bonnet Cleaner.

    • 5

      Move all your furniture and vacuum your carpets really well with your HEPA filter vacuum.

    • 6

      Mix your carpet cleaning solution and water (follow directions on label for amounts) in your pump sprayer. Use hot water.

    • 7

      Spray the solution all over your carpet. You want it to be wet but not drenched.

    • 8

      Use the mixed solution or a carpet spotter in a spray bottle, like Seventh Generation’s carpet cleaner and spray directly onto any stains. Nudge these with your foot and work the solution in.

    • 9

      Use your rug doctor/wet dry vacuum and start sucking up all the solution out of your carpet. This should get everything nice and clean without leaving a residue or toxic odors behind.

    • 10

      To make sure your carpets dry as fast as possible plug in fans to circulate the air and turn on overhead ceiling fans if you have any.

Tips & Warnings

  • It may seem like an investment to buy a new vacuum or a wet/dry vacuum or carpet cleaner but if you already have them it’s about time you put them to good use and if you do have to make the investment it will save your money and your health in the long run. And the solutions that you buy will last for many, many cleanings.

  • Try to avoid brand new carpet. It is especially hazardous because of the toxic fumes that can be released during installation and long after. If you have chemical sensitivities, allergies, asthma or other health conditions you may want to avoid new carpet altogether, unless it is an eco-friendly choice made without chemicals.

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