Naphthalene, a popular cleaning solution that helps dissolve dirt. Overall, carpet cleaning chemicals are very safe when you entrust your cleaning to a reputable and established carpet cleaning company. That said, there are some carpet cleaners that sacrifice safety to save a few dollars; not all cleaning products are environmentally friendly and non-toxic. If you're in doubt, be sure to ask your carpet cleaner what they're using on your carpet.
OSHA requires chemical manufacturers to produce a safety data sheet for each cleaning product they manufacture, and an accredited cleaner will have an SDS for every cleaning product they have. In a nutshell, a safety data sheet or SDS will refer to the composition of the chemical, the hazards it poses and how to administer first aid, if necessary. Carpet cleaning chemicals certainly have the potential to damage the carpet, either because they are the wrong chemical for the type of carpet or stain, because they leave residues, or because optical brighteners are used that damage the carpet over time. That's why it's so important to make sure you're using the right chemicals (more on that later).
Some carpet cleaners, especially stain removers, can be particularly dangerous because they contain chemical solvents similar to those used by dry cleaners. These chemicals dissolve dirt without water or soap, but give off strong odors. Other potentially problematic ingredients in carpet cleaners include other compounds that produce a lot of vapors (such as formaldehyde), acids, pesticides, disinfectants, bleach (sodium hydroxide), fragrances, and many others. Carpet cleaners can be harmful to your health because they mix chemicals, such as ammonia and other solvents.
Exposure may contribute to irritation of the sinuses and lungs, as well as to headaches, nausea, dizziness and other symptoms that may not appear until after working with these products. Healthy Child Healthy World recommends that children stay away from home for at least four hours after having cleaned carpets by any method. Clean up spills all at once: The faster you clean up food, wine or juice, pet dirt and other stains, the better. The potential for chemical interactions is also great when you have old carpets that may have been cleaned with different chemicals over the years.
Like other cleaning products, carpet cleaners can contain toxic ingredients, some of which are not listed on labels because they are considered “property secrets” or “trade secrets”. If your carpet doesn't dry as well as possible after a carpet cleaning session, mild fungi and a wide range of bacteria may grow on the carpet. By spraying a cleaning solution containing these chemical compounds, toxic and misty particles escape into the air, where they are easy to inhale. As anyone who has purchased commercial carpets for a facility knows, it's a very expensive investment.
The problem is that optical brighteners adversely affect the long-term appearance of the carpet, often causing the carpet to turn yellow. As mentioned earlier, today there are organizations that test carpet cleaning products to ensure that they are safe and effective. It's important to have a clean carpet for aesthetic and presentation reasons, but eliminating harmful irritants is also very important for your overall health. In conclusion, yes, carpet cleaning can make you sick if the process is not done properly and the chemicals used are abrasive.
But can the cleaning process used for carpets itself or the chemicals used in carpet cleaning actually make you sick? .