Home Detox: Really Green-Clean Your Carpets!

Given the fact that we are constantly assaulted by toxic overload as never before seen in human history, I decided to launch this very important weekly feature so that we can all work together to strip away layers of chemical and environmental hazards & poisons in our homes and our lives.  Our first installment of Home Detox is a very simple and effective, truly green carpet cleaning method!

Carpet mostly stinks, no matter where you live or what your space is like, and it is vital to clean it properly so to get the dust, allergens and even tracked-in pesticides at petrochemicals( that cling to our shoes from walking outdoors) our from deep inside the layers of fibers under foot.  A dirty carpet can make your pets sick, can truly create allergies and trigger asthma attacks and resonates with dead, dull, lifeless space.  If your foundation is dirty and soiled and chemical-ridden, how will the rest of your home sort-out in feng shui terms?  Not good, indeed!

I am a maniac so I bought a carpet cleaning machine that is professional grade when I moved into my present place.  Had I planned to stay longer, I would have ripped out the carpet completely and installed wood floors, but many of us do not have that option. 

The problem with the carpet cleaning machine- every solution- even the “green” ones- would leave a film on the carpet that attracted even more gunk the next time.  Even when I would rinse with water, it has had the film of carpet cleaner lingering long after the carpet would dry.

The non-toxic- and also eco friendly and cheap!- solution to truly, deeply cleaned carpets was easier than I thought:  1 part white vinegar to 10 parts water in place of the normal “cleaning solution”.  Because I have a dog (and sweet orange is a great oil to clear bacteria and yeast …and I happen to love orange!) 15 drops of sweet orange essential oil also followed into the mix.  Use your carpet cleaner as directed and let this dry with the windows open.  Finish your carpet cleaning with the “water rinse” setting on the machine.  For more stubborn stains, apply a paste of white vinegar and baking soda to the stains and vacuum up the next day. 

Vinegar kills most molds, bacteria, mites and germs lingering in your carpet.  the orange oil should stave off the vinegar scent a bit, and once the carpet dries it should be fragrance-free.  If you still smell vinegar, a bit of baking soda sprinkled on the carpet overnight and the vacuumed up with eradicate the last vestiges of vinegar.

That said, this will  help remove old layers of cleaning solution from the rug as well as deeply detox your carpet.  Test a small patch before plowing into it to be sure that your carpet “likes” this mixture… but it is fairly mild so I hope it works great for you! Oh, and if you don’t have a carpet cleaner, rent one at the grocery store.  Its the easiest thing in the world to do, and you will love the results!

Happy Home Detox!

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Beverly October 8, 2012 at 4:16 am

Thanks for the carpet cleaning tip. I am about to move into a house. Just before I found it, property management had it cleaned including flea and tick treatment after the previous renter. I can definitely still smell the chemicals and it’s already been about 2 weeks. Do you think the vinegar and essential oil treatment will remove toxic residue from the flea and tick treatment sufficiently?

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danaclaudat October 8, 2012 at 5:26 am

From my experience, as past user of supposedly safe pet carpet cleaners, I had to carefully wash my carpets (it took almost three hours, going over each spot and then doing a plain water rinse) to remove the pet cleaner residue and I felt it was dramatically better. I’m not sure if you can 100% remove it in one shot, but reducing it over time is very good start!

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