When cleaning your carpet you certainly don’t want to add any chemicals that could make things worse. For many people, fragrance (especially artificial fragrance) and some harsh ingredients could make things worse than before you cleaned your carpet.
The list covers products with the most simple and effective ingredients that you can use on home machines or professional machines. One product is even soap-free and uses ionized water to clean the carpet.
Always follow the instructions given by the company that sells the carpet, especially when it comes to wool carpet, as most products are not wool-safe apart from some spot-cleaning products. For a full clean of wool carpet, professional cleaning is required.
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1. AFM Safechoice Carpet Shampoo
AFM SafeChoice Carpet Shampoo is a non-toxic, fragrance-free, rug and carpet shampoo that acts as both a strong cleaner and odor remover for new or existing synthetic carpets. It can even remove topical treatments that have been added by the manufacturer.
You can use SafeChoice Carpet Shampoo alone or as part of AFM’s Comprehensive 3-Part Carpet Shampoo and Sealing System, to seal in VOCs.
It’s generally safe for everyone, including the chemically sensitive. This is the top pick for chemically sensitive folks (though you do have to test it for your own tolerance).
Ingredients: Water, Non-ionic plant surfactant, Water softener, White oleic acid, Monoethanolamine, and Sodium percarbonate. It is O-VOC and biodegradable.
It contains no harmful chemicals like ammonia, butyl ethers, alcohols, phosphates, caustics, or acids; and it won’t irritate hands or skin.
Alert: This product is not recommended for wool carpet. Always spot-test first on your synthetic carpet or rug.
Application: Prior to application, vacuum the carpet thoroughly. Apply it using a hand-held pump sprayer. Using the applicable dilution rate specified in their instructions, spray the carpet evenly, saturating the surface. Allow the shampoo ten minutes to fully penetrate. Then extract the shampoo with very clean, very hot water. By extracting with only clean, hot water the carpet is not only cleaned more effectively but the removal of residue from prior cleanings is accomplished. While the foregoing procedure yields the best results, SafeChoice Carpet Shampoo can also be added to any shampooing or carpet cleaning machine.
2. Biokleen Natural Carpet & Rug Shampoo
Biokleen Natural Carpet & Rug Shampoo is a concentrate that uses plant-derived cleaning agents to break up stains and eliminate odors on carpets, rugs, and fabrics.
The Carpet & Rug Shampoo is safe for use around pets. It eliminates dog or cat stains and stubborn odors like urine. It’s Safe on all washable fibers. They say it’s safe for wool carpets and rugs. Test all textiles for color fastness.
I’ve used their dishwashing soap which is fantastic and I know many chemically sensitive folks who like this brand.
Ingredients: Water (filtered), Cocamidopropyl Betaine (plant-based surfactant), Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (plant-based surfactant), Lauramine Oxide (plant-based surfactant), Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside, Glycerin (vegetable), Sodium Chloride, C10-16 Alkyl Glucoside, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Sodium Carboxymethyl Inulin (plant-based chelant), Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, C10-16 Alcohols (plant-based).
It’s not fragrance-free, it has a citrus scent. It’s biodegradable.
They use no phosphates, chlorine, ammonia, brighteners, or artificial colors and fragrances.
Application: You can use it in home, rental, or professional carpet cleaners. With home rental machines: Vacuum the affected area and pre-treat tougher stains (you can also consider using Bac-Out Stain and Odor Remover for a little extra help). Add 2-4 full caps of solution to each gallon of water. Clean according to the machine’s user guide. With commercial extractors: Vacuum the affected area and pre-treat tougher stains. Add 2-4 full cups of solution for every 5-gallon stock tank. Dilute at 100 gallons through the wand. With Commercial Portables: Vacuum the affected area and pre-treat tougher stains. Use 2 full caps of solution for every 5 gallons of water. Neutral PH. No Rinse is needed.
Where to buy: Amazon
3. Earthworn Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner
This is a leave-on enzyme-based cleaner that works on carpets, curtains, pillows & pillow cases, mattresses, and most colorfast materials.
Earthworm Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner uses a naturally occurring process to break down organic materials. It penetrates upholstery fabric and carpet fibers to loosen and break down embedded dirt, food stains, pet waste, and most other organic materials.
I’ve used their pet odor spray for quite a while and I have been very happy with it.
They say it can be used on wool carpet.
Ingredients: Water, Sodium Caprylyl Sulfonate, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Active Microbe Cultures, C9-11 Pareth-6, Citric Acid, Sodium Sulfate, Dipropylene Glycol.
It’s fragrance-free and dye-free.
Application: Shake well before using. Always test any carpet or fabric for color fastness. Vacuum area to be cleaned and remove any loose dirt. Spray the area until damp. Allow 5 to 8 minutes for the enzyme to work. Blot the area with clean, absorbent cloth or sponge to remove stain. Remaining enzymes will continue to work well after initial application.
Where to buy: Amazon
4. Zerorez No Soap Carpet Cleaner
Another interesting product that may be of interest to the chemically sensitive is the Zerorez chemical-free carpet cleaner. This is a professional service that just uses ionized water as the main product to clean carpet.
I’ve heard from clients who are happy with it. There is an optional pre-treatment spray that you may want to ask about and test out first if you are chemically sensitive.
5. Spot Cleaner for Wool
If you want to do a full clean of your wool carpets you will need a professional cleaner and make sure they are using a cleaner designed for wool.
If you need to remove a stain, check with the company that makes your wool carpet for a list of household products that can be used on each type of stain.
It’s comprised of all-natural minerals, there are no dyes, no ammonia, no solvents, and no fragrances. It works instantly on all spots and stains (except some set in man-made red dye). It’s 100% odorless, VOC-free, and non-toxic.
Application: Mix the powder into water in the spray bottle. Pour the solution directly on the spot, or spray on with a sprayer. Agitate with your fingertips or another method. Let stand for about 1 minute. Wipe, or blot off with a clean towel.
Repeat if necessary.
Where to buy: Green Design Center
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