It’s a bummer when you have to compromise on performance when using non-toxic products. However, when it comes to carpet and rug spot cleaners and deodorizers there are some good options that are “clean” and work.
First, keep the instructions for your particular carpet/rug handy. They may mention everyday items that can clean stains. Then also check to see which types of cleaners are approved.
The following list is comprehensive enough to cover all types of carpet and rug materials and all types of cleaning technologies from enzymes, to hydrogen peroxide, to minerals.
Some are both cleaners and deodorizers, while some perform just one of those actions.
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1. Enzyme Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner/Deodorizer
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. This is very similar as it both cleans and breaks down odors.
They say it can be used on wool carpet as well as synthetics.
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 a clean, absorbent cloth or sponge to remove the stain. Remaining enzymes will continue to work well after initial application.
Where to buy: Amazon
2. Spot Cleaner for Wool
If you need to remove a stain from your wool carpet or rug, check with the company that makes it 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
3. Hydrogen Peroxide-Based Stain Remover
HydrOxi Pro Encapsulating Spotter, Stain Remover is based on hydrogen peroxide, orange oil, and wetting agents to remove stains from carpet or fabric. It removes tea, coffee, soft drinks, wine, juice, food, and blood. It’s color-safe and surface-safe, and it leaves less residue than traditional products.
The hydrogen peroxide deodorizes while it cleans.
You can use it on synthetic and natural fibers, but not wool.
The ingredients are not fully listed but this is a product well-liked by chemically sensitive folks and it’s extremely low VOC at 0.02 Grams/Liter.
Application: Spray it on the spot or stain and gently agitate with a clean towel.
Where to Buy: Amazon
4. Wool Spot Remover Kit
WoolClean, Spot Removal Kit is specially formulated for high-quality wool carpets, rugs, and upholstery. Woolclean includes three components that work on spots and spills.
- The Spot Remover cleans water-based spills and spots. It is non-toxic and has almost no odor. The ingredients include a surfactant, tall-oil acid, and an unlisted buffer.
- The Spot Dry Remover is solvent-based and it cleans grease and oil-based spots. This contains mineral spirits (one type that is “odorless” and one type which is not), three other solvents: Dipropyl glycol Monomethyl ether, dipropylene glycol n-butyl ether, and Soybean oil methyl esters, and a fragrance. This will not work for all chemically sensitive folks.
- The third part, Absorb-it, absorbs spills. This part is also non-toxic and odorless, the main ingredient is potassium-calcium-sodium-aluminosilicate, and it also contains an unlisted natural inorganic mineral mixture and an unlisted absorbent copolymer.
It removes adhesives, pen marks, drink stains, candle wax, chewing gum, chocolate, pet accidents, eggs, grass, grease, makeup, nail polish, oil, paint, rust, blood, wine, and more.
It can be used on almost all types of carpet fibers, including wool.
Where to Buy: Amazon, Green Building Advisor
5. Mineral-Based Carpet Deodorizer
EnviroKlenz Carpet Deodorizer is made with their patented FAST-ACT mineral technology to safely neutralize odors and chemicals left behind on the soft surfaces you use most. You can use it on carpets, rugs, upholstery, and more.
It helps to neutralize foot odors, sweat and body odors, chemical odors, fragrances, musty/mildew smells, and pet odors.
Ingredients: Aluminum oxide, magnesium oxide, sodium bicarbonate. It’s fragrance-free and VOC-free.
Application: Step 1: Sprinkle the product on the whole carpet until there is a thin visible layer. For tougher odors, sprinkle more liberally. Step 2: Leave the product for 15-20 minutes. For tougher odors, leave for 30 minutes. Step 3: Vacuum thoroughly
Where to buy: The EnviroKlenze website.