There are a number of "green" carpet cleaning companies
now. They use cleaning solvents that are environmentally-friendly.
But there are also ways you can be more "green" on
your own when it comes to carpet care. We'll look at those first,
and then address how to find a green cleaner and what you can
ask a regular carpet cleaning company to do.
To start with, you can have your carpet cleaned less often.
This is one of the simplest and perhaps most obvious ways to
reduce the impact the use of rugs and carpeting has on the environment.
Of course your goal is not to tolerate dirty carpet, but to keep
it clean for a longer time between cleanings.
To accomplish that you can vacuum more often, and be sure
that you have a vacuum cleaner that has good suction. Frequent
vacuuming not only prevents dirt and other substances from getting
ground into the fibers (meaning only deeper cleaning will remove
them), but it also prolongs the life of your carpet.
Rugs by all home entrances also help, by trapping much of
the dirt which would otherwise be dragged onto the carpeting.
Even better is a policy of removing shoes.
These things can help stretch out the time between them, but
you'll still need those occasional cleanings. So let's look at
some green carpet cleaning methods.
Here's a video that shows you how
to make many "green" cleaning solutions from products
that are natural and around the house.
There are a number of companies which use cleaning agents
which are supposed to be less damaging to the environment. For
example, one has this on their website, "...we pre-treat
all areas with an all natural citrus based cleaner that breaks
up the soils." Now, since so many different cleaning solvents
are being used, you might want to do some research online to
see if they are truly "green."
If you try using a portable cleaning unit on your own, be
aware that they will never clean as deeply as professional "steam
cleaning" (hot water extraction) with a truck mount unit
(the machine stays in the van and the hoses are brought into
your home) But you will be able to choose green cleaning solvents
to use, or even clean with just warm water if the carpet is not
that dirty. Be aware though, that you may be recirculating chemicals
from other people's carpets. You can avoid this by thoroughly
rinsing out the machine with warm water before using it.
Another option is to hire a professional carpet cleaning company
and ask that they use only hot water. They will be glad to save
the cost of the cleaning solvents. I can tell you from experience
that the high-pressure hot water and powerful suction of a truck-mount
steam cleaning system is more than enough for lightly-soiled
Those are the most common and affordable green cleaning methods.
Another option is to replace carpeting with hardwood floors,
and use rugs which are small enough to wash by hand or in your