Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Is professional carpet cleaning toxic to your dog?

Ahhhh, carpet. It's soft, it's cushiony, it's very comfortable.

I don't know about you, but I love lying around on the carpet. Especially on a cold winter day, when the sun is streaming in.

Back when we lived in Indiana in our house in the suburbs, our neighbors had a yellow lab. Got the little one as a puppy. A few months after he moved in, we started seeing a very well known name brand carpet cleaning company show up nearly every week.

Mum would watch as they would haul a big tube into the house, and begin the process of cleaning their carpets. Not only was it very loud, but Mum knew that they were spreading very harmful chemicals on that carpet, which could be very dangerous, not only for their dog, but the environment as well.

Professional carpet cleaning companies, especially the large chains, are very good at marketing. You'll find TV, newspaper ads touting five rooms for under $100. You sometimes even get great coupons delivered right to your mailbox on a weekly basis.

But what some don't know and don't realize is that the chemicals that the majority of these companies are using to get that wonderful, long lasting clean and fresh smell are utilizing very dangerous chemicals that linger for hours and days.

With dogs very close to the ground, lying on the carpet with their noses within fractions of an inch, they are inhaling and being exposed to these dangerous chemicals, carpet cleaning chemicals that may contain Ethylene Glycol Monobutyl Ether, which may cause reproductive issues and cancer; Petroleum Distillates, which may cause impairment to the central nervous system, reproductive disorders, kidney disorders and potentially cancer; d-limonene, which is banned by the European Union as a skin allergen; and the list goes on and on.

The mixture of these chemicals used to clean carpets is a toxic soup that leaves behind dangerous fumes and residue that can seriously affect the health of your dog, your family and your environment.

Watch out for green washing!

But what about those natural carpet cleaning companies....they are the 'in' thing now. Many of these so-called natural carpet cleaning companies including the three we visited on the Internet today list themselves as 'green,' 'natural,' 'safe,' and even 'organic.'

However, what many of these companies don't list is the ingredients of their cleaners on their website, so you can safely and thoroughly evaluate the actual safety for your dog, you, your home and your environment.

Don't be fooled, if the company you are evaluating to clean your carpet won't disclose the ingredients of the products they use, run away and find another that will.

If you would like to analyze the specific ingredients in your or your professional cleaning companies carpet cleaners, visit EWG.org and insert the specific chemical into the search box to receive toxicity or non-toxicity information to that particular product.

Watch for our next post about how to safely and healthily clean your carpets for the health of your dog, you and the environment!

Images credit:
Sara Kolb-Williams
Elisa Self


  1. There are interesting ideas for cleaning the carpets with green products like vinegar or baking soda.

  2. I'm a fan of DIY cleaning products- effective, cheap and green!

  3. If you have no idea what to do with your dirty carpet then call us

  4. I can't understand why people still use so many chemicals when there are greener and cheaper alternatives!


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