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Cleaning Chemicals

By Michael Hilton

While the scope and purpose of regular carpet cleaning and carpet care is designed to reduce indoor air quality concerns, some carpet and hard floor maintenance activities themselves may contribute to poor indoor air quality. Many daily maintenance activities such as dry mopping or vacuuming can dislodge particles and introduce them into the breathing zone. Other activities such as wet mopping and scrubbing and recoating can contribute high particulate levels and chemical emissions causing common health complaints.

Careful planning, informed chemical selection, and effective equipment selection can limit the effects of carpet care on indoor air quality. For air quality considerations, vacuum cleaners should be selected based on filtration efficiency rather than cost. Cleaning chemical selection for hard surface floorcoverings should be based on environmental impact and continuing health implications rather than cost or ease of use. Many floor finishes continue to contribute significant chemical emissions for weeks or days after recoating.

Carpet cleaning introduces far fewer chemicals into the indoor environment and most present no toxicity concerns. However, if you feel you are overly sensitive to any chemical, it is recommended that you schedule to be out of the home during carpet cleaning. Most chemical emissions should be gone within 2-3 hours following cleaning and all emissions should be non-detectable once the carpet has dried.

About the Author
Michael Hilton was the original creator of Carpet Buyers Handbook. Having owned and operated a carpet wholesale company, Hilton has a vast knowledge about all-things carpet related as well as other types of flooring.

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