From time to time people call and express interest in ultra low residue or cleaning methods for those who are sensitive to smell or cleaning products. On most jobs air quality is something that is already on my mind. We avoid petro chemical based cleaners whenever possible. on some very dirty or commercial jobs degreasers are necessary but even with those i lean toward biodegradable. Below is a question i received and how it was answered.
what options do you have for those who are chemically sensitive?
A couple. Believe it or not i’m chemically sensitive myself. starting from the top your carpet acts like a giant air filter. It traps dust,dirt, smog, viruses etc. Getting that out of your house is a great idea but you also don’t want to introduce a heavy detergent unless it’s absolutely necessary. Some of the soap left behind attracts dirt at a faster rate and you have that residue living with you. If the carpet is in good shape, not greasy or heavily soiled cleaning with either a true organic detergent which is often a large part sodium bicarbonate aka baking soda or just plain steaming water is the way to go. It’s healthier, lasts longer and generally just a better idea. We have our own proprietary blend that allows us to monitor the detergents down to their actual precursor formula ingredients. Final thought is during cleaning, the air quality of the house goes down as what’s in your carpet goes airborne. I often wear a mask just so i’m not breathing dirt water / soap vapor from standing over the wand. After a few hours and some open windows things will settle back down. depending on the house and how dirty it is air quality / smells may even improve while we are cleaning. It’s also a good idea to change the furnace filter at recommended intervals which with an average home is every 3 months, higher end systems can be different. A merv 13-16 filter is excellent for those who are sensitive to air quality.