The Eco-Friendly Way to Clean Carpets

BY: Zach Bosteel |Jul 10, 2015
The Eco-Friendly Way to Clean Carpets

The effects of human industry upon the water table and ocean seem impossibly far away to much of America. For San Franciscans, though, the Bay stands as a constant reminder of our close proximity to nature. Balancing ecological concerns with domestic ones can be difficult; the choice to live with a stained carpet or a stained conscience can seem, at times, like a real one. Fortunately, many San Francisco carpet-cleaning companies practice environmentally friendly techniques, and homeowners can follow suit.

DIY: Water and Vinegar

Wine, glue, crayons, cola, coffee—all natural enemies of clean, bright carpets. The solution to almost any single stain lies in the right combination and application of water and vinegar. For instance, a half-and-half mixture sponged on works well for beverage stains or mildew. Apply a little cornmeal beforehand to a grease stain, let it sit for about 15 minutes, then tackle it with water and vinegar. A heated mixture works well on dried glue, while a dose of pure vinegar helps with embedded crayons or chewing gum.

The Principle Evolved

The above techniques work well for spot treatment, but one can hardly be expected to sponge down an entire room by hand. That’s where experts—and their special formulas—come in. While many of these mixtures may use vinegar, they also contain another compound known as an encapsulation crystallizing polymer. Vinegar helps separate dirt from fibers, while the polymer bonds with the dirt particles to form dry nuggets of grime that can be vacuumed away.

It takes a very low amount of water to sponge these encap formulas, as they’re called, into carpets, and the service produces zero runoff. Even better, high-end encapsulation formulas contain very few ingredients that would be considered harmful. One of the most popular mixtures on the market contains only a single ingredient: trusty old alcohol.

San Francisco Providers

Coverall Health-Based Cleaning System: The brand behind many a local carpet-cleaning business, Coverall’s headquarters and franchisee-training facility is in San Francisco. When not in the field themselves, the company’s technicians pass on the knowledge of low-moisture carpet-cleaning techniques to many San Francisco cleaners.

North American Chem-Dry: Mike Rivera gets his products and trains his technicians at the same place: Chem-Dry, the national company that pioneered green carpet cleaning. The company has a five-star certification program for technicians, and all graduates have the knowledge to tackle any kind of stain.