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Is ‘bleach cleaning’ your carpet a good idea?

February 9, 2017

If you walk into any carpet retailer up and down the land you will find posters, stickers and labels proclaiming that certain ‘stain proof’ carpets are ‘bleach cleanable’. There are even images on sample books and in magazine advertising showing pictures of children on carpets together with an image of a bottle of bleach.

So, is cleaning your carpet with bleach a good idea? Well, consider the following facts and make your own mind up.

Bleach can damage the carpet backing and sub-floor

When carrying out spot removal not all the cleaning solution will remain on the carpet’s surface, some will soak down to the backing; this is especially true of polypropylene carpet. So, even if the carpet’s face fibre is tolerant to strong chemicals, as the bleach migrates down the pile it can damage the carpet backing and underlay. If tracked around it may also damage the fibre and strip colour from other, non-polypropylene carpet in your home.

Bleach is hazardous, especially to children and pets

Bleach remains active unless it is ‘neutralised’. Do you know how to neutralise bleach? The vast majority don’t. If your pet comes into the home with wet feet and walks over, or sits, on the area that has been treated with bleach they could potentially suffer chemical burns. Babies crawl over, and children play on the carpet, why would you put them at risk?

Bleach is bad for your respiratory system

All the while you are leaning over a spill and cleaning it with a bleach solution you are breathing it in. Bleach is bad for your lungs and causes other side effects including skin burns, damage to the nervous system, asthma flares, headaches, migraines and vomiting….remember it was used in world war one as a weapon. If you can smell it then it is doing you harm!

Bleach is bad for the environment

Bleach pollutes the air and water supply, accumulating over time. It is consumed first by micro-organisms which serve as food for larger species, and then as you continue up the food chain each species accumulates an ever increasing level of toxins.

Bleach is not even a good cleaner!

Although a fairly good disinfectant, bleach has no detergency and is therefore no more effective at cleaning than water.

…. it smells pretty bad too!

If you want to remove a spill from any carpet, regardless of the fibre type, you should use a dedicated carpet spot remover. WoolSafe don’t sell them, but we do have a very long list on our website www.woolsafe.org of all the best ones on the market.

You can also get correct advice from our care leaflets and on the award-winning WoolSafe Carpet Stain Removal Guide App. Free to download on any mobile device.

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