Should you 'bleach clean' your carpet?
20 February 2017
If you walk into any carpet retailer you will find posters, stickers and labels proclaiming that certain ‘stain proof’ carpets are ‘bleach cleanable’.
So, is cleaning your carpet with bleach a good idea? The Woolsafe Organisation has presented the following facts to help you 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’. The vast majority don’t know how to neutralise bleach. 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 it does have a very long list on its 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, which is free to download on any mobile device.