The chemicals or solutions used to clean your carpets are the first step in understanding what green means. To decipher what is environmentally friendly we must start with a short chemistry lesson. The pH scale is a basic method to figure out what chemicals are acidic, neutral or basic. A solution that is acidic has a pH number from 0 to 4. A basic solution has a pH scale from 10 to 14. Highly acidic items can be things like battery acid or sulfuric acid and highly basic items are things like bleach and ammonia. It’s safe to say that we wouldn’t consider any of these items safe to ingest or get on your skin. Green means using chemicals that fall in the middle of the pH scale considered neutral items. Pure water is in the middle of the scale at 7 and from my research chemicals that fall somewhere between a pH of 9 to 5 are considered green cleaning products. An example of something with a pH of 9 is baking soda and something with a pH of 5 is a banana. Whenever you ask yourself what makes a cleaning product green think about where the solution falls on the pH scale.
The second main point in understanding the green in carpet cleaning is the equipment used for the cleaning. There are many different machines used to clean carpets. What makes a method green is the use of an air filtration system called HEPA. HEPA filtration is a filtering system that is on some cleaning machines. This filtering system removes 99.97% of the particles from the air that pass through it. In the average home there can be dust mites, cat allergens, mold spores, pet dander and mildew. All of these particles can be removed by a machine that has a HEPA filtration system built in to it. The HEPA filtration is the piece of equipment at puts the green in cleaning.
The third and final item that gives you green cleaning is the amount of water used in the process. Water is a precious resource. With many areas of the country in drought and others in year round rationing it’s important that we conserve water. The average steam cleaning machine sprays water at 250psi and can use up to 80 gallons of water for a house. This adds up to serious water use over the year. Green methods conserve water using 3 to 4 gallons on the average home. This is 96% less than other non-environmentally friendly methods. Since green carpet cleaning uses dramatically less water it prevents the development of mildew and mold spores which is common in traditional carpet cleaning methods. In summary what makes a carpet cleaner green is their use of pH neutral solutions, HEPA filtration equipment and low water use.