So, as long as your carpet is kept clean and dry many of the assumed negatives of carpeting actually become positives. The problem then is maintaining a clean carpet, as we are probably all aware carpet seems to really attract dirt. To help, the CRI describes carpet cleaning as a three step process: 1. vacuuming at regular intervals, 2. cleaning spots and spills quickly with products that do not damage the carpet or cause it to resoil even faster, and 3. a professional deep cleaning every 12 to 18 months (Basic Cleaning).

A proper professional deep cleaning helps to maintain your carpet as close to the condition of new as possible and is a necessary component of proper carpet maintenance because vacuuming only collects dirt that lies near the surface of your carpet and does nothing to collect the dirt that penetrates deep into your carpet fibers.

Carpeting has been a flooring choice in the United States since the first carpeting mill opened in Philadelphia, PA back in 1791 although there was little in the way of innovation until 1954 when synthetic fibers were introduced (The History of Carpet). In much the same way as the carpet we use today does not resemble the carpet in use during the early 19th century the cleaning techniques that we utilize have come a long way from taking a rug outside and beating the dirt out of it or covering up your carpet so that it didn't get dirty. Despite their differences there are green chemistry principles that are fairly constant between all the carpet cleaning techniques commonly utilized:

Prevention of waste is minimized. Waste is generated as the intended product of all the processes because you are removing unwanted oils and soils from the carpeting, but there are no additional waste products created in the process.

Atom economy is likewise fairly consistent in that an effort is made to avoid over-saturating the carpet with cleaning solution, however between the unknown quantity of dirt in a given section of carpet and the human factor involved the process is never a perfectly balanced equation.

The processes utilize, to the maximum extent possible, less hazardous chemical syntheses and safer chemicals. The end product of all the processes, either a dirty water or dirty powder, can be flushed down your toilet or dumped in the trash.

The production of derivatives is minimized. If cleaning a highly soiled section of carpet a pre-treatment may be utilized to help break down the dirt embedded in the carpet increasing the amount of waste generated by the cleaning process.

All of the cleaning processes utilize stoichiometric vs catalytic reagents in that cleaning solutions themselves react with the dirt and are not reusable.

Finally the processes all allow for real-time monitoring both to prevent pollution and to ensure that accidents are prevented.

<<Previous<< >>Next>>