Is That Carpet Really As Eco-Friendly As You Think?

Posted on: 31 July 2015

If you're trying to choose materials that are eco-friendly for your home, you're probably looking at green carpet options like wool, sisal and maybe low-VOC synthetic. Choosing a carpet that is made from renewable materials and does not give off harmful chemicals is important, but if you really want your carpet to be as eco-friendly as possible, you need to look beyond the carpet itself and also consider these factors.

The Cleaning Requirements

Most carpet cleaning companies now offer eco-friendly cleaning options for homeowners who are concerned about the use of harsh cleaners, but this is of little use to you if the carpet you purchase won't come clean without a powerful cleaner. Ask the carpet salesperson about the cleaning requirements for a carpet before you purchase it. Look for a carpet that states that it requires minimal cleaning or can be cleaned with steam only. Not only will this allow your carpet cleaning professional to use fewer chemicals when cleaning your carpet, but it may also mean you have to have it cleaned less often -- which will save you money.

Wool is a good choice in terms of cleaning requirements. Since its fibers naturally keep dust particles near the surface, it does not need to be shampooed or steam-cleaned nearly as often as synthetic carpets, and when it is cleaned, some simple water is sufficient. Your carpet salesperson can likely recommend other green carpets with similar cleaning requirements.

The Carpet Adhesive

Before having a carpet installed, ask the carpet company whether they will use a glue or adhesive to secure the carpet to the floor. If they will do so (and not just use carpet nails), make sure the adhesive they'll use is labeled low or no-VOC.

Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are gases emitted by a lot of products like adhesives, solvents lacquers and paints. They cause health effects like eye irritation, nausea, and skin allergies, and they contribute to air pollution. There's little sense in buying a natural, no-VOC carpet if you're going to have it attached with adhesive that emits VOCs.

The Carpet Padding

Many homeowners make the mistake of choosing an all-natural carpet, but then end up with a carpet pad made from environmentally costly, synthetic materials. Make sure you ask your carpet company to specifically recommend natural, eco-friendly carpet padding. Popular choices are pads made from wool and organic cotton.

A carpet that is truly green is sealed to the floor with an eco-friendly adhesive, paired with a green padding, and can be cleaned without harsh chemicals. Look for these three factors in your next carpet, and you'll be making a choice that truly is better for the environment.

Check out companies like Gulf Coast Carpet Cleaning for more information.