• Never Use these 4 ProductsLike many people I have a Pinterest account, with all sorts boards including one on cleaning. I love finding cleaning tips but am careful to research which cleaning tips could cause damage to the item I am cleaning before I proceed. I wish everyone did this. Many people thinking that they have found the holy grail of home cleaning products, and post their ideas on Pinterest. Unfortunately, they are giving people advice that actually cause damage to the items they are cleaning. I see this a lot with carpet cleaning tips. The most cringe worthy tips include the use of hydrogen peroxide, bleach, dish soap, or ammonia (window cleaner). If you run across a tip containing any of these products you should ignore them. These products can do serious damage to carpets. If you are using a mixture of these, I urge you to stop. While you may not see the damage you are causing right now, eventually you will be wishing that you hadn’t used them.

    Hydrogen Peroxide, & Bleach

    These are bleaching agents (Peroxide is used to lighten hair). They remove color, and not just the color from the spots you have spilled, but color from the entire carpet. If the mixture is concentrated, or laid down heavier in one area than the other, the carpeting will start to appear blotchy. It will be lighter in some areas even on white carpet. This is not something that can be repaired. Once it’s bleached, you can’t unbleach it.

    In addition, unlike your hair carpet doesn’t grow. Each time you apply a cleaning mix containing peroxide, or bleach you are causing damage that dries out, and makes the fibers brittle. Over time the fibers will start to break and fray at an accelerated pace. This kind of damage leads to early replacement. 

    Important side note: Any time you use a bleaching agent on carpet, any warranty the carpet has will be voided.

    Dish Soap

    Carpet manufactures recommend a mixture of white vinegar, water, and dish soap to help remove spots. While we agree with the white vinegar and water, we disagree with using dish soap. Using dish soap adds a cleaning agent that can have bleach, petroleum, and other items that can leave residues. These residues can attract soil, bleach out the color, and cause other problems. While carpet manufactures may recommend this, we suggest you use only half and half white distilled vinegar and water to clean spots. Not all dish soaps are created equal, so it is better just to avoid using them all together. In most cases you will get good results with just vinegar and water.

    Ammonia

    This product is not meant for carpet. It will leave you carpet smelling terrible. Ammonia is the primary ingredient in cat and dog pee that cause bad odors, and sets stains. Just don’t use this product.