Get the dirt on carpet detergent residue. What do your cleaning products leave behind?
Do any of the following apply to you?
These are common problems associated with the detergent residue some cleaning products leave behind. It becomes a film that's left on practically anything cleaned with a detergent based cleaning product.
No matter how often rinsed, it's nearly impossible to completely remove.
To demonstrate, try these simple tests:
To think we're living among all that residue and the chemicals used to formulate them. It's like washing your hair and not rinsing it. So why "clean" your carpet with detergent when you cannot rinse all that soapy sticky residue out of carpet.
Worse yet, this detergent residue is in constant contact and is absorbed into your body through the skin.
Try this test. Take a fresh moist piece of garlic, cut it in half and rub it on the soles of your feet today, by tomorrow, you will taste the garlic.
The feet are very porous and can absorb pollutants or chemicals.
Many people walk around their home in bare feet or allow their children to crawl or play on their carpet. The skin will absorb toxic cleaning chemicals found in the carpet.
What options are available to address this unhealthy condition?
Understanding detergent formulation can aid in selecting an alternative cleaning product. Namely, detergent-free carpet cleaning products.
The word detergent means to clean. The most basic form is called soap which is formed by combining animal fat or vegetable oils with a strong alkaline (high pH). In order to work properly, soap:
Synthetic detergents were developed to correct the drawback of soap. Although superior to soap, in that they are less prone to leaving detergent residue and are more stable in hard water, the downside includes:
These detergents have been reformulated to correct these problems by adding other ingredients which are discussed below.
Detergents are soluble in water and love oily soil. It's molecule has two ends. One end loves water and the other end loves oil.
When agitation is introduced, the oily soil is loosened from the surface. The detergent molecule surrounds the oily soil which can then be flushed away.
To aid this molecular process, detergent "wetting agents" are added to decrease surface tension and allow the cleaning chemicals to spread and penetrate the surface.
The detergent molecule surrounds the soil to lift or "suspend" it into the cleaning solution This suspended soil is called an "emulsion", meaning one substance suspended in another.
During the process of emulsion, the fine soil particles are collected together to form larger particles making the surface look cleaner. This is known as agglomeration. The emulsion process also prevents the soil from being redeposited on the surface.
Common ingredients added to carpet and floor detergent formulations may help their performance, however, some may contribute to the rapid re-soiling associated with detergent residue. These ingredients include but are not limited to:
Solvents are another category of chemicals which are capable of dissolving another substance. These include water soluble and non-water soluble.
Both are used for their grease cutting ability. Water soluble solvents can be added to cleaning formulations whereas non-water soluble solvents cannot. The concern of these two solvent types are:
Often product ingredients and other pertinent information is only vaguely listed on the product package.
The necessary cleaning product information is listed on a SDS (Safety Data Sheet). The SDS contains the pertinent information needed to evaluate the product. The information contained in the SDS is primarily for the occupational user, not the occasional user.
The SDS can alert the user to cleaning products causing cancer.
Always consult the SDS before using a product. If the desired
information is not listed as with many over the counter products, check
with the product manufacturer for each product's SDS.
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