It is not advisable to use hydrogen peroxide on any carpet, but especially don’t use it on rugs that have been dry cleaned. You’ll understand the reason as you read through this article.
Rugs can be either dry cleaned or machine washed, says www.ruggleup.com. If you take your area rug to be dry cleaned, the cleaning service will hang it up and spray it with a solution to remove any surface dirt. The rug is then baked (or dried) at a very high temperature, which “sets” the dirt in for good. This makes the carpet cleaner than when you purchased it.
Conversely, if your machine washes a rug, make sure it’s colorfast before putting it into the washer. Agitate the carpet on a gentle cycle for about 45 minutes or until suds are no longer formed. Dry on low heat setting until thoroughly dry. You’ll know the rug has dried by checking its outer edges.
In either case, carpets that have been wet cannot quickly be put into storage or rolled up tightly because of damage from moisture and mildew. To help prevent the occurrence of musty odors, remove your wet carpet from storage after 24 hours or as soon as possible after being dry cleaned or washed to allow it to air out thoroughly.
Both methods involve chemical cleaning agents, and in the hands of a competent professional who knows how to use these chemicals (e.g., not using too strong of an agent on certain types of stains), rugs can come clean without any lasting damage.
However, one type of chemical used is hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide differs from water in that it has an extra oxygen molecule attached to it. When the cleaner dissolves the stain on the carpet, hydrogen peroxide strips away malodorous molecules that are more difficult for our olfactory bulb to detect but exist all the same. Although this works well with organic stains like food or vomit, not all stains contain a high enough concentration of hydrogen peroxide to eradicate them completely.
Hydrogen peroxide can be used to clean stains, but this method should only be followed if you are willing to have the rug professionally cleaned again. You may even want to call before attempting any cleaning or contact the store where you purchased your carpet for advice on cleaning it.
Rug care experts warn against using hydrogen peroxide because of its high acidity. This product can eat through colorfast dyes and transfer them onto your white carpet or leave a dull spot that won’t come up no matter what you do. If this happens to an expensive area rug, it is unlikely that you will get it replaced.
The worst-case scenario would be that the spot has ruined the fibers in it enough to make them non-repairable, and the entire rug would have to be replaced.
Dealers will tell you that hydrogen peroxide is a no-no, but the truth is that it can be used on your area rugs as long as you know what to do and how to prevent damaging them after cleaning.
There can be many reasons as to why some stains don’t come out on the first cleaning. The solution the carpet cleaner uses may not be strong enough. Alternatively, some organic stains might simply be too heavy for the peroxide to remove.
Regardless of why a stain persists after dry cleaning or washing, there are excellent options that can help you achieve the results you want.
To keep track of your carpet history, take photos of it before and after getting it wet or dry cleaned. This will help determine whether professional treatment is effective at removing troublesome stains in the future.
For any remaining stains on your rug, try using white distilled vinegar or hydrogen peroxide with water yourself according to package directions to hopefully finish what professionals started!
If you use hydrogen peroxide on a dry cleaned rug, it is a great possibility that you will end up with bleach spots. Hydrogen Peroxide can harm carpets if spilled since it doesn’t get along well with dry cleaning chemicals. Its reaction could cause discoloration in some cases so avoid using this solution on rugs that have been dry cleaned. Spills should be OK though, as long as they stay wet, do not attempt to clean since it could turn out worse or have no effect at all.
Instead, try using distilled white vinegar. It is safer, cheaper, and requires less effort.
For stains, apply vinegar on the stain directly and blot with a clean cloth until dry. Leave it to air out for 5 minutes then vacuum up all residue left behind after cleaning with vinegar. Please note that this may cause the fabric colors to fade faster so try this on small inconspicuous areas first before doing your entire carpet.
Another option is hydrogen peroxide diluted with water which you could use as an alternative if you want immediate results or due to lack of distilled white vinegar or even for its bleaching properties minus the hassle of discoloration caused by using too much bleach.
Here are the steps to follow while using hydrogen peroxide diluted with water:
- Mix hydrogen peroxide and water in a 1:9 ratio.
- Start by using a small quantity of the solution on an inconspicuous area then try it out on larger areas if there are no adverse reactions to its use.
- Spray the diluted solution onto affected areas then blot with a clean cloth until dry.
- Leave to air out for 5 minutes then vacuum up all residue left behind after cleaning with vinegar or peroxide-water mixture even for carpets that have been dry cleaned to remove germs, odors, and stains all at once!
Once you have performed these first steps, use a cloth to apply hydrogen peroxide to the stained area of the carpet. After 15 minutes, gently wash away the hydrogen peroxide using clean warm water and blot dry. Always ensure that you are treating a small part of your carpet at one time; if there is no improvement after completing this step, mix 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of sodium bicarbonate in 8 ounces (240 ml) of cool water and continue treating the stain. Then rinse with warm water again before patting dry with a soft towel or absorbent pad. You can also follow up by applying plain distilled vinegar to the dried stain and letting it sit for about 15 minutes.
Some carpet manufacturers recommend against using bleaching agents on carpets but if you are positive that it will not cause discoloration or permanent damage to the fibers, you can go ahead and give it a shot.
Hydrogen Peroxide should not be used on wool carpets because of its bleaching properties nor cotton, silk, leather, or plastics since it could discolor them.
Finally, if you want to use an all-natural carpet cleaning solution that is not only safe but also highly effective, try taking advantage of the many benefits offered by baking soda.
Baking Soda can act as a natural stain remover so sprinkle enough onto affected areas then pour vinegar on it to create fizzing action. Blot with a clean cloth until dry and leave it to air out for 5 minutes before vacuuming up residues. When used together, hydrogen peroxide and white distilled vinegar or peroxide-water mixture can kill germs, neutralize odors, and remove stains all in one fell swoop! This is better than using just one product at a time since they work more effectively when used in tandem.
After trying any of the above methods, do not forget to clean your rugs regularly since it doesn’t only help in maintaining their appearance but also in keeping them free from germs and odors.
So be it machine wash or a dry clean, treat your rug with care and be mindful of how you store it.
In case of stains, ensure to blot the affected area before proceeding with treatment.
When stored, the carpet should be hung up on a wide-based hanger, not laid down or rolled up tightly.
Harmful Effects of Hydrogen Peroxide
What is hydrogen peroxide?
It is a colorless liquid that breaks down into water and oxygen gas when exposed to light or at high temperatures. It can be used as an antiseptic, bleaching agent, food additive, rocket fuel, and laboratory reagent. Although hydrogen peroxide has many uses in industry, it is unknown how safe it would be to leave carpets soaked with the solution for long periods of time.
Hydrogen peroxide has many uses around the house, from disinfecting cuts and scrapes to killing germs in kitchens and bathrooms. It also has a lot of commercial applications as well. But it’s not without danger if mixed with other chemicals, including those used for dry cleaning carpets.
As mentioned above, mixing hydrogen peroxide with vinegar creates an acetic acid which is very dangerous if absorbed through the skin or inhaled in large doses.
This product can also cause blindness if it gets into your eyes, so you should always be certain to dilute it with water before using it on carpets.
Please remember that hydrogen peroxide has limited uses around the house, and is not intended for home carpet cleaning. This chemical works well when used to clean up specific stains–and even then, only on white carpets where any future discoloration would not be noticeable.
To sum it up,
Hydrogen peroxide is only safe to use on carpets in very limited circumstances. A safer alternative to hydrogen peroxide, which you’re likely to have in your house already, is white distilled vinegar. This solution works well for removing stains and neutralizing odors without the harmful effects that hydrogen peroxide can cause.
However, if your carpet has set-in stains or deep odors that are affecting the whole room, you will need to hire a professional exterminator. Your best bet at getting rid of these types of problems is with dry foam carpet cleaning services.
Carpet fumes may contain toxic chemicals used during the manufacturing process or even some pesticides used by farmers on the fields where the wool or cotton was grown.
carpets that are not machine washable need to be dry cleaned by expert service. If you choose to do it yourself “dry cleaning” use white distilled vinegar or hydrogen peroxide with water in a spray bottle for light stains, don’t let it drip, just mist the stained area and blot immediately with clean paper towels.
The choice is yours but always keep in mind that if done right, home treatments are more effective than commercial cleaning solutions which usually cost more. Difficult stains may require professional service unless you want to end up spending too much effort without result.