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My lovely friend Jessie wanted to share her experience in combating pet hair, asthma and allergies to pets and how she found a solution. The solution which meant asthma, allergies, children, adults and pets were all catered for and lived happily ever after… Over to Jessie. They say that necessity is the root of all invention. Well I am not an inventor, but necessity was why I went looking for Chemical Free Carpet Care.
We have a difficult, but increasingly common problem:
Our two children love animals, in fact we all do. Our place is home to my husband, myself, our 9 year old son Zach , and 3 year daughter Amber. It also houses two cats and a child friendly, but long haired Golden retriever we call Trouble.
Zach has grown up with Trouble and Amber is besotted by her two cats.
Unfortunately Amber is also asthmatic. Something we simply could not have known when we purchased and decorated our home, and got the dog. Two years before her arrival.
One solution not available to us at this time, but would be worth researching if you are looking to get a pet, is to consider getting a hypoallergenic dog or cat. These pets tend to shed very little and drop little dander, which makes them the best pets for allergy sufferers. You can find a great list of hypoallergenic dogs here
As most people know, the combination of Carpets and Pets leads to an increase in cleaning work in any home. Ours is no different.
We have always accepted the adage that regular, thorough Vacuum cleaning is a necessity. So we invested in a good quality vacuum cleaner when the carpets went down five years ago. I vacuumed throughout every two days to keep dirt , dust, pet hair and the allergens to a minimum.
It was not enough!
The frequency of Asthma attacks increased. We started having our home professionally steam cleaned every three months. It was expensive, disruptive and time consuming, but the Asthma settled down.
After about 9 months of this I started to experience allergies,eye, nose and throat irritation, and severe fatigue.
This led me to an extended series of tests and dietary eliminations. My doctors decided that these were probably coming from sensitivity to Formaldehyde and Hydrocarbons. Both present in the cleaning solutions used by the Carpet Cleaning firms.
Time to move out.
For the sake of family harmony, we could not remove the animals. The carpet cleaning regime had worked for Amber’s Asthma that also had to stay. With no option for chemical free carpet care , the only solution we could find was this:
Every three months, at Carpet cleaning time, my mother would move into our guest room for a week. I in turn, moved into her place to avoid the worst of the chemical concentration. My reactions reduced considerably, but as you can imagine neither my Husband, nor my kids were any too pleased.
I started searching for Chemical Free Carpet care.
No Commercial Solution
I started by talking to dozens of carpet cleaning firms in our city. It became clear that they could not get commercial quantities of chemical free cleaning solutions for their machines. So we still needed carpet cleaning but the professionals were no longer the answer.
I started researching online, and found a number of reportedly successful D.I.Y answers and some conflicting opinions.
There were a lot of suggested recipes for a cleaning solutions using either basic detergents or Cleaning Vinegar. Firstly detergents carry Formaldehyde, and in the opinion of many cause dirt to accumulate in fibers.
Again a popular ingredient but I learned that it was also used by artists to have color impregnate fabrics. Then I read numerous opinions that Vinegar actually made stains “set” I decided to leave it out also.
My Solution after months of searching.
Firstly we purchased a new cyclonic vacuum cleaner for Pets hair. Along with that we bought ourselves a top rated carpet cleaner. Whilst a considerable investment together, they are a cheap alternative to 3 monthly professional cleaning.
Secondly, I created my own home made Carpet Deodorizer using a simple recipe that I found.
Simply sift half a cup of baking soda into a bowl (to remove all lumps). Add about one teaspoon of finely ground herbs of your choice (Rosemary, Lavender, Peppermint etc) and mix thoroughly. When ready sprinkle the powder across your carpet and vacuum . This provides enough Carpet Freshener to do one medium to large room. Some recipes suggest using Essential oils instead of Herbs, but I personally avoid them in case the strong color in the oils leave stains.
Thirdly, I resumed thorough vacuuming every two days with the improved modern vacuum cleaner and
Fourthly, I use my newly purchased carpet cleaner to wash the carpets every quarter using only HOT water, in place of chemically laden cleaning solutions.
He doesn’t like it, but of course Trouble gets Shampooed regularly too.
Spills are attended to as soon as they happen, (with homemade chemical free solutions) to avoid staining.
We now use homemade carpet deodorizers, as needed between “shampooing” (minus the chemical solutions).
I “Shampoo” regularly without cleaning solutions.
The family saves a fortune on Cleaning Services and medical intervention.
Admittedly, it’s all a bit time consuming, but until we can find chemical free carpet care from the professionals its the best we can come up with.
Through all this we have managed to keep the pets, minimize Asthma attacks, avoid my allergies and keep my lovely mother in her own home, (of course my husband is very pleased).