There are many things that you hear of people doing and to some, it will seem normal, and to others, it will simply beggar belief. This applies to millions of activities, and the one which we are going to examine now is in relation to carpet cleaning, and specifically, the use of bleach to try and clean carpets or remove stains from them.
We are going to say from the outset that this article is not going to teach you how to use bleach for carpet cleaning or stain removal, for one very simple reason. That reason is that carpet cleaners emphatically do not recommend you use bleach for carpet cleaning, and in fact, suggest that the further away from your carpets that you can keep bleach, the better it is.
If anyone reading this does not take our word for it, then perhaps they might like to refer to what almost every single carpet manufacturer that exists recommends with regards to the proper and safe cleaning of the carpets which they produce. In all cases, they state that bleach should not be used as a carpet cleaner and in most cases likely to damage it if that advice is ignored.
Now, we are not writing this because we have got anything against bleach. In fact, it has many excellent cleaning properties, and when used in the right and safe way, and on specific surfaces, bleach is often the best cleaning product for the job. However, when it comes to cleaning carpets, it most certainly is not.
‘Why is that?’, you might be asking. Well, the biggest issue is the chemicals that are normally used to create bleach. In most bleaches, the active ingredient will be a chemical compound called sodium hypochlorite. This has properties which allow it to remove colours and stains from fabrics, and that includes the fibres within a carpet.
It follows, that if bleach which contains sodium hypochlorite comes into contact with a carpet, then the result is almost certain to be a discolouration wherever on that carpet it is present. You would not countenance pouring a cupful of bleach into to your washing machine before washing your clothes and your linen unless you wanted them to come out with patches all over them. Well, the same logic applies to a carpet.
Despite this, you can still find carpet cleaning tips, blog posts and articles where bleach is recommended, which is bizarre. In some, the recommendation is to dilute the bleach, which admittedly will make it weaker, however, that will not change the colour removal properties of sodium hypochlorite.
The only possible exception might be pure white carpet, but even then it will have been dyed white, and thus it is still possible that discolouration will occur.
The other theory is that bleach can be used as a disinfectant and to remove bacteria from carpets. These are both laudable aims, and we would recommend that for a healthy household you do all you can to minimise bacteria, mildew, allergens, and other microscopic nasties from your carpet, but not at the risk of ruining its appearance.
There are plenty of ways to achieve all these using cleaning methods and carpet cleaning products that have nothing to do with bleach. Alternatively, if you want your carpets cleaned properly, but are unsure what to use, or how, then the best option is to hire a professional carpet cleaner to clean your carpets for you.