A new method for removing carpets, carpet cleaners and other household items has been discovered by researchers from the University of Edinburgh.
The research, which was published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, found that the new cleaning methods can be effective in removing harmful chemicals and bacteria that are naturally present in carpets.
Dr Chris O’Connor, the lead author of the study, said: “Our study suggests that cleaning carpets can help to remove a variety of chemicals and contaminants that are normally present in their surfaces, including arsenic, copper, and mercury.”
In the long term, this could be a useful tool to reduce pollution in our cities.
“Our work has also shown that cleaning can also remove chemicals that are not normally present on carpets such as formaldehyde, a common industrial solvent.”
A cleaning solution of 0.5% bleach and water can effectively remove these toxins and other harmful contaminants, and the effectiveness of this method depends on how many carpets the cleaner needs to remove.
“Dr O’Conner added: “For cleaning carpet walls, the new methods are likely to be more effective because carpets are usually made of multiple layers.
“For example, the surfaces on the floor or the top of the kitchen are usually the hardest and can contain a lot of contaminants.”
However, it’s also possible to make a cleaning solution using a water-based cleaner, or a non-water-based product such as baking soda.
“The study also found that carpets may be more resistant to environmental contamination than previously thought.
Dr O’mann said:”One of the biggest challenges in cleaning carpettos is that they are made of many different materials, and we’ve known for some time that carpettas have a higher environmental impact than previously believed.”
We know that the levels of pollutants in carpettoses can change over time, so cleaning them every two to four years could be better than using a standard cleaning product for the first time.”
The research was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council and the Wellcome Trust.