Escape The Hassles Of Carpeting With Natural Hard Flooring
Our snug 1950’s-era house came with new carpet and freshly painted walls when we moved into it. Yet just a few months after we arrived, the carpeted areas began looking no-so-pristine. Why? Because just like their doormat cousins, carpet attracts and absorbs messes.
If I were updating my home and had a choice, I would never put wall-to-wall carpeting in a house. We have enjoyed living in homes and apartments with wood, vinyl, and tile floors, but our current home was already carpeted. When the time comes, I know what I want to replace our carpet. There are plenty of better alternatives.
The Problem of Carpet Spills
Meanwhile I have three young children at home, making carpet spills virtually inevitable. Recently, for instance, my toddler decided he could dump an open carton of orange juice on the carpet and splash in this colorful puddle. I quickly made it known that puddles belong outside, not inside our house, and rushed to get the steam cleaner we own. Once again experience proves that children and pets are simply incompatible with carpet.
To confront the tide of assaults on our carpeting, we have had to acquire numerous carpet cleaning products and devices. Our arsenal now includes a vacuum cleaner, a “steam” cleaner, a can of foaming carpet cleaner, a manual carpet sweeper, and a hand vacuum. Obtaining all these cost us around $300 plus over $30 in vacuum part replacement costs in span of just 18 months. And this doesn’t include the cleaning solution that the “steam” cleaner uses, not to mention the ongoing electricity that the steam cleaner and vacuums consume.
There Are No Easy Carpet Solutions
After all the effort and expense, our carpet still is riddled with stains and looks much older than it really is. We will have to change the stained carpet sooner or later, particularly if we want sell our house and move. In the mean time, I am sheepish now about inviting people inside because of the way the floors look (even after all the toys are picked up and put away). Perhaps our carpet needs a professional cleaning. But is it really cost effective? Generally, professional carpet cleaning is quite pricey that is why only few households avail this service. But if we talk about quality, your carpet will be totally cleaned by professional cleaners.
Carpet cleaning companies often mention the EPA recommendation that carpets be professionally cleaned every 6 months. The EPA has an opinion on this? Does carpet really become so unsanitary and allergen-laden? Apparently it does. This is one more reason why I would rather save those hundreds of dollars on carpet cleaning services; I could put that money toward bamboo or hardwood floors instead. Then my carpet care armory could go to someone who does not mind the endless upkeep that carpet care requires. I would love to open my broom closet and have just a Swiffer mop and broom. It is a very liberating thought.
The Answer: “Greener” Flooring Alternatives
Not only are bamboo, hardwood, or tile floors simpler to clean, they are more environmentally friendly. That “new carpet smell” is a result of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released from the new fibers. These VOCs can be irritating and possibly harmful to respiratory tracts of people and animals, especially among those with allergies. Carpet can also attract and trap other man made and natural irritants, notes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
In my experience, trying to keep carpet clean simply takes too much time, energy, and money. With so many drawbacks, I would rather not pay for a carpet cleaning service; instead I hope to replace at least some of the carpet with eco-friendly bamboo flooring. Anyone who wants floors that are easy-to-clean and less toxic should make carpeting a thing of the past.