Healthy Child asserts that carpet cleaners with strong odors are more likely to contain harmful chemicals. Check carpet cleaner labels for toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde, butoxyethanol, hydroxyacetic acid, phenol, butane and sodium hydroxide.
Carpet cleaner residue often remains on carpets after cleaning. Children who play on the floor may inhale this residue or transfer the residue from their hands to their mouths. The chemicals in carpet cleaners may trigger allergic reactions, asthma attacks, headaches, eye irritation, congestion, nausea and fatigue.
Consider cleaning carpets with natural cleaning products such as baking soda, club soda, cornstarch, vinegar, rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide (both used in extreme cases and with care) or purchase commercial products labeled non-toxic. If you do clean your carpets with chemical cleaning solutions, ventilate the area well by opening doors and windows and keep children out of the house for at least four hours after the cleaning session.