Most people who live in Singapore must embrace themselves to living in small apartments. Due to the limited space available, most homeowners will compensate this by being stylish and ensuring that they are as comfortable as possible. This explains why you will not miss a carpet in most of these households. A carpet provides a soft surface for you to walk on which makes it comfortable for you to walk even on barefoot.

If the right designs and colours of carpet are chosen to match furniture and other accessories in the house, they help to improve house décor. If you have a small space in the house, using a light coloured will be a good choice as it will give the impression of continuous width and length. However, when you buy a carpet, you must know that it will soil with time and therefore it will need cleaning.

There are several options available when it comes to carpet cleaning. The choice of the method to use will be determined by the amount of dirt to be removed. If you are dealing with a simple spill, deep a piece of clothing in a cleaning solution and blot that specific area. If you want to remove soils and dust, vacuuming regularly will do it fine. However, after using your carpet for quite some time, you will need to clean it thoroughly. This can be done either by steam cleaning or carpet shampooing. But do you know that there are some hidden harmful effects of carpet shampooing?

· Environmental pollution
There are many chemicals that are used in the manufacture of carpet cleaning shampoos. Most of these chemicals have not been tested for safety and therefore when you use them, you expose yourself to unknown risks. It is also important to note that most of these chemicals are non-biodegradable and therefore they may end up polluting rivers and streams. Most of them will not breakdown even when flowing on the river and could accidentally get into the food chain through being eaten by aquatic animals or absorbed by plants. At the end of the day, these chemicals are likely to end up in our body systems.

· Short term health effects
There are some chemicals used in carpet cleaning shampoos that have acute toxicity characteristics. For example ammonium hydroxide used in shampoos will produce fumes that will irritate eyes, throat, lungs and nose. Such a chemical will greatly affect people with prior lung, asthma or heart conditions.

· Long term health effects
There are some chemicals used in carpet cleaning shampoos that have low toxicity but may have long term health effects e.g. cancer. A good example of such a chemical is perchlorethylene. It can lead to cancer, liver damage, nervous system damage as well as kidney damages.

· Hormonal disruptions
There are some chemicals used in shampoos that may interfere with the natural chemical messages in the body either by blocking the hormones or imitating their actions. This could lead to conditions such as hypospadias, undescended testicles and a reduction in sperm count.

· Increased carpet wearing out
Although most modern carpets are made of tough synthetic materials that resist wearing out after shampooing, there are still those that are affected by regular cleaning and shampooing. It happens that the more you shampoo the more it is likely that you will reduce its lifespan. However to reduce this risk, you are advised to buy carpets made of synthetic materials such as polypropylene.

· Indoor air quality
Whenever a carpet is shampooed, there s likelihood that there will be chemical residues left chemically unchanged on the surface of the carpet. Although most of these residues are harmless, there are those that could affect your health either in the short term or in the long run. With time, these residues will become airborne and this means that they will be inhaled by the people living in the house. This could be a problem to people who are allergic, asthmatic or sensitive people.

· Increased dust build-up
Many people have observed that after shampooing your carpet, it re-soils rapidly. This means that after doing the first shampooing; you will be forced to be shampooing your carpet often to ensure that it is clean. Too much shampooing over a short period of time will affect the carpet quality where it may shrink, loose its original colour and also wear out rapidly.

Carpet shampooing is an important procedure that ensures that the carpets are clean and hence they serve their purpose in the right manner. It is important to understand the chemical composition of the shampoo you use to ensure that your health and the life of your carpets are not adversely affected.