Do You Know What’s Lurking Between Your Carpet Fibers?
Carpets add warmth, a sense of luxury, and comfort to your home. They can improve the aesthetics of a room, but do you know what is hiding in your carpets?
You may believe your carpet is perfectly clean, there is no staining, no track marks, and no collapsed pile and you vacuum regularly. But because of all the traffic it encounters daily, carpet attracts and hides some of the worst allergens, bacteria, germs, organisms, and other hazardous particles. Dirty carpets can affect your health and the indoor air quality of your home or business and create unpleasant odors over time.
WHAT DIRT IS TRAPPED IN THE CARPET?
Dirt and Soil
The average carpet can accumulate up to 40 pounds of dust per year, contain more bacteria per square inch than your toilet seat, and may contain more than four times its own weight in dirt. Dirt and soil are easily tracked in from outside and make their way into your carpet. Vacuuming regularly can eliminate as much as 85 percent of dirt and soil found in carpets, but you must choose the right style of vacuum.
Bugs such as bed bugs, fleas, and dust mites can be harbored within your carpets, the bugs can cause allergies through their molted skin, waste, and the mites themselves.
Pet Hair, Dander & Skin Flakes
The average person sheds 1.5 million skin flakes per day. Microscopic insects (such as fleas, ticks, or mites) feed on skin flakes or dander. Regular vacuuming can help reduce the number of dead skin cells and pet hair that have fallen into your carpet.
Mildew, Mold & Other Bacteria
Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there! Pathogens such as salmonella, E. coli, and staphylococcus can hide in carpet fibers and cause illness. Mold or mildew can also thrive in a warm, wet environment. Keeping the carpet dry will help prevent the formation of mold or mildew.
Toxic substances from cigarette smoke can make their way into carpet fibers. Pet urine and spilled food or drink can also cause odors to form on your carpet if not cleaned immediately and properly.
Food & Drinks
Spilled food or drink may not only leave stains but also may serve as a food source for bacteria and organisms. To prevent permanent stains or odors from forming, the key is to act quickly! Absorb any spilled liquids by blotting. Then spot treat the area.
Not only do these things not sound very appealing, but they also carry with them a few consequences and risks for your family’s health. The contaminants that exist in your carpet can cause allergies, sneezing, colds, or breathing problems. If there are toxic substances from cigarette smoke embedded in your carpet, your family may even be at risk for cancer. The waste produced by dust mites can also cause allergic reactions.
What Can we Do to Reduce the Build up?
Take off your shoes before entering a carpeted area, and introduce a good quality mat to ensure people will/can wipe their feet to reduce the amount of dirt and germs brought into the home.
Have rugs or mats which are machine washable in high-traffic areas, so you can replace or wash these more often.
Consider a stain protector, although stain protectors won’t stop dirt and particles from getting between the fibers, they can reduce the amount absorbed by the carpet and help make it easier to remove dirt.
Vacuum, Vacuum, Vacuum, once or twice a week or simply as often as you can, but make sure you are using the right style of vacuum as some will not penetrate deep enough in the pile of the carpet to remove sufficient dirt, dust, and grime within the carpet.
Have a professional carpet deep clean at least once a year, professional deep cleaning reaches deep down into the pile reducing the amount of unseen dirt, germs, and allergens, helping to reduce/prevent sickness and allergies.
Clean Doesn’t Always Look Clean
How good your carpet looks can be misleading, essentially carpets are woven so that they hide the dirt and soil inside, so they keep their fresh, pleasing appearance for as long as possible. This can normally lead to people not having their carpets cleaned until they “look” dirty.
This is actually a big mistake and you should have your carpets cleaned around once every 12 months, purely because of the amount of trapped soil and dirt you will have between the fibers.