Carpets are a staple in many homes, providing both comfort and style. But what most homeowners don’t realize is that carpets can also be a breeding ground for dust, dirt, and all sorts of allergens.
Since carpets are often made from natural fibers, they can absorb moisture, leading to the growth of mold and mildew which can be easily cleaned using the agitation carpet cleaning method.
In addition, carpets can harbor pet dander, dust mites, and other allergens that can trigger asthma and allergy symptoms.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some dirty carpet facts that every homeowner should know.
This will educate you about the potential health hazards that your carpets may pose and explain the importance of having a professional carpet cleaning service regularly clean your carpets.
Why Is Carpet Cleaning So Important?
Before we get into the dirty carpet facts, it’s important to understand why regular carpet cleaning is so important.
Although it seems clean on the surface, a carpet that isn’t cleaned regularly can pose a risk to one’s health.
This is because a significant number of allergens can become embedded in the carpet fibers over time.
For instance, a human being loses around one million skin cells every day, which are subsequently devoured by dust mites present in carpets.
When these allergens are present in high concentrations, they can trigger asthma and allergy symptoms, such as coughing, sneezing, watery eyes, and difficulty breathing. Sometimes, they can even cause a severe asthma attack.
The Carpet and Rug Institute suggests having a professional deep cleaning performed on your carpet once every 12 to 18 months.
This will ensure that your carpet continues to look like it did when you first installed it.
Note that the recommended frequency is just a general guideline and is subject to change based on your unique circumstances.
For example, if you have pets or children, you may need to have your carpets cleaned more often as they are likely to track in more dirt and dust.
What Are Some Dirty Carpet Facts?
Now that you know why professional carpet cleaning is so important, let’s take a look at some dirty carpet facts.
Your carpet is something you likely walk on every day. So you may find it hard to believe that it can be home to millions of dirt, dust, and other allergens.
Here are some dirty carpet facts that may surprise you:
Fact #1: Your Carpet Is Being Gradually Torn Apart By Sandy Soil
If you kneel down and carefully examine your carpet, splitting the fibers with your hands, you will be shocked by what you find.
With the naked eye, all you will see is a gradual change in color as the carpet ages.
But upon close inspection, you will notice that your carpet pile is covered with sand, to the extent that each fiber appears to be split in two.
These minute grit fragments are made of soil and are a byproduct of the removal of the darker, more clay-like dirt.
The remaining sand particles will move their way down the carpet layer, gathering at the bottom and resisting your vacuum cleaner’s efforts to remove them.
While you may think of this as a minor occurrence, it’s actually quite damaging to your carpet.
These microscopic sand fragments are rough and pointy, and they don’t just lie about inertly in your carpet; they move around as you walk on it, shifting the fibers.
These sand grains will gradually cut and rip the carpet fibers at the base, ultimately slicing them off at the root over time.
This can and will result in split fibers and bald areas, giving your carpet a dull, aged appearance. This is one of the reasons which prohibits you from doing yoga on the carpet.
Fact #2: Relying on Vacuuming Alone Will Not Keep Your Carpet Clean
Most people vacuum their carpets regularly in an effort to keep them clean. However, relying on vacuuming alone is not enough to keep your carpets clean and free of dust, dirt, and allergens.
Even the best vacuum cleaners will have difficulty extracting dirt from the very bottom of the carpet pile, although vacuums are undoubtedly helpful in removing the dust on the carpet’s surface.
To thoroughly clean your carpets, you need to have them professionally deep cleaned with tools and equipment that are designed for the job.
Fact #3: Your Carpet Is Dirtier Than Your Toilet Seat
Many homeowners feel that carpeting is excellent for the flooring in their houses since it is warmer, more comfortable, and nice to walk on barefoot.
While carpeting may be more comfortable, most homeowners are completely unaware of the horrifying reality that their carpets are often dirtier than their toilet seats.
Carpets are the perfect environment for bacterial growth and can be up to 4,000 times dirtier than a toilet seat.
This is because carpets are often made of natural materials, such as wool or cotton, which can absorb spills and trap dirt.
In addition, carpets are often located in areas where there is a lot of foot traffic, such as the living room or hallway, which can track in dirt and other allergens.
Carpets also serve as a shelter for many organisms, including dust mites, which are tiny creatures that thrive in humid environments. Dust mites can cause asthma and other respiratory problems.
To make matters worse, when you vacuum your carpet, you are just redistributing the dirt, dust mites, and other allergens throughout the house, which can cause respiratory problems for people with allergies or asthma.
The only way to remove all the dirt, dust, and allergens from your carpets is to have them professionally deep cleaned.
Fact #4: Carpets Bring In Dirt
Why do carpets draw in so much dirt? No matter how cautious you are, it looks like your carpets are a magnet for dirt, dust, and other allergens.
This is due to two factors.
The first is basic static electricity, which turns your carpet into a literal magnet for microscopic dirt particles. This can be explained quite simply: when two items rub against one another, static is created.
Your carpet’s fibers will quickly develop a persistent low-level charge since, as you might expect, they rubbed together frequently when you were walking through them.
Although you won’t hear any thunder or see any lightning in your living room, this charge is strong enough to continuously draw in airborne dust particles.
Secondly, your carpet is covered in the form of oily residue that is a combination of dead skin cells, pet & human hair, fur oils, food crumbs, and more. As a result, dirt and other allergens will quickly adhere to this surface.
Fact #5: The Weight of Your Carpet Increases Over Time
Did you know that the weight of your carpet increases over time? This is because your carpet can potentially store as much as four times its weight in grime.
Dirt mites, pet hair, dead skin cells, sand, insect excrement, mold, and various other allergens cling to the threads of carpets, making carpets a magnet for dirt and a breeding ground for a wide variety of allergens.
It is crucial that you perform routine maintenance on your carpets. While it is necessary to run the vacuum cleaner at least once or twice every week, this is not enough.
You should also hire a professional carpet cleaner to clean your home’s carpets. This will ensure that your carpet’s weight is restored to its original state.
Fact #6: Beware Of Norovirus Infections
A person infected with the Norovirus may experience symptoms that are very similar to those of food poisoning.
This virus can survive for more than a month in the carpeting in your home. As soon as it is dispersed in the air, there is a possibility that humans may breathe it in and become infected.
This virus is highly contagious and can wreak havoc on your health once it enters your gut. The havoc will also make its way to your wallet as you’ll have to deal with the cost of medical bills and time off work.
If you are infected with the Norovirus, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.
In the meantime, you should also take measures to disinfect your home, such as steam cleaning your carpets, in order to prevent the virus from spreading.
Regularly getting your carpets professionally cleaned is the best way to protect yourself and your family from the Norovirus.
Fact #7: Dirty Carpets Are Bad For Allergies
If you struggle with allergies, you are in for a real treat when you discover how dirty your carpets really are.
As we have already mentioned, carpets are covered in a variety of allergens, mainly dust mites.
Dust mites, which are minute creatures that feed on dead skin cells, thrive in these conditions.
In most cases, dust mites do not do any harm, and because of their tiny size, you probably won’t even be aware of their presence.
However, if your carpet is home to many dust mites, you may experience allergic reactions such as watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, and difficulty breathing. The symptoms you’ll experience will be similar to hay fever.
If you suffer from allergies, then you should get your carpets cleaned regularly. This will help to reduce the number of dust mites in your home and, as a result, will ease your allergy symptoms.
Fact #8: Get the 5-Second Rule Out of Your Head
You probably know about the 5-second rule, which states that if you drop food on the floor, you have up to 5 seconds to pick it up before it becomes contaminated.
Spoiler alert: the 5-second rule is a myth.
In fact, many people are aware of this yet continue to use the 5-second rule as an excuse to eat food that has fallen on the floor.
The truth is, as soon as food comes into contact with a contaminated surface, it becomes contaminated with all the bacteria that are present on that surface.
Think about what you could be consuming if the carpets in your home are dirty, how that connects to the food you eat, and how it could make you sick.
Therefore, you should get the 5-second rule out of your head. Carpets can contain bacteria for as long as four weeks, and if there are any bacteria in your carpeting — which there surely are — then those bacteria will, at some time, make their way onto your food.
Fact #9: Some Stains Remain Even After Cleaning
Have you ever noticed a stain on your carpet that won’t seem to disappear no matter how many times you clean it?
If so, you’re not alone.
Some stains will stay on your carpet for years, or even decades, no matter how often you clean them.
This is because even if you clean the liquid or dirt that left the stain, it leaves proteins or other particles behind, which get trap in the carpet fibers.
These proteins or particles are also used by bacteria as a food source. The bacteria in turn makes your carpet smell bad, worsening the situation.
You can take some steps to remove these stains, such as using enzymes or other products that break down the proteins.
However, the most effective way to deal with these types of stains is to get professional help.
Fact #10: Pollen Are Everywhere, Even In Your Carpet
One of the most common allergens present in carpets is pollen.
Pollen refers to tiny grains that plants release during their reproductive cycle. Its purpose is to fertilize other plants of the same species, but they can also cause allergic reactions in humans.
The main problem with pollen is that they are tiny and lightweight, which means they can easily become airborne and end up in places where they don’t belong, such as your carpet.
The powdery substance can easily enter your home through opened windows and doors, and once it’s in, it’s very difficult to get rid of.
If you suffer from allergies, it is important to keep your carpets clean and free of pollen.
Pollen is a common factor in the onset of hay fever and asthma attacks, so the less of it present in your home, the better.
How to Prevent Allergies From Carpeting?
If you or a family member of yours suffers from allergies, there are some things you can do to prevent them from becoming worse.
Here are some tips:
1. Use the Vinegar or Steam Cleaning Method
Vinegar is undoubtedly one of the most versatile and effective cleaning agents around. It can clean everything from carpets to countertops and is also very effective at removing allergens.
To use vinegar to clean your carpets, mix one part vinegar with two parts water to create a solution. Next, pour detergent or liquid soap into the vinegar solution and transfer it into a spray bottle.
Too much detergent can ruin your carpets, so be sure to use a small amount. Spray the solution onto the stained areas of your carpet and let it sit for a few hours.
After a few hours have passed, use a clean cloth or sponge to remove the solution and the stain.
If you don’t want to use vinegar, you can also use a steam cleaner to clean your carpets.
Steam cleaners effectively remove dirt, dust, and other substances from carpets. Simply put your carpet under the steam cleaner and let it do its job.
2. Clean Your Carpet Frequently
You should make sure to clean the carpet on a regular basis. This will guarantee that your carpet has a long lifespan and will also prevent the build-up of allergens.
For best results, vacuum your carpet at least once a week and shampoo it every few months. You can also hire a professional carpet cleaning company to clean your carpets for you.
A professional carpet cleaning service will have the necessary experience and equipment to clean your carpets quickly and effectively.
You don’t have to call a professional every time you need to clean your carpets, but it’s a good idea to do so at least once a year.
3. Try The Baking Soda Solution
Baking soda is right next to vinegar when it comes to cooking products that clean like a charm. You can use this white powder to remove stains, clean carpets, and even freshen up the air in your home.
Mix one part baking soda with two parts water to create a solution. Then, use a clean cloth or sponge to apply the solution to the affected areas of your carpet.
Allow the mixture to sit on the stain for a few minutes before blotting it up with a dry cloth.
You can also use baking soda to clean your carpets on a regular basis. Just sprinkle some baking soda over your carpets, let it sit for 15-20 minutes, and vacuum it up. This will help to remove dirt, dust, and other allergens from your carpets.
These are just some of the known facts about dirty carpets and allergies.
If you or a family member of yours suffers from allergies, it’s important to take the necessary steps to prevent them from becoming worse.
By following the tips above, you can keep your carpets clean and free of allergens, which will go a long way in keeping your house clean and allergies under control.
Daleyza knows a lot about carpets! She has worked with carpets for over 7 years and can help with things like putting them in, keeping them clean, and replacing them. She really likes carpets and spends most of her time learning about new ways to work with them. When she’s not learning about carpets, she enjoys reading books. She’s really good at helping people choose the right carpet for their homes and making sure they’re happy with it. If you want to know more about carpets, Daleyza is the person to talk to!