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Just How Dirty Is Carpet?

Published October 5, 2023 by Green Kleaning Services, LLC

polygon pattern carpet

Unearthing the Hidden World in Your Carpets: Germs, Mold, Dust, Dirt and Much More!

Ever find yourself pondering the question: 'How dirty is carpet, really?' On the surface, carpets provide a comfortable and aesthetic appeal to our homes, and most of us wouldn't think twice about lounging on them or letting our children play.

The fresh scent of vacuumed carpets might lull us into believing they are perfectly clean. However, beneath that welcoming exterior is a less pleasant reality that's often overlooked.

Your carpets, though seemingly innocent, serve as a bustling microcosm of dirt, dust, allergens, and microorganisms invisible to the naked eye. Every step you take, every snack you drop, and every pet that finds comfort in it, introduces or stirs up thousands, if not millions, of particles that become lodged within its fibers.

While regular vacuuming might remove surface-level dust and visible debris, it fails to penetrate deep into the carpet to eradicate this hidden world.

To fully grasp the scale of this issue and take proper preventative measures, we must dive deeper into understanding what lurks within our carpets and how it impacts our health and indoor air quality. Get ready to uncover the disturbing truth and learn how to protect yourself and your loved ones from the hidden dangers beneath your feet.

The Downside of Cozy Carpets: Health Impact and More

Carpets are excellent at trapping damaging air pollutants, bacteria, and volatile organic compounds. The warmth and softness of your carpet, although comfortable for your bare feet, are ideal conditions for dust mites, pet dander, and mold growth.

A particularly alarming fact is that a carpet may hold up to 200,000 bacteria per square inch, making it even more contaminated than your toilet seat! For individuals with asthma or allergies, dust mites and pet hair on dirty carpets can trigger asthma attacks or worsen the symptoms.

Additionally, for eczema and rhinitis sufferers, carpets filled with allergens can make these conditions unbearable.

Carpets Can Get Heavy with Dirt

When discussing how dirty a carpet can get, it's crucial to understand that carpets can literally become heavy with dirt. Each day, we bring in dirt, dust, pollen, and other outdoor contaminants on our shoes, which then get embedded into the carpet fibers.

Over time, this can add a significant amount of weight to the carpet. This trapped dirt not only degrades the carpet's quality and appearance but also contributes to poorer indoor air quality.

Impact on Indoor Air Quality

Did you know that indoor air quality could be 8-10 times worse than outdoor air quality? This alarming fact often shocks homeowners, who perceive their homes as a safe sanctuary away from pollution. The carpets in your home play a considerable role in affecting indoor air quality.

Your carpet functions like a trap, capturing various damaging air pollutants. Over time, activities like walking or vacuuming can contaminate these pollutants into the air. This trapped dirt includes dust, dead skin cells, insect feces, and even insect husks!

Hence, carpets attract greasy residue and dirt like magnets, contributing to a significant amount of indoor air pollutants.

Bad News for Asthma, Allergy, Eczema, and Rhinitis Sufferers

Carpets might seem like a harmless, even comforting feature of the home. But for those living with asthma, allergies, eczema, or rhinitis, they could be a potential nightmare. Dirty carpets are a breeding ground for dust mites, pet dander, and other allergens that can exacerbate these conditions.

These allergens can cause severe respiratory distress and trigger asthma attacks. In eczema sufferers, exposure to these allergens can lead to flare-ups, causing discomfort and stress. For those with rhinitis, allergens trapped in the carpet fibers can lead to persistent sneezing, nasal congestion, and other bothersome symptoms.

The Carpet's Dirty Secrets: More Bugs Than Your Toilet Seat

If the toilet seat is the gold standard for germs, then most carpets have them beat by a wide margin. Your carpet could be harboring many germs, potentially causing serious health problems, even to otherwise healthy people.

Forget the 5-second Rule

We've all heard of the '5-second rule,' the belief that food dropped on the floor is safe to eat if picked up within five seconds. However, considering the multitude of bacteria, mold, and allergens that can thrive in dirty carpets, it's safe to say that this rule should be forgotten.

The moment food makes contact with the carpet, it can immediately become contaminated with microorganisms, making it a potential health hazard.

Even if you can't see them, remember that germs, bacteria, and other unseen guests could be lurking within your carpet fibers, ready to hitch a ride on your fallen snack.

The Norovirus: A Silent Invader

Another overlooked inhabitant of dirty carpets is the Norovirus, commonly known as the stomach flu virus. This virus is incredibly resilient and can survive in an unclean carpet for up to four weeks.

Disturbingly, it can become airborne when people walk across or disturb the carpet. Infection can lead to severe stomach upset, vomiting, fever, and other flu-like symptoms, making carpet cleanliness crucial in preventing illness.

Regular Cleaning: For Your Home and Your Health

As homeowners, we have a role to play in maintaining our carpets between professional cleanings. Regular care can help extend the lifespan of your carpet, keep it looking fresh, and most importantly, minimize the health hazards it may harbor.

Regular vacuuming is your first line of defense. Aim to vacuum at least once a week, more frequently in high-traffic areas or if you have pets. High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtered vacuums can be particularly effective in removing allergens and particles from carpets.

Spot cleaning is essential for dealing with spills. Act fast when accidents occur, blotting spills gently with a clean cloth. Avoid rubbing, as this can push the spill deeper into the fibers. Use a mild carpet cleaner or a homemade solution of white vinegar and water to treat the affected area.

Lastly, consider investing in a good quality carpet cleaner for a more thorough cleaning. Carpet cleaners can improve the cleanliness and freshness of your carpet significantly.

Careful With Carpet Cleaners for Home Use

The only caveat to this is to not overuse carpet cleaners as they are an interim solution to professional cleaning. The products that come with these machines are not as good as commercial use products that professionals use. Also, the machines are not powerful enough to extract the cleaning products effectively which when dried into the carpet can end up attracting more dirt.

By following these steps, you can maintain a cleaner, healthier carpet, and prolong the time between necessary professional cleanings, and more importantly, contribute to a healthier living environment for you and your family.

The Value of Regular Professional Carpet Cleaning

So, given all these facts, how often should you have your carpets cleaned? For the sake of indoor air quality and to reduce the risk of health conditions, regular cleaning is vital.

Professional carpet cleaners can reach deep into the carpet fibers, removing allergens, bacteria, dust, and other pollutants that regular vacuuming can't. For the healthiest home environment, it's recommended to have your carpets professionally cleaned every four to six weeks. This may not be realistic in most households due to busy schedules but you should at least consider a couple of times a year.

This frequency should be increased if you have pets, young children, or individuals with respiratory conditions in your home.

As an example, the picture shows the dirt pulled out of a couch during an upholstery cleaning that was done. Imagine how much more accumulates in a carpet or rug that is stepped on regularly.

Regular vacuuming between these professional cleanings can also help keep the pollutants at bay.

Safeguarding Your Health Through Regular Carpet Care

Regular professional carpet cleaning not only keeps your home looking great but also contributes significantly to a healthier indoor environment. The secret life of your carpet may hold numerous potential health threats, making cleaning regularly a vital task.

When you think about how dirty your carpet is, it's clear that proper care and maintenance go beyond just aesthetic considerations. Professional cleaning can prevent your carpet from becoming a hotbed for germs, thus reducing the risk of health problems.

Dirty Carpets No More

In conclusion, while carpets provide an aesthetic appeal and comfort to our homes, they also demand proper and regular care. Being aware of what lurks beneath those cozy fibers and taking steps to maintain a clean carpet can help you enjoy the benefits of a carpeted home without risking your health.

So next time you walk across your carpet, remember the valuable job of regular cleaning in preserving not just your carpet's lifespan, but more importantly, the health and wellbeing of your household. Let Green Kleaning Services, LLC suggest a cleaning frequency that makes sense, doesn't break the bank. Cleaning with non toxic, pet safe and child safe cleaning products is a top priority. Give us a call for a free estimate and consultation!


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