Carpets keep your house warm and bring a nice final touch for the interior of every room. They’re making your house safe since they reduce slips and falls and bring a sense of luxury. Besides, they’re trending again among interior design experts and are a must-have accessory for your home. However, if they’re not maintained properly they can have a negative effect on your health. This is especially true for old carpets that have been collecting dust and other pollutants for years.
How do carpets get dirty?
Dust is one of those things we become aware of only when we can see it. You can clean your shelves and countertops every few days and it’s still going to be there. Now, imagine how much of it is in your carpets – it’s just less visible. Dust consists of fibres from your clothes, pet dander and hair, dust mites and their faeces and thousands of other compounds. But the majority of household dust comes from shed skin cells – that’s why there’s more dust in high-traffic areas of your home. So dead skin cells, pollen, plants and insect-parts, pet dander, debris from the outside, etc. – they all fall on your carpets and deposit in there. This may or may not be visible but it can start releasing unpleasant odours and affect your health.
How to prevent it?
As a preventive measure you can get rid of wall-to-wall carpeting and opt for one of those cheap carpet runners – they’re easier to move and therefore to clean. Besides, you should always go for natural fibres – think wool, hemp or sisal rugs. Of course, wool carpets are not suitable for kitchens, bathrooms and other rooms where there’s moisture since it takes a lot of time to dry it. On the other hand, hemp carpets are resistant to mildew and make a perfect choice for any room. Also, leave your shoes at the front door and ask your household and guests to do the same – that’s the best way to keep the outdoor pollutants off your floors.
What are the health risks of dirty carpets?
Dust mites and mould feed on dirt and human skin cells and can cause respiratory problems when inhaled. Resulting health issues range from coughing to asthma attacks, especially when there are small children around. Mould growing in your carpets produces mycotoxins and pollutes your indoor air and it can lead to serious health problems, such as neurotoxicity and hypersensitivity.
Skin irritations and allergies
Various irritants from your carpets can cause skin irritations, flushing and infections. Also, they can attract common house pests like rats or roaches to make things even worse. Bacteria and fungi from your carpets can even lead to athlete’s foot when you walk barefoot. Besides, dust, pet dander and fungi spores are among the most common allergens so if you’re allergic you might want to inspect your carpets first.
Weak immune system
Living in the dirty environment can affect your stress and anxiety level. Not only is it bad for your mental health but also for your physical condition since constant exposure to stress can weaken your immune system. Stress creates chronic inflammatory conditions and leads to consequent dysregulation of the immune system. This means you or your kids might become less resistant to allergies, viruses and bacterial infections as well as many other diseases.
How should you clean your carpets?
Vacuum cleaning once or twice a week is mandatory depending on the foot traffic level of the room. Always opt for a high-quality vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, but bear in mind that even the strongest vacuum cleaner won’t be enough to keep your carpets clean in the long run. You’ll need a reliable carpet cleaning service every once in a while to be sure everything’s clean as it should be.
In conclusion, carpets might seem too hard to maintain but you can make things work by being aware and cleaning them regularly. Don’t hesitate to invest in high-quality cleaning solutions – your lungs, skin and immune system will be thankful.