Most people have an idea that keeping carpets clean is good for their health but here are some of the bacteria in carpet as well other nasties that can survive in your carpet if you do not get them cleaned.
We have spoken about allergens that can build up in your carpet over time and can be read in our page about carpet cleaning for allergy sufferers. I add to that information there here but this is mostly about the germs that can make us sick or to which our bodies can react.
Of course, you will not find all of these things in all carpets needing a clean but just know that not getting your carpets cleaned on a regular basis can open the door to the possibility to any of these things lurking in the carpet. Here are some things that can be found in your carpet:
This is a bacteria that can be walked into your home on the soles of your shoes and having pets increases the risk of having it in your carpet. This bacteria can last for surprisingly long periods in soil. Salmonella causes abdominal cramping, vomiting, fever, and diarrhoea 8 to 48 hours after ingestion. Carpet cleaning helps to remove the soiling in which the bacteria can live – making your home a healthier place to live. If you have salmonella in your carpet, cleaning will reduce contamination by test. This is with steam cleaning – dry carpet cleaning was not tested. While full elimination is not achieved, contamination from contact with carpet after cleaning is highly unlikely.
This is a stomach flu virus that can survive in your carpet for up to six weeks. One can get sick by coming into contact with faeces or vomit of someone who has been sick (directly or indirectly). Touching something that has the virus on it then touching your mouth could do it. Breathing in partials when someone has just vomited can also get you infected. If someone in your home has had a stomach bug, it may be a good time to get your carpets re-cleaned.
This mostly affects children under the age of 6. It causes blood vessels to become inflamed. In addition to this, it can cause other problems with lymph nodes, skin, within the mouth, throat and nose. While an exact cause has not been found, it appears that it is a combination of viruses and bacteria along with environmental factors like chemicals and irritants. Regular vacuuming is great for avoiding this between the times when you get your steam cleaning done. Because steam cleaning includes the flushing with water, these irritants and even the viruses and bacteria can be reduced.
Per studies, carpet steam cleaning can kill Fungi and mould in your carpet and retard its regrowth. In extreme situations when you have something like rising damp or a leaky shower that is spreading moisture in your walls or under your carpet, no amount of carpet cleaning can help this so this would have to be handled separately. We have been asked to remove the mould from carpets when it is so bad it is growing up the walls. In this case, the reason for so much mould has to be handled first.
This is by no means a full list of things that can live in your carpet that can affect your health. While it cannot be claimed that carpet cleaning will kill all bugs that could be lurking within the fibres but allowing your carpets to become heavily soiled without getting them cleaned, you are opening the door for viruses and bacteria to thrive.
Want to know how often you get your carpets, check out our article on this –
How Often Should You Clean Carpet?
We find that steam carpet cleaning does a better job than dry cleaning because it is a deeper clean than the chemical surface clean of dry cleaning. Have a look at our steam vs dry carpet cleaning page.