Health Benefits of Carpet Cleaning
Having clean carpet is one of the most important foundations of a healthy home. If you keep up on your regular carpet maintenance tasks, it will extend the useful life of your carpet — but even more important are the benefits of a clean carpet to enhance a healthy home environment for your family.
During these unusual times where we are spending much more time indoors, our carpets and upholstery are taking more of a beating — more foot traffic, more dirt, more crumbs, more spills, and more dirty shoes tracking all types of soil on the carpet.
It's more important during this time to vacuum more often, to clean up spills as soon as they occur, and to maintain a regular schedule for professional deep cleaning.
Often times people wait to have their carpets professionally cleaned until they begin to notice the discolored and matted-down fibers of their carpeting.
The problem with this is — by the time you actually see the dirt and the dulling colors, your carpet may be saturated like a dirty filter — full of dust & dirt, spots and spills, and oily residues that have settled on the carpet from the air.
Important points to keep in mind:
- 1. Carpets are manufactured to be filters for the indoor environment of your home.
- 2. Unlike other filters, carpets are designed to hide the dirt as it accumulates.
Other filters in your life — such as air and water filters — are actually designed to display the dirt against the white background, so that it's easy to tell when you have to throw them out and to purchase clean, fresh filters.
If carpet was created to show the accumulation of dirt like these other filters, it would be obvious when it was time to "change the filter".
Of course, you don't "replace" your carpeting for decades. In carpeting terms, hiring a professional that is skilled at deep cleaning with a Hot Water Extraction method is the way you change the biggest filter in your home — your carpet.
Just as other filters are designed by the manufacturers to be replaced, carpeting is designed and manufactured to be vacuumed several times a week, and to be properly deep cleaned by professional hot water extraction every 12-18 months.
So in effect, having your carpeting professionally cleaned is just like getting a clean, fresh, pristine filter for your indoor environment.
What Can Grow and Accumulate
in a Dirty Carpet "Filter"?
Besides all the accumulated dirt, dander, and oily residues mentioned above, a dirty carpet can lead to the growth and infestations of bacteria, mold, dust mites, and other organic waste. The resulting toxins and allergens can begin to be released back into the air simply from daily walking if the carpeting begins to become saturated.
When any liquid is spilled onto the carpet, including plain water, mold can begin to grow within 24-48 hours if the spill isn't tended to.
Dust mites are often found in poorly maintained indoor environments, and they especially thrive in dusty carpets. Thus, proper maintenance like vacuuming is critical for the reduction of dust mites.
It isn't the live dust mites themselves that cause allergic reactions — it's their feces and decaying bodies that can cause dust mite allergies. Below is an article from Mayo Clinic that explains dust mite allergy in great detail, if you're interested.
Dust mite allergy is an allergic reaction to tiny bugs that commonly live in house dust. Signs of dust mite allergy include those common to hay fever, such as sneezing and runny nose. Many people with dust mite allergy also experience signs of asthma, such as wheezing and difficulty breathing.
Vacuuming regularly, and professional cleanings that use very hot water can kill dust mites and prevent infestations. The Hot Water Extraction method of carpet cleaning which uses high temperature water is especially effective at eliminating dust mites.
Protect your Indoor Air Quality
A neglected carpet can cause poor indoor air quality, leading to unpleasant odors, allergic reactions, and other health concerns.
According to the EPA: Research by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that "the indoor concentrations of some pollutants are often 2 to 5 times higher than typical outdoor concentrations."
Just like any other filter, carpeting can begin to lose its effectiveness as it becomes dirtier and more "clogged".
As important as regular vacuuming is, it mostly removes just the driest dirt and dust on the surface. You can imagine trying to vacuum a dirty air filter — it doesn't work. The dirt has bonded to the fibers.
Once carpeting gets more and more saturated, the dirt, dander, and dust can begin to be released back into the air by regular everyday activities like vacuuming and simply by walking on the carpet.
This is the point where it's best to have a skilled professional perform hot water extraction. It's why professional carpet cleaning is such an important service. It's the only way to achieve a clean, fresh filter (carpet).
The health and quality of our indoor air is growing more important, especially recently, as we spend more hours each day inside our homes.
Keeping your Carpet Healthy
between Pro Cleaning Services
Aside from improving the appearance of your home and extending the life of your carpet, a little daily maintenance has significant health benefits.
1. Attend to spots and spills immediately.
Clean up all spills as soon as possible to stop stains, mold, mildew, and other infestations from manifesting.
Even if you spill plain water, it's possible for mold and mildew to begin to grow within 24 to 48 hours, and begin to give off a musty odor.
It's important to BLOT (don't scrub) most of the water our of your carpet immediately, and then the remaining dampness should be completely dry under most circumstances in plenty of time to prevent mold and mildew.
2. Vacuum several times a week
Carpet manufacturers advise owners to properly vacuum 2-3 times per week with focus on high-traffic areas. For best results, vacuum slowly and from multiple directions.
3. Regular Professional Deep Cleaning
The carpet industry guidelines for professional carpet cleaning suggest professional deep cleaning at intervals of every 6-18 months — depending on number of pets, children, and other lifestyle considerations.
Let’s not only focus on cleaning for bright colors and soft carpeting (which is great!) but — most importantly — to maintain a healthy indoor environment for you and your family.
You change all your other filters at regular intervals. So, even though carpets are manufactured to hide dirt, please don’t neglect the single largest filter in your home.
We know from studies by health experts the critical importance of cleaning carpet for health. Properly done — with powerful and well-maintained Hot Water Extraction equipment — professional carpet cleaning protects families from unwanted exposures, and helps manage our indoor environments.
As always, please call me if you have any questions.
Joe Gradwohl, owner