The Facts About Carpet Cleaning and Allergies

The Facts About Carpet Cleaning and Allergies

We all want to live in a safe, clean home environment. Especially as we spend so much of our time at home with your families. Your house is your refuge and sanctuary unless you are allergic to it. Allergens like dust, mould, bacteria, pollen and pet hair and can trigger asthma and other respiratory problems. Other symptoms like wheezing and coughing could also be caused from dirty carpet.

One of the most common causes of year-round allergies is dust mites. These microscopic, insect-like pests feast off dust components such as dead skin cells, and when they die, their corpses become part of the dust. This provokes an allergic reaction in many people.

Carpets are the biggest air filters in our home, trapping a host of allergens that cling to fibres. This keeps them from moving into the air we breathe. However, with time these unwanted pollutants accumulate. Problems occur when carpets are full and can no longer hold onto them. So, they circulate in rooms which can exacerbate symptoms for people with allergies and even make healthy people feel ill. Hence the need for a rigorous and regular carpet cleaning routine.

If you can’t figure out why you’re sneezing more than usual, your eyes are watering, and you can’t stop itching, it could be due to irritants in your carpet. So, here’s the low-down on how carpet cleaning can reduce allergies.

Vacuum Regularly

Regardless of the type or source of the allergens, regular vacuuming will remove them from carpets. Although not all vacuum cleaners are equal and fit for purpose in dealing with allergens.

The most effective are vacuums that contain HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters. According to the US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, HEPA filters can trap 99.97 percent of dust particles that are 0.3 microns in diameter, which is a typical size of an allergen particle. This stops them from being recirculated back into the air. To give you a better idea of size, a typical human hair is approximately 50 to 150 microns in diameter.

Vacuum cleaners without HEPA filters only capture larger particles (around 30 to 50 microns), blowing the rest back into the air. These are not good enough to clear up smaller dust and debris particles, and particle size is critically important, especially for people who are sensitive to allergens. The smaller they are, the more deeply they can penetrate into the lungs and cause problems.

Clean Up Spills Immediately

Don’t allow your carpets to remain wet for more than 24 hours. Damp carpets encourage mould growth which can cause allergies to flare and other health problems. Mould spores occur naturally in the air, and if they land on damp spots, they can soon thrive if there is dust for them to feed off.

Remove Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Carpets are emitters of VOCs, organic chemicals such as formaldehyde used in the manufacture of carpets and interior furnishings. Carpets can release them into the air in the form of a gas in a process known as off-gassing, especially when first installed. During the first few days, you will be able to smell them on the carpet.

VOCs can trigger allergic reaction-like symptoms in some individuals. Thorough carpet cleaning and vacuuming regularly will remove them from carpet fibres.

Among the other tried and tested ways of allergy-proofing your carpet are:

  • If you have pets, use a vacuum cleaner that is designed to pick up pet hair.
  • Reduce humidity in your home so that mould and mildew cannot proliferate.
  • Keep windows closed during allergy seasons.
  • Ensure your pets are always clean. You may not be allergic to your pets, but they can bring allergens into your home.


Carpet Cleaning Makes A Difference

Carpet Cleaning Makes A Difference

There are mountains of anecdotal evidence that allergy symptoms are significantly reduced with carpet cleaning techniques. This is also backed up by scientific studies.

According to research performed by Airmid Helathgroup Limited in Ireland, cleaned carpets result in fewer particles escaping into the air.

In the first phase of the studies, several new carpets and hardwood floor samples were uniformly soiled with dust and allergens. Even before they were cleaned, allergen levels were seen to be lower in the carpets than on the wood flooring.

During the second phase, both carpet and wood flooring samples were cleaned with a cleaning solution, a vacuuming regime, agitation and hot water extraction. The result was a significant reduction in allergen levels.

“Effectively cleaned carpets have the capacity to trap allergen and microbial particles, making these particles less available to become airborne and thus maintaining indoor air quality,” commented Dr. Bruce Mitchell, Airmid Chairman/CEO, in a statement. “This makes regularly cleaned carpet a choice for families impacted by asthma and allergies.”

Last Word

Dirty carpets could be making you or your family members sick. It’s imperative to clean them regularly to reduce allergens and provide you with a safer home environment. If you have any questions please visit and let us know, we would be happy to answer them for you.

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