Dirt in your carpets: What are the impacts?

The cleanliness of our carpets can often be forgotten. However, beneath those fibres lies a whole world of dirt, dust, mould, bugs, and germs that we shouldn’t ignore. As well as being grubby, this can have very negative effects on our health and daily lives. Have you ever gone on holiday and found yourself feeling better than usual? Well, as one of the leading carpet cleaning professionals in Perth, we can tell you why that might be.

Why don’t people keep on top of it?

It is pretty simple why many of us let this happen, literally, right under our feet. We can’t see it. Anyone with carpet will probably tell you that they neglected it or never had it cleaned. When something isn’t entirely visible, it doesn’t cause panic and can easily be forgotten. However, even though we can’t see it, the effect of dirt build-up on carpets can be more harmful than we think. Carpet attracts naturally occurring oils which means they help trap all the things we don’t want in our homes. First, let’s talk about what actually lies within the fibres. 

What lies within the fibres?

Now, this is the part that might be difficult to read for some, but it is imperative to understand. There is an abundance of things we don’t want lurking within our carpets. This is a list of only some of the things that can impact our health. 

  • Mould and bacteria: We all know that these aren’t great. A carpet can house up to 200,000 bacteria in every square inch. This can include E-coli and Salmonella.  
  • Toxins: Toxic gases and chemicals, such as those from cleaning products, can stick to particles in the air and find their way onto your carpet. 
  • Pollutants: Similar to toxic household products, pollutants can also find their way to your carpet by attaching themselves to particles in the air. 
  • Dust mites: These creatures can settle comfortably for months in your carpet. They feed off flakes of skin that we shed, so a home is a perfect location for them to thrive. Although they don’t bite, they can certainly create health implications for us. 

How this affects the air we breathe

Studies have shown that having a carpet can negatively impact the air quality in your home. This might sound frightening, but it can be avoided with regular maintenance and cleaning. Subsequently, if you have carpets and don’t clean them, this can impact your health, especially if you suffer from asthma, allergies, or any other respiratory illness. 

How can carpet impact health?

Now that you know what might be down there, let’s look at how it can impact your health if it is not dealt with correctly. These are only some of the things that uncleaned carpets can cause.

  • Respiratory issues: All of the dust, dirt, and bacteria that build up over time can cause many different respiratory problems. Carpet will allow these things to settle, but when you walk on it, you might kick it into the air, and these toxins and pollutants are then airborne and concentrated throughout your home.
  • Weakened immune systems: Bacteria and allergens that lie within the carpet can weaken your immune system, and you can find that you are sick more often or colds last much longer than they should. 
  • Increase risks of asthma attacks: If you have asthma or any other underlying health issues, a dirty carpet dramatically increases the amount you will struggle in your home and the chances of severe asthma attacks. 
  • Causes allergic reactions: As most of us know, dust and dirt can cause allergies in many people, but so can dust mites. If a carpet isn’t kept clean, it is easy to find yourself with watering eyes, a blocked nose, or constant sneezing or wheezing.
  • Skin irritation: Another common health problem that dirty carpet can cause is skin irritation such as rashes, itching, eczema and athlete’s foot. Neither of these is enjoyable, so it is best to keep that carpet clean. 
  • Stomach sickness: This can be caused by bacteria such as salmonella living in your carpet. If you haven’t had your carpet cleaned in a while and it becomes damp, this can highly increase the risk of stomach sickness.

What are the symptoms to look out for?

Hopefully, it doesn’t come to it, but if your carpet is impacting your health, then there are a few symptoms that you can look out for. These include:

  • A runny or blocked nose 
  • Wheezing
  • Tightness of chest
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Itching
  • Rashes 
  • Sneezing 
  • Watery eyes 

How can we prevent the effects of dirt build-up on carpets?

All of those nasty things that we mentioned above can thankfully be avoided with ease. However, being aware of the effects of dirt build-up on carpet is the first step, and these are our top tips on what to do next. 

The best way to keep your carpets free from risk is dry steam cleaning with detergent. The dry steam means that your carpet won’t be left damp. Some places use only steam, but combining both is definitely best if you can find someone with the right equipment. 

The combination of dry steam heated to 250 degrees Celsius and a heat-activated detergent will penetrate the fibres for a much deeper clean. This will eradicate pathogens, spores, microbes, fungi, bacteria, and dust mites. The dirt will also become loose so that it is easily vacuumed up afterwards.

Do you need your carpets cleaned?

If you haven’t cleaned your carpet in a while, we recommend contacting BOAS Cleaning Services in Perth. With twenty years in the business, we know a thing or two about cleaning carpets and much more. So, feel free to get in touch and consult an expert on the best options for you.