Most common germs detected in our carpets

words Al Woods

Carpets are something that people don’t think about often but interact with all the time. You walk and sit on them, sometimes you even eat food you’ve dropped on them. As far as you know your carpets are clean, you vacuum them, shampoo them and do what you can to keep them looking nice.

What many people don’t know is that despite your hard work there could be germs and bacteria living in your carpets. Whether it’s from spilling food or walking around in shoes, there are more ways you can transfer germs into your carpets than you might realise.

germs in carpets

What germs are hiding in your carpets?

Hundreds of different types of bacteria live in our carpets. Most of them are harmless, but some like E. coli and Salmonella could wind up damaging your health.

We all know the risks of Salmonella, but they’re risks that we usually associate with food. Unfortunately, eating infected food is not the only way that we can ingest it. Salmonella can be tracked into our carpets from animal faeces. Even if we don’t step in anything, particles of it could still get picked up from dirt and pathways. It can also be further spread to your carpet if contaminated food gets spilt. Either way, Salmonella is invisible. If it lives in your carpet, you would have no way of knowing until you started showing signs of having ingested it. That can be fever, diarrhoea and abdominal cramps. Though if you do experience symptoms, you’ll likely assume that you caught it from your food. That said, the five-second rule does not count, and you should not eat anything you dropped on the floor.

E. coli is another bacteria that we’re bringing in from the outside world. Like Salmonella, this gets tracked in from animal faeces and particles. You might not even be aware that you’re bringing it into your house, and you can’t see it on your carpets, yet, it could be living on your floor with you none the wiser. Ingesting E. coli can lead to stomach and respiratory problems, in some cases, it can even lead to kidney failure.

Finally, mould could be growing in or under your carpets. In some cases, this might be obvious, but more often than not, it won’t be. Mould likes to grow in dark and damp places. If you spill a lot of drink, this may encourage it to grow. You can also help tackle mould growth by ensuring the house stays at a decent humidity level.

Is there anything else that might be living in our carpets?

We aren’t the only living things that walk on our carpets. Dust mites are invisible to the human eye but can live in our carpets. They’ll feed off the dead skin and hair that drops from us and can multiply pretty fast. Once you have dust mites, you’ll ideally need pest control to get rid of them. Doing so is necessary as their waste is unhealthy for people to breathe in. Breathing it in can cause severe allergic reactions like rashes and respiratory symptoms. If you experience an allergic reaction at home, make sure nothing has changed first. If all your products and people are the same, then you could be reacting to mites.

As well as those microscopic mites, bugs both dead and alive can wind up living in your carpet. Many of these you will notice, but when you have bugs flying in and out of your room a lot, they will die. If you don’t clean up their corpses immediately, they can wind up on your carpet. These dead bugs are food for mites and other bugs alike. The bugs are the quickest problem to fix because you can vacuum them up and ensure that you don’t let bugs in anymore. You can do this by making sure there are no ways they can get in through your walls and windows. You could also try installing a bug net.

Where do the germs come from?

These germs usually come in from the outside. The problem with wearing your outside shoes in the house can be that you bring dirt in. We cannot always know what we’ve stepped in outside, and we could wind up regretting it.

As well as that if you drop food or drink, then you need to clean it up immediately. Anything left can attract bugs and invite bacteria into your home. You can avoid this by cleaning your carpet regularly. As well as vacuuming on a weekly basis, you should make sure it’s steam cleaned at least once a year.

If you have a pet that can go outside, remember that they will be bringing things inside. That might be muddy paws, but cats may bring in other animals. If you have a litter tray in your house, parts of that can also wind up embedded in your carpet. Since that could wind up being unhygienic, you should keep an eye out to make sure the litter stays in the tray.

How regularly do most people clean their carpets?

Most people think they clean their carpets often enough. You vacuum and clean up any spillages, and that’s generally assumed to be good enough. That is likely because the majority of us don’t realise how dirty our carpets are. Provided they look clean, we think they are.

Very few people get their carpets professionally cleaned. Those that do will get it done once or twice a year. If you pay a cleaner to visit weekly, they probably won’t do more than vacuum your carpet either. So if you want a thorough clean, you will want to look into carpet professionals.

How often should I clean my carpets?

You should vacuum at least twice a week. If you have pets, then you should ideally be cleaning every single day. As well as leaving hair and skin everywhere, they will likely track in dirt and other things.

Your family will also be guilty of tracking dirt in unless you get them to take their shoes off before entering. That isn’t always possible. If you think people will be coming inside in their shoes, then it’s suggested you get a doormat. It’s not a perfect solution, but it means people can at least wipe their feet before stepping in.

As well as vacuuming and limiting the amount of dirt, you should steam clean your carpets at least once a year. If you wish to get this done professionally, it may be costly, yet, it will be worth it. So many of us don’t clean our carpets as well as we should. That can be down to a lack of knowledge, so now we know we really should. You can buy steam cleaners of your own if you wish to do it yourself on a regular basis. Again, these can be pretty pricy. They are worth it though, as you can use them on every floor type, as well as furniture.

Is vacuuming my carpet regularly enough?

Vacuuming your carpet several times a week is a good start. If you have new carpets, it may even be enough to keep them germ-free for longer. However, it isn’t enough to keep them clean. In daily life, you’re tracking things in, spilling food and making your floors dirty. Even if you clean every single day, it’s unlikely that your carpets will stay germ-free.

Do I need to invest in professional carpet cleaning?

You don’t need to invest in a professional cleaning service, but most people will advise you that it’s worth it. Cleaners like those at Fantastic Services have the training and products that mean your carpet will wind up spotless. They are also more likely to spot any problem areas and provide tips so you can clean them better. You don’t need to hire a weekly cleaner, but bringing in a professional once a year can work wonders.

If you still can’t afford to hire a professional cleaner once a year, you should still try to get your carpets clean. There may be products you can buy yourself that work as well for cheap. If you want to use a steam cleaner yourself but don’t wish to buy one, you can rent one.

Ensuring that your carpets are clean will be good for your health, and it could save you money in the future.

SOURCES

https://www.bobvila.com/slideshow/8-dirty-secrets-your-carpet-may-be-keeping-from-you-52057

https://www.bisselldirect.co.uk/tips/post/filthy-britain-hygiene-expert-warns-of-health-horrors-hiding-in-our-unwashed-carpets

https://www.quora.com/Does-mold-grow-fast-when-the-temperatures-are-cold-or-hot

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