As the weather warms and people head outdoors, it is important that custodial departments don't lose sight of what needs to be done inside. There are...
Ten Reasons to Have Carpets Cleaned Year Round
August 15, 2016
5 Things You May Find Living in Your Carpet
August 15, 2016
You work hard to keep your home clean and free of dirt, bugs, and allergens. But did you know that even when your carpets look clean and spot-free, they might actually be home to all sorts of unwanted guests?
Dirtier than Your Toilet Seat?
Philip Tierno Jr., Ph.D., a microbiologist and immunologist at New York University Langone Medical Center and author of The Secret Life of Germs, found in his research that your carpet probably contains about 200,000 bacteria per square inch, making it 4,000 times dirtier than your toilet seat.“Rugs are botanical and zoological parks,” Tierno said to Men’s Health.
So what exactly might you find living in your carpet?
1. Dust Mites
These microscopic critters feed off of the dead skin that you and your family drop (to the tune of approximately 1.5 million skin cells per hour… per person!). They are a common cause of asthma and other allergic symptoms of various kinds.The best way to eradicate dust mites is by exposing them to temperatures near 105°C (221 °F) for lethal timeframes (10 minutes or so). This is why you want to run your sheets and pillowcases through a hot dryer. That’s why the most thorough carpet cleaning method to help get rid of dust mites is the hot water extraction (steam cleaning) method, where the water temperature during cleaning using the most advanced equipment can reach 230°F or more.
2. Fleas (and Larvae & Eggs
)Even if your family dog isn’t scratching, fleas may hitch a ride into your house from the yard on your own shoes and clothing. Since your carpet resembles fur to these little buggers, they take up residence there and begin to eat, defecate, reproduce, and bite your pets, your children, and you! Fleas live between 30 and 90 days on average, and the females can lay 5,000 or more eggs during their short little life spans!
3. Bacteria & Viruses
We mentioned bacteria earlier, but did you know that some viruses (like Norovirus, which causes the stomach flu) can survive on uncleaned carpet for a month or more?The photo here is of Streptococcus, a family of viruses known for causing strep throat, toxic shock syndrome, necrotizing fasciitis, scarlet fever, and pneumonia.
4. Pollen & Spores
Pollen is an all-too familiar subject this time of year. With all of our trees and beautiful flowering plants comes the pollen that they use to reproduce. Many plants, algae, and fungi reproduce with using spores instead.Both pollen and spores lead to allergic reactions in many people. And with our busy outdoor lifestyles, we bring them all into our homes, where they often end up in our carpets.
We all remember the “black mold” scare that came from chinese drywall a few years ago. Nasty stuff. It led to all sorts of legal wrangling and settlements and some really sick people.But did you know that your carpets can be a really great place for mold to grow? It needs a surface to land on, humidity, oxygen, and a food source. Often, carpets can foster ideal conditions for all of the above. Ever smelled a mildew smell from your carpets? Chances are, it was a case of mold.
Regular Carpet Cleaning Can Help!
How long has it been since you had your carpet cleaned? Often, people will wait until they’re entertaining or they’ve built up a few stains before getting their carpets cleaned. But the truth is, most carpet manufacturers recommend cleaning every 12-18 months using the hot water extraction method.