Carpet is a longtime favourite when it comes to flooring options, and for good reason. It’s comfortable, warming, and simply put, it feels really good to walk on!
That said, with all of the foot traffic that carpet endures, it’s also one of the biggest germ collectors in any room. In fact, a study from Men’s Health claims that many carpets can actually carry 200,000 bacteria per square inch, which makes it 4,000 times dirtier than the average toilet seat! Talk about gross.
So why is my carpet so dirty?!
The biggest culprit is dead skin cells. People shed millions of skin cells a day, which collects in your carpet’s fibers, feeding germs. Add in spilled food and drinks, dander, pet hair, dirt that gets tracked in from outside, dust, and pollen, and you’ve got yourself a ten course meal for bacteria.
I vacuum my carpet every day. Mine can’t be dirty, can it?
Unfortunately, vacuuming isn’t enough to get rid of your carpet’s germs and bacteria—even if you’re doing it multiple times a day. A vacuum’s suction and brush can only deal with the surface of your carpet, so even though it might look spotless on the outside, it’s a safe bet that there’s a growing community of bacteria below.
E. coli, salmonella, and staphylococcus are some of the worst carpet offenders.
Kind of makes you think differently about stretching out on your carpet with the dog while watching the news, or picking up that snack you dropped on the floor and eating it, doesn’t it?
What should I do? Do I have to get rid of my carpet?
Fortunately with proper maintenance, it’s possible to keep most of the worst germs and bacteria at bay.
To start with, keep vacuuming—once a week, and more often in high-traffic areas or if you have pets. Although it won’t deal with all the germs as we mentioned, it’s critical in preventing a build up of particles on the surface, which will multiply into more bacteria and also ruin your carpet fibres. Every month or so, use your vacuum’s crevice tool to access those hard to reach places, like around the baseboards.
For extra bacteria and odor-fighting power, add some baking soda to your vacuum bag.
You’ll also want to apply soil retardants every few months, but make sure to follow the manufacturer’s advice carefully.
Lastly, we advise all carpet owners to bring a professional in at least once a year to give your floors a proper germ-fighting shampooing!
Follow these steps, and you should have nothing to worry about.