It’s one of those odd things we never really think about. If your carpets aren’t cream, and you can’t see any breadcrumbs, wine stains or obvious marks, how often do you actually clean them?
Our bet is that it’s not very often. We’re religious about making our countertops sparkle, and we’re even fairly good at sweeping and mopping our hardwood floors, but not carpets. It does beg the question: how dirty are those carpets, anyway? Well, we’re here to tell you – and the answer might not be pretty!
See also: Why Those Carpet Stains Won’t Come Out: Understanding Carpet Chemistry
Bacteria, Bacteria, Bacteria
For one thing, your carpet can become a veritable hive of bacteria. And pollen, dust, dead skin cells and even small insects that you absent-mindedly trod underfoot. The problem is that quantifying an amount of germs or bacteria such that it makes sense to your average Joe isn’t that easy – but what if we told you that your carpet could be 4.000 times dirtier than your toilet seat?
If you have a pet, or wear your outdoor shoes around the house, you could also be dragging in pathogens and germs which ordinarily would not find their way into the house. For those with younger children and less-developed immune systems (and social etiquette, like eating things from the floor) these harboured bacteria could become problematic.
There’s More to Cleaning than Vacuuming
Those of us with carpets often forget that vacuuming is not a synonym for cleaning. While vacuuming every week does wonders for removing those skin cells, insects and other bits and pieces, we recommend a professional deep clean every 6-12 months. This will penetrate deeper into the carpet, as well as fighting bacteria which cannot be sucked up off the carpet.
Note that while some home cleaning systems may be acceptable, many others leave the carpet slightly damp for hours at a time – this can lead to serious problems of mould growth which will consequently require substantial professional cleaning.
A Pool of Allergens
Those who suffer from household allergies should be extra cautious when it comes to carpet cleanliness. While a “pool” of allergens may be an exaggeration, it’s true that you can bring all sorts of pollens and dusts into your home which will trigger seemingly random bouts of allergic reaction.
Safe to say, your carpets are probably harbouring a little more bacteria and… things… than you likely realised. However, professional cleaning will make all the difference, and only needs to be done once or twice a year at the most.
The Office is Even Worse
The above points regarding bacteria, vacuuming, and allergens may sound specific to your home, but the truth is that your home is cleaner than the typical office environment. This can have a direct impact on productivity and is something that we should always keep an eye on.
The typical office:
- Opens and closes doors/windows more often – And often those doors will stay open for much longer.
- Has higher foot traffic – And from many different sets of feet, too!
- Is more likely to have people that are sick/recovering from sickness
- Employees generally wear the same shoes indoors as they do outdoors
For the above reasons, we encourage you to make carpet cleaning an annual or twice-annual addition to your office maintenance schedule!