Keeping Carpets Allergen-free Through Regular Cleaning

Carpet on the floor with books and laptop

Wall-to-wall carpets aren’t for all households. Even people with mild allergies may find the dust and other allergens trapped beneath and released by carpets almost unbearable. Regular and thorough cleaning, however, can keep allergens off the carpets.

Carpets provide a soft and visually appealing texture to the floors of many homes and offices while providing a surface that arrests the spread of noise.  One of the bigger challenges of carpets, however, is how difficult they are to keep adequately clean.  Carpets can gradually accumulate large volumes of dust, debris, and a multitude of other allergens, which can make life difficult or next to impossible for people with allergies.

Constant and thorough carpet cleaning is vital to minimize the air quality impact of wall-to-wall carpeting for people with minor allergies. In Provo and other places throughout Utah, the need to keep carpets pristine becomes more important during the arrival of pollen season, where more potential allergens may find themselves into the house.

Allergen accumulation

Carpets have a fibrous structure with many microscopic nooks and crannies. These gradually trap small particulate matter from the surrounding air as they drift down. Left to itself, a carpet can accumulate a massive amount of assorted particles. Animal dander from pets, mold, house dust, and dust mites and their waste are just some of the many potentially allergenic particles that can accrue over time, to say nothing of outside allergens such as pollen brought in from outside the house.

Although carpets can and do trap allergens within them, they cannot hold them for long due to the loose arrangement of the fibers. The particles are frequently released back into the air when agitated, which can happen when a person or animal sits or walks onto the carpet.

Modern carpeting, meanwhile, does not produce as many allergenic volatile organic compounds as other products. This would make the carpets themselves less of a trigger for allergies.

Carpet choices

carpet background

People with especially severe allergies may not be able to live comfortably in a house with carpeting and must have it replaced. For those with less severe allergies, however, clean carpets can remain a part of the home’s aesthetic. Some households may find rugs and carpet tiles an option as they can be more thoroughly washed.

For those who want to add a new wall-to-wall carpet, one of the most important ways to reduce allergen accumulation is by selecting the right materials. Tightly woven carpets with short fibers work better at keeping out dust and other particles. They are also much easier to thoroughly clean.

Comprehensive cleaning

Vacuuming can play a key role in keeping particulate allergens off the carpet, but only when it is done properly. Rather than rely on older models, homeowners should choose vacuum cleaners with tighter connections and high-efficiency particulate air filters built in to prevent dust from going airborne. Vacuuming should be done weekly to keep the volume of surface allergens down.

Keeping sources of allergens away from the carpet can also help reduce the amount of particles that get trapped. Regularly brushing pets can help reduce the amount of dander they leave behind. In addition, requesting that guests leave their shoes at the door can also help reduce the instances of outside allergens ending up in the carpet.

Dust mites, however, cannot regularly be removed through vacuuming alone. Controlling their numbers requires more specialist cleaning methods. Periodically, homeowners must have their carpets professionally cleaned to ensure the intensive removal of dust mites, various other allergens and other potentially harmful particles from their carpets. Carpet deep cleaning should take place at least once a month.