While your carpets may look clean, you might be surprised to learn that they almost certainly are not! Carpets are made up of fibrous materials either natural or synthetic and amongst these tiny fibres dwell a whole host of objectionable little characters. Some people view carpets as a decidedly unhealthy choice of floor covering, however scientists have recently pointed out that carpets can act as a natural filter, trapping pollutants in their fibres.
Just about any cleaning products you use regularly in your home will leave some residue in the air, each member of your family spends a large amount of time shedding skin cells, and pets do the same along with shedding a ridiculous amount of hair. Dust and dirt are everywhere as even the least observant mother-in-law is always eager to point out. Carpets, in effect, form a sort of storage area for all this unseen muck and grime, trapping it in their fibres.
While this is useful in the short term, it inevitably means that dust mites and other harmful organisms will take up residence, and it is these little devils that can lead to allergies or intolerances. Asthma and skin irritation are common reactions to dust mites, and the worst news is that all of this dirt and filth can build up to high levels before a carpet even begins to look dirty!
Regular vacuuming is of course the key to removing the dirt and dust stored in your carpets. A good cleaning regime will ensure that a large proportion of the harmful elements in your carpets are removed before they become a problem. However, due to the nature of carpets, vacuuming cannot remove 100% of the dirt they contain. Small fibres that make up the weave of the carpets will determinedly cling on to residue. For this reason many carpet manufacturers and industry specialist recommend that carpets should be cleaned professionally once every six to twelve months.
There are different types of professional cleaning options available which broadly speaking fall into two categories either wet or dry. Hot water extraction or steam cleaning is a well known and extremely effective way to kill all harmful bacteria and to leave your carpets as good as new. Dry cleaning methods use chemicals and specialist equipment to achieve the same results. Modern chemicals or compounds are generally environmentally friendly and should not cause allergic reactions.
Both types of cleaning for your carpets should be undertaken by professionals. Wet cleaning methods are fairly straightforward, but water-damage, inadequate drying time or processes can lead to further problems. Moulds and fungi, which may be even more harmful than the dirt you are trying to clean, can develop if not undertaken by experts. Dry cleaning techniques are more technical and should always be undertaken by professional carpet cleaning companies.
Ensuring that you follow a regular vacuuming programme and arranging carpet cleaning by a professional company at least once every year will help to maintain the health of your carpets, clearing away harmful bacteria and allergens. Professional cleaning will also prolong the life of your carpets leaving them fresh and looking as good as new.
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