The Hidden Health Risks of Filthy Carpets

When people think about things at home that can be potential health hazards, not many think about carpets. Even though they usually bring images of comfort and warmth, in reality, carpets and rugs can pose a serious health risk if they are not cleaned regularly. Dirty rugs can be riddled with diseases that can affect both your physical and mental health.

Here’s a list of possible health issues that you and your loved ones can experience if you neglect your carpets.

Weak Immune System

Every day, our immune system fights bacteria and diseases to prevent the body from getting sick. Unfortunately, if you’re constantly living in an unclean environment, your stress levels will rise and affect your immune system. When surrounded by dirty things such as dusty and mouldy carpets, your immunity can go into overdrive and leave you more susceptible to diseases. Biological pollutants like mould and other fungi thrive in carpets, especially those installed in bathrooms that get exposed to lots of moisture. One of the most dangerous microbes that can be found in dirty carpets are definitely mycotoxins. They can weaken the immune system and cause a variety of health problems such as stomach infections, allergies and asthma.

Skin Problems

Dirty carpets can be full of both living and non-living irritants that can cause redness, itching and swelling. To make things worse, common house pests such as cockroaches and rats are attracted by the particles that can be present in filthy carpet’s fibres. These pests are full of germs themselves, bringing in even more microbes that can cause diseases. One of the most prominent skin conditions associated with dirty carpets is athlete’s foot. This contagious infection can be caught walking barefoot on fungi-infected carpets. Fungi then search for cuts and scratches in the skin, where they reproduce and cause heavy itching.

Skin asthma can also be triggered by dust and allergens found in dirty carpets. People who suffer from skin asthma have itchy rashes (rather than trouble breathing) when exposed to irritants, and their attacks can often get triggered by unclean carpets.

Respiratory Problems

Most of the health problems caused by carpets get manifested on respiratory organs. Today, most of the carpets and rugs are made from artificial materials such as nylon or PVC. These materials, together with adhesives and padding, release toxic chemicals such as VOCs that have been linked to all sorts of health problems from damage to the liver to asthma and other respiratory diseases. Improper maintenance lets harmful particles build up in carpets which then get released into the air during normal daily activities, making children who play on the floor especially exposed. Also, mould and other fungi living in dirty carpets can cause flu-like symptoms and many different respiratory problems.

Regular carpet cleaning helps reduce VOCs and indoor pollutants making your environment much safer. Also, replace your old carpets at least every 8 to 10 years. Another thing you can do is buy rugs made of wool that are much less toxic than those made from unsustainable materials.

Higher Stress Levels

Many studies conducted over the years show that spending time in an unclean environment can raise your stress and anxiety levels. Stress doesn’t cause any immediate harm, but too much of it can weaken your immune system, cause headaches, sleep disorders, high blood pressure, heart disease, upset stomach and depression. Making your living space clean and tidy (that includes your carpets too) will make you more relaxed and overall more healthy.

So, if you want your home to be a cleaner and healthier environment for you and your loved ones, make a habit of regularly cleaning your carpets and rugs. Even though it’s a big chore to do, it should never be neglected. You can clean your carpets yourself, but if you want the best results, you can always seek help from a professional carpet cleaning service, and your carpets will be almost as good as new.


Lana Hawkins is a crafty girl and an architecture student from Sydney. She enjoys writing about home improvement projects, as well as landscaping. In her free time, Lana loves cooking for her family and friends.

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