Cleaning your carpets

February 5, 2006 at 9:24 am (social issues)

If you have environmental allergies, chances are good you’re already living in an environment with as little carpet and “plush” surfaces as possible.  Leaving as few surfaces as possible for dust and other allergens to land in ensures that you will have easier clean-up, less dustmites, easier breathing, etc.

Very few houses, however, have zero carpet whatsoever.  When was the last time you cleaned yours?

Last night I spent two hours cleaning the smallest area of carpet I’ve ever cleaned.  I went over it no less than a dozen times, and even letting the cleaner and water soak in, I was still sucking up tons of dirty water.  It looked like I was pulling pure mud out of the floor, out of a carpet that appeared to be clean!

This really got me to thinking about the allergens that hide around the house (and at work!) in surfaces and areas that we consider to be “clean” or “acceptable.”

Low pile carpeting is still carpeting–it’s not as dust & allergen repellent as hardwood, tile, or vinyl.  Just because you can’t see the allergens, don’t forget they are there.

If your work environment (like mine) has a very dirty carpet, you might want to skip the “home steam cleaner” or “rental” and go straight to the pros for an estimate.  If you’re not the Head Fred yourself, talk to your boss about getting it cleaned, of course.  It might be necessary to volunteer to do it yourself or to foot part of the bill, but if you’re suffering, you deserve relief.  Prolonged exposure to allergens can trigger not only itchy eyes and runny noses, but longer-term infections as well as asthma and other health problems that will keep you from coming to work altogether.

This next tip should go without saying, but you are dusting, right?  At home as well as in the office?  When you have allergies, there’s no need to say “it’s not my job to dust.”  It’s your job to stay healthy, and no one will do that as well as you–your body, your responsibility.  When you are breathing easier, you’ll feel better–and when you feel better, you’ll have a happier outlook on life.

That’s right, folks, you heard it here first: housework and chores will make you happy!  (Ha ha!)

Okay, so maybe I’ve been snorting too much OxyClean.  😉  All I know is that in our family, when we feel good, we certainly show it–and we feel badly, the same is true.

Have a good weekend!

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