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Steamway Carpet Cleaning Blog

Five Crazy Germs Living in Your Carpet

a carpet receiving a steam cleaningWe want to ask you something: how often do you sit on your carpet? If you’re like most other people, you do a lot on your carpet, like hang out, nap, play with your kids and pets, and so on. Would you still do all of these things if we told you that your carpet houses over 20,000 kinds of bacteria? In fact, there are a bunch of crazy germs living in your carpet–more so than on your toilet seat.

The Secret Lives of Carpet Germs

Your carpet is a safe haven for germs, which are transported there by your shoes, pets, and other objects. Essentially, germs use your carpet to live, grow, and yes, multiply. While there are too many to count, these five are enough to make our skin crawl:

bacteria facts infographic

  1.  Norovirus

    Norovirus, more commonly known as the stomach flu or food poisoning, is a nasty little virus that can make a home in your carpet. If you come into contact with this virus, you may experience stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting. Contrary to popular belief, the stomach flu has nothing to do with the regular flu, but can still cause a lot of discomfort and pain.

  2. Staphylococcus

    Staphylococcus is another bacteria that can live in your carpet. While many genuses of Staphylococcus live on human skin and don’t cause infections, other genuses do. Your carpet may become infected with staff if you or a family member is an athlete and they walk barefoot on the carpet after sweating a lot. Staph can stay on a person for hours after they come in contact with it. When you have a staph infection, small, red bumps may appear on the infected area. These bumps can itch and burn and will need to be treated in order to get rid of them.

  3. Salmonella

    While commonly thought to only spread through food, Salmonella can actually live and fester in your carpet. The symptoms of Salmonella poisoning include diarrhea, abdominal pain, chills, and fever. While Salmonella can usually be treated, it can also be deadly.

  4. E. Coli

    Escherichia Coli, or E. Coli, can be transferred to your carpet after you flush your toilet and if your pet has an accident inside the house. It can also be carried in by your shoes, especially if you’ve accidentally stepped in animal feces outside. E. Coli can cause a number of issues including urinary tract infections, respiratory infections, and pneumonia.

  5. Campylobacter

    Campylobacter can grow in your carpet from moisture, especially during the winter months. While not as common as the other four germs, it’s definitely the most dangerous, especially for children and the elderly. Symptoms include bloody diarrhea, stomach cramping, and fever.

Allergens, Dust, and Fur

Not only can your carpet be a magnet for germs and other problems, it can also trap dust, fur, and other allergens that can make your allergies a nightmare all year long. If you have dogs and cats, you know how badly they shed, especially during the summer. Not only can this make your allergies go nuts, it can also turn your carpet into a breeding ground for bacteria. Because of this, it’s important to keep your carpets clean.

The Importance of Taking Off Your Shoes

One way you can reduce the number of germs in your carpet is to take your shoes off when you walk through the front door. Many germs are transported from the outside world to your carpet via your shoes. In fact, scientists recommend leaving your shoes at the door because you can track in numerous hazardous and deadly germs, including:

  • Klebsiella pneumoniae, a bacteria known for causing severe cases of pneumonia,
  • Clostridium difficile, which can spread to other dry surfaces in your house and cause colitis, and many other bacteria, including the ones mentioned above.

How Can Steam Cleaning Help?

We can’t always put certain aspects of our lives on hold to ensure our carpets stay clean. For example, there’s no telling when our favorite pup will run amuck in our house, leaving germs, mud, and who knows what else all over our carpet. And what about our kids? Will they really remember to take their shoes off every time, especially if this wasn’t something they grew up doing? Either way, life happens and we can’t always control what lands in the dark depths of our carpets. One thing that can help tremendously is steam cleaning your carpets once or twice a year, depending on the number of pets and children you have.

Steam cleaning helps by:

  • Killing germs with heat. Most bacteria and viruses can’t survive under high temperatures. Since the carpet gets really hot with steam, 99% of the germs living in the carpet die.
  • Killing germs with steam. If the germs can survive the hot temperatures, the steam and moisture will get to them.
  • Removing dander, fur, and other allergens from the carpet.
  • Killing any other organisms small enough to live in the carpet, such as fleas and dust mites.
  • Deodorizing your carpet, removing any odors caused by dropped food, fecal matter, and bacteria that vacuuming alone can’t get rid of.
  • And on top of it all, steam cleaning can also breathe new life into your carpets, making them look fresh again.

Steam cleaning is highly effective at keeping your carpets clean, yet many go years without ever getting it done. To improve your health and the overall cleanliness of your home, routine steam cleaning is the way to go.