Is there a such thing as a magic carpet? In the world of an allergy sufferer, the answer is no. The ideal allergy-proof home has no wall-to-wall carpeting because it is perfect for harboring dust mites, mold spores, and pet dander, not to mention residues from insecticides, household cleaning products, kitchen grease, and cigarette smoke.
Additionally, new carpets, carpet padding, and the accompanying dyes and stain repellents often emit irritating toxic fumes and/or chemicals. Despite the downsides, many people find the warmth and comfort of a carpet hard to resist. And, because carpeting muffles noise, apartment dwellers often prefer it.
This section will cover the impact that floor coverings can have on keeping an allergy-free home.
You’ll be doing your allergies a major favor by removing wall-to-wall carpeting and replacing it with hardwood or tiled floors. For warmth and comfort, consider machine-washable cotton, dhurrie, or rag rugs. Make sure that these rugs can endure the hot washing temperatures needed to kill mites, vacuum/wash them often, and have our professional staff at Chem-Dry of Stratford clean them at least twice per year.
If you choose hardwood, vinyl, or tile floors, don’t neglect regular cleaning either. These coverings also collect dust, and they harbor mold if not sealed properly. Our signature tile & grout cleaning is ideal for allergen removal.
If you don’t have the option of removing carpets, what can you do to allergy proof your carpet? Clean clean clean!
Also vacuum every day. That being said, understand that vacuuming is a mixed blessing. Dust mites love their home and no big, bad, ugly vacuum cleaner is going to stop them from clinging to carpets. Sad to say, vacuuming doesn’t remove mites. It does, however, help remove their dead bodies (which can’t cling) and fecal pellets as well as some dust-mite foods (skin flakes, hair, pet dander, etc.). So stick with the vacuuming program if you have allergies and carpeting. Then when you are ready to get all those pesky mites out, give us a call.
Selecting the proper vacuum is of utmost importance. Look for models with tight connections (to prevent allergens from blowing out) and built-in HEPA filters, which are designed to absorb and contain up to 99.97 percent of airborne contaminants as small as 0.3 micron. HEPA vacuum cleaners are more expensive, but inexpensive vacuums often have porous bags and loose connections, allowing allergens to escape. If expenses (or home situations) permit, the best bet is to install a central vacuum system with the collection bag and motor in the garage.
Having carpets professionally cleaned by Chem-Dry of Stratford every six months is also recommended. We make sure the carpet is dried thoroughly after our cleanings to avoid a moldy situation. Don’t have carpets “shampooed” by some other third party, since that process often leaves behind residue, which is an irritant. We use our patented hot carbonated cleaning solution which is residue free.
Using chemical warfare to kill dust mites on carpets has promise, but there haven’t been enough controlled clinical trials for some allergists to highly recommend it. The two products used to eliminate mites are benzyl benzoate (trade name Acarosan) and tannic acid (trade name Allergy Control Solution).
Benzyl benzoate (Acarosan) is a derivative of Peruvian balsam and is the primary ingredient in medications used to treat scabies. In a moist powder form, the Acarosan is brushed on the carpet and left to dry for 12 hours. It kills dust mites and their offspring, and it binds to mite feces, making it easier to vacuum them up. The treatment is effective for six months.
Tannin, the same chemical found in your cup of tea, is known to break down dust-mite allergens by neutralizing protein in their droppings. Applied to carpets as a spray or powder, it is effective for up to two months. This chemical cannot be used on white, light-colored, or Oriental carpets and can damage fabrics sensitive to water, such as silk, certain wools, and some cottons.
A nonchemical, easy-to-follow option for keeping carpets clean is to establish a “no shoes” policy in the household. Many cultures around the world do this to prevent outside grime from entering their tidy homes via the bottom of someone’s shoe. Such a policy may help reduce the number of allergens entering the home (grass pollens, in particular), not to mention pesticide residues from the lawn, mold spores, and general gunk and goo.
Here’s help in establishing a no-shoes policy:
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Up to 400 sq. ft., additional carpet at 55 cents per sq.ft., Stairs, Landings and Area rugs priced separately. Not valid w/other discounts; Min charges may apply. Hot Carbonated Extraction Cleaning Method. Expires 12/29/23. Call Chem-Dry of Stratford at (630) 562-3930.
Up to 600 sq. ft., additional carpet at 55 cents per sq.ft., Stairs, Landings and Area rugs priced separately. Not valid w/other discounts; Min charges may apply. Hot Carbonated Extraction Cleaning Method. Expires 12/29/23. Call Chem-Dry of Stratford at (630) 562-3930.
Up to 1,000 sq. ft., additional carpet at 55 cents per sq.ft., Stairs, Landings and Area rugs priced separately. Not valid w/other discounts; Min charges may apply. Hot Carbonated Extraction Cleaning Method. Expires 12/29/23. Call Chem-Dry of Stratford at (630) 562-3930.