Why The Carpet In Your House Might Be Making You Sick

If you have been feeling under the weather lately and aren't sure why, your carpet may be to blame. This part of your house can contribute to allergies, colds, and other ailments. Here's how your carpet might be affecting your health and what to do about it.

The fabric fibers in carpets and rugs trap dirt, dust, and other allergens and hold onto them (via WebMD). That debris is then kicked into the air every time your floors are walked on. "It becomes a sink for all kinds of contaminants," Lara Adler, an environmental toxins expert and certified holistic health coach, told The Healthy. "Then your kids or pets crawl on the floor and get it all over themselves."

According to the Inter­national Association of Certified Home Inspectors, carpets are also at risk of developing mold. Mold spores in the air can enter the home and get trapped deep in the fibers of your carpet. There, when combined with moisture and oxygen, these spores can grow into mold. Mold can cause allergic reactions, asthma attacks, and irritation of the eyes and lungs.

Frequently cleaning your carpets can improve your health

If you are experiencing symptoms like coughing, sneezing, runny nose, or watery eyes while in your home, give your carpets a deep clean. Start by vacuuming at least once per week (via The Spruce). After vacuuming, you can remove even more pollutants by using a professional carpet cleaning machine. This provides a deeper clean and pulls out water to prevent mold and mildew growth (via Apartment Therapy).

Using a HEPA filter with your vacuum can trap even more pollutants (via WebMD). You should also steam clean your carpet every year, which can be done at home or through a professional company. If frequent cleaning still doesn't solve your health issues, consider removing your carpets and opting for hardwood floors instead. These are easier to clean and won't trap pollutants like carpets will. Hard flooring can be vacuumed just like carpets and they can be mopped to completely remove dirt, dust, and allergens. You can also use rugs on your hard floors that can be cleaned outside.