Millions of people suffer from allergies. There are dozens of allergens that can cause you to experience symptoms. One of the most common places for allergens to accumulate is in your home.
The type of rugs and carpeting that you have are a major factor in how many allergens are in your home. When you pick the right ones and use the right cleaning strategies, you can significantly reduce your home’s allergen load.
Best Types of Carpet for Allergy Sufferers
You want to avoid carpeting made from natural materials like wool if you have allergies. Allergens are able to thrive on these materials, making it far easier for them to accumulate. It might also be more difficult to remove the allergens once they settle into the deeper parts of your rugs and carpets.
The best material for allergy sufferers is nylon. With this material, pollen will dry out and mold will have nothing to feed off of, causing both of these to not be able to accumulate and cause intense allergy symptoms. Polyester is another option that can be beneficial when you have allergies.
Other good options for low-allergy carpeting include:
Look for rugs and carpets that have strands that are tightly woven. This will make it harder for allergens to penetrate, causing them to stay on the surface where you can easily remove them with general rug and carpet cleaning.
When you are shopping for rugs and carpeting, make sure that you choose ones that are low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are a type of chemical that manufacturers often use to treat carpet and rug fibers.
Over time, these chemicals can affect indoor air quality when they convert to gas and get into the air of your home. This can result in your allergy symptoms becoming exacerbated.
Best Carpets and Rugs for a Dust Mite Allergy
Even with regular cleaning, it is common for dust mites to get deep down into your carpeting. When this happens, they can be hard to get out, resulting in allergy symptoms.
Using the right cleaning techniques is helpful, but it is best to choose a carpeting type that repels dust mites in the first place.
Synthetic fibers tend to be the best choice when you have a dust mite allergy. Compared to natural fibers, dust mites are not able to thrive on synthetic fibers which can make it much easier to remove them when you are cleaning.
These allergens are also less likely to accumulate in big numbers on carpeting and rugs that are made from synthetic materials. When you are shopping for rugs, look for those with polyester or nylon fibers.
Carpets Allergy Sufferers Should Avoid
You want to avoid all rugs and carpets that have loose fibers. For example, shag carpeting is well-known for trapping allergens in a hospitable environment where they can thrive. Frieze rugs have a similar effect.
You want low pile carpeting that is easy to manage. You should also consider the carpet or rug pads that you use. If these are made from chemical or natural materials, they too can aggravate your allergy symptoms.
In most cases, the foam or padding that goes under rugs and carpeting is made from a type of urethane foam that is bonded. They also contain a variety of recycled materials and chemicals, such as styrene and formaldehyde. All of these components can intensify allergy symptoms.
How Allergens in Carpets Affect Your Health
There are several allergens that can build up in your home and cause you to experience symptoms. The most common include the allergens related to seasonal allergies, such as pollen and ragweed, mold, pet dander and dust.
Seasonal allergies can cause the following symptoms:
- Itchy and watery eyes
- Congestion in your ears
- Postnasal drainage
- Stuffy or runny nose
Mold can affect you in the following ways:
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Itchy nose, throat and eyes
- Scaly, dry skin
- Postnasal drip
- Eye watering
It is possible for pet dander to cause the following:
- Facial congestion and discomfort
- Skin hives or rash
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Coughing and wheezing
- Eye redness, itching and watering
Common symptoms of an allergy to dust and dust mites include:
- Nasal congestion
- Eye itching and watering
- Postnasal drip
- Facial pain and pressure
How to Rid Your Rugs and Carpets of Allergens
How you clean your carpets will make a big difference in your allergy symptoms. You have to make sure that you are using the tools and methods that can eliminate allergens in the most efficient and effective way.
Using Your Vacuum
It is important that you vacuum regularly. If your allergies are especially bad, you might consider vacuuming on a daily basis.
You need to use the right vacuum to get the best results. It should have a HEPA filter so that you can trap the majority of the allergens that are in your carpets.
When you are vacuuming, pay close attention to the filter. Make sure that you change as often as the owner’s manual recommends. A dirty HEPA filter is not going to be as effective when it comes to removing allergens from your carpets.
Ideally, you want to vacuum the floors that surround your rugs and carpets too. Because of this, it is best to buy a vacuum that can work on all types of surfaces.
Clean Up the Pet Areas
Where your pets spend the most time is going to be where the majority of the pet dander is in your home. You want to make sure that you are paying special attention to these areas.
You should strive to vacuum these regularly. This includes the area around where your pet spends their time, their beds and any cloth items that they have, such as blankets and pillows.
If your pets get onto your furniture, you should also be vacuuming the upholstery regularly. Make sure to get a vacuum that you can safely use on upholstery.
If your pet has an accident in the house, immediately clean it up. Use an enzyme cleaner so that it is able to eliminate all of the traces left behind by your pet’s accident.
Clean Your Carpets
You want to make sure that there are as few allergens as possible and carpet cleaning can help with this. Start by finding a carpet cleaner that is designed to eliminate allergens so that it works effectively.
You should create a schedule to clean your rugs and carpets. For example, do it every three to six months. This will help to keep the allergens that are present from getting deep down into the fibers of your rugs and carpeting.
You can choose a cleaning solution that is designed for allergies too. This will help to more effectively eliminate them when you are cleaning.
Ensure that your carpet cleaner works to dry your carpet fast since wet carpet fibers are prone to mold growth. Several models come equipped with technology that allows the carpet to dry in under an hour.
Ensure that the brushes can get deep down so that they can pull out the allergens that are at the surface of your carpet’s fibers. This ensures that the cleaning is thorough and not just tackling the top layer of your carpeting.
Cleaning Your Rugs
You can use a vacuum and carpet cleaner on your rugs. However, it is best to not allow them to dry outside, especially during peak allergy season times of the year. Instead, let them dry in your home so that it is harder for new allergens to get into the fibers.
It is important to do everything that you can to stay on top of your allergies. Making changes to the rugs and carpets in your home, and ensuring the right cleaning techniques, can help to reduce your discomfort.