Health Risks Associated with Dirty Carpets


They seem rather harmless. They look clean, so you think they can’t really be that dirty. But underneath their seemingly clean exterior, your carpets may be holding lots of dirty secrets that could cause various health problems and potentially harm you or your families’ health.  


Skin Infections

Your dirty carpets contain living and non-living irritants that cause redness, itchiness or even swelling. Dirt particles also attract pests such as rats and cockroaches which carry harmful disease – causing germs. In some people, asthma manifests itself in the form of itchy rashes that appear all over the skin when exposed to irritants.

Respiratory problems

Dirt, pet hair and human skin cells accumulate in carpet fibers and serve as food for molds, microbes and dust mites. These organisms, when they grow significantly, can cause several respiratory problems like coughs, runny noses, allergies and even trigger asthma attacks. Prolonged exposure to mycotoxins produced by molds can also lead to neurotoxicity, hypersensitivity and eventually cancer.

Athlete’s foot

Athelete’s foot is a common fungal infection that causes scaling, flaking, and itching of the affected areas. Fungi and bacteria linger on the carpet and when you walk around barefoot, they can climb in through tiny cuts on the foot. Consequently, it results in rashes and fungi growth on the foot leading to extreme sensitivity.


In people with pre-existing allergies, contents accumulated in dirty carpets such as dirt, pet hair and mold can cause their allergies to flare up again. Allergic reactions can include itchy skin, sneezing and malaise.

Gastro-intestinal infections

Small children tend to pick things off the floor and eat it or put their dirty hands inside their mouths. This can transfer bacteria and fungi from the carpets to their alimentary canal and cause stomach or intestinal infections as well as other diseases.


Studies have shown that people living in an unclean environment show higher levels of stress. Though it may do no immediate harm, stress weakens your immune system and makes you more susceptible to diseases. It has also been proven that people with heart conditions run a higher risk of suffering heart attacks or strokes when they are chronically stressed.


While carpet cleaning might seem like a tedious chore, it should never be neglected. Vacuum your carpets regularly and get it professionally cleaned, every once in a while to maintain a clean and healthy home environment.


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