Allergies and Carpet Cleaning

daisyntnAugust 27, 2008

I have severe allergies and my allergist tells his patients not to steam clean their carpets because once your carpet is wet, you will have heavy mold growth under the carpet for the life of the carpet. Even though, I vacuum my carpeting twice a week and have no children in the house they still need to be cleaned every 12-18 months. The doctor offers no alternative solutions. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions because at this point, my carpets should be cleaned. Thank you

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I think allergists prefer you to have wood or stone or ceramic tile floors with no rugs, no drapes or shutters or blinds, etc. I would guess you should also get your heating and air conditioning ducts cleaned, especially if this is an older home.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 4:34PM
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When my daughter was diagnosed with asthma after a bout with pneumonia at 18 months old, her pediatrician told me to get rid of all drapery,curtains, rugs, carpets, stuffed toys, etc. I did so and her health improved over the years. She is now 20 years old and rarely needs any medication. She hasn't had an asthma attack in all that time.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 6:36PM
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Capture dry carpet powder works pretty well. You sprinkle it down, rake it in with a long-handled scrub brush, and vacuum it up after a while. You can buy it at Lowe's or Home Depot.

That said, when my asthma was out of control, my husband took up all our carpet (he wore a mask and was glad he did, once he saw how much dust lay under it!) and it dramatically improved my health. It was simply amazing. Take the $$ you would spend on carpet cleaning and spend it on carpet removal, even if you have to do it piecemeal in order to replace it with hard flooring.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 9:28AM
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I was very fortunate. When we took up the carpeting in my living and dining room, we discovered oak panel flooring underneath. We refinished it and it looks beautiful! I removed the carpet and padding all by myself, using a steakknife. The padding underneath was a mess, all disintegrated into a nasty dry powder.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 10:09AM
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my allergist tells his patients not to steam clean their carpets because once your carpet is wet, you will have heavy mold growth under the carpet for the life of the carpet.

I don't believe this statement. Is he implying that the carpet never dries? Or that the carpet dries but somehow mold can grow in the absence of moisture? I have removed carpeting that has been cleaned countless times and I didn't see any evidence of mold under the carpet.

And true "steam cleaning" uses very little water.

I agree that if you have allergies, removing carpeting is a great solution. But if you are going to keep the carpeting, I would call in Stanley Steemer or some other company and get the carpeting cleaned.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 11:15AM
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My kids also have allergies. We have two rooms with carpet, one is the family room where we spend a lot of time in. I use a company called Chem Dry. I am very happy with them. They use a dry cleaning system that does not "wet" your carpet, just a little damp to the touch and it is totally dry within an hour. Does not soak the carpet or wet the padding. It's a carbonated solution, no perfume/chemical smell at all which I also like. I have it done every 6-8 months just to keep it fresh and remove dust that vacuuming may leave behind. The kids do not have problems being in that room with their allergies at all. I personally do not do steam cleaning, I did have problems with that method years ago. When we purchased the carpets, they recommended Chem Dry and told us not to steam clean. Here is a link , you can see if there is one in your area. Good Luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Chem Dry

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 8:56AM
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My DS and I also have allergies to dust mites. I have been using 2 products from
The carpet cleaner is one. It is a power that you add water to then spray on the carpet. And the demite laundry additive.
I think they work pretty well but as you can see there are many products.
I have all of our mattresses/boxsprings and pillows covered in allergy relief covers.
I need to dust and vacuum more often.
I bought a steam cleaner last year and was upset to hear that we shouldn't use it. I have read that as well. I am going to do carpets every 2 years. And when I do clean them I will try and use little water and I really try and suck all of the water out.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 5:22PM
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Steam Cleaning your carpets may cause mold and mildew to develop, as this process uses a large amount of water that penetrates and soakes into your carpet padding. Look into Oxifresh, this method uses only a small amount of water so that your carpets are dry in less than an hour. Its a green company and all products used are safe for children and pets. You also need to change your vacuum bag every time you use it. This will get expensive after a while so you may want to look into a different system, I use the Rainbow cleaing system at home, and it also acts a air cleaner.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 8:54AM
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my allergist tells his patients not to steam clean their carpets because once your carpet is wet, you will have heavy mold growth under the carpet for the life of the carpet.

I don't believe this either. If you have it professionally done (not one of those $200 machines you buy), they are pretty powerful and good at sucking most of the cleaning solution out of the carpet.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2008 at 8:33AM
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The key word in your statement is "most". they can't get all the water out, thats why it takes time to dry, and if the pad gets wet, it will stay wet for a long time and mold and mildew love dark moist places.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2008 at 11:58AM
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Most home cleaning machines leave excess water in your carpet which causes mold and mildew. It's best to get your carpet professionally cleaned.

Also, synthetic fibers work best for your allergies than carpets with natural fibers. is another great site that's all about flooring. It'll have tons of information regarding your carpeting.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2008 at 6:00PM
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Having no carpet is best- as long as you wipe the floor everyday with a damp 'mop' ( for lack of a better word).
If you have a bare floor and do not wipe it down, then the dust.dander/mites/pollen and other allergens accumulate. When air stirs them up, they are a problem for asthmatics.
Using the 'Swiffer' or like product helps cut down on irritants. Using a dry Swiffer and spraying the cloth with water- just enough to make the dust/allergen particles stick to it works well.
You should really get rid of the carpet if you are going to follow a good health control. If you are a severe asthmatic and you still have carpet, you are not helping yourself.People who insist on having carpet need to use a Hepa filter AND a vacuum that is approved- not one that throws out the dust/mites and such back into the air. If you vacuum at all, even a hard floor, you are supposed to use a mask ans leave the property immediately for 2 hours. You can't control your illness if you don't follow the protocole. I love the look/softness of carpet also, but it isn't worth contributing to the disease.
Wool carpeting is the best for people who refuse to follow a good respiratory policy. But still not a wise decision.
Just a question- if you are a severe asthmatic, do you follow any of the asthma protocols? If the answer is 'no', then you might as well go and do what you want.
It is like doing Open Heart Surgery on a person who will not quit smoking, lose weight or eat a better diet- why should a cardiac surgeon waste his/her time on a non-compliant patient, when he can spend his time and skill on a person who really wants to live, and will change their bad habits.
I am not trying to antagonize you- just the plain facts.
I see this from two sides- a registered nurse who worked ER/Open Heart, and as a severe asthmatic myself.
Please do the right thing. Statistics show you are going to get worse as you age by keeping carpet.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 10:33PM
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