How to Clean Rugs to Maintain Air Quality

So many things factor into the air quality indoors. The part of the country you’re in, your ventilation system and your HVAC air filters are just a few.

Carpets and rugs in your home also act like filters except they trap debris, allergens and bacteria where you could breathe them in. As you walk across rugs microbes, bacteria and mold can be kicked back up into the air.

But there’s an easy fix to this common air quality problem that could make rugs a beneficial filter. Regular rug cleaning is the trick to improving air quality.

What Are the Benefits of Regular Rug Cleaning?

There really is no downside to regularly cleaning your indoor rugs. However, there are some key benefits that make it worth the time and effort.

Healthier Air Quality Overall

When the rugs are cleaned regularly it’s like cleaning your air filter. The carpet fibers trap particles, dirt, dust and debris so they don’t recirculate around the house. As long as the rugs are cleaned regularly they can help improve air quality so the indoors is healthier overall.

Less Allergic Reactions

Homes with a lot of carpets are known to have higher levels of allergens in the air. A National Institutes of Health (NIH) study found that “Mite allergen concentrations in dust from carpeted floors were 6–14 times higher than in dust from smooth floors.” But if you have rugs on smooth floors, the allergen concentration can go up if they aren’t cleaned regularly.

Less Risk of Skin Irritation

All of that build-up on the rug doesn’t just irritate your nostrils, eyes, and throat. You can also experience skin reactions from direct contact with the rug. The irritation could result in hives or a rash.

Tips on How to Clean Rugs

Cleaning your rugs is a must, but you don’t want to waste time on daily cleaning that just pushes debris around. Here’s a look at how to clean rugs to improve air quality. These same tips are recommended if you want to know how to clean indoor/outdoor rugs.

Vacuum Rugs Daily

Not surprisingly, daily vacuuming is recommended if you have rugs inside. Vacuuming will suck out the particles and trap them so that they don’t get kicked up and recirculated.

Deep Clean With Water Extraction

The EPA recommends that carpets have periodic wet extraction cleaning for the best air quality. It sounds complicated, but water extraction cleaning simply means using a carpet cleaner that uses a hot water and cleaning solution to deep clean rugs.

Essential Cleaning Supplies

There are a few essential supplies you should have on hand for cleaning rugs and in general to keep carpets cleaner between cleanings.

Vacuum With HEPA Bags

How does vacuuming improve air quality if it can also potentially worsen the air? It’s true. If you don’t use the right vacuum bag and empty it correctly, you could release bacteria, molds, and allergens into the air. Check to make sure you are using a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) vacuum bag. HEPA vacuum bags can indeed trap the vacuumed particles so that they don’t get back into the air.

VOC-Free Cleaning Products

When you’re purchasing carpet cleaners, check the ingredients list. Many cleaners contain ingredients that release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. You’ll be cleaning up stains, dirt, and debris and contaminating the air at the same time. There’s a vast selection of eco-friendly carpet cleaners like Biokleen Carpet & Rug Shampoo Concentrate that are effective and safe to use.

Quality HVAC Air Filters

You can significantly reduce the number of spores, dust, and contaminants before reaching the rugs if you use the right HVAC air filters. Any air filter is better than none, but some filters are better at trapping pollutants than others. You’ll want to pay attention to the MERV rating, which tells you how efficient the air filter is at trapping microscopic particles. We highly recommend using a MERV 8, MERV 11, or MERV 13 air filter from a reputable original manufacturer like Filterbuy that can create custom filters if needed.

No matter what type of flooring you have, regular cleaning and a high-performance air filtration system will keep the air cleaner indoors.