How To Remove Allergens from Carpet

Different studies show that over 90% of homes have more than three allergens with carpeting providing the best breeding ground.  This means every homeowner should know how to remove allergens from carpet.

This article covers everything you should know about controlling and removing allergens from your carpet. But before getting into that, let’s take a step back and highlight what allergens are and the common allergens found at home.

What are Allergens and Where are They Found?

Remove Allergens from CarpetAllergens are harmless substances that trigger an allergic reaction for some people. The body treats these allergens as invaders prompting the body to release chemicals that cause different symptoms in the eye, nose, ears, throat, or on the skin.

What Allergens are Found at Home?

The most common allergens found at home include dust, mold, dust mite, pet dander, pollen, fabrics, cockroaches, food allergies, and latex

These allergens result in various allergic reactions that include sneezing, itchiness, watery eyes, chest tightness, hives, and even sickness. These allergens can be found anywhere in the house including

  • Carpet
  • Curtains and drapes
  • Furniture
  • Bedding
  • Plush toys
  • Dirt on houseplants

What Allergens are Found on Carpets?

Because of the force of gravity, most allergens in your home will finally end up on the carpet. Allergens found on carpets include:

  • Pet dander from your dog or cat
  • Dust coming through the windows or doors
  • Mold from the roof, washing machine, or if the house is damp
  • Pollen coming through the windows or doors. Pollen’s also get trapped on hair, clothes, and even the bottom of shoes. Pets also bring pollen to the house.
  • Dust mites
  • Saliva, waste, and body parts of cockroaches

How To Remove Allergens from Carpet

1. Vacuuming Using an Allergy Vacuum Cleaner

One way to remove allergy-causing allergens from the carpet is by vacuuming the carpet using a vacuum that has a true HEPA filter.

Unlike regular vacuum cleaners, High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) vacuum cleaners feature a filter that traps small micro-sized dust particles. These are particles that you cannot see with the naked eyes but will trigger allergic reactions.

Apart from trapping even the smallest particles, a HEPA vacuum cleaner contains all the trapped dust inside making sure the fine particles don’t escape back into the air. A high-quality HEPA filter should suck at least 99.97% of pollen, dust, pet dander, bacteria, and airborne pollutants; some of the major allergens found on carpets.

While it’s recommended to vacuum high traffic areas such as the carpet twice a week if you want to keep allergies away, do it as often as you can. Preferably every day. That is if you can manage.

How to Choose the Best Vacuum Cleaner to Remove Allergens from Carpet

  1. The Filter Technology

The first consideration when buying a vacuum cleaner for allergies is filter technology. The number of allergens that these vacuums can vacuum depends on the filter technology. A true vacuum cleaner for allergies should be certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

Some brands create their own filtration systems equivalent to the HEPA filtration.

  1. Bagged vs. Bagless

Vacuums for allergies are either bagged or bagless. Bagged models offer the best performance when it comes to dirt handling and emptying. Dirt is securely held and there is no mess during disposal.

Tip 1 : the efficiency of the bag decreases as it gets full. Also, replacing the bag is an additional cost, but it’s worth it.

  1. Type of Carpet

Some allergy vacuums are best for low-pile carpets while others are great for high-pile carpets. Choose a model that is best for your type of carpet.

2. Professional Deep Cleaning

Professional Deep Cleaning CarpetAnother way to remove allergens from the carpet is going for professional deep cleaning. Unlike vacuuming, which does not guarantee 100% removal of allergens, deep cleaning offers better results.

The best washing method for allergen removal is steam cleaning while pairing it with the appropriate cleaning agents. Hot water aids in the removal of dust mites and grime. Caution should be taken to make sure the carpet is completely dry since this could encourage the growth of mold, making it counterproductive. That’s why it’s best to pay for professional cleaning.

However, it is not possible to deep clean your carpet now and then. The Carpet and Rug Institute recommend deep cleaning once a year. Deep cleaning is not enough to keep the carpet allergen-free; you should vacuum the carpet at least once a week and most importantly allergy-proof your home.

Tip 2: It does not matter how clean your carpet is, if there are allergens in other areas of your home, they will eventually find their way to the carpet.

How To Allergy-proof Your Living Room

It won’t be effective to just remove allergens from the carpet. Because of air circulation and gravity, allergens in other parts of the house will still get on the carpet. The solution is to allergen-proof your entire home including the living room.

If there are dust mites in your upholstered furniture, deep cleaning your carpet won’t solve the problem. Here are quick tips on how to allergy-proof your living room.

  1. Instead of upholstered furniture, invest in either wooden, leather, or metal furniture.
  2. During the pollen season, keep the windows and doors closed.
  3. Leave the shoes outside to prevent bringing in pollen and other allergens.
  4. Make sure the carpet is perfectly dry after washing to avoid encouraging the development of mold.
  5. Clean up any liquid that gets on the carpet immediately, to avoid creating a damp spot that will encourage the development of mold.
  6.  If you have serious allergy reactions, do away with the carpet and use linoleum or hardwood flooring.
  7. Replace your high-pile carpet with a low-pile carpet that is easy to vacuum.
  8. Invest in a high-quality vacuum with a HEPA filter.
  9. Control mice and cockroaches
  10. Keep the doors and windows closed during warm weather
  11. Adopt a weekly cleaning routine
  12. Dust furniture and electronics to minimize dust build-up
  13. Invest in washable curtains
  14. Change clothes after coming from outdoors
  15. Bath pets regularly

Tip 3: Still, this is not enough, allergy-proof your kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and the basement. Also, do an allergy diagnosis to identify the various allergens that have the largest impact on your health.

Frequently Asked Questions on How to Remove Allergens From Carpet

Does vacuuming remove allergens from carpet?

Yes, vacuuming is a great way to remove some allergens. While vacuuming removes most dust, it’s not effective in removing dust mite allergens. Also, it’s not every vacuum that is great for allergens. The best vacuum should contain the dirt and dust without releasing them back into the air or stirring them up.

What type of vacuum is best for allergies?

The best vacuum for allergy sufferers is a HEPA vacuum cleaner, preferably a bagged model. These vacuums are very effective in removing even the smallest particles of pollen, dust, and pet dander.

Can vacuuming worsen allergies?

Yes, vacuuming can worsen allergies. This is if the vacuum stirs the dust and other allergens into the air. The second cause is non-HEPA vacuums that don’t fully contain all the dust and dirt caught. If the vacuum is not properly sealed, some of the dirt and dust will escape back into the air.

Does vacuuming carpet help allergies?

To some extent yes. Using the right vacuum in this case a HEPA vacuum cleaner will remove most of the allergy-causing elements such as dust, pollen, and dust mites from the carpet. These vacuums are also properly sealed to prevent dirt from escaping back into the air, exposing you to more allergens.

Does a vacuum pick up dust mites?

How effective vacuum cleaners are in removing dust mites is contested. Different studies show different results. However, it has been observed that high-end HEPA vacuum cleaners can remove some dust mites. Low quality, non-HEPA vacuum cleaners are not ideal for dust mites. Most of them only stir the dust mites or release them back into the air.

Are bagged or bagless vacuums better for allergies?

Bagged vacuum cleaners are the best for allergies. They make it easier to dispose of the dirt without releasing them back into the air.

How often should I vacuum my carpet for allergies?

The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers recommends vacuuming your carpet once a week, to prevent the accumulation of allergens. However, homeowners should make sure they are doing it right and using the right tools to prevent uprooting the allergens on the carpet and spreading them throughout the house.

Should you wear a mask when vacuuming?

Yes, wearing a mask when vacuuming will prevent you from breathing in the dust and smells. One downside of vacuuming is stirring the dust and spreading it throughout the house. The American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology recommends wearing a mask when cleaning mold.

Do allergen vacuum bags work?

Yes, allergen vacuum bags hold the dirt and dust when vacuuming making sure they don’t escape back to the air. They also make it easier during disposal.

How effective is a vacuum cleaner in removing all allergens?

Vacuums with a HEPA filter remove up to 99.9% of pet dander, dust, and pollen. However, they are not as effective in removing dust mites and mold.

Can you be allergic to carpet fibers?

Yes, synthetic carpets made of nylon fibers release volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can cause allergies. The process of off-gassing is high after installation and may go on for months depending on the level of VOCs.

Vacuuming remove allergens from carpetHow do people live with carpet allergies?

The most effective way to deal with carpet allergies is allergy-proofing your entire home. This does not just involve the living room, but also the kitchen, bathroom, and basement. One measure will include regularly vacuuming using a HEPA vacuum cleaner. You can also decide to do away with the carpeting or get allergy shots.

Will removing carpet help allergies?

Yes, one way of dealing with carpet allergies is replacing them with linoleum or hardwood flooring, since carpets provide a breeding ground for a wide range of allergens. Remember to allergy-proof the rest of your house.

How do you know if you’re allergic to the carpet?

The easiest way to know that your carpet is worsening your allergy symptoms is when you suddenly develop allergy symptoms whenever you are at home. There are also chances that your allergy is being triggered by other allergens in different parts of your house.


Wrapping Up-Remove Allergens from Carpet

Carpets provide a perfect breeding ground for various allergens including dust, pollen, and pet dander. To allergy-proof your carpet there are various things you can do; regular vacuuming using a HEPA vacuum cleaner and deep cleaning. It’s also recommended to clean up any spill immediately and make your home a shoe-free zone. Last and most importantly, allergy-proof your entire home. It’s not effective to just remove the allergens on your carpet when your furniture, bedding, and curtains are still hosting allergens.