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Discover India Hicks

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Discover India Hicks

If you do ONE thing this week...

Vacuum your carpet.

Ever wondered how often you should vacuum? Although there is no concrete, scientific answer, it is recommended that in high traffic areas you vacuum once daily. Seem ridiculously impossible? Ok shoot for at least 2-3 times per week but just remember that the cleaner your carpet, the healthier you and your children who are the ones rolling around on them will be.

According to an MSN & Men's Health, carpets are wall-to-wall germs. Think about it - you walk in a public restroom that has god knows what on the floor and visible pee puddles around the toilet and then those same soles trample on the carpets like it's no big deal. Gross.

Tierno's research indicates that your carpet probably contains about 200,000 bacteria per square inch, making it 4,000 times dirtier than your toilet seat. "Rugs are botanical and zoological parks," says Tierno, who says hundreds of thousands of different types of species live there. These invasions occur because the average person sheds about 1.5 million skin cells every hour; these skin cells hit the rug and serve as food for germs. Add in food particles, pollen, and pet dander, and you have a gratis buffet, he says. And since a vacuum cleaner's suction and rotating beater brush don't usually reach the bottom of the carpet, you're bound to have communities of E. coli, salmonella, staphylococcus, and other bacteria down there. Every time you walk on the carpet or roll around on it with your kids, you disrupt the bacteria, bringing some closer to the surface, Gerba says.

In order for bacteria to thrive, certain conditions must be met. They must have constant supply of food and an area where they can breed. However, these creatures don't need much to go on. Plus, they have a high tolerance for different environmental conditions. Some can tolerate very acidic conditions while some can withstand extremely high temperatures. Moisture is also one culprit that helps bacteria multiply. There are even some types that can live without the presence of oxygen. This life form is one of the first ones that existed on earth. Pathogens are species of bacteria cause diseases in humans. Examples of diseases caused by pathogenic species are cholera, syphilis and tetanus.

And don't forget about those little spots. Spots that we may very well ignore can often contain harmful particles. The variations will depend on the kind of environment that the carpet is located in. For example, germs that come from pets who are allowed to roll on carpets will be different from the germs on the soles of corporate personnel. It can range from bacteria, fungi, allergens, viruses, parasites, allergens and other hazardous material may be trapped deep inside carpet fibers. If you are like the many, who just depend on vacuum cleaning, consider this fact; It only takes away the dirt on the surface but invisible microorganisms don't necessarily die after vacuuming. Often our noses, eyes, and skin still itch because of the remaining dirt in them.

Stores offer a wide selection of cleaning products like bleaches and disinfectants. These chemicals will kill pathogens but most people do not have the time and patience to do a thorough job. Large and fluffy carpets are beautiful but it takes a lot of work to keep them clean. For those people with busy lifestyles that wish they had the time to do it right, I suggest hiring a professional carpet cleaning service every 4-6 months to do a deep steam clean and consider covering high traffic areas with machine washable area rugs. And if you really want to decrease the germs in your home, don't eat on the carpet, take your shoes off outside and if you want to go extremee - get rid of your carpet all together.

There is no price for your health and the well-being of the entire family. It is a fact that unseen organisms can make us sick. The best way of protecting yourself and your loved ones against harmful things that live deep in carpets, is by doing a thorough job of cleaning it. But this must be done on a regular basis. And if you're like the majority, you're just "toooo busy." If you have the money, hire professionals do this time-consuming and demanding job. If not, make it a priority every week.

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