A few weeks ago we were asked to take part in the Rug Doctor “What Lies Beneath” campaign. Rug Doctor were doing a study to find out just how dirty Britain’s carpets are. More than 2000 people were surveyed along with 20 case studies in which they took swab samples of carpets from across the UK and water samples from a Rug Doctor after the carpet was cleaned.
Now I have always thought our carpets were pretty clean. They are fairly new and I hoover them at least a few times a week. We have had spills and things but I have been very quick to clean things up to try and prevent stains because when we move out we are liable for fines. How wrong I was. I chose the playroom to use in our case study because it’s a carpet that is used daily and the children get down into it when they are playing with their toys. It’s also the room where our back door is situated so, bar the hallway, the room that gets the most dirt during the summer when the boys are allowed to play out. Now clearing out the furniture isn’t all that easy and I can see why I hadn’t deep cleaned the carpets but I moved out as much as I could and with it being nice weather popped all the toys in the garden.
When our kit arrived I followed the instructions word for word. I took the swab by digging deep into the carpet but made sure that it wasn’t right by the back door. I did the allergy test and set that up to do its business whilst I used the Rug Doctor. The allergy test results were fairly quick and no further action was required so I decided that cleaning with the Rug Doctor was just a bit of fun and not really needed. There were hardly any allergens so surely there wasn’t that much dirt or bacteria either?!
The Rug Doctor instructions state just how easy it is and they were extremely clear and easy to follow. I filled a bucket with 9 litres of water and 150ml of carpet solution and poured it into the red tank on the Rug Doctor.
I simply then popped the white tank back on, locked it into place and plugged the machine in. To clean the carpets you switch it to the correct, clearly laelled setting and turn the machine on. There is a button on the handle bar that you press down to release the water and you walk backwards slowly. There is a see through tube which when working correctly you can see the dirty water spraying into the white tank and it’s imperative that you watch this as when the water stops spraying it means the red tank is empty. This was the hardest part of the clean as it emptied really quickly and for a tiny room I had to empty and refil it 4 times. It was also hard to keep my eye on the level of cleaning solution that I had left in the red tank as unlike the white tank it isn’t see through enough to see the water level. I was shocked at the colour of the dirty water in the white tank. It was disgusting. There I was thinking my carpets were relatively clean and I’d be getting a gold star for hygiene from Rug Doctor when really they were filthy!
A few weeks after sending my swab and water samples off I got the results from the carpet. It turns out I had over 10,000 colonies of Salmonella and Shigella in the carpet as well as 1,000 Bacillus cereus, 1,000 Staphlococci and Streptococc, 100 Campylobacter and very high numbers of yeasts and bacteria. As per any normal carpet it also contained dead skin, hair and dust mites. So much for a clean carpet! As it turns out from the study, Plymouth is actually the cleanest region of the UK.
The bacteria in the carpet thrive on things like hair and dead skin so hoovering often is essential to at least keep their numbers down. Using the Rug Doctor and doing a deep, wet clean will remove all the nasties and bits and pieces lurking in the fibres. According to the rest of the study I’m not alone in thinking my carpets are clean. 74% of people asked said that they thought they had a clean house with a whopping 42% saying that they didn’t have time to do a proper clean. 44% of people have never cleaned their carpets. This shocked me because even though I hadn’t we have only been in the house for 18 months so they were deep cleaned before we moved in and I had been thinking of doing it before Rug Doctor got in touch. The study found that high numbers of cleaned their kitchen and bathroom floors frequently but tended to ignore the carpet. The research showed that 25% of people don’t removed their shoes and 53% don’t ask guests to! After the state of my carpets I will be doing both from now on! For more of the What Lies Beneath findings head over to the Rug Doctor Facebook page.