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Biggest Air Filter Is Your Rug

Biggest Air Filter Is Rug, Have you ever wondered how to improve indoor air quality? Did you know rugs can reduce indoor air pollution? In addition to rugs’ aesthetic aspects, they act as air filters and trap bacteria, allergens, and dirt to prevent these harmful elements from circulating to other areas.

The Effect of Rugs on Reducing Indoor Air Pollution

Your rug is the same as an air filter. Just like the way you replace the air filters regularly, you should also clean your rugs maximum every two years. If you keep pets at your house, you need to get your rug cleaning service much more often. That is because 75% of home rugs contain dust mites, pet hair, pet urine, pollen grains, and bacteria.

You can not remove these unhealthy particles sitting on top of the foundation by surface-level cleaning. To restore rugs to their original beauty, you need to get them deep cleaned by professionals.

Rugs and Indoor Pollutants

Shoe Debris

Almost 75% of people don’t remove their shoes when they walk on a rug. When you enter the house in your shoes, you’re likely dragging in the mud, dirt, or animal waste. People litter on Sidewalks and lawns with paint flecks, lead dust, animal waste, fertilizers, and–all of which stick to your shoes. The Environmental Protection Agency claims that nearly 80% of our exposure to pesticides happens indoors, thanks to tracked-in contaminants.

Pet Hair

The American Pet Products Association (APPA) has also said 68% of American Households (about 85 million) own a pet. Rugs trap pets’ hair and prevent them from escaping back into the air.

While regular vacuuming is a must, pet hair can get embedded into the rug’s fibers. Generally speaking, it’s totally normal and healthy for most cats and dogs to shed, especially in the spring when they prepare for warmer temps.

The more your pet-hair-covered rug gets foot traffic, the thinner hairs become embedded, making them more challenging for the vacuum to suck up. Moreover, dogs produce dander, which can lead to allergic reactions in humans upon ingestion or inhaling.

Dander is a type of dead skin (flakes) wastes. Dogs have other traces such as saliva, urine, feces as well. These protein traces can even be found in abundance in your house as it can spread through the air medium. Your rug sucks up all these pollutants and doesn’t let them spreading through the air just like a dirty air filter that contaminates the air instead of purifying it.


If you live in a neighborhood surrounded by pollens, you should pay more attention to your rug health status. Pollen and other pollutants can come in on the bottoms of shoes and through open windows. The good news is that rugs attract pollens to different degrees.

Therefore, they prevent microscopic irritants from spreading through the air. But remember that just like HVAC, you need to clean your rugs periodically. Researches have revealed that 50% of illnesses are caused or exacerbated by indoor pollution. So just like how you change the air filter, you’d better get your rugs professionally cleaned a maximum every year.

Allergy associations, such as the American Lung Association and the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America (AAFA), suggest avoiding all types of wall-to-wall carpeting in favor of washable throw rugs.

How Often Should You Get Your Rugs Cleaned?

Since the rug is the main component of your living space, it’s essential to maintain its pristine appearance.

Moreover, you want your rug to be free of dust mites, pet hair, odors, urine, pollens, and bacteria for a more hygienic home. Rug fibers act as a filter and consequently collect much of the allergens and dust that flow in the air.

Over time, these allergy-inducing particles can build up in the rug fibers. If you let them accumulate, these particles will become airborne. Only through periodic cleaning can get rid of these allergens to restore a healthy indoor environment.

Keep into account that if you share your home with pets, regular cleanings are significantly more critical . And if you allow shoes indoors, you’d better know that shoes track in the dirt as well as bring in small particles of grit. Also, don’t miss 10 reasons to take your shoe off at home.

Keep in mind that you can’t remove that dirt and grit periodically; it will eventually lead to your rug’s permanent wear patterns. So make sure you clean your rugs regularly just like how you change the air filter.

Picture of Author: David Khazai
Author: David Khazai

David Khazai is a 5th-generation rug proficient and certified rug appraiser. As an omniscient author, he explores components and symbolism, making him an exceptional expert in the rug cleaning & repair industry

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