DO you wear your shoes in the house?
The etiquette of leaving your footwear at the front door has split opinion for decades, but what about the cleanliness issue?
Getty – Contributor According to Dr Ackerley, wearing shoes inside is a no no
According to carpet cleaning experts Bissell 41 per cent of Brits – that’s 26.9 million British adults – have NEVER deep-cleaned the carpets and 84 per cent of us wrongly believe them to be clean.
And that means a whole lot of filth is building up on our carpets – with shoes literally spreading muck throughout the house.
Leading hygiene expert Dr Lisa Ackerley has a few home truths about the gross things lurking underfoot.
Here she busts five carpet myths – but it’s not pretty.
Getty – Contributor How often do you clean your carpet?
MYTH: Wearing shoes in the house is perfectly fine
Three quarters of Brits admit to wearing shoes in carpeted areas of their home, blissfully unaware that they could be spreading the likes of Escherichia coli (often found in human and animal faeces) from room to room.
MYTH: E Coli and Salmonella causing bacteria cannot live in my carpets
Ignorance seems to be bliss as 62 per cent have no idea that E Coli and Salmonella causing bacteria could be festering in our carpets.
Dr Ackerley said: “Escherichia coli is a member of the Enterobacteriaceae group; it can be found in human and animal faeces meaning that if pets use the carpets as a toilet, or you’ve stood in any pet waste outside, the bacteria can be found there.
“The impact of this is that babies learning to crawl could be exposed to these faecal bacteria which could be harmful if they put their hands in their mouths.”
MYTH: It is safe to eat food that has been on the carpet as long as it hasn’t touched the floor for more than three seconds
Over half of people – 59 per cent – admit to following the “three second rule” and 63 per cent of parents even let children gobble down grub that has landed on carpeted floor, potentially risking the ingestion of nasty germs.
Dr Ackerley said: “It’s time we put the three second rule to bed for good. It is simply not true.
“Eating food that has been on the floor or a dirty carpet is disgusting when you consider what you may have trodden across your carpets, or what your pets may have done on the floor.”
Getty – Contributor The three second rule should definitely be scrapped
MYTH: Carpets can’t contribute to my allergies
Over three quarters of the nation (79 per cent) know that nasty bacteria and allergens could live in bedsheets, but 63 per cent have no idea that they could be lurking in the carpets too.
Dr Ackerley explains: “Unwashed carpets can become homes to organisms such as dust mites, which can put some people at greater risk of asthma, eczema and perennial allergic rhinitis caused by allergy to dust mite faecal matter. Each mite produces about 20 waste droppings every day, equating to around 20,000 particles of faeces in every cubic foot of air.”
Regular carpet washing can help allergy sufferers manage their symptoms and reduce allergens by removing dust mite waste.