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Can Shampooing Your Carpet Trigger An Allergy Attack?

Updated on March 14, 2015
There are many types of carpet fibers
There are many types of carpet fibers

Do you own a steam cleaner?

I decided to purchase a steam cleaner for my carpets because they are in good shape and I do not want to replace them. I love being able to use the cleaner when there is a stain instead of having to rent a carpet steam cleaner and lug it home. There are some concerns however if you live with a person who has allergies that should be considered. Carpet itself does not cause allergic reactions. The carpet though is known to harbor allergy causing substances such as: pollen, dust mites, and pet dander along with other microscopic particles. (Many animals may be hypoallergenic such as certain breeds of dogs, and cats and would not cause as many allergic reactions and should be taken into consideration).

Carpet manufacturers have argued that allergens are in the air and the carpet actually helps to absorb these allergy causing agents and makes the allergy sufferer better. There is of course another opinion on the market, as usual there are two sides to the coin.....when you vacuum the dust and pollen is easily disturbed and airborne again. There are two recommendations for people with allergies: purchase a vacuum cleaner with a hepa filter that traps these allergens and to use an allergen control carpet shampoo.

Types of Carpet Fibers

There are many types of carpet fibers on the market and they each will do well being cleaned according to the manufacturers recommendations. These are the most popular types of carpet fibers: cotton, wool, nylon, olefin, polyester and acrylic. There are many pros and cons of each type according the local carpet selling companies. So, can they be steam cleaned? The wool carpet manufacturers do not recommend steam cleaning but dry cleaning. This can be done by a professional or there are dry cleaning products on the market.

Will steam cleaning affect allergies?

This is a definite possibility depending on the way that the carpet is cleaned. Because the steam cleaners use water on the surface of your carpets, there is always a possibility that mold and mildew can develop. The steam cleaners spray a fine mist of water over your carpets and then immediately suck up the dirty water theoretically. The problem can come if the carpets is over wetted and the water seeps down into the padding underneath. The carpets should be fairly dry within a couple of hours to prevent a surge in allergies

Remember, from our high school science book we learned that water is essential for all living things. It can also dissolve a vast amount of other substances and has been nicknamed the universal solvent. "The partial charge that develops across the watermoleculehelps make it an excellentsolvent. Water dissolves many substances by surrounding charged particles and "pulling" them intosolution" according to Vision Learning. Water can be tried first on many stains unless the stain contains an oil. In this case, you can try alcohol. You may want to reconsider how much cleaner or shampoo you use on your carpets because most carpet cleaners after drying leave a sticky residue and actually attract more dirt. This is the reason that you may notice that your stains will reappear after a few weeks.

Common Stain Removal

(click column header to sort results)
Remove With:   
Butter or Oil 
Mineral Spirits 
Candle Wax 
Ice - then scrape off when cool 
Dry Spot Remover
Mineral Spirits


Submit a Comment
  • profile image


    4 years ago

    I am allergic to most of the carpet cleaners and so It was my husbands duty to clean the carpets. But as he is very busy now we took the help of RBC(Royal Building Cleaning), professional cleaning service here in Canada. They provide quality service and 20% off on first cleaning.

  • Greg Sage profile image

    Greg Sage 

    8 years ago from Orlando, Florida

    I can't quite put my finger on it, but I find something about this sagely advice oddly fascinating.

  • Phil Plasma profile image

    Phil Plasma 

    8 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

    We only have a small amount of carpeting in our house and so far have been fortunate that nothing has been spilled on it requiring a shampoo. Vacuuming is all we do and this works out fine. Great hub earning you a vote-up and useful.

  • Julip Manor profile imageAUTHOR

    Julip Manor 

    8 years ago from Kingwood, Texas

    I could only find a couple out there on the market: Kirby Allergen Shampoo and Bissell Multi-Allergen. These are both great companies. The main two ingredients that make this shampoo helpful against allergies are a drying agent and an agent to inhibit mold and mildew. I have a Bissell and mainly use it on the water setting except for heavy stains. Check our carpet shampoo reviews by pb3847 They did a great job!

  • Greg Sage profile image

    Greg Sage 

    8 years ago from Orlando, Florida

    Is it dander that I should be concerned about? My cat makes me sneeze, but I can take PLG for long walks with no problems.

    Maybe I should just shampoo the cat directly.

  • MarloByDesign profile image


    8 years ago from United States

    Hi Julip - I rated this useful! Can you please recommend a carpet cleaner for one with allergies? Thank you.


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