MORE than five billion bacteria are unknowingly being left to breed on Portsmouth’s living room floors for ‘decades at a time’.
That’s the warning from entrepreneur Viesturs Silnieks, who says the build-up occurs in homes across the city thanks to hidden grime in people’s carpets.
While carpets may appear clean after vacuuming, untouched fibres can still contain harmful bacteria including salmonella and e.Coli.
Viesturs, founder of Chichester Carpet Cleaning, said: ‘Appearances can be deceiving and that’s especially true of carpets.
‘Carpets can hold up to 200,000 bacteria per square inch – that’s 4,000 times more than your toilet seat.
‘Having your carpets cleaned by a professional at least once a year is essential if you want to break this cycle of filth.
‘It’s common for carpets in many homes to go years or even decades at a time without a deep clean. This needs to change.’
Much of this dirt is brought into the home underfoot, but pollen, spilled food and drink and particles of human and animal waste can all be absorbed by carpet in a day.
Other lurking organisms include dust mites – tiny insects found inside household dust which are too small to see without a microscope.
Their droppings can trigger asthma attacks, eczema flare-ups and rhinitis, making them one of the biggest causes of allergies according to the NHS.
Chichester Carpet Cleaning uses four stages to rid carpets of dangerous bacteria like this, beginning with vacuuming and the application of a premium chemical pre-spray to soak into fibres and unsettle dirt.
Grime is then scrubbed out by two rotating brushes, before a jet system uses 100C steam to extract any remaining chemicals.
The 36-year-old dad-of-one said: ‘Professional cleaning has the power to make carpets and rugs look and feel brand new and we always deliver a high-end finish with a visible difference from all of our cleans.
‘It also answers the question of health – something that’s especially important for people with children.
‘Hire kits are convenient and are good for cleaning your carpets in between professional cleans, but shouldn’t take their place as they can’t guarantee the same bacteria removal as a professional.’
Chichester Carpet Cleaning is based in Chichester, but operates across Hampshire and West Sussex, including Bognor, Horsham, Havant, Portsmouth, Emsworth, Littlehampton and Bordon.
It also offers a service to remove stains left by pets.