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Do You Know How Dirty Your Office Carpet Really Is?

October 23, 2018

While your office carpet may appear clean, below the surface of the fibres, it could be harbouring hundreds of thousands of dust particles and bacteria that could pose a potential risk to the health of your employees.

Microbiology research published in Men’s Health found an average indoor carpet to be about 4,000 times dirtier than a toilet seat, with about 200,000 bacteria per square inch. Not only do unsanitary carpets create an unhealthy environment at work, they will need replacing more frequently if they are not maintained, quickly becoming tired with the build up of soil and other debris.

As an Office Manager, what do you need to be aware of for the wellbeing of staff?

Bacteria and allergens

The office carpet provides the perfect breeding ground for a variety of bacteria and allergens. The bacteria build up in the carpets can have a potentially damaging effect on the quality of the work environment. Harmful bacteria such as Norovirus, Salmonella and E.Coli, living within the fibres for up to 6 weeks.

Whilst regular vacuuming by your cleaning company removes the surface layer of these particles, the only way to fully sanitise your office carpets is through a professional deep clean at the very least every 6 months.


We shed between 0.03 and 0.09g of skin every hour, according to a 2011 study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. Most of this is made up of tiny flakes of skin, which form the largest constituent of household dust. It’s not just the dead skin cells falling into the workplace carpet, it’s also, dead hair, insect husks, insect faeces and even VOC’s (volatile organic compounds). These combine to form quite a cocktail of bacteria and waste, which build up within the carpet fibres and also provide food for unwelcome dust mites.

The airborne dust particles found in carpet have been linked to nose, sinus and breathing problems, such as asthma and the allergens such as mould spores can also be detrimental to health, especially for allergy sufferers.

Food and drink residue

According to a poll of 2,000 UK employed adults by Workthere, more than half of workers skip their lunch break, and Londoners are the least likely to take advantage of their lunch hour. Crucially, the data also showed that office employees are eating lunch at their desk on average four days per week. This means that a food and drink is mainly being consumed at a worker’s desk and naturally spillages will occur.

Decaying food will contribute to the growth of bacteria in the office carpets plus high fat foods and highly coloured products will stain the flooring. Tea and coffee stains are common stains for professional cleaning companies to come up against.

Regular vacuuming helps to maintain the appearance of the carpets and your commercial cleaning company will be able to carry out spot cleaning for the stains. At Swift Office Cleaning Services, we tend to carry out carpet cleaning for clients at the end of the working week to allow for the carpets to fully dry-out before they are used again, especially for heavily stained floors which have required repeat treatments.

Hiring a professional office cleaning service to deep clean your carpet every 3-6 months will dramatically reduce the health risks from the build up of bacteria, whilst improving the appearance of the carpets, keeping them looking fresher and cleaner for longer, as well as, extending the lifespan of the carpets.

If your business is based in London, Essex or Hertfordshire and you require a professional, reliable cleaning service to deep clean your office carpets, Swift Office Cleaning Services can help. Get in touch with our friendly team to discuss your needs today. Call London: 0203 405 8442 or Essex: 01279 413 641