Carpets Holds Allergens Until They Can Be Extracted

With up to 20 percent, or 52 million, Americans sensitive to allergens often found indoors -- including saliva, and hair and dander shed from the more than 200 million pets found in U.S. -- it's time for a clean-up and air-out of carpeted areas.

Deep-pile furnishings and carpet provide the health benefit of capturing and holding allergens from pets and other sources. But, with the arrival of spring and summer, these allergens should be extracted.

“Manage the indoor environment with common sense strategies so that allergy-prone people are comfortable,” advises Geoffrey Greeley, director of training and technical services for Racine Industries, Inc., which manufactures a dry extraction carpet cleaning system called HOST that reduces pet and other allergen levels dramatically.

The HOST System of applying SPONGES® to the carpet, brushing them through the carpet and then vacuuming up the SPONGES removes dirt and reduces allergens. Research studies have shown that one cleaning with the HOST System using HOST Machines reduces: dust mites by 78%, dust mite allergens by 75%, cat allergens by 85% and mold spores by 85%.

"Like mites, pet allergens rank among the top four allergens to which one-in-five Americans are sensitive and allergic," said Greeley. "For these people, this research can be significant and meaningful."

"Pet allergens are usually concentrated in favorite spots on upholstered furniture and carpet where pets love to curl up, be that in homes or at businesses," said Greeley. “Thankfully, these furnishings capture and hold these allergens, until they are extracted out; in that way, carpet provides additional benefits to users."

The ability to remove these built-up levels of allergens through cleaning provides a way pet-sensitive homeowners can manage their environment -- "and it provides an effective way to reduce the allergen load when new owners want to move into any carpeted areas that previously was shared with pets," Greeley said.

HOST cleaning is very effective in removing the pet allergens from lounging areas. For specific accidents, Greeley offers this advice:

For wet spots: Blot up any excess moisture by pressing firmly with clean, white paper or cloth towels, working from the outside inward to avoid spreading. Repeat blotting until there is no more moisture transferring to the towel. Shake HOST SPONGES® onto spot until covered. Brush HOST SPONGES through the carpet in all directions: north and south, then east and west. Pack the area with HOST SPONGES. Allow the area to dry completely. This may take overnight. HOST SPONGES will lighten in color as it dries. Vacuum thoroughly. If traces of the spot remain, use HOST Spot Remover.

For urine: Blot up as much of the spot as possible. Mix ¼ cup of white vinegar with ¼ cup of water. Alternately dab a towel damped in the solution and blot with a dry towel. Follow above procedures for wet spots.

For vomit and feces: Scrape up as much of the spot as possible. Follow above procedures for Wet Spots.

Dry extraction carpet cleaning systems, such as the rental and professional systems from HOST, remove both the pet accidents, and dramatic levels of allergens. HOST® Cleaning helps carpet users achieve the “Carpet, Clean and Dry” objective established by the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI), the national trade association representing the carpet industry.

HOST SPONGES® remove dirt, spots, spills and allergens without introducing any excess moisture or increasing humidity during the cleaning process; and carpet is clean, dry and back in use as soon as the cleaning is done.

The HOST Dry Carpet Cleaner is a soft natural product moistened with special cleaning ingredients. Brushing the sponge-like cleaner through carpet fluffs the pile, loosens and removes embedded dirt. Vacuum up the cleaner and your carpet is clean, dry and ready to use right away.

When vacuuming, advises Greeley, it’s a good idea to use equipment fitted with a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) vacuum bag to trap microscopic dirt particles. HEPA filters on the furnace provide similar benefits.

For more information, call Racine Industries, (800) 558-9439; or write HOST/Racine Industries, Inc., 1405 16th Street, Racine, WI, 53401 or visit the HOST Web site at