Shampooing your carpets (with non-toxic cleaner) regularly, can improve you air quality. I also strongly recommend a ‘no shoe rule’! Why is this? Enforcing a no shoe rule will dramatically decrease the toxins in your home.
Did you know carpeting is actually one of the most powerful natural air filters in your home, trapping dirt and germs from the air. Now, Let’s look at what’s lurking in our carpets.
Dust mites are microscopic creatures. They are one of the major indoor triggers for people with allergies and asthma. Dust mites are nearly everywhere, and they feed on dead human skin cells found in dust.
Pets, shoes, kiddos, etc. bring bacteria into the home. Carpets create perfect homes for growth of bacterial colonies, especially if it’s cleaned infrequently. Typical carpet contains roughly 200,000 bacteria per square inch on average. That makes your carpet more germ packed than your toilet seat!
Carpeting is a magnet for pollen and other allergens. They easily get stuck in the carpet fibers. Seasonal allergens enter the house through the windows and shoes, depositing right into your carpet.
Most carpets are treated with chemicals before they even enter your home. Did you purchase your phone from another family? I wonder what they used on their carpets... Remember my ‘no shoe rule’? It makes sense that chemical traces like herbicides, pesticides, gasoline, etc. have found on the soles of shoes.
I always suggest having your home tested for mold. Ongoing mold exposure is detrimental to your health and well-being. (Blog to come!) People living in humid parts of the world are more likely to have mold in their carpets. The fibers make it possible for mold to develop deep inside the fabric- without any noticeable symptoms.
Animal Hair, Dander, and Feces
Now, I am a huge proponent for pets being in the house. Having pets, like dogs or cats, are very beneficial for overall health and well-being. Fur sheds and it’s often deposited into the carpet and will inevitably get trapped between the fibers. Pets track in bacteria and feces- shampooing regularly for pet owners is a must.
Mud and Dirt
REMOVE YOUR SHOES! Pets, shoes, and kiddos are the main culprits when it comes to mud and dirt hiding in your carpets.
Skin Cell Flakes
Yes, you read that right. This sounds nasty but it’s a normal part of life. It’s estimated that the human your skin makes up about 16% of your body weight, meaning you have roughly 1.6 trillion skin cells. Within 24 hours, you lose almost a million skin cells. These are scattered throughout the home and often deposited in the carpet. Remember, dust mites live on dead human skin cells?
I’m not sure I need to or want to elaborate on all the different bugs that could be (and are) in your carpets.
Alright, alright, I'll stop the list. We’re [now] well aware of how dirty our carpets are. So, what do we do about it? Remove the toxic, expensive carpet cleaner you’ve added to your Amazon cart, Karen!
The whole point of this blog is to reduce chemicals in our homes. Spraying toxic concoctions on our carpets to “clean” them sounds foolish, doesn’t it? These chemicals absorb into our skin and wreak havoc on our bodies. My daughter puts ev-er-y thing in her mouth! I definitely don’t want these “cleaning” chemicals entering her system.
But no worries, there are safe options!
I’m going to share my favorite safe, easy, affordable and effective DIY recipe.
My go to:
1 teaspoon Norwex powder detergent (I've also used Molly's Suds)
1 cup vinegar
Some drops of your favorite essential oil (More or less pending the odor of your carpets.) I personally like lemon grass for a long list of reasons.
Stir in hot water to dissolve.
The vinegar smell will fade once the carpet is dry.
Do you have a favorite recipe?! Please share!
I'm a firm believer that sharing life lessons helps those that want to learn, grow, and change their lives. Big or small, positive change is good for the soul. I also have been an open book most of my life- and I'm okay with that. I'm okay with the personal 'thank you' messages, the friendships, and the 'ah ha' moments that have evolved from this. I’m also okay with this being a completely different than usual blog post.
As I look back at 2019, I want to share some thoughts that I believe everyone will benefit from.
Just 3 minutes of meditation a day can improve your overall health. Simple, right? Wrong! It is incredibly difficult to shut your mind off for 3 whole minutes. However, I challenge you to employ this into your lifestyle in 2020.
While meditating include every single positive affirmation about yourself and your life, including those in it!
I don't know a single human being on this earth that doesn't encounter stress. However, it is how you react to that stressful situation that either helps or hurts your health. You can only control what you can control. Read that again. Constantly dwelling and worrying about things outside your control hurts not only your emotional health, but your physical and mental health as well.
Did you know while you're "stressing" your body is converting muscle into fat? Did you know while you're "stressing" your body is releasing a hormone called Cortisol? Cortisol impacts EVERY hormone in your body. Chronic elevation of Cortisol is not a good thing. Cortisol is supposed to be elevated in a flight or fight situation. For instance, if you're out in the woods and you see a bear, you run faster than you've ever ran- thanks to Cortisol. Are you exhausted when you wake up but can't for the life of you fall asleep at night or stay asleep? Are you irritable, moody, and/or anxious? Are you sick, often? Are you constipated or the opposite?
I personally removed 'friends' that weren't adding value, positivity, and/or growth to my life. Does that sound harsh? Maybe. But your mental health is much more important. If you have increased anxiety before time spent with a 'friend' I urge you to evaluate the pros and cons of that relationship. Does your 'friend' care about your health and well-being or do they care more about telling Janet everything you just confided in them? Does your friend bring added stress and/or drama into your life or do they help reduce it? Do you feel as if you're constantly giving and they're constantly taking? A toxic relationship is just that, toxic.
I personally encountered a significant amount of stressful life events in 2019. However, I felt rather cool as a cucumber through the majority. Why is this? (Besides the obvious benefit of me being a Functional Medicine Doctor and a Chiropractor). I must give credit where credit is due to the man in my life. Who you choose as your significant other either improves your health and well-being or drastically impacts it in a negative way.
I know I’ve mentioned that I live on an organic dairy farm, shout-out to all the farmers out there! However, this means that Derek works hard, long hours. We have two kids to take care of, two businesses, two dogs, and I am not even going to pretend that I know how many chickens, pigs, calves, heifers, or cows that we have. What am I getting at? He has every real excuse to not have extra time for anything. Nevertheless, he makes me a priority. He makes our kids a priority. He makes everything that relates to ‘us’ a priority. The days have come and gone where the woman does all the cooking, cleaning, and child caring. The days have also come and gone where the man does everything ‘man’ related. The world we live in is much different than it used to be. But some things remain the same, you truly need: respect, trust, love, and support. This man is my biggest supporter and one of the main reasons I’m able to change lives through Stittleburg RHC.
I’m going to pull out the mom card here- I’m a mom, I think about my children before myself, always. However, in 2019 I made a vow to myself that I was going to focus on bettering my health, which in turn bettered my children’s health. It’s now 2020 and I urge you to focus on bettering your health. Being an exhausted, worn out, no sex-drive, hair falling out, acne galore, just gimme 2 shots of expresso- but ‘I’m fine’ mom is NOT FINE! It’s time to take care of yourself.
Have a Happy New Year! And let's make 2020 your year,
Dr. Taryn Stittleburg, DC, CFMP, PSc.D