5 Germs that Can Live in Dirty Carpets and Rugs

Published On: October 26, 2022

Carpets and rugs are lovely flooring options in homes and offices. They definitely add panache with pops of color. They’re also warm in the winter and feel lovely on your feet. The downside of carpets is that they can easily become havens for germs and bacteria that are known to make people and pets very sick. Learn what germs live in carpets as motivation to keep your carpet cleaner.


Though largely associated with food, salmonella can also live in your carpet. It’s spread by the tracking of feces from people and animals (consequently, this is also one way C. Diff could be spread). This is why it’s important for you to take your shoes off when entering your home.

If you’re wondering where you might pick feces up on your shoes, remember the places people often go that would have feces on the floor. It’s not just bathrooms and gym locker rooms, but anywhere people walk will leave a trail of contamination. Gas station floors, grocery store floors, and the very sidewalk are all places fecal matter can be found. Not to put too fine a point on it, but fecal matter has been found on swabs that test gas pumps.

Salmonella causes serious digestive issues including diarrhea and fever.


Another germ living in the carpet or rug that wreaks havoc on the digestive system is norovirus. Norovirus is also known as the stomach flu. Symptoms of the virus are nausea, vomiting, watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, and severe discomfort. The stomach flu can survive on uncleaned carpet for over a month (up to four to six weeks!). It’s most prevalent during the winter, so keeping carpets clean is very important.

MRSA or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

Best-known as MRSA, MRSA is a superbug that is resistant to penicillin. It’s a commonly-carried bug that people bring in on gym backs and gym shoes. It’s found in locker rooms, so if MRSA is in your carpet, it likely came from somewhere sweaty.

E. Coli

E. Coli is extremely well-known because of its popularity in the news related to food-borne illness. Even though food products are the most common source of contamination, E. coli can easily be tracked into the home through clothes, shoes, food, dirty hands, and yes…food.

E. Coli is found in unclean carpets. IT causes diarrhea, stomach pain, and fever. At its worse, it can result in bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and kidney failure.


This bacteria-friendly bug is attracted to moisture, so wet shoes, humid environments, and moist circumstances in general are going to foster a breeding ground for campylobacter. If your family comes home with wet shoes, the last place they need to go is to the carpet…at least not without taking off wet shoes and changing out of wet clothes. This bug causes fever, diarrhea and stomach cramps.

These aren’t the only viruses found in unclean carpets. Mold and mildew, which can lead to long-term illnesses are also found in dirty carpets. Regular vacuuming as wells steam cleaning are methods for efficiently ridding carpets and rugs of these harmful contaminants. Thus, while carpets and rugs are nice, they’re only nice if they’re clean…so they can’t hurt you.

Thorough carpet and rug cleaning can be time consuming, which is why Advanced Cleaning offers professional carpet and rug cleaning services for residential and commercial customers. If you own a home or business in Cookeville, keep these germs out of your carpet and rugs by having your carpet and rugs professionally cleaned.

Advanced Cleaning Cookeville, Algood & the Upper Cumberland

Get Your Free Quote Now