Carpet Care Tips

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6 Effective Strategies to Prolong the Life & Beauty of Your Carpet as You Protect Your Valuable Carpet Investment


Did you know that carpeting is a textile, just like upholstery, linens and clothing? When people pay $70 for a pair of jeans they do not get upset when the knees eventually become faded and worn. On the other hand, some of the same people seem to think that their carpeting should last a lifetime. Remember carpeting is a fabric too. 

There are SIX primary factors when it comes to carpet wear: soil in the carpet, traffic lanes, loss of fibers, infrequent vacuuming, having imbedded soil in the carpet (that can’t be brought up with vacuuming), and time. Improper light reflection is also a factor in making a carpet look dirty.

The main reason carpets show signs of premature wear is because they are not maintained properly. When major traffic lanes are vacuumed weekly and spots or spills are promptly removed, carpeting will look better and last longer.


Like all textiles, carpets will eventually show signs of wear. The wear creates an illusion of soiling, which often causes frustration and misunderstanding between homeowners and carpet care experts. Even though a carpet has been cleaned, it does not mean the traffic areas will look clean. Traffic areas are those places where people are constantly walking or working. This situation creates what is called traffic lane gray, a condition that has been nicknamed “ugly out.”

There is not a lot that a carpet care expert can do with “ugly out.” When a 10-year-old carpet is cleaned, you will end up with a clean 10-year-old carpet. It may not appear the way you had hoped. Just like the wear that is visible on your old jeans, carpeting will show signs of wear too. You can get your old jeans cleaned, but they will still show signs of wear.

The easiest way to slow down “ugly out” is by rearranging the furniture, so traffic areas are changed.


Traffic areas often look soiled even after a thorough cleaning because the fibers do not reflect the light properly. Carpet fibers are designed to magnify the light that passes through them. Carpet color, brightness, and the luster that is seen by the human eye is a direct function of the amount of light that is reflected by the carpet fiber.

A good example of how a carpet reflects light is shown by how it looks when it is viewed from different angles. The carpet will look darker when viewed from one direction and will appear lighter when it is viewed from the opposite direction.

The best way to prevent improper light reflection is to vacuum the carpet regularly, use proper spotting procedures, and have it professionally cleaned on a regular basis.


The number one source of soil in our carpet is the dirt we track in on our shoes. Others are dust, airborne pollutants and food or beverage spills on the carpet. Soil damages carpeting as well as causing it to look dirty.

The main damage caused by soil is called fiber abrasion. Fiber abrasion is created by dirt particles scratching or scraping the surface of the fibers, like scratches on glass. Scratches and scrapes block light reflection causing these areas to look gray, dull and dirty.

The easiest way to keep soil from damaging the carpet is to vacuum regularly.


There is a point when carpet fibers will no longer return to their original shape. As fibers lose their twist, the carpet begins to look flat, bunched together and distorted. This is called matting. Matting includes fiber distortion. Matting and fiber distortion will cause the carpet to look dirty and grayed out even when the carpet is clean and all soil has been removed.

The easiest way to avoid matting is to vacuum and rake the carpet often.


The best way to keep your carpet looking its best is to properly maintain it. Read your carpet warranty for specific maintenance requirements. Vacuum every week if possible. Vacuuming removes loose soil before it becomes imbedded in the fibers. The removal of abrasive soils from the carpet will help to extend its life.

Use proper spot cleaning methods. Do not put any products on your carpeting unless advised by your Chem-Dry professional. Ask for Chem-Dry World-Famous Spot Remover; it will remove most common spots and stains without causing carpet damage or rapid-resoiling.

Have your carpeting cleaned by a Chem-Dry professional at least once a year. The removal of embedded soils and stains will refresh its appearance while ridding the fibers of abrasive materials.

Remember that the stain resist treatment that was originally applied by the carpet manufacturer will wear off. . . especially in the traffic areas. Regular professional cleanings will renew this protection with Chem-Dry’s Repel Protectant.

This information was brought to you by Melissa Venneri-McCabe, owner of Airport Chem-Dry. With close to three decades of experience, thousands of their customers refer and trust Airport Chem-Dry to provide a safe, non-toxic way to clean their carpets and upholstery. Call the professionals at Airport Chem-Dry for all your carpet and upholstery cleaning.

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