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


It’s interesting to note that carpets are textiles, much like your favorite pair of jeans or your go-to bed linens. We don’t bat an eye when our $70 jeans start to show wear and tear at the knees, yet we expect our carpets to stand the test of time without a single sign of wear. But let’s not forget, carpets are fabrics too.

Six crucial factors contribute to the wear and tear of your carpet: the presence of dirt, high traffic areas, fiber loss, lack of regular vacuuming, deeply embedded soil that can’t be removed with a simple vacuum, and the passage of time. Additionally, improper light reflection can also make a carpet appear dirtier than it actually is.

The primary culprit behind premature signs of wear in carpets is often inadequate maintenance. Regular vacuuming, especially in high-traffic areas, and prompt removal of any spots or spills can significantly enhance the appearance and longevity of your carpet.


Carpets, like all textiles, are prone to showing signs of wear over time. This wear often presents as a perceived dirtiness, leading to misunderstandings and frustrations between homeowners and professionals in carpet care. Even after thorough cleaning, high-traffic areas may not appear completely clean. These high-traffic areas are places with constant footfall or activity, resulting in a condition known as traffic lane gray or more colloquially, “ugly out.”

Unfortunately, there’s not much that can be done about “ugly out” by carpet care experts. When a carpet that’s a decade old is cleaned, the result is a clean but still visibly aged carpet. It might not meet your expectations. Similar to the visible wear on an old pair of jeans, carpets will inevitably show signs of use. You can clean your old jeans, but the evidence of wear will remain.

The most straightforward strategy to delay the onset of “ugly out” is to periodically rearrange your furniture, thus altering the traffic patterns on your carpet. This can help distribute the wear more evenly across the carpet’s surface.


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.


It’s worth noting that the primary contributor to soil in our carpets is the dirt we inadvertently bring in on our footwear. Other culprits include dust, pollutants suspended in the air, and accidental spills of food or beverages on the carpet. Over time, this soil not only tarnishes the appearance of the carpet but also inflicts damage.

The predominant form of damage inflicted by soil is known as fiber abrasion. This is a process wherein dirt particles scratch or scrape the surface of the fibers, much like scratches on a pane of glass. These scratches and scrapes interfere with light reflection, resulting in areas of the carpet appearing gray, dull, and soiled.

One of the most effective strategies to prevent soil from damaging your carpet is to adopt a regular vacuuming schedule.


Carpet fibers can reach a stage where they lose their ability to retain their original form. This loss of twist in the fibers results in the carpet appearing flattened, clumped together, and misshapen, a condition known as matting. Matting involves distortion of the carpet fibers. Even when the carpet is clean and free from dirt, matting and fiber distortion can make it appear dirty and greyed out.

The simplest method to prevent matting is through regular vacuuming and raking of the carpet.


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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