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Protecting Your Carpet – High Traffic Areas

One of the main reasons people hire residential carpet cleaning services is because of dirt buildup in high-traffic carpet areas. High-traffic areas consistently have people walk over them from day to day; examples include stairways, family rooms, and hallways. Over time, all this traffic can deposit dirt and other undesirable material, diminishing carpet’s appearance. Luckily, there are steps you can take to both protect carpet in high-traffic areas, and clean it to remove dirt that does get deposited.

Protecting High-Traffic Areas

Regardless of how much traffic an area of your home gets, there are many steps you can take to protect your carpet.

Designate a Shoe Storage Zone: A simple way to cut down on the amount of dirt entering your home–and reaching your carpet–is to set up a clear area around entryways where residents and guests can take off and store their shoes. Many families even designate an entire room, often called a “mud room,” for this purpose. A side benefit of this practice is that people will always know where their shoes are.

Barring a dedicated shoe zone, consider placing a doormat by all entryways, if you haven’t done so already. Doormats are much easier to clean or replace than carpet.

Buy the Right Carpet: Not all carpet is created equal–each kind has its own strengths and weaknesses. When buying carpet, you’ll have three main factors to consider: the carpet’s style, its material, and its color. Regarding style, in high-traffic areas, Angie’s List recommends Berber carpet rather than shag. That’s because Berber carpet is very dense, which helps it repel dirt. As an added benefit, that density also helps Berber carpet last longer in high-traffic areas.

Material is another consideration. Per Angie’s List, Berber carpet comes in three main materials: wool, nylon, and Olefin. Olefin is the cheapest, but for a reason: It’s not as durable as the other two. Wool is more durable than Olefin, but also more expensive than both it and nylon. For a high-traffic area, nylon is probably the best choice–it wards off stains and “stands up to foot traffic and furniture weight.”

Though a carpet’s color won’t directly help repel dirt, it does have an effect on how much dirt shows up. As you might guess, white carpet is a bad choice for high-traffic areas. Light grays should be avoided as well. Darker colors will do a better job of hiding dirt and other unwanted additions to your carpet–but it’s important to clean dark carpet regularly nonetheless.

Regularly Clean: Whether you do it yourself or hire residential carpet cleaning services, regularly cleaning your carpet is essential to protecting its looks and integrity, especially in high-traffic areas. Vacuuming up dirt early can prevent it from becoming ground deeper into the carpet. Think of taking care of carpet as like taking care of a car: Regular maintenance can prevent a much larger problem down the road.

Use Runner Rugs: Runner rugs aren’t just for placing over hardwood: They can also be used to protect carpet. Their long, narrow shape makes them ideal for hallways. Meanwhile, stair runners can provide protection on stairways. Dark runner rugs can be especially valuable over light-colored carpet, which easily shows dirt.

Cleaning High-Traffic Areas

Sometimes high-traffic areas build up dirt despite our best efforts. And even if your carpet doesn’t look dirty right now, regularly cleaning it will keep it looking its best. Here’s a look at different carpet cleaning methods and tips.

Keep Supplies in Multiple Areas: Consider buying multiple sets of stain removers and a roll of paper towels to tuck away in each high-traffic area. That way, if someone tracks in a bunch of mud or spills something on accident, you won’t have to scramble to another room and root around for cleaning supplies.
Vacuuming: Vacuuming is one of the simplest, most effective preventative measures you can take for carpet in general. Vacuuming is especially helpful in high-traffic areas. Weekly vacuuming can suck up dirt before it becomes ground into the carpet. Once dirt is ground in, it retreats deep into the carpet’s fibers and becomes much harder to remove. Better Homes and Gardens recommends a minimum of vacuuming once a week in high-traffic areas of your house. provides more detailed instructions for vacuuming carpets: “Spend the bulk of cleaning time where dirt collects: a dozen passes of the vacuum within 4 feet of outside doors, eight passes in high-traffic areas, and four passes elsewhere.” For the most efficient results, empty the vacuum’s bag whenever it’s half full; otherwise, it will start to become less effective.

DIY Dry Cleaning: According to, one fast, easy method to clean a carpet is through dry cleaning. It’s pretty simple: First, you vacuum an area to pick up easy-to-reach dirt. Then, you simply use a store-bought dry-cleaning solution. It’s important to start from the outer parts of the area and work your way in, rather than vice versa. Working your way out from the inside may just spread the dirt or stain around.

Once the store-bought dry-cleaning solution has had time to work, it’s time to vacuum again. This removes the solution as well as any dirt it has loosened. You can use a vacuum’s nozzle attachment to restore the pile (the fabric of the carpet) as well.

DIY Foam Cleaning: This method has a lot in common with dry cleaning, but uses a foaming cleaner instead. The prep work is the same: Pick out a store-bought foaming cleaner, keeping in mind that some options are better than others when it comes to factors like traffic and the presence of children or pets. Vacuum to get as much dirt out of the way as you can. Then follow the cleaner’s instructions. Next, you can either use a steam cleaner for the entire carpet, or focus on the high-traffic area by using a damp towel to blot up residue. After that, use a dry towel to remove moisture, and wait for the carpet to dry. Finally, as with the dry-cleaning method, you can use a vacuum’s nozzle attachment to revert the pile to its original state.

Try Residential Carpet Cleaning Services For High-Traffic Areas

For the best possible results, you’ll want to hire a professional crew to provide residential carpet cleaning services. The recommendation from Better Homes and Gardens is to use professionals one to two times per year.

There are several advantages to such a strategy: Professionals have top-of-the-line equipment; they’re experienced in cleaning many different types of carpet; and they can offer the best strategies for extending the life of your carpet and keeping it looking fantastic. Additionally, a professional cleaning may be necessary to maintain the warranty on your carpet.

If you are ready for a professional carpet cleaning, don’t hesitate to contact Fresh ‘n Dri! We can be at your place today! 435-767-1950

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Protecting Your Carpet – High Traffic Areas