Dirt is like thousands of little blades that cut carpet fibers. When you walk across a dirty carpet, you grind sharp dirt particles against the yarn, making tiny nicks in the fibers. All that fuzz mixed in with the dirt in your vacuum cleaner bags is your beautiful carpet headed out the door one bag at a time. When dirt scratches the fibers, it dulls the sheen, which is why high-traffic areas appear duller than the rest of the carpet. Over time, grinding dirt wears away the fibers too, which mats them down and makes them stain more easily. Follow these tips to keep your carpet as dirt-free as possible.
Vacuum oftenTo protect your carpet, vacuum entrance areas and high-traffic areas twice a week and the rest of the carpeting at least weekly. Oily soils attract oily soils, and frequent vacuuming will reduce soil buildup.
Start with a clean bag or filterA dirty bag, dirt cup or filter can cut a vacuum’s suction power in half. The main reason bagless vacuums stop working is that the filters aren’t changed often enough. Replace or wash (if possible) the filters on bagless vacuums every three months. Replace vacuum bags when they’re three-quarters full.
Vacuum at the right speedVacuum slowly enough to get out as much dirt as possible. Make one quick pass over low-traffic areas and two slow passes over high-traffic areas. Two slow passes removes ground-in dirt more effectively than several fast passes.
Use walk-off matsUse walk-off mats inside and out to keep dirt off the carpeting. Coarse-textured mats outside your doors remove soil. Water-absorbent mats inside prevent wet shoes on the carpeting.
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