No doubt about it -- carpet takes a beating. It endures foot traffic, food spills and an occasional oops from beloved pets. To lengthen the life of your home's carpet, follow these tips:
Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum. Frequent sweeping keeps carpet nap up and keeps dirt from getting ground into carpet fibers.
Have carpet cleaned professionally every 18 to 24 months. If you own your own carpet steamer, resist the temptation to constantly clean the carpet -- clean only every six months at the most. Also remember that too much cleaning solution can cause carpet to deteriorate faster, and keep in mind that the water that comes out of your faucet often isn't hot enough to produce steam-cleaned results.
Always blot spills promptly. Never rub carpet to remove a stain -- rubbing will damage carpet fibers.
Remember that pet urine is acidic and will deteriorate carpet.
Don't place area rugs directly over top of carpet -- they will wear out the underlying carpet and smash down the fibers. If you must place an area rug or an oriental rug over top of carpet, buy a nonskid pad to put beneath the rug.
Source: John Skidmore, Prizant's Carpet in Warren