Winter snow brings with it’s melting a lot of dirt, dirt that is tracked in from through the garage that ran off the car and tires. It takes 4 steps at least to knock that dirt off your shoes before you walk into your home. Always best to have a walk-off mat to 4-8 feet long to knock the dirt off, a long piece of scrap carpet will do the trick.
Once the dirt has made its way to the carpeting, the simple act of walking on the carpeting grinds the dirt into the fibers like sandpaper on plexiglass causing a worn and dull look. That dull worn look cannot be cleaned out, while a professional hot water extraction will remove the dirt, unfortunately, the damage is done. Having it cleaned on a regular basis even before you begin to see the traffic pattern from dirt will help prevent the wear.
At our home we have dogs, I do not wipe their feet off every time they come inside from doing their thing outside. We do not vacuum every day or even every other day, maybe once a week if we are not busy or mindful. The dog’s hair and dirt spreads throughout the kitchen on the hardwood floor where we transfer it with our shoes to the carpeting and area rugs. It’s just reality, we like our pets they are family. Yes, they sit on the couches making themselves at home and transfer the outside world to our inside sitting areas. We apply protectant to the upholstery to make cleaning easier and it protects the fibers. We do use walk-off mats for the dogs coming in and out but it doesn’t work as good for them. But we don’t wear shoes in the house you say, then why do my carpets look grungy? You have been wearing your socks all day in those shoes, shoes you wear every day. The oil build up in the shoes from your feet transfers to the socks and through the socks from your feet, you pick up any dirt/dust or additional oils from the hardwood or tile and then transfer that to your carpets where more dust/dirt is stuck to the oils. Add a few pets in there and you can visualize where it goes from there.
With the pets in our home, we professionally clean the traffic areas about every 3-6 months throughout the year, usually in March, then a full cleaning along with upholstery in June and a good full clean before holiday guests arrive in October/November if necessary one major traffic cleaning after the holidays in January depending on my level of “I can’t stand it anymore”. Regular professional cleaning at least yearly of your carpeting and reapplication of protectant keeps your manufacturer’s warranty intact.