If you want to maintain your carpet for years to come, you need to focus on the high traffic areas. If ground in dirt is not removed from these areas regularly, the carpet will experience excessive wear. This is because the dirt acts as an abrasive and damages the fibers in the carpet as you walk across it. You also need to aggressively carry out spot removal. There are a number of stains (including blood, urine, and red wine) that can become permanent if you don't deal with them immediately.
Vacuum the Carpet Regularly
While you might think that the purpose of vacuuming is to get your carpet cleaner, this is only partly true. In addition to maintaining the appearance of your carpet, vacuuming also picks up the soil particles that over time could cause your carpet fibers to wear out prematurely. Often, this soil is invisible. This is why it's important to vacuum at least two times a week (whether the carpet looks dirty or not).
Hire a Professional Cleaner
It's essential to have your carpet cleaned by a professional once a year (or more often if there's a great deal of foot traffic). The best way to judge is if you see visible soil on the carpet. This indicates that it's time to have the carpet cleaned. You don't have to worry that cleaning your carpet too often will damage it. Professional cleaners will not leave a residue behind no matter how many times you have the carpet cleaned per year. Moreover, professional cleaning will remove embedded soil from high traffic areas that your vacuum will not be able to get to.
Remove Stains Immediately
Maintaining your carpet requires that any stains that appear should be removed at once. At the same time, it's important that stain cleaning be done correctly. If your carpet is new and has a protective coating, warm water is often sufficient to remove any stains. If this doesn't work, you will have to use a specially made stain cleaner. Don't use anything that isn't made specifically for carpets. Apply a little of the cleaner to a clean cloth and gently rub the stain. You want to transfer the stain onto the clean cloth. You should never pour the cleaner directly onto the carpet.
Reapply the Protective Coating
Virtually all new residential carpets are coated to resist stains and soil damage. After a few years, this coating can wear off. When this happens, you should have your carpet cleaning professional carpet cleaner apply a new layer of the coating to the carpet after cleaning it. In addition to protecting the carpet, this coating will make it easier to clean the carpet next time.