Some people just love the feel of soft carpet under their feet. Walking on a soft surface is just more comfortable for some, especially in colder months. But carpet is a sizable investment, so it’s important to know how to take care of it to keep it looking nice. To make your flooring last a long time, follow these steps for carpet cleaning.

The first step is to vacuum often. Dirt that gets in your carpet and sits between the fibers slowly breaks them down. With every step you take, the dirt is cutting into each individual fiber, which will cause carpet to get a fuzzy, old appearance and also takes away the sheen. Have you ever moved your furniture and noticed the different between the carpet under your couch compared to a high-traffic area? While walking on carpet makes it appear worn, it will age must faster when it isn’t vacuumed on a regular basis.

A few tips on how to vacuum might also be helpful. Empty the dirt canister or bag often, because a full one reduces the suction power of most vacuums, letting dirt remain in your carpet. Then, find the right height setting for your carpet pile. You don’t want it so low that you damage the carpet, or set so high that it’s ineffective. Start on the highest setting and lower it until you feel the vacuum start to pull forward, and you’ve found the optimal setting. Also, don’t race through the job. Go slow enough to give the vacuum a chance to pull all the debris out of the fibers.

Finally, one of the most important steps in making your carpet last a long time is to use a professional carpet cleaning service on a regular basis. Look for a company that thoroughly cleans out the dirt, dust and allergens with hot water extraction, and knows how to properly treat spots. A service with truck-mounted equipment provides the hottest water and best suction, removing all the dirt and humidity outside the home during the process.

A home with carpeted floors feels warm and welcoming, so use these carpet cleaning tips to make sure your investment lasts a long time and looks great for years to come.