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Maintaining High-Traffic Carpet Areas

The following steps will help maintain carpet in a high-traffic area [Note: Ad or content links featured on this page are not necessarily affiliated with IICRC (The cleantrust) and should not be considered a recommendation or endorsement by IICRC (The cleantrust)].:


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  • It's a good idea to keep sand, grit, grass clippings, etc. off walkways outside entries to prevent tracking-in these abrasive or discoloring soils.
  • Purchase a properly sized entry mat (the bigger the better, but there must be room for at least two steps to sufficiently wipe soil from feet before stepping onto the carpet). Place entry mats on hard surfaces rather than on carpet.
  • Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum; daily, especially after major events (e.g., parties or get-togethers). The sooner you collect soils from the surface, the easier it is to remove them. For most carpet, use a vacuum with brush agitation. Visit the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) for vacuum cleaner recommendations.
  • Use high-efficiency microfilter bags or HEPA filters when vacuuming. This reduces airborne dust, health risks, and maintenance needs such as dusting, duct cleaning, and cleaning or changing HVAC filters.
  • If spots are treated immediately, most will respond with plain warm water mixed with a few drops of mild dish detergent.
  • Typically, deep clean high-traffic areas at least every six months. Contact the IICRC for qualified carpet cleaning companies.
Maintaining High-Traffic Carpet Areas:  Created on April 30th, 2009.  Last Modified on January 21st, 2014



The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is a certification and standard-setting nonprofit organization for the inspection, cleaning and restoration industries. The IICRC serves the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and Japan, in partnership with regional and international trade associations.

The mission of IICRC is to identify and promote an international standard of care that establishes and maintains the health, safety and welfare of the built environment.

The IICRC, with industry-wide participation, certifies - and develops certifications and standards for - inspection, cleaning and restoration. The IICRC also serves as a valuable consumer referral source for IICRC-Certified technicians and firms. There are currently more than 53,000 active IICRC-Certified technicians, many with multiple certifications, and more than 6,000 IICRC-Certified Firms around the world.