Winter is interesting, to say the least. I don’t mind the kids tracking in fresh snow, but when the thaw begins and it mixes with mud, all it makes is a mess everywhere. Even though we take our shoes off at the door, it seems that dirt, mud, grit and everything else gets ground into our carpet. We do not make guests take off their shoes, and that is probably a big source of the dirt. It’s not a big deal as we get great longevity out of our carpeted floor surfaces because we hire a professional carpet cleaning service to do the job on a regular basis.
I will do spot cleaning for spills and other issues that happen in between professional cleanings. The dog might get passed me before I wipe her feet with old rags we keep by the door. She has been known to put some muddy paw prints on every surface she touches. We vacuum every day. If it is not me, then the kids or my husband takes a turn. We have an unwritten schedule where we get the vacuuming done. We excuse one another for special events, overtime or when a school function is happening, but the vacuuming does get done. This goes a long way to keeping it looking clean.
The carpet cleaning schedule I follow is once in the spring, then again after July. As we get into fall, I have it done just before the holidays. Most of the time we can wait until spring again, but sometimes the carpet needs refreshed before then. That can throw my schedule off a bit, but I catch back up by definitely having it done before the holidays when we have more guests and overnight visitors. Cleaning the carpet well keeps it looking new. You just need to have it professionally done. No rental machine or one you can buy in a store can compete.