Traffic stains can show up on our carpets as trails through the areas we walk. They don't look good and are only emphasised if we have newer carpet or a good carpet. Keeping them from happen takes a little work, but can save money in the long run because you are more likely to spend less on expensive professional carpet cleaning and even on new carpet.

Start at the Doors.
The dirt that is likely to come into your house comes from somewhere outside. It can include dirt, mud, dirty snow, and other undesirables. There are a few options for working at preventing it from coming in the house. Your goal is to limit the dirt as much as possible. To do this put an outdoor mat at the doorway before you get in the house. This is your first point of battle. Second put another mat (one made for the indoors) at the door on the inside. This will be your second line of defense. The goal here is to get people to wipe their feet some before walking on the carpet.

Take Your Shoes Off.
The next step is to take your shoes off when you get in the house. This works well if you have a place to put them when people come into the house. Don't feel bad, you can ask guests who come into your home to remove their shoes as well. After all, you work hard to keep your floors clean. Remember that not everyone will take off their shoes every time (especially kids who will want to "run in real quick"), so you will still want the mats in place even if most people usually take off their shoes.

Vacuum Often.
Vacuum cleaners suck up the dirt and other materials on the surface of the carpet. Most of them aren't strong enough to suck up the materials that are deeper in the carpet and because of this it is a good idea to vacuum before the dirt gets a chance to get caught. The more dirt that gets caught in your carpet the more likely it is that you will end up with stains. Vacuuming once a day is a good idea or every other day if you don't have time for a quick vacuum each day. Make sure you run the vacuum over each portion of the carpet a couple of times, especially in high traffic areas.

Keep Other Floor Surfaces Clean.
Whether you have linoleum, tile, wood, or another flat surface flooring in other areas of your house you will want to keep this clean as well. Food and other debris that gathers on these floor surfaces can easily get caught in socks and on your feet to be spread to the carpet. This can make for a mess even without outside influence. Therefore it is a good idea to sweep these floors every day or at least every other day and to make sure that you mop them once a week or so. This will help keep those surfaces clean as well as help prevent dirt and traffic stains on your carpet.

Dust and Vacuum Furniture.
Dust and dirt that are accumulated in other places can move to the floor and increase the dirt levels there. It is a good idea to dust and vacuum your upholstered furniture once a week or so to keep the dirt and dust levels in the whole house lower.

Carpet Cleaners.
In this day and age carpet cleaners can be purchased for around $50. These are small machines and they are made to clean personal carpets. Having one can make a huge difference in cleaning your personal space. Once a month run the carpet cleaner over your carpets for cleaner carpets and to help prevent traffic stains. It is a good idea to use white vinegar instead of the harsh chemicals recommended. It will do the job just as well only safer. If your carpet is looking dingy then sprinkle it with salt before you begin the carpet cleaning for better results.

Remove Stains.
Keeping your carpet looking new and good is often dependent on keeping it stain free as well as keeping the dirt up. It is a good idea to treat stains as soon as possible. To do this soak up any liquid and gently pick up any solids that there may be. Then use a mixture of 1/2 cup of salt and 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar to clean it. Spoon it on to the stain and let it sit for a few minutes. Then use a soft bristled brush to gently scrub it up. Rinse with clean water and a white rag. If you have a particularly stubborn stain such as blood or wine (especially if it has already dried), then use 1/2 cup with 1/4 cup of hydrogen peroxide. This will get the stain up. It should be noted that hydrogen peroxide can bleach fabrics so it should be tested before you use it. Few people report it causing any problems. Use it in the same manner that you would the vinegar mix.

Move Your Furniture Around.
It is a good idea to move your furniture around a little once a month. It doesn't have to be dramatically, but moving it a couple of inches can help the carpet to recover where the furniture sat and crushed the weave down. Vacuum under your furniture well while moving it. Every few months it is a good idea to also use your carpet cleaner under your furniture to help refresh your weave and to keep it as clean as possible.

Get The Professionals In.
While you don't want to have to call professional carpet cleaners often (after all it can be expensive) it is a good idea to have them come and give your carpet an overhaul once every 18 to 24 months. This will help your carpet look new longer and will make your investment last. If you are having a large party or family get together you may want to arrange for the professionals to come either just before it (if you want great looking carpet) or just after it (if you want to make sure that the carpet is cleaned up after your guests).

Preventing dirt stains and traffic stains is important for the longevity of your carpet. The better you care for it the longer that it will last. Even inexpensive carpet can be made to last a long time with care and attention. It will take more work, but it will also be well worth it.