No matter how well kept the rest of your home is, worn out carpet projects air of shabbiness and neglect. Since your carpet represents a sizable investment, it is reasonable to want that investment to last and look good as long as possible.

It may be impossible to keep a carpet for a lifetime, but if you follow a few simple rules, you may be able to get more years out of it. Here are 4 ways to extend the life of your carpet.

Vacuum daily

Regular vacuuming is the single most effective means of keeping your carpet clean. About 80-95% of all dirt and dry soil can be removed through proper and consistent vacuuming.

Consider the amount of traffic to determine how often you should vacuum the carpet. Vacuum 2 to 3 times a week if you have an active family.

Keep the dirt out

Some people take off their shoes before entering their home to prevent dirt and other particles from being tracked inside the home. Even if the shoes look clean, they’re still carrying a number of things you don’t want in your home.

While removing the shoes is a good idea, walking bare feet can be just as damaging to your carpet. Oils from your feet will attract dirt, making it more difficult to clean. Wear clean socks or slippers when inside the house.

Clean up spills immediately

Most spills can be removed if attended to immediately. The longer it sits on the carpet, the more difficult it will be to remove it. Blot spills gently with a clean white cloth. Do not scrub or rub them. Remember, carpeting is a delicate fabric.

Professional cleaning

One way to make sure the carpet lasts a long time is to keep it clean. However, regular cleaning just won’t cut it. In a typical household, the carpet should be cleaned professionally every 12 to 18 months. This is important so as to keep the carpet looking like new and to keep it dirt-free.