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Dry Soil Removal

by Lynn Tall,

Magnified DirtThorough dry soil removal is the key to extending the life of your area rugs and carpets.
Sandy, gritty, tracked-on dirt causes fiber wear. Under microscopic examination, this kind of soil looks like jagged glass with sharp, toothy edges. When soils become ground in, those sharp edges actually saw away at the fibers of your rugs and carpets. Even weekly vacuuming may not be enough to properly remove impacted soils at the base of the fibers, and most wool rugs will hold up to ONE POUND of dirt per square foot before you even begin to notice the soil.
Here are a few tips you can use to help minimize the potential for damage due to dry soil:

  • Use a walk-off mat.
    By using a rubber-backed mat both outside and inside the front door, you will catch most of what is tracked in on the bottom of your shoes, and the rubber backing will help protect your floors underneath.
  • Enforce a “No-Shoes” policy.
    While this may not be practical to enforce with guests, you certainly could institute a policy like this with the people living in your home. Have “inside shoes” or slippers to wear around the house and leave the “outside shoes” lined up near the door.
  • Vacuum and vacuum some more.
    Once a week is probably often enough for rooms farthest from the entry, but every room has those traffic areas that get dirtier faster. In those areas, vacuum twice, or even three times a week, especially closest to the front door.
  • Call a professional.
    Having your rugs and carpets professionally cleaned annually (or more often if necessary) is the most thorough, deepest clean you can achieve. When rugs can be dusted on the front and back, with vibration and tumble action, with vacuuming and pile lifting, that’s as good as it gets! Professional dusting cannot be replicated at home.