Carpet, yes your carpet, will get dirty over time. Sometimes it will get bad enough that the entire floor becomes a darker color. This is a highly high soil level and is exactly what I want you to avoid though. I’ll start with different ways to identify how dirty your carpet is and work my way into the other options you should consider upon each level of the soil.
Being that you can not always just look down and know how dirty your carpet is, there are ways to measure the amount of soil in your carpet. My first suggestion is to vacuum the area you plan to use for testing. This applies to all areas you plan on testing. Using your household vacuum, hit it from multiple directions over and over again. Testing is simple. Begin with a moist white towel.
Get the towel or rag wet and squeeze all the water out of it that you can. Now take it to your finely vacuumed spot and firmly rub it into your carpet. The rag should become dirty with dirt and oils. Now take another clean part of that rag and (after vacuuming it) use the same test on a part of your carpet that doesn’t see much traffic. Now these two colors can be compared for measuring soil level.
The soil scale can be simply explained. If your test material turns up a light tan to clear/white then you have a low soil level. This is right where you want it. If it turns out anywhere between golden brown and dark brown then you have a medium soil level and should seek professional cleaning for regular maintenance. Say you pull your rag up and is dark brown or black, you’re in trouble. This is the level you don’t want to get to because of the severe damage it causes to your carpet fibers. I won’t get into that here but it costs you more in the end.
Another great way to measure soil levels is with a cleaning machine. If you have access to any of these machines take a moment to use it. You can usually rent carpet cleaning machines from local vacuum shops. This tool is going to be used for testing of course so you don’t need anything extensive or fancy.
After vacuuming your test area fill your wet cleaning device with pure water and just water. Use your machine in the small test area you have. If you notice the recovery water is more than a light tan then you can bet you need some professional cleaning.
The final and most simple way to observe soil levels on the carpet is with a pair of clean white socks. All you have to do is go into your sock drawer and grab a pair of your favorite white socks, slip them on, and walk around the house for a while. After spending the day in your socks around the house, drop them into your sock drawer again. Now take the socks you have on and compare them with a fresh clean pair of socks. Your dirty socks’ colors should still apply properly to the dirty scale described above.