Let’s face it, the main reason rugs and carpet wear out is because of gritty abrasive soil grinding away at the base of the tufts, causing them to be literally chewed to pieces.

So, what do you do to keep out the stuff that’s causing the problem?

The first step in removing destructive soil is never to allow it in the rug or carpet. Instead, the first step (actually two) should be made on an entry mat outside your home. Numerous tests prove that abrasive soil accumulates within the first five or six feet of the entry. If we eliminate this accumulation, then half the soil-removal battle will be won. Moisture-resistant, 3×5 mats (don’t skimp on size) should be placed at each frequently used entrance, giving notice to destructive, abrasive soil to keep out.

An additional advantage you enjoy is that moisture and gummy globs (not the dog again!) are also kept out of the house – at least for the most part.

A word of caution: If the mat isn’t shaken and flushed free of abrasive soil regularly, it becomes so impacted that no more can be absorbed. The soil buildup will eventually reach the top of the mat’s pile, to be quickly tracked into your home. When that happens, you are no better off than you were without the mat. Enough said?

A quality mat with a vinyl back and nylon pile can be purchased at a janitorial or uniform supply outlet. The doorstep maps available at the grocery store are better than nothing, but remember, the idea is to get two feet on the mat instead of just one.