Well, the under pad is probably worn out. A sign of aging and overuse. I suggest purchasing a large area rug to cover as much as possible which provides some lift until you can buy a new pad and carpet. Also, throw rugs or runners may help camouflage the areas you mention where tracking is frequent. When you're ready to buy new carpet and pad, do some internet researching before buying so you know in advance how the carpet/pad wears, and years of life it has in heavily trafficked areas.
We just bought new carpeting and a very good pad with a moisture barrier. The better the pad, the better wear your carpet life will be.
I would use a rug doctor, thirty dollars to rent for 24 hrs. Better suction for water removal than ones you can buy. Use a little liquid tide and water in a spray bottle. Spray entire area and let sit for 20 minutes.
Use warm water to clean with rug doctor.
After water is clear your carpet is clean. Then, take a thick toothed human comb and actually comb it out gently. : ) Like you would pick an afro back in the 70's (09/04/2008)
Debbie's idea to clean the carpet first is excellent, but also purchase a 'carpet rake' to pull the 'pile' back up while carpet is still damp, instead of back breaking detailed combing. Then use it for weekly regular care thereafter. Have used one for years!
Here is an inexpensive, with directions for regular care, link:
Be sure to vacuum at least the heavily used portions of carpet once or twice a week and it will greatly aid in keeping your carpets life last longer. It's not just the walking on the area that causes carpet to mat but also the dust, dirt, that is ground in to the carpet fibers. (09/04/2008)
I agree that the carpet will be improved by shampooing. A really good vacuum cleaner makes quite a difference too. My new Dyson made quite a difference on the worn areas of my carpet. (09/04/2008)
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