DALTON, Ga.--According to the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI), properly vacuuming carpet is the easiest and most effective way to keep your carpet clean.

The CRI recommends vacuuming areas often that receive the most traffic, such as hallways, stairs and exterior entryways. Ideally, vacuum all the floor coverings a minimum of once a week, and the high-traffic areas more often, based on the usage.

For pet owners, the organization recommends vacuuming some areas daily. Removing loose soil while it remains on the carpet's surface is important so that it is not walked into the carpet pile.

The CRI suggests using a vacuum cleaner that cleans effectively and minimizes generating dust from the filter and around the machine while keeping the carpet looking good.

To help consumers select an effective vacuum, the CRI initiated The Vacuum Cleaner Indoor Air Quality Testing Program. Vacuum cleaner models evaluated by an independent testing laboratory are tested for removing soil adequately, containing the dust in the machine and in the filter bag, and carpet appearance retention. Those that achieve the carpet industry's standard are identified by the CRI as "green label."

Approved vacuum cleaners and additional information about vacuuming are listed on CRI's web site at www.carpet-rug.com.