Carpet Traffic Area Cleaning
Sometimes, your carpet might not need a full cleaning. You might just need the traffic areas or walkways cleaned. This might be because you recently had the carpet cleaned and just need a touch up or it might be because the carpet is in a room that sees little traffic. In these cases, it is perfectly acceptable to just ask your carpet cleaner to clean the pathways or the traffic areas. If, however, it has been some time since your last carpet cleaning, I do not recommend this approach.
The main reason that I do not recommend this approach for most people is that a carpet soils gradually over time. People are often surprised after we clean a carpet that it is several shades lighter. This is because they did not realize how much the carpet changed as it became full of soil. If these people were to have just had the traffic lanes cleaned, they would have been left with pathways in their home that were noticeable lighter.
Another reason to have the entire carpet cleaned is that it is not much more money. You might only save a few dollars per room by having just the traffic areas cleaned. This is great for now but it means that you will probably have to get the carpet cleaned again soon to get the rest of it.
Still not sure whether you want to clean the entire carpet or just the traffic areas? Fair enough, here is a little test. Take some spotter and clean an area of the carpet that you did not want to clean. Let it dry and see if it is lighter than the surrounding carpet. If it is, clean the entire carpet.