A carpet is just a part of your flooring and just like linoleum they should be kept clean. Regularly used, vacuum cleaners are a great way to keep dirt and allergens out of any floor covering. Dust busters can also be used to pick up crumbs from snacks small bits of paper that are left over from something like a craft project too; ideal for when there are small hands around the place.
Spots can be made by all sorts of things like juice, wine, pet droppings or other liquids. The sooner these are cleaned the better. For small spots be sure to dab them with a white towel or paper towel. If it is stiff like peanut butter or pudding carefully scape off the substance before blotting.
In most cases, you do not need to use any cleaner; water will do. For tougher stains you may want to get the cloth wet and let it sit on top of the stain to craw it out. For troublesome blots, powders and sprays that work with vacuums are readily available.
Make sure that the vacuum bag or cylinder are cleaned and emptied often. This will help you maximize your cleaning. When cleaning non bagged vacuums, rinse out the filter and let it dry. If you want your floor to stay clean daily invest in a small robotic vacuum. This will clean the floor for you and can get under couches and chairs so you do not have to move them.
You can rent a cleaning machine from a hardware store. Some drug or grocery stores also have them for rent. This is great for whole house or apartment cleaning. If you are selling your home it is nice to have potential buyer see the carpet clean and have the sense of freshness.
Steam vacuums can help lift dirt off of your carpet and help with the areas that you have cleaned spots from. You can use just water or add some type of cleaning agent to help get a deeper clean. Read the instructions for cleaner carefully. If you have children or pets be sure it is safe to use around them.
If you have pets you can help remove hair and insects from your carpet, and the smells that come with them, by vacuuming at least once a week. In the main, these smells are removable, though sometimes the only way forward is to look for something new. Correctly looked after, there is no reason why it cannot last for many years to come.