How to Fix a Matted Carpet and Fluff It Up

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What Causes Matted Carpet and how to fluff it up

Often you will see matted carpets in homes with older carpets and businesses that have more foot traffic. Carpet matting occurs when carpet strands, tuffs, and fibers fold over each other creating a flat appearance on the surface of the carpet especially due to heavy foot traffic. The matted carpet not only makes unsightly floors but also ruins the appearance of the entire look of your room. It can also harbor extra debris, dirt, and debris. But can you fix a matted carpet?

Raking, hot water Ironing, regular vacuuming, coupled with the use of vinegar and baking soda to clean, can fix the matted carpet. However, it solely depends on the type of carpet, those made of resilient fibers can easily recover while others need to be replaced when matting occurs.

What Causes Matted Carpet?

Could be you have a matted carpet and wondering what could have caused it. Here are the causes of matted carpets in your house;

What Causes Matted Carpet? can i fluff it up?

1. Dirt elements

As grime, dirt, mud, and dust make their way into your carpet every day, they will start to wear down carpet fibers and strands. With time, the accumulation of those dirt elements will start to flatten your carpet thus ruining its beautiful appearance.

2. Lack of cleaning and maintenance

Lack of regular cleaning and maintenance is one of the leading causes of carpet matting. You will realize that carpet matting is a very common occurrence among homeworkers who prefers DIY cleaning rather than utilizing carpeting cleaning experts.

3. Heavy furniture

Carpet matting may also be a result of heavy furniture sitting on the carpet for too long. The heavier the weight, the harder the wear. If you check matted carpets, you will notice only small dents appearing beneath furniture with legs and serious matting on heavy legless furniture.

4. Heavy foot traffic

If the carpeted area is subjected to a lot of foot traffic, your carpet is likely to develop matting. Much like roads that wear down over time when vehicles are driven over them, carpets also become flattened when they are exposed to loads of foot traffic.

How to Fix a Matted Carpet

The method you are going to use to fix your carpet depends on the type of carpet you’ve installed in your house and the extent of matting.

How to Fix a Matted Carpet and fluff it up?

Here are a few methods to fix matted carpet you may consider:

1. Vacuum the matted carpet

Regular- thorough vacuuming is one of the best and effective ways to fix a matted carpet. Vacuum cleaning removes loose dirt elements such as dust and debris. It will also lift and fluff up carpet fibers, allowing you to notice parts of your carpet that need serious intervention.  

To vacuum your carpet thoroughly, you need to do it in rows, wall to wall, and in one direction. This will fluff up matted carpet, removing the ground-in dirt in the process. Sprinkle baking soda on the surface of the carpet and leave it to stand for around 5 to 10 minutes. The baking soda will penetrate the carpet fibers, helping neutralize odor and remove ground-in dirt.

2. Use a carpet rake to fluff up the matted rug

A carpet rake is a tool that brings fur, hair, and dirt to the surface of the carpet for easier removal. The tool has fewer, stronger, and stiffer bristles compared to regular carpet brushes. When purchasing your carpet rakes, always keep in mind that some carpet rakes are designed to do more than just fluff-up carpet fibers.

Brush the matted carpet fibers using carpet rakes until the fibers fluff up. The tool will loosen up embedded dirt, agitate heavily soiled high-traffic and keep a flattened carpet looking new and fresh.

Rubber Broom Carpet Rake Pet Hair Remover is one of the best carpet rakes for fixing a matted carpet. This carpet rake has a squeegee edge for fabric spills on floors. The rubber bristles easily wash off dust and hair from the carpet.

 3. The moisture method

You can also fix a matted carpet using a spritz of water and ice cubes. I recommend this method for fixing small matted areas especially the ones caused by furniture legs.

To get started, apply a spritz of water or ice cubes directly to the flattened spots. Leave the cubes to sit over the matted carpet fibers for some time until they melt. For larger areas, sprinkle spritz lukewarm water onto the carpet fibers and brush the fibers afterward.

Once the fibers are thoroughly soaked, brush them using your fingers, the edge of a spoon bowl, or a nylon brush. Leave the carpet in the sun to dry and the matting appearance will disappear.

4. Use of vinegar and baking soda

A combination of vinegar and baking soda can also help you revive a carpet that has been matted. It can disinfect and get rid of stubborn dirt from the carpet.

  • Sprinkling some baking soda on the matted carpet and use a carpet brush to rub the surface moderately. Make sure to rub the carpet in all directions.
  • Leave the baking soda to sit on the fibers for 12 hours and vacuum it afterward. Spray a mixture of water and vinegar on the vacuumed carpet.
  • Use a stiff carpet brush again to fluff up the fibers and leave the carpet to dry.

Note: Make sure you apply each of these home remedies separately one after another to avoid messy clean-up. Besides, baking soda and vinegar kill mold on your carpets and area rugs.

5. Use hot water iron

You can fix a matted carpet using a hot iron and a damp towel.

Here is a how-to-use hot water iron to get rid of matted carpet.

  • Turn on a hot water iron and leave it to heat up.
  • Place a damp towel over a matted carpet and run a hot iron over the towel. The damp towel will suck the in-ground dirt and straighten out the flattened carpet fibers.

Note: For larger areas, you can use steam cleaning. Steam cleaning treatments work on a matted carpet, removing in-ground dirt and straightening the fibers in the process. Take precautions especially on ironing the Glued-down Carpet to Concrete.

How to prevent and stop carpets from matting

Carpet matting can ruin the appearance of your floor and room. Taking preventive measures can save you the pain of fixing or even getting rid of unfixable matted carpet and buying a new one. The following are preventive measures you can take:

1. Move heavy furniture regularly

Slightly adjust or move heavy furniture regularly to prevent the carpet from forming flat spots. You can move your furniture a few inches periodically or rearrange your furniture to prevent the carpet from matting. Make sure you lift your furniture entirely off the carpet instead of dragging them.

2. Use protective liners

You can use protective barriers such as rugs, mats, and runners to prevent heavy traffic from matting your carpet. You will need to clean the protective barriers daily instead of cleaning the carpet itself.

If you are unable to keep up with the traffic in such areas, you can choose to install other types of flooring such as tile or laminate.

3. Regular vacuuming

Regular vacuuming can also prevent your carpet from matting. The vacuum cleaners not only suck up dust and dirt but also fluff up individual carpet fibers. In high-traffic areas, I recommend you vacuum every inch of your carpet at least once a week. Regular vacuuming may also help keep the area rug from bunching up on the carpet.

4. Steam cleaning

Besides vacuuming, steam can also prevent your carpet from matting. Steam will clean the stubborn dirt and also help revitalize its fibers. After steaming, put your carpet in the sun and allow it to dry fully. Besides steam cleaning your wool rugs, you can use a stiff brush to pull up the individual fibers.

Read More: Best Steam Cleaners for Carpets

What types of carpets are prone to flattening?

When selecting your area rugs/ carpets it’s good to pay attention to its fiber materials. Here are some carpets that are more prone to flattening.

1. Polyester carpet

Polyester carpets are made from recycled plastic bottles. They are prone to flattening when more weight is inserted over them, making them a bad choice for high-traffic areas.

2. Olefin carpet

Olefin carpets are a popular choice for basements and other commercial properties. These kinds of carpets are not spared either from flattening. In fact, matted olefin carpet cannot be fixed through any of the options I recommended above. Matting on this kind of carpet is a tale-tell sign that your carpet needs replacement.

3. Nylon carpets

Nylon carpets are designed from durable synthetic fibers and are a good choice for high-traffic areas. The nylon carpets are also prone to flattening. You can easily store matted nylon carpets through steam cleaning.

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Joe McGuinty
I’ve been working with floors for over 12 years. I started as a flooring contractor, primarily in materials selection. Then, I switched careers into accounting, so my wife and I began buying, renovating, and re-selling homes on the side. You’d be surprised how much value you can add to a home simply by adding new floors.

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