If your carpet is starting to look a bit rough and worn, you're not alone. There are plenty of people trying to stretch just a few more months out of a matted carpet, desperately vacuuming every single day to breathe a little more life into the poor thing. Carpet, on average, only lasts about 10 years - but it's expensive to replace. So what can you do in the meantime? Here's an expertly tested solution you may not be aware of.
Use a carpet rake to fluff and clean your carpet. Choose bristle material depending on the carpet type and necessary cleaning: metal bristles can be rough on some carpets, but nylon or rubber bristles are ideal for sensitive, shag or looped carpets. If dirt is your biggest obstacle, metal or nylon tines may be the best choice. For pet hair, rubber or silicone tends to be most effective. Select a rake with a long enough handle, proportional to your height, to work comfortably.
Some top choices are:
- Grandi Groom AB24 Carpet Rake
- Roberts Carpet Rake
- Carlisle Commercial Rake
- Quality Line Universal Carpet Rake
- LandHope Carpet Rake
Read on to learn more about each kind of carpet rake and which one is best for you. This article also covers how to use a carpet rake (and how often!) and alternate methods for keeping your floors fresh and clean.
What Is A Carpet Rake?
A carpet rake is similar to an outdoor yard rake, but instead of just one row of tines, it has a series of tines or bristles that look more like a broom head. The rake is "swept" along the carpet. This separates the pile, to lift and breaks up dirt and debris. Some are designed specifically for pet hair removal, while others are for loosening ground in dirt from the carpet (where it can be vacuumed away).
Some bristle types are also better for longer, thicker, or shaggier carpets (nylon bristles are your best bet if you think your carpet will be easily damaged). Continue reading for five of the best options available to find one that will meet your carpet's specific needs.
1. Grandi Groom AB24 Carpet Rake
Many carpet manufacturers and installers recommend that this is your best bet for keeping your carpet looking like new. It can lift the carpet pile, restoring the original bounce and reducing matting. It removes deeply trapped dirt and pet fur, and the nylon bristles are flexible and durable.
2. Roberts Carpet Rake
It's lightweight, and the handle breaks down for easy storage. The tines will dig out and remove dirt and loosen debris. However, this rake is not meant for soft carpets - it will most likely damage shag or looped carpets. For nylon, which requires something a bit stiffer to clean, this is perfect.
3. Carlisle Commercial Rake
As a commercial rake, this one offers the quality you would expect. It's not the lowest cost option, but it's well made and lasts. It restores carpets and removes dirt and pet hair effectively. This is an excellent choice for something durable and deep-cleaning with nylon tines but gentle enough for all carpet types.
4. Quality Line Universal Carpet Rake
For added versatility, this comes with a reusable microfiber pad for hard surface cleaning. Metal tines make it great for tough messes, but it may be too harsh for gentler carpets.
5. LandHope Carpet Rake
The extra-wide rake head (51 inches!) means that even large carpets get clean in no time. The long tines dig deep to remove dirt and fur, but they work best for a short carpet. The flexible bristles may still bog down in a shaggy carpet. With a built-in squeegee, this will also work to clean patio floors, windows, tile, other hard surfaces, and more.
What Can You Use Instead Of A Carpet Rake?
If you aren't entirely sure a carpet rake is right for you, a very similar concept is a carpet broom. It performs the same sort of tasks as a rake. However, the head is generally made from rubber or silicone and not always as stiff as a carpet rake. They tend to be better for removing pet hair if that's your main objective.
Carpet brooms also are useful in more than one way, usually. For example, many of them also double as a squeegee for showers or on windows. Carpet rakes, on the other hand, are a one-trick horse. While they can do a fine job cleaning the carpet, that is, literally, all they do.
With a telescopic handle that extends as much as 60 inches, this one suits users of any height. The rubber bristles attract pet hair, and it is easy to clean in between uses. It also comes with a small handheld brush for removing hair from furniture or clothing.
CLEBROOM Soft Rubber Push Broom
Static works to gather the hair into the broom, rather than just sending it flying airborne around the room. That can be a pro or a con (some people don't like cleaning the hair out of the broom, others appreciate the contained mess). The light frame is also easy to store.
Yocada Rubber Broom
Made with a sturdy block-shaped head and durable but flexible bristles, this one can clean both big and small spaces. It will pull out pet hair just as well as it sweeps small bits of dust and sand. The bristles are not very thin, though, so you'll want to stick to low-pile carpets. Otherwise, they might break easily in a thick, heavy carpet like shag.
MR. SIGA Soft Bristle Broom
This broom has a smaller head (only 12 inches), which means this isn't the ideal choice for someone with a lot of carpeting to cover. However, if you just need something for small flooring patches, this one will be easier to steer into corners and tight spaces. It also works like a squeegee, and the small shape makes it more manageable for contained spaces like the shower. No scratch rubber makes it safe for use, everywhere and anywhere.
TDBS Pet Hair Rubber Broom
DIY Carpet Rake
If your only goal is to remove pet hair from your carpet, there is a way to make your own tool for this. You could find a pet grooming brush (or shedding blade) with a detachable handle. Then, you'll simply need to switch out the small, handheld version with a broom handle. If you do decide to try this, please be sure to test it first on a small, unnoticeable patch of carpet. There's just no telling how safe your version is for carpeting until you try - potentially, it can damage and pull out carpet fibers.
How Do You Rake A Carpet?
To rake the carpet, you'll extend the head of the rake a few feet ahead of you and drag it across the carpet toward your feet. It's very similar to the motion of sweeping with a broom. This video demonstrates the method with the Grandi Groom:
Another method is the push-pull method. As the name implies, you work the rake in both directions, going back and forth to loosen the hair. You can see this cleaning method here:
How Often Should You Use A Carpet Rake?
It's hard to put an exact number on how often your carpet should be raked. Once you try it and see how it looks, you'll be able to identify when it needs to be done again. With that said, most people rake their carpet somewhere between two and ten times a year. The actual frequency varies and depends on how much traffic the carpet experiences, how many pets are in the home, how dirty the carpet gets, how frequently it is vacuumed, and other similar factors.
If your carpet is looking a bit grim, but you aren't ready to shell out major cash to replace it, investing in a carpet rake may be your best hope. It lifts and pulls out dirt and pet hair from deep down in the carpeting. It also un-mats and lifts the pile, erasing the signs of high traffic and rough, worn spots on carpets. A similar tool is a carpet broom, which acts similarly. In general, a carpet rake is effective for lifting old, tired carpeting and pulling out ground-in dirt. A carpet broom is effective for pet hair (though both tools can perform any of these tasks efficiently, depending on the carpet).