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How Do You Make Carpet Or A Rug Fluffy Again?

A beautiful carpet or rug is an essential piece of tying a room together, but these beautiful pieces quickly lose their appeal with frequent foot traffic. What was once a soft, fluffy fabric is now a matted, dull mess! Unfortunately, new carpets and rugs can be super expensive, so replacing them is usually the very last step we are willing to take. Fortunately, we've researched various methods to re-fluff your old carpet or rug. 

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Using just a few techniques, you can easily bring a beloved piece of carpeting or an area rug back to life. Follow these tips to re-fluff old carpet: 

  • Vacuum
  • Brush using a carpet brush or rake
  • Iron out dents with a steam cleaner or iron
  • Spot clean as needed
  • Hire a professional 

Flattened carpeting is something that every homeowner will eventually experience and is not the sign of an unkempt home. But as you’ll see, returning a carpet to its original state is super fast and easy!

A woman using a vacuum cleaner while cleaning carpet in the house, How Do You Make Carpet Or A Rug Fluffy Again?

Why Does Carpet Get Matted?

There are tons of things that can cause your carpet to look matted, but the most common is simple: foot traffic. Whether we track things from outside on the carpets or just rubbing the fibers together while we walk, the fibers face signs of wear and tear. This process speeds up immensely if your house has small children or pets.

Even when cleaned up, small spills can leave a bit of stickiness behind that binds the fibers even more. Using simple techniques can revive your old carpet or rug. 

How Do You Refresh Carpet or Rug?

Vacuum First

Before any other step, you will need to vacuum the area. Remove all furniture from the carpet, and make sure to take your time with this step. This will help remove any loose debris such as pet dander and crumbs and also bring a little bit of fluffiness back to the less worn down parts of the surface. This step will also reveal problem areas that are going to need some extra attention. 

Brush It Out

Adult man raking carpet after cleaning

If you’re looking to fix some of those problem areas, you will need to invest in some tools to take care of your rug or carpet. You can use a carpet brush or rake to comb through the fabric and loosen up any other debris stuck in the fibers, then hit it with the vacuum once again.

Keep combing through the fibers until any matted sections are taken care of. This might take multiple rounds to detangle some of the most matted areas but will leave your carpet close to new.

Click here to see a carpet rake and brush set on Amazon.

Now that any matted sections and tangles have been tackled, it’s time to focus on any sunken spots or dents. Check any spots that furniture legs may be resting on for these pesky indentations, and simply place an ice cube on it. After the ice cube has melted entirely, use the brush to massage those fibers back to their intended location. If you’re in a hurry, you could also pour a small amount of water on that area before brushing. But be careful; too much water can soak through and damage the floor underneath.

You can also mix equal parts water and vinegar to create a carpet fluffer with an added odor eliminator. This method is really helpful for homes with indoor pets or children. As with the ice cube and water only method, make sure to only dampen and not soak the carpet. 

Iron It Out

Close up of steam cleaner cleaning carpet

If steaming or moisture doesn’t quite lift it the way you like, you can try adding a little heat. If you own a steamer, simply run the steam over those dented areas and run the brush through it just like the ice cube method above. Using a steamer makes sure you don’t get the carpet too wet while the warm air expands the fibers back upward. 

Click here to see a steam cleaner on Amazon.

Another strategy is to use an iron. Cover the affected area in a warm cloth and gently iron over the cloth for several seconds. Make sure to keep the iron moving and never touch it to your carpet directly, as even just a few seconds can burn your carpet. This trick will only work if the towel is wet. Attempting with a dry towel will leave you struggling with little to show for all your effort.

Spot clean

While freshening up your carpet, you might notice some hidden stains. If there is any residue left in these stains, it could impede the fluffing process. Mix up a white vinegar and hot water solution to tackle any stains without damaging the surface.

You might also choose to purchase a rug, or carpet cleaner specifically made to clean your rug's texture. Just make sure to check the manufacturer’s cleaning recommendations as not to damage it beyond repair. 

Hire A Professional

If you’ve tried everything and your stubborn carpet still looks a bit rough, it might be time to hire a professional. Professional carpet and rug cleaners have access to tools that your average person usually does not. A deep carpet shampooing might break through that deep-rooted grime that a DIY job just can’t. Sometimes, these services are pricey, so it’s always best to refresh at home before seeking further assistance. 

Check out "5 Best Carpet Rakes To Fluff Carpet" to get equipped for keeping your carpet refreshed!

How Long Should Carpet Last? 

Most carpets and rugs are made to last between five and fifteen years. Polyester fibers tend to show wear more quickly than some other materials, but even those will last a long time if taken care of. Maintaining and cleaning your carpets is a good way to lengthen the lifespan, but leaving an overused carpet in your home for too long can lead to increased allergies and other respiratory issues. Some signs that your carpet might be beyond salvaging and needs to be replaced are:

  • bad odor,
  • unliftable stains or burns,
  • degrading carpet padding,
  • water damage, shedding,
  • or even mold. 

Final Thoughts

A good carpet or rug pulls an entire house together. Trying to re-fluff a carpet is a time-consuming task that requires quite a bit of effort. Following these techniques at home will save you a lot of money and help you add pride back into your home.

For more carpet care techniques, check out: "How To Clean Carpet On Stairs [Even without a machine]."