how to clean a matted carpet

How to Clean Matted Carpet

Learning how to clean matted carpet made the world of difference to my bedroom. Matted carpets look old, and unclean! But, you don’t need to resort to replacing them altogether. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to revive your carpets, and make the cleaning process much easier. In this article, I’ll explain how to reverse the matting process, and the best ways to clean your carpet to get rid of any unwanted dirt, grime, and bacteria.


What Causes a Carpet to Mat?

A matted carpet may look flat and feel a little stiff. Unfortunately, the matting process just happens naturally over time. So, unless you’re really on top of your carpet care game, your carpets will experience matting at some point in their life span.

There are a few different reasons as to why your carpet may mat. The first is that your furniture has rested in the same position for an extended period of time. Other reasons could be that there has been high traffic in certain areas of the carpet, or mud from shoes and doggy paws has caused the fibres to become dense and compact.

Can Matted Carpets Get Dirty?

Matted carpets are tightly compacted, so you might wonder if dirt can even pervade the tiny gaps between the material’s fibers. But, unfortunately, carpets can get dirty whether they’re matted or brand new and fluffy.

Plus, existing dirt will become trapped in matted carpets. So, a once over with your vacuum is unlikely to remove dirt like it would from a new carpet. This is why it’s important to continue caring for and cleaning your carpets, no matter what state they’re in. But, to properly clean a matted carpet, you first need to unmat it.

how to clean matted carpet

How to Fix a Matted Carpet

As I’m sure you can imagine, a matted carpet traps in dirt and other debris, so the first thing you need to do in order to give your carpet a thorough clean is to undo the matting and restore the carpet to its once-former glory. Here are the steps you’ll need to take.

1. Vacuum the Carpet

One of the first things you can do to help refresh your carpet fibres is vacuum. Vacuuming will not only help smooth out your carpet, but it will also remove dirt and debris that the naked eye can’t see. Run your vacuum over the matted areas in different directions to help loosen the fibres and release any dirt, dust, and pet hair.

2. Rake the Carpet

The next step you can try is to rake your carpet with a carpet rake. If you have high-pile carpets, then a carpet rake will be more efficient, and if you have low-pile carpets, you should instead opt for a carpet brush.

Rake your carpet in different directions to decompress the fibres and release any accumulated dirt and dust. For the best results, you should rake and vacuum the carpet in intervals to help fluff up your carpet even further.

3. Use Ice Cubes and a Stiff Brush

If vacuuming and raking your carpet hasn’t done the job, it may be time to introduce some moisture to the scenario. Moisture can help the fibres detach from one another, so for this step, you will need to grab some ice cubes and allow them to melt on areas of the carpet that are matted.

For example, if there is carpet matting where your couch legs have been resting, then let the ice cube melt and use a hard brush on the flat fibres. If you don’t have a hard brush, then a coin, spoon, or fork will also work in the same way.

4. Use Baking Soda and Vinegar

Another useful fibre-resorting remedy is the combination of baking soda and vinegar. Now, I know it may seem criminal to put vinegar all over your carpet, but the solution actually acts as a fantastic spot cleaner. So, not only will you be re-fluffing your carpet, but you’ll also be cleaning it in the process.

For this step, sprinkle baking soda over the matted areas of the carpet and work it into the fibres with a stiff brush. Once you’ve fully saturated the carpet with the baking soda, let the baking soda sit overnight and vacuum it up in the morning.

After you’ve finished vacuuming, mix together vinegar and water in equal parts, and generously spray the mixture over the carpet. Finally, take your stiff brush and work the water-vinegar mixture into the carpet and allow it to dry.

5. Use an Iron on Your Carpet

The final step you can do to help demat your carpet will require an iron and a damp towel. If you have a steam cleaner to hand, then that will also work well, but an iron will do just the same.

Moisten a clean cloth (make sure the cloth isn’t soaking wet, however) and place it over the areas which have seen the most traffic. Set your iron to a hot, but not too hot setting, and iron over the wet cloth for a few seconds.

The combination of moisture and heat should bring your sad-looking carpet fibres back to life, just make sure you dampen the cloth if it goes dry and never allow your iron to touch the bare carpet.

How to Clean Matted Carpet

Once you’ve unmatted your carpet fibres, you can give your carpet a thorough clean. One of the best ways to clean your carpet is to hire a professional or do the work yourself with a carpet cleaning machine. But if you don’t have the budget for either of these processes, then you can try the following method:

  • Sprinkle baking soda over your carpet and vacuum thoroughly.
  • Add two drops of carpet shampoo with warm water and spray over the carpet.
  • Brush the carpet with a carpet brush.
  • Blot the area with dry towels.
  • Spray fresh water over the carpet.
  • Blot the area again with dry towels.

How to Clean Matted Carpet – Final Thoughts

Reversing the matting on your carpet may be a lengthy process, but it is the only way you’ll be able to thoroughly clean the carpet, removing any dirt, pet hair, or dust that has nestled itself away in the carpet fibres.

If all the steps we mentioned today don’t work out for you, then it may be time to hire a professional who can restore your carpet and give it the proper clean that it deserves.

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