how to revive matted carpet

How To Revive Matted Carpet?

I’d love my carpets to stay soft and bouncy for years after I fit them – but that’s not always the case! Over time, even deep pile carpets have become trodden down, flattened, and even matted. It’s not a great look, but once I learned how to revive matted carpet with specialist raking tools and moisture, I was relieved I’d still be able to get a few more years out of them at least.


What Causes a Matted Carpet?

Matted or flattened carpet typically occurs when dust and dirt accumulate in the pile. Then when we walk across it time and time again, our feet press the grime down and compact it, with the carpet fibers trapped inside. Much of the time (and in my experience), it’s a perfect storm of high foot traffic and inadequate cleaning.

Are You Vacuuming Enough?

Carpets need regular vacuuming to lift out dirt and restore the pile. Even when it’s not visibility dirty, dust and microscopic dirt will be settling on it all the time. Carpets in rooms with regular footfall need vacuuming at least twice each week.

Vacuuming in slow, overlapping lines will help to prevent hidden debris from building up. That’s less dirt to compact over time and less chance of matting. It also means fewer allergens, and trust me (as someone with a highly sensitive nose), slow vacuuming really does the trick managing odors too.

And What About Cleaning?

Poor carpet cleaning standards are just as likely to cause matting and early wear as insufficient vacuuming. Different types of visible dirt need different types of treatment, but acting fast to spot clean footprints, spills and stains is always necessary. Unsurprisingly, carpet manufacturers, fitters, and cleaning specialists also recommend fully washing your carpet on a regular schedule. Ideally every year. Equally unsurprisingly, a lot of people admit to doing it less often, or never at all.

At the end of the day, if you smoke, have pets, or wear outdoor shoes around your house, and you don’t wash your carpets regularly, they will get matted faster.

Help! My Carpet’s Matted – What Now?

If your carpet has matted areas that are beyond the powers of vacuuming and washing alone, here are the steps to take to reviving it.

How To Revive Matted Carpet With A Rake

A rake?! Don’t head to the shed too hastily – there are specialist carpet hand rakes for this job!

Wielding your hand rake, gently pull it down through your carpet towards you, working from edge to edge. This will lift and separate mats from underneath, and dislodge all kinds of fluff hair, and debris. Raking your carpet regularly – not just when mats occur – can also improve airflow around the fibers. Airflow prevents moisture getting trapped, which can increase unpleasant odors

If raking up your carpet isn’t producing enough results, or your carpet has a loop pile which can’t be raked, or you’re worried about damaging an old or fragile carpet, fear not. There are still a couple more options on the table.

How To Revive A Matted Carpet With Steam

As odd as it may seem, adding a little moisture with a clothes iron to matted carpets can help to revive fibers. I’ve tried this technique myself – and it’s as simple as ironing a lightly damp cloth over the matted area you want to treat. Whenever my lounge carpet starts flattening down, I grab a towel, soak it a little, and wring it out, laying it over the pile.

Steam iron the towel on a low setting and resist the urge to go too hot. You want the steam to gently permeate the fibers and gradually plump them back up. Trying to make it work too quickly can burn your carpet, or leave it waterlogged. Once you’ve ironed over one patch, move the towel along and steam down another. If the towel dries out, rinse and wring it again.

When the carpet is dry, grab your carpet rake to remove any debris still clinging to the fibers. You can try this with your fingers, too – but if it’s a large patch, save yourself some time with a rake.

For extra odor-busting and antibacterial action, some people swear by soaking your towel in a 50:50 solution of water and white vinegar. But check that your carpet is made out of materials which can withstand that first, and do a test patch somewhere hidden.

Can All Matted Carpets Be Revived?

That depends entirely on how deep the matting in your carpet is, and the length of the pile. As you can imagine, a deeper, fluffier piled carpet will tread down and mat more stubbornly than a short pile carpet.

Carpets with tougher, shorter fibers are more likely to bounce back after everyday use, but still need care and attention. Regardless of the type of carpet thread you work with, if it’s been years since the matting started, and none of the DIY fixes in this article have worked, you’ll need to call in expert cleaners.

If your carpet starts to lose its bounce in specific areas after a couple of months since fitting, consider giving these spots a little extra care. It’s also worth moving furniture around occasionally if you can. For example, my lounge is thankfully fairly wide – meaning I can easily move my sofa and units around perhaps once or twice a year. This may seem annoying, but it’s been really effective at preventing obvious walkways through the room appearing in the carpet.

How To Revive Matted Carpet

All carpets matt down and flatten – especially if you have a busy home. Don’t feel guilty about a new carpet gradually starting to show signs of wear and tear. Your home is there to be lived in, not just looked at! If areas of really pronounced matting start to appear, grab a carpet rake, add a little moisture, and remember to vacuum nice and slow at least twice a week. You’ll soon see results that keep your soft pile springier for longer.

Have You Got A Matted Carpet You Want To Revive?

Let us know how you get on using the comments box down below!

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