Is your carpet flat and lifeless? Here are some simple methods for making a carpet look fluffy again (without damaging the fibres!)
All carpets flatten as they age. High traffic areas, furniture, or lack of cleaning can speed up the process, but it’s normal for carpets to lose their springiness.
Fortunately, it’s often easy to make your carpet look fluffy again. Even if your carpet never returns to its original glory, the methods below can help it look fluffy for longer.
Before We Get to the Tips…
There are many methods for fluffing up your carpet, but nothing beats regular cleaning with a powerful vacuum that has a strong rotating brush roll.
Carpets start to look dull when they’re dirty, but a vacuum can remove the majority of dust, dirt, and other debris that causes your carpet to age.
We recommend vacuuming carpets at least twice per week. The less time dirt is sitting on your carpet, the less chance it has to be trodden deeper into fibres. You may need to vacuum more frequently if you have pets or children.
Method 1: Use a Hairdryer to Add Volume to Carpet Dents
It’s common for small areas of a carpet to become flatter than others. This might happen due to heavy furniture leaving dents or high traffic areas.
An easy way to fluff up these sections is with a hair dryer. Spritz a small amount of water to dampen the fibres, then use a hairdryer to dry them while separating the fibres with your fingers.
Make sure you hold the hairdryer a few inches away from the carpet fibres. Keep the hot hair moving too, as you don’t want to overheat one section.
Tip: Make sure the carpet is fully dry before you walk or place furniture on it. Never vacuum a carpet when it’s damp, as this can be dangerous.
Method 2: Rake Your Carpet
Carpet rakes have become popular in recent years. They can’t clean stains from your carpet, but they can pick up hair and pull up carpet fibres. Raking can also loosen dirt that your vacuum cleaner might not otherwise have been able to pick up.
Here’s how to use a carpet rake for best results:
- Start by checking your carpet fibres. We only recommend using a rake on cut-pile or shag carpets.
- Give your carpet a thorough vacuum. If possible, use a vacuum with a rotating brush bar to pull up more hair and dirt.
- Gently use the rake on your carpet by pulling in one direction, but be careful not to press too hard to push the rake too deep into the fibres. The rake should glide smoothly – if it’s not, then you’re pressing too hard.
- Now use the rake in both directions, moving forward and backwards. This step helps to fluff up the carpet fibres.
- Give your carpet another thorough vacuum to remove any dirt, hair, and dust that’s been agitated during raking.
- Finish by raking in a single direction (pulling towards you) to give your carpet that “new” appearance.
Important: Don’t use a carpet rake on a woven or Berber carpet. The rake may pull out or damage the fibres.
Method 3: Clean Dirty Patches of Carpet With White Vinegar
White vinegar is a useful tool for cleaning carpets, as it’s cheap and easily available.
Dirty patches of carpet often look flat, as the debris weighs on fibres and prevents them from standing upright. A quick clean can refresh the carpet and help it to look fluffier again.
- Start by vacuuming the area to remove loose debris.
- Make a solution by combining one part white vinegar with three parts of water.
- Use a spray bottle to apply the vinegar solution until it’s damp (but not saturated.)
- Leave the solution on the carpet for around five minutes.
- Use a white microfibre cloth to blot up the solution (remember to blot, not rub!)
- Allow the carpet to fully air dry (this can take a while), then vacuum again to lift up the carpet fibres.
Important: Always test any cleaning product – including white vinegar – on a small patch of hidden carpet before using it on a visible area. Wait at least 24 hours to check that there is no damage. While white vinegar is often safe for carpets, you don’t want to risk causing a permanent stain.
Method 4: Use Ice to Remove Carpet Dents
Another method to remove carpet dents caused by furniture is to use melting ice.
Start by vacuuming the affected area to remove any loose debris. Then place an ice cube on each of the dents.
Allow the ice to melt, then blot up the water with a gentle white cloth. You don’t want to cause stains due to colour transfer!
Once the water has been blotted up, use your fingers to gently rub the fibres back to their previous fluffy position. You can also use a carpet rake or a fork for this (but be gentle.)
Tip: This method is only useful for small dents. For larger dents patches of flattened carpet, we recommend using the hairdryer method mentioned above.
Method 5: Rent a Carpet Cleaner (Or Pay a Professional)
The best way to revive an old carpet is by using a professional-standard carpet cleaner.
It’s more hassle than the previous tips, but deep cleaning your carpet once a year goes a long way to keeping it look fluffy. This is because any soil or other debris that’s caught deep in carpet fibres will weigh them down.
If you’re happy to clean the carpets yourself, then you can hire a carpet cleaning machine from your local DIY shop. You may also want to consider hiring a professional to deep clean your carpets, as this is the more convenient option.
Other Tips for Keeping a Carpet Fluffy and New
- Snip away any snags with scissors rather than pulling them out. When you pull out snags, there’s a risk of causing a carpet run. Make sure you use sharp scissors for a clean cut.
- Don’t use baking soda on your carpet. Baking soda particles can clog your vacuum, are difficult to remove, and act in a similar way to sandpaper when caught in carpet fibres.
- Always remove your shoes when inside and ask visitors to do the same. This prevents a lot of dirt from entering the home and also protects fibres from heavy soles.
- Place furniture coasters under heavy items of furniture to spread the weight over a larger area.
Don’t panic if your carpet has become flattened. You can often restore at least some of the fluffiness using the methods above.
Do you have any questions about how to make a carpet fluffy again? Please let us know in the comments below.