How to Fix Matted Carpet?

  • What is a matted carpet? We come across this issue when the tufts and strands of carpet fold over each other and make it appear flat. 
  • If you notice that some carpet spots are matting, they were probably located in high traffic areas and got worn off. If it’s not one matted area but a large area where carpet fluff went dull, it is probably old. While a brand new carpet is all about fluff, the older one will often be characterized by matted fibers. 
  • How to restore the carpet and revive matted parts? In most cases, there are various options to fix the matter carpet. Yet, polyester carpet is a type of fiber that is unable to rebound from it.

It’s natural for a carpet to mat with time. Unfortunately, though, it doesn’t gain in quality as wine does. 

We generally prefer to keep our carpets fresh and make them have an appearance of brand new. There are several possibilities to revive carpet fibers. Check out recent posts and post navigation to learn other House Rituals and tips.

Carpet fibers―construction

You’ll likely be interested in a tufted carpet, which is what 90% of residential carpet is manufactured of.

Important: A tufting machine works like an oversized sewing machine. Instead of one or two, it has hundreds of needles. They insert loops of fiber (tufts or stitches) into the carpet’s backing. This process forms the face pile of the carpet.

Here are two main factors that describe its construction, and at the same time, influence its quality the most:

  • density (of the tufts),
  • twist (of the fibers);

In turn, the carpet’s quality will affect its:

  • durability 
  • appearance

Let’s break these two components to find the best solution against the matted carpet fibers.

Density

Density describes:

  • the amount of the carpet fibers, and 
  • how tightly packed together, the fibers are; 

The closer together the carpet fibers are placed, the denser the carpet will be. This furniture piece’s efficiency is easy to predict. The denser, the better it will wear and perform.

Tip: How to check the carpet’s density? Try to reach its backing by pressing your fingers on the carpet fibers. The more difficult it is to reach the backing, the denser the carpet. Another way is to bend the carpet into a U-shape (with outward facing tufts) and observe how much the carpet backing is visible. The less backing that shows, the denser the carpet.

Twist

Twist describes how tightly the carpet fiber (yarn) has been twisted. 

Again, the solution is simple:

The tighter the yarn is twisted, the better the carpet will stand up to crushing and matting.

Important: Be especially aware of the significance of the quality of the twist (how tight it is) in cut pile carpet. In this case, the tips are exposed and can quickly become untwisted. 

Matted carpet―Is there a solution?

One of the saddest moments that your interiors can come across is when your precious carpet starts matting. You want the fluff and fun, yet, every piece of furnishing has its laws. We have to acknowledge them, understand the solutions, and act accordingly to bring our carpet back to life.

It happens for a couple of reasons:

Dirt, dust, and mud;

It won’t come as a surprise that unwanted particles that we bring home change the carpet’s look. Dirt makes the fibers stick together and create a bit messy display. The best solution is cleaning and getting free of the debris as soon as we notice it. 

Time;

As far as the concept of “time” itself is pretty abstract, old carpets mat and new ones are still vivid and fluffy. We can find many reasons (like several factors mentioned above), yet, truth be told, it boils down mainly to the carpet’s age.  

High-traffic; 

We mean the frequency with which you, your family and guests, rub and wipe your feet on the ground in the room. Destroying the carpet is no one’s intention because the floor is made for walking, yet carpets don’t negotiate. The rules are simple. The more guests you invite in the living room, the more likely it is to have matted areas.   

Flattened carpets―free restore process

All of the factors above interweave. 

Time passes; dirt, mud, and other debris slowly get stuck in the carpet. Before you notice, your fav carpet is matted and looks all worn up. 

Poor thing. What should we do to restore a matted carpet? Or should we just let the greybeard stale in peace? After our dead bodies! We’re here to share a couple of exclusive ideas on how to prevent your matted carpet from getting worse and get the fluff fibers back out there!

Matted carpet―Methods to fix it

So we want our carpet fibers fresh and new. 

How to re-fluff matted carpet?

Will carpet cleaning fix matted carpet?

A flat look of the surface of the carpet is what we want to get rid of.

If carpet cleaning is going to restore its fluffy features depends on the type of carpet you have. 

Some types of carpet fibers are highly resilient and able to rebound from matting and heavy traffic.

Other types won’t react to carpet cleaning in that matter; for example, polyester (and also olefin carpet).

Yet, polyester carpets are stain-resistant and low-cost. They are best-suited for bedrooms and low-traffic areas. 

On the other hand, nylon carpets can be restored with steam cleaning. t’s the most durable synthetic fiber and an excellent choice for high-traffic areas (like stairs, entryways, hallways, and living rooms)

Don’t forget to schedule an annual carpet cleaning for a beautiful, long-lasting carpet.

Ways to revive matted furniture carpets

The best method is to fluff up the matted fibers with moisture, an iron, or a baking soda solution.

Vacuum

First off, be sure to vacuum the carpet thoroughly. 

Removing loosen debris (pet dander, dust, etc.) with good old vacuuming is a priority. 

Cleaning with vacuuming also fluffs the carpet up a little bit in some less troubled parts. It will help you initially revive the flattened areas.

Ice cube and a stiff brush

For treating small areas of matted fibers, the method of cube melts will do wonders. 

Choose ice cubes especially to straighten those terrible divots that your furniture creates after sitting in one spot for too long. 

To remove dents after a piece of furniture (and not only), grab an ice cube from the freezer and place it on the indentation. 

Leave the ice cube to melt; use a blow dryer to fasten the experience.

When the cube is melted, and the dents are damp, grab the stiff brush and comb the fibers upward and back in place on the wet surface. 

You’ll notice fluff getting back to its pretty previous form as you brush it. 

Damp cloth and iron

For dealing with larger areas prone to high foot traffic, get a clean white cloth and the iron.

You want to turn your cloth onto a damp cloth (not soaking wet!). An iron will work as usual.

Turn on the heat on the iron (not too hot!), and place it on the damp cloth for a few seconds. Be sure not to exaggerate with the heat. 

Using optimal heat is the key. Otherwise, iron can do more harm than good (never forget to put the cloth in between!). 

This process should bring trampled fibers back to life.

Baking soda and vinegar

There is nothing like homemade recipes!

A simple remedy for bringing tired fibers back to life is using baking soda and vinegar. 

Baking soda also provides an excellent spot cleaning. Don’t be surprised if they not only straighten fibers but also make them all clean and tidy. 

Spring baking soda in the carpet spot that you wish to revive. Work the powder in with a stiff brush (watch out not to rub too hard). Saturate the fibers brush them in multiple directions. Let the baking soda sit overnight. Vacuum it up the next day.

In the second part of the process, mix equal parts of water and vinegar. Take a spray bottle and spray it on the carpet fibers. Use the stiff brush again to raise the pile and let the area dry.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Never do it. If you let the bare iron touch the carpet, it will probably leave burn marks behind.
Frieze carpet has the highest twist level at about 7-9 twists per inch (TPI). Most cut pile carpet styles have between 3-6 twists per inch. The tighter the twist the more likely the carpet is to stand up to crushing and matting.
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