Your carpets will undoubtedly lose their volume and texture overtime. Heavy furniture, constant foot-traffic, and spills will age your carpets quickly, and getting a professional could cost a lot of money. Scrubbing it with detergent and rough vaccuming in an attempt to quickly clean carpets can backfire, resulting in pressing down on the fibers of a good carpet and ruining its integrity. Here are a few tips you can use to revitalize your carpets properly.
You can restore your carpets by snipping stray threads, deep cleaning the carpet, heating up your carpet, icing the dents, and fluffing up your carpet.
Step 1. Snip Stray Threads
The first step to attaining a good carpet is to level the surface before anything else. Scratchful pets, running children, and shifting furniture around could tug at carpet threads.
Do not pull at loose threads or they will create a carpet run.
Simply grab a pair of scissor and snip away at stray threads. This will ensure that there is no snagging and clinging onto the carpet when you go onto the next step.
Step 2. Deep Clean the Carpet
It’s very important to clean the carpet off of any debris, otherwise the next steps will cause any dirt and contaminants to get stuck. They will not be easy to remove later on. Here are two essential steps to take before starting the fluffing process
1. Baking soda
You will want to identify any matted areas and pour a moderate amount of baking soda over it to kickstart the cleaning process. The soda will need to sit for at least 15 minutes. If it’s very unclean, leave it for 40 minutes, or even overnight. This will make the carpet much easier to fluff up after all the debris is loosened up.
Thoroughly vacuum the area until no baking soda is left. Not doing this step properly will leave pasty white spots when you carry out the next step.
2. Shaving Foam
Not shaving cream, nor shaving gel, but shaving foam. If a stain or spill is recent, a small blast over the affected area should do the trick! Simply let it sit over the stain for about 10 minutes and wipe it away using a damp white cloth.
Always use clear and uncolored products to ensure you do not stain your carpet further.
3. DIY cleaning solution
The method above may not work on old drink stains that have seeped into your carpet. You can easily make a DIY cleaning solution with readily avaible ingredients in your kitchen. All you need is two cups of warm water, to which you will add a tablespoon of dish washing soap and a tablespoon of white vinegar.
Spray the stained area with the solution and allow it to soak for a minimum of 10 minutes. Using a damp white towel, scrub the stain out and blot up the excess residue and liquid. Allow it to dry, and then vacuum over the freshly cleaned spot before moving onto the next step.
4. Diluted Vinegar Spray
In a spray bottle, mix equal parts water and pure white vinegar. Spray over the carpet until lightly damp.
Do not soak the carpet with the mixture, or it will take an extremely long time to dry.
Let it sit for about 10 to 30 minutes. This will get rid of bad odors within the fibers. Using a clean white towel, gently blot out any excess liquid.
Do not press hard or you will flatten the carpet further.
The smell of vinegar will go away on its own after a few hours.
Step 3. Heat Up your Carpet
Heating up the matted areas of your carpet will allow the fibers to expand and loosen up. This will help soften up the spot enough to fluff with each. There are two ways to go about this task.
Eveything is good in moderation, so avoid overheating as it could further damage your carpets.
1. Light ironing
You will need a damp cloth, one that is not too thick. Take note of how large the matted patch is. It’s best to keep a spare cloth at hand. Place the damp cloth over the matted area, turn your iron up to medium heat, and carefully press it onto the cloth for no more than five seconds.
Do not apply an iron directly to your carpet, or it will leave a burn stain.
Making the carpet too warm will ruin the fibers. Remove the cloth and lightly poke the area. If it feels a little softer than before, move onto the next patch and repeat.
2. Hair dryer
You won’t need a damp cloth for this one. Keep your hair dryer at least 10 cm away from the carpet when drying it, otherwise you risk overheating the fibers and matting them further. Once it starts feeling moderately warm, move onto the next patch and repeat.
Although this method is much quicker and safer to apply, ironing the carpet over a damp cloth is much more effective.
Step 4. Ice the Dents
This technique is particularly affective for deep indents in your carpets caused by heavy furniture. All you need is some ice cubes to fill those indents with, and let it melt completely over the course of a few hours. You can then use a towel to gently blot away the excess water.
This technique will allow the moisture to seep in between the tough pressings of the fibers and loosen things up.
Do not attempt to dry the spot quickly. Air drying will allow a gradual release of compressed fibres without damage.
Once the area dries, go over it with a vacuum. The suction it provides will pull the fibres up and make it easier work with.
Step 5. Fluff your Carpet
You will need at least one of these items:
- a stiff brush
- a carpet comb or carpet rake
- a spoon
- a fork
You may use your hands and fingers for smaller areas, but it is not advise as it might caught you burns and rashes.
When the carpet is completely dry and free of odor, scrape or brush the matted area with a gentle yet firm hand. It’s best to use consistent strokes in one direction to achieve a neat look. You will start to notice the texture of your carpet start to soften and expand slightly. Soon, it will be much softer to the touch.
Allow the air to dry it further overnight, and sweep over the carpet with a broom for extra measure.
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How to Prevent Carpets from Flattening Again?
Keeping a carpet clean and soft is tedious work, and you will find yourself having to do a thorough re-fluffing every few years. Nevertheless, there are a few things you can do to slow down the wear and tear.
1. Shift the furniture
Every other week, shift your heavier furniture just slightly to prevent it from digging into your carpets. This may sound tedious, but worry not as there are better ways to go about increasing your carpet’s lifespan.
2. Place rugs under heavy furniture
Placing rugs under heavy furniture can provide a great deal of cushioning against your relatively thinner carpets, and prevent prominent and long-term indents.
We’ve gone over some of the easiest steps you can take to restore your carpet to its former glory, and save a good amount of money while doing so! It’s as simple as snipping away stray strands, spreading baking soda and vacuuming, a DIY solution, a diluted vinegar spray, heating up your carpet, ice cubes to fix indents, and then a good brush for volume.
If you would still prefer to hire a professional to do the job, head over to our post about how to hire the best one
How to Hire a Carpet Cleaner
If you want to find a carpet cleaner, this page has links to dozens of resources that you need to read to make the best possible decision.