How to Fix Matted Carpet in High Traffic Areas

how to fix matted carpet

The appearance of matted carpet fibers can ruin the entire appearance of a beautifully arranged room. When your carpet fibers are matted, the carpet begins to look old and worn out. Fortunately, this can be easily fixed if you know how to revive a matted carpet.

Vacuuming, carpet rake, steam cleaning and the use of moisture as some effective methods of fixing matted carpet.

With a little TLC, your carpet will regain its fluffiness and last for as long as it is expected to. If you have matted carpet fibers and you want to know how to fix matted carpet, then keep reading.

Read: How to get wrinkles out of carpet

How to Revive Matted Carpet


Vacuuming your carpet not only cleans it but also helps to loosen matted ends. For more efficiency, you can fix a brush attachment to the vacuum. To eliminate any loose dirt, pet hair, vacuum your carpet to also remove dust that might have become embedded inside the carpet and can cause it to become matted. 

Take this process a bit further by sprinkling baking soda all over the carpet and allow it to sit on the carpet for 10-15 minutes.

When sprinkled on carpet,  baking soda will penetrate the carpet fibers, and help to lift ground-in dirt, and also neutralize odors giving the carpet a deeper cleaning and well as fluffing it up.

Carpet Rake

This method is similar to using a vacuum; a carpet rake has comb-like stiff teeth and can be used to rejuvenate your old and matted down carpet.

There are two variations to this item; there is a carpet rake which is best suited for high pile carpets like shag carpets, and a carpet brush that is best for low pile carpets. 

Select the best-suited variation for your carpet and run it through the carpet; if you intend to also vacuum the carpet, you should make use of the carpet rake first; this will help to loosen embedded dirt and also help to loosen matted carpet fibers. You can choose to use the carpet rake on only matted areas or fluff the entire carpet.

For severely matted carpet fibers, you may need more than vacuuming and a carpet rake. There are other ways to facilitate the loosening of matted carpet fibers, and when this method is combined with vacuuming or other similar methods, it will help to fluff the carpet even more.

Using Moisture

Moisture can be used to loosen small areas of matted fibers, especially those created underneath the foot of furniture when they have been sitting in one spot for too long. Simply grab an ice cube from the freezer and place it on the matted areas.

Allow the cube to melt, or you can fasten the melting process with a hairdryer on a low heat setting. When the ice cube melts, use a stiff nylon brush to run over the area, straightening the carpet fibers.

If you are dealing with a large area, make use of lukewarm water instead and spritz it all over the carpet fibers, making sure not to soak it through to the floor. Then with your nylon brush or fingers, straighten the carpet fibers.

Asides from plain water, you can also use equal parts water and vinegar as a carpet spritzer to help loosen matted fibers; this mixture will help to revitalize the carpet fibers while also acting as a deodorizer.

Simply spritz the vinegar solution lightly over the matted area, and use a nylon brush to fluff the fibers back into shape.

Baking soda and vinegar is another home remedy that can be used to revive matted fibers. This solution is also a great spot cleaner, so you not only loosen your matted carpet but you are also cleaning it.

Simply sprinkle enough baking soda over the problem areas, then use a stiff brush to work the powder into the carpet. When the carpet is fully saturated, allow the baking soda to sit on the carpet overnight before vacuuming.

After vacuuming, spritz a mixture of equal parts of vinegar and water onto the carpet and, using a stiff brush, raise the pile and allow the carpet to dry completely. Applying the baking soda and vinegar at separate times helps to prevent a foamy mess that might be difficult to clean.

Using Steam

Steam is another method that can be used to revive matted carpet areas. A clothes iron can be used for this purpose and is best suited for high-traffic areas.

Start by dampening a clean, lint-free cloth and placing it over the matted area. Then plug in the iron and select a medium heat setting and place it on the wet cloth for a few seconds. This should fluff up the matted carpet fibers. You can use the method on additional areas as needed.

But if you are working on a large area, you may need to moisten the cloth or towel you are using a couple of times, depending on how large the area is.

If, after using the clothes iron on the carpet fibers and it still looks a bit matted, simply run your fingers through them, or you can use a clean nylon-bristled brush such as a nail brush to run through it.

Why Is My Carpet Matted Down?

No one loves a matted and worn-out-looking carpet, so if your carpet becomes matted, it’s no surprise that you may wonder, why your carpet is matted down. Well, matted fibers are an issue that every carpet is expected to experience when the carpet is subjected to traffic.

Unless stationed in an area with high traffic, most carpets are estimated to last close to 5-10 years before experiencing matting. Matted carpet is usually caused by years of heavy traffic.

Another reason why your carpet might become matted is due to the type of carpet fiber used. Carpets made out of polyester is more prone to matting, and it is recommended that such type of carpets are kept in low traffic areas. The same is true for other types of carpet fibers like olefin.

How Do I Stop My Carpet From Flattening?

Carpet pile has its own memory, so when it is constantly being flattened, it will learn to remain like that, giving your carpet an old and worn outlook. If you are asking, “how do i stop my carpet from flattening” so you do not get to replace your carpet earlier than you should, here’s the answer to your question.

Read: How to make carpet fluffy again

Rotate The Furniture

Allowing a piece of furniture to sit on a spot for too long will cause the carpet around that area to become matted, sometimes deformed, and beyond repair. This is why it is recommended to frequently change the layout of your carpeted rooms.

You do not necessarily have to entirely move the furniture to different areas, you can simply move the furniture a couple of inches every two weeks or so, and your carpet will be protected.

Moving just the legs of a table, for example, a few centimeters, will not drastically change the general position of the item, but it will give the partially flattened area of the carpet underneath some time to recover.

For carpet placed on traffic areas, you can try changing the flow of traffic, too. Switch up pathways across the room so that the carpet areas of the well-trodden pathway in and out of a room have time to recover.

Regular Vacuuming

Vacuuming not only cleans your carpet but also fluffs it up. If your vacuum cleaner has enough suction power, it should be able to pull up individual fibers before they become permanently flattened.

Vacuuming your carpet also helps to remove dirt and dust that can further worsen matting. You do not need to vacuum every inch of your carpets all the time. However, to restore high traffic carpet, it is recommended to vacuum high-traffic areas daily. Carefully pull up the pile from its flattened position.

Spread Out The Weight

Do not place too much weight on small areas of carpet; this will cause flattening that is often much worse and longer-lasting.

There are different ways to spread the weight on your carpet; one is by arranging your furniture far from each other; you can opt for furniture coasters and place them underneath the feet of your furniture.  Spread out the weight of your furniture in order to minimize the effects it has on your carpet.

Steam Cleaning

Steam cleaning not only cleans your carpet but also revitalizes its pile. Simply use the carpet attachment that came with your steam cleaner and treat any areas you notice are getting flat, or just generally clean the entire carpet.

For flattened areas, after steam cleaning, allow the carpet to dry and gently pull up the individual fibers using a fork. This might be a bit stressful, but the results are definitely worth the pain.

Use Protective Barriers

Although your furniture may flatten your carpet, what causes a noticeable issue is the problem of flattened carpet in high-traffic areas. This you can fix by using runners, mats, and rugs to protect the carpet in those areas.

Fortunately, the solution is a simple one. If you are unable to divert traffic totally in the area, you can opt for other types of flooring such as laminate or tile.

Carpet maintenance is a gradual and continual process. Your carpet should be taken care of it is to last long; always clean messes as soon as they occur.

Vacuum high-traffic areas daily, whether you think it’s necessary or not. And when needed, manually lift individual fibers with a spoon or fork.

All this will delay the inevitable process of flattening, and your carpet should deliver many years of faithful service.


This article has shown you ways on how to fix matted carpet and also gone to answer the question, to why your carpet is matted down and how do I stop your carpet from flattening This will all help you to keep your carpet in the best condition.

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