It’s not uncommon for rugs to lose their fluffiness over time. Whether it’s from high foot traffic, dirt and grime, or heavy furniture, there are ways to restore your rug’s fluffy texture.
In this blog post, we’ll provide tips on how to bring new life to your rug and keep it looking fluffy for as long as possible.
Luckily, it’s nothing a few household items and a little elbow grease can’t fix.
Don’t let a flat rug flatten the feel of your room – follow these simple steps to bring back that soft, cozy feeling.
Vacuum and Clean Before Fluffing Your Carpet
The entire fluffing process always begins with a good vacuuming. In fact, a deep clean can often restore the resilience of the fibers and easily make your rug fluffy again. You can clean rugs by hand with household items. The household items I’ll be recommending in this post include:
- ice cubes
- white vinegar
- baking soda
- filtered water
- stiff bristle brush
- a clean towel
- spray bottle
- vacuum cleaner
- clothes iron
- carpet cleaning products (optional, if you want to remove any stubborn stains while you’re at it)
For larger rugs or rugs with deep dents, you can try more industrial methods of cleaning and fluffing.
A powerful vacuum with a beater bar is the most effective tool for loosening and removing embedded dirt and soil.
Shaggy rugs tend to flatten over time due to heavy foot traffic or the weight of furniture, but there are ways to restore their fluffiness. For shaggy rugs, a carpet rake or carpet comb can help you get a deep clean. Carpet/rug rakes and carpet combs have flexible plastic teeth that help lift and separate carpet fibers, bringing dirt and soil to the surface where it can be easily vacuumed up.
To use a carpet comb on a shaggy rug, start by gently running the comb through the fibers in one direction. Then, go over the rug again in the opposite direction to ensure that all fibers have been fluffed. Be sure to use gentle, sweeping motions to avoid damaging the carpet fibers.
4 Ways to Make Rugs Fluffy Again
Whether you’re tackling a few problem areas or giving your entire carpet a good cleaning, these techniques can help restore the fluffiness of your carpet and keep it looking bright and fresh.
Clean With Baking Soda and Vinegar
Baking soda and vinegar are great for eliminating odors, making them a good choice for pet owners. This mixture can be used to effectively eliminate smells on a variety of surfaces, including carpets and area rugs.
When combined, the baking soda absorbs odors while the vinegar neutralizes them. The two ingredients also fizzle when combined, helping to lift dirt and grime… as well as rug fibers, making your rug fluffy.
To clean an area rug with baking soda and vinegar, first vacuum the rug to remove any surface dirt and loose debris. Then, mix equal parts baking soda and distilled white vinegar in a bowl. Use a spoon or spatula to spread the mixture evenly over the rug, making sure to cover all areas.
Pro TIP: Test a hidden spot first to make sure that this mixture does not change the color of the rug fibers.
Allow the mixture to sit for at least an hour, or even overnight if possible. Once the mixture has had time to work, use a vacuum to remove the baking soda and vinegar mixture from the rug. If there are any remaining stains, use a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar to spot clean the affected areas.
Rinse the rug with cold water and allow it to air dry completely before walking on it or replacing any furniture. Repeat the process as needed to maintain the cleanliness and fluffiness of the rug.
Clean With Baking Soda and Salt
Start by thoroughly vacuuming your carpet to remove any dirt or loose debris that may be weighing down the fibers. Then, mix equal parts baking soda and table salt and sprinkle it generously over the carpet. Use a spray bottle to lightly spritz the mixture with water and gently massage the mixture into the rug fibers with a stiff brush.
Once you’ve scrubbed the mixture into the rug, use a clean towel to blot away any loosened dirt. Allow the carpet to air dry and then vacuum again to remove any remaining baking soda and salt mixture and to lift the fibers.
Clean With Vinegar and Water
Before you begin, vacuum the carpet thoroughly to remove any surface dirt or debris. Then, simply mix one part vinegar with three parts cold water in a spray bottle. Next, work in small sections and spray the vinegar solution onto the carpet until it is thoroughly damp.
Let the solution sit for about five minutes to allow it to soften the rug fibers and break down the grime. Then, use a cloth to blot away the mixture and any dirt that has been loosened. Make sure to rinse the cloth frequently in filtered water as you go. Once you’ve finished the whole area rug, allow it to air dry and vacuum again to lift the fibers.
Clean With a Steam Cleaner
To fix an especially matted area (or stubborn dirt!), use a steam cleaner on an area rug. Steam cleaning uses steam (from hot water) to loosen dirt, debris, and dented areas. It’s also part vacuum cleaner, so it sucks up the excess water too.
First vacuum the rug to remove any surface dirt and debris. Fill the steam cleaner with water and any recommended cleaning solution according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Slowly run the steam cleaner over the rug, making sure to overlap each pass to ensure thorough cleaning. Allow the rug to air dry completely before walking on it or replacing any furniture. Repeat the steam clean process as needed to maintain the cleanliness of the rug.
How to Remove Rug Dents Caused by Heavy Objects
Heavy objects, such as furniture, can cause dents in carpets that can be unsightly and difficult to remove. If you’re dealing with rug dents, don’t despair – there are steps you can take to restore your area rug to its original appearance.
Here are a few of my favorite (read: easiest) ways to remove dents from area rugs and carpets.
Try Blow Drying Rug Fibers
No need to break out the damp cloths – a blow dryer can help fix those pesky carpet dents caused by heavy objects. Simply aim the hairdryer at the affected area, keeping it about 4-6 inches (10-15 cm) away from the carpet. Move the hairdryer in a small circular motion so that the heat isn’t directly in one place for more than a few seconds at a time. Continue until the carpet feels somewhat dry (but not completely). It’s a quick and easy way to restore your carpet’s fluffy texture.
SAFETY TIP: When using a hair dryer to fluff rug fibers, be sure to keep the dryer at a safe distance to avoid overheating or damaging the fibers. It is also important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use the hair dryer at the recommended temperature setting. Do not leave the dryer unattended and be sure to unplug it when not in use.
Small Dents: The Melting Ice Method
Drop one or two ice cubes in dented areas and let them melt completely – it shouldn’t take more than an hour or so. When the carpet fibers are nice and wet, use your fingers to fluff the fibers because nothing says “professional cleaning service” like using your hands. If it still looks bad, just repeat the process with one ice cube each time. You could try using a small carpet comb to fluff stubborn dents. Vacuum it up when it’s halfway dry to bring the wet (and flexible) rug fibers upward, making your rug fluffy once again!
Large Dents: Dampen And Add Heat
If the flattened area is really big, it might be easier to just use an iron to heat up the fibers. Wet a cotton bath towel with water and wring it out so that it’s not sopping wet. Then place the towel on the flattened area of the carpet.
Set your clothes iron to medium heat and go to town, moving it over the towel for about a minute. And voila! Fluff the fibers with your fingers or a carpet rake and vacuum the restored area. Repeat as necessary. Easy peasy.
Hire Professional Cleaners
If you don’t have the time or your area rug has a lot of flattened areas that are just incorrigible, then there is no shame in professional cleaning. They’ll also know how to make sure not to cause any damage to the rug, which is important for more expensive rugs.
Tips to Keep Your Rugs Fluffy
Maintaining the fluffiness of your area rug can be a challenge, especially in high traffic areas. However, with a few simple habits, you can keep your rug looking and feeling soft and cozy. Here are some tips for keeping your area rug fluffy.
- Vacuum your rug regularly to remove dirt and debris that can weigh down the fibers.
- A regular cleaning can make the fluffing process easier each time.
- Use a rug pad under your rug to provide cushioning and support.
- Rotate your rug occasionally to evenly distribute wear and tear.
- Avoid dragging heavy objects across the rug, as this can flatten the fibers.
- Use a carpet rake or brush to gently fluff the fibers.
- Lift furniture instead of sliding it when moving it around.
- Avoid walking on the rug with high heels, as this can cause dents.
- Blot spills and stains immediately to prevent them from soaking into the fibers.
- Use a steam cleaner or deep cleaning solution to remove tough stains and odors.
- Follow the manufacturer’s cleaning recommendations for your specific rug type.
More Rug Care Tips
Got funky dents in your carpet? Here’s how to protect carpet from furniture.
Here’s the best robot vacuum for thick carpet that is low maintenance, durable, and long-lasting.
Can Roomba go over rugs? Some of them. Here’s how to know if you can use Roomba in your home.
We’ll cover everything about how to store rugs, from cleaning and protecting your rug against pests, to rolling and storing it safely.
Can you use a carpet cleaner on a rug? Learn which area rugs you can use a shampooer on and which are best for soapy water instead.
If you’re wondering if you can put rugs in the washer, the answer is ‘maybe’. It depends on the rug material and stains. Here’s what to do with your rug.