How to Fix a Matted Carpet

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how to fix a matted carpet

Carpeting is a fantastic flooring material but it does have its downsides. 

One of the major disadvantages of carpet is that it needs to be maintained. If it isn’t kept up, it can get matted or damaged. 

Fortunately, there are things you can do to fix carpet. It does not always need to be replaced every time a small blemish appears. 

Knowing how to fix matted carpet can help you rejuvenate your home’s flooring

In this article, we have laid out some methods for fixing matted carpets. By trying all of these techniques, you can get your carpet back to normal and looking its best. 

Fixing a Matted Carpet: Basic Idea 

There are a few different methods for fixing matted carpets. These methods include: 

  • Complete vacuuming 
  • Rake the carpet 
  • Apply some moisture 
  • Use a clothes iron 

Why Does Carpet Get Matted? 

why does carpet get matted

Carpet is made up of thousands of small, individual fibers. When these fibers get a lot of use, they can lose their spring and remain compressed. 

Carpet matting usually happens in areas that have a lot of traffic in the home. This is due to dirt, debris, or other materials being tracked onto a specific spot. 

Places like hallways, thresholds, and doorways can easily get matted over time. You may also notice matted carpets under your furniture or appliances. 

The older the carpet gets, the more likely it is to get matted and damaged. The fibers in the carpet will only last as long as their quality will allow. 

If your carpet is cheaper or lower quality, you are more likely to get matting. 

Vacuum Thoroughly 

One of the first things you should try when your carpet gets matted is thorough vacuuming. 

The main reason carpet gets matted or damaged is that there is an excessive amount of dirt collected there. 

This is why matting is common in high-traffic areas or areas that get a lot of use. 

You can try to remove the dirt and debris using your vacuum before doing anything else. 

Set the vacuum to its lowest height and highest power setting and thoroughly go over the area. Try to move the vacuum in a single direction instead of moving it all over the matted spot. 

It is best to vacuum the carpet and then let it rest for a few hours. Then, try vacuuming it again. 

Repeat this process until the carpet starts to look like it has some of its spring back. 

Carpet Rake

A carpet rake is a great tool for rejuvenating your carpet and getting it back to its original condition. 

By raking in between the individual fibers of the carpet, you can get some of the matted dirt out. This will also help make sure that the matted section blends with the surrounding carpet. 

Switch between raking the carpet and vacuuming the area a few different times. 

As you rake, you will be loosening the dirt and debris stuck in the fibers. Using the vacuum will remove that dirt from the area. 

Doing this process three to five times should help get your carpet back to normal.  

Apply Moisture 

apply moisture on matted carpet

Sometimes, the dirt and debris embedded in your carpet fibers need to be loosened. 

Adding moisture to the area can help do this without causing significant damage. 

Using only a small amount of water, moisten the matted area. Let it soak for a few minutes before drying it with a towel or sponge. 

Repeat this process a few times before raking the area with the carpet rake. After the carpet has dried, vacuum the area a few times to re-fluff the carpet. 

Make sure to thoroughly dry the area before vacuuming. This will not only prevent damage to your vacuum but will also keep the area from growing mold under the carpet

Use an Iron 

A clothes iron might seem like a counterintuitive way to get matting out of your carpet. However, it can be incredibly effective. 

This is especially true if your iron has a steam function. This essentially uses the same method as adding moisture. 

The steam function can loosen the dirt and debris from the fibers of the carpet safely and easily. Since you are not introducing any actual water, it will also prevent mold and mildew from growing. 

Thoroughly iron the matted area making sure to move slowly and carefully. 

Once you have ironed and steamed the section of carpet, let it dry and vacuum it as well. This will help remove any excess dirt that the iron pulls out of the fibers. 

Frequently Asked Questions

faq how to fix matted carpet

What does baking soda do for carpets?

Baking soda can help refresh the smell of your carpet and fluff up the fibers. This will get it closer to its original condition when it was installed. 

Be careful when vacuuming up baking soda as it can sometimes clog hoses and filters. 

How can I make my old carpet look better?

The best thing you can do for your carpet is regularly vacuum and maintain it. If you want to make an old carpet look better, getting it professionally cleaned will work wonders. 

To make sure your carpet stays fresh, consider enacting a “no shoes” policy in the house. 

Can white vinegar damage carpeting?

White vinegar is not recommended for cleaning carpets. It is fairly corrosive and could cause damage to the fibers. 

If you must use white vinegar for spot cleaning, be sure to use it very minimally. 


Fixing matted carpet is relatively simple and can rejuvenate your home. If you have a high-traffic area, keep an eye out for matting and fix it as soon as possible. 

Properly maintaining your carpet is the best thing you can do to keep it looking and smelling its best. 

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Michael J. O’Connor is a writer and marketing specialist from the Bay Area of California. A graduate of Sonoma State’s Creative Writing program, he spent many years as a contractor and carpet layer, learning the ins and outs of flooring and general contracting. When he’s not typing away at his desk, he enjoys hiking with his dogs, woodworking and collecting rare books. See full biography here.

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