How to Make Carpet Fluffy Again

Gray carpet fibers being fluffed with steam cleaner

The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

Whether your carpet has long fibers for a shaggy look or the tightly looped fibers of a Berber rug, the fibers will eventually flatten overtime. New carpet fibers have a resilience that keeps them elastic and springy so they bounce back underfoot. The loss of that resilience can be caused by excessive wear in high-traffic areas, dirt and grime, or the weight of furniture.

Wall-to-wall carpeting and area rugs are expensive and we want them to last. Here are tips on how to make carpet fluffy again and how to maintain its fluffiness for as long as possible.

How to Remove Carpet Dents Caused by Heavy Objects

If heavy furniture has left divots in your carpet, there are several methods for restoring the fluffiness of the carpet fibers.

  1. Give the Fibers a Blow Out

    Just as a blow dryer adds volume to your hair, it can do the same to carpet fibers. Dampen the dented area by spraying plain water on the fibers. Hold the blow dryer about two inches from the carpet and use your fingers to separate and fluff the fibers as you move the hot air back and forth. Repeat if needed and finish by vacuuming the carpet.

    Blowdryer blowing hot air to fluff carpet fibers

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

  2. Dampen and Heat the Carpet Fibers

    If the flattened area is large, it may be easier to use an iron to heat the fibers. Wet a cotton bath towel with water and wring until it is not dripping. Place the towel on the flattened area of the carpet.

    Set a steam iron to medium-high heat. Place the iron on top of the wet towel and move the iron over the towel for about one minute to infuse the carpet fibers with moisture. Remove the towel and fluff the fibers with your fingers or a carpet rake. Repeat if necessary and vacuum the restored area.


    Do not allow the hot iron to directly touch the carpet fibers. Synthetic fibers can melt and natural fibers can scorch or burn.

    Steam iron setting carpet with heat and towel in between

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

  3. Use an Ice Cube for Small Dents

    Place one or two ice cubes in the carpet divot and allow them to melt. This may take an hour or so. When the carpet is fully wet, use your fingers to fluff the fibers. Repeat if needed and then vacuum.

    Ice cube melting over carpet fibers to fix dents

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

How to Make Carpets Fluffy Again

If there is a clearly defined path of flattened carpet fibers or the entire carpet looks crushed, the resilience of the fibers can often be restored by cleaning the carpet. While you can tackle just the worst-looking areas, an overall deep clean will make the entire carpet look brighter and fluffier.

The best tool you can have in the closet to keep carpet fluffy and restore it is a powerful vacuum with a beater bar. The beater bar helps loosen embedded soil and bring it to the surface to be suctioned away.

If you have shag or cut-pile carpet, invest in a carpet rake. This tool has flexible plastic teeth that help lift and separate fibers while bringing soil and dirt to the surface where they can be vacuumed away.

  1. Do a Quick Clean With Baking Soda and Salt

    Vacuum the carpet and sprinkle it liberally with a one-to-one mixture of baking soda and table salt. Spritz the sprinkled area with plain water from a spray bottle and use a nylon-bristled scrub brush to work the mixture into the fibers.

    Blot away the loosened soil with old towels and let the carpet air dry. Vacuum well to remove any remaining baking soda and salt and to lift the fibers.

    Baking soda and salt sprinkled over carpet fibers

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

  2. Clean With Vinegar and Water

    Mix one part of distilled white vinegar and three parts of cold water in a spray bottle. Vacuum the carpet well. Working in a small 3-feet x 3-feet area, spray the vinegar solution onto the carpet until it's very damp.

    Allow the solution to work for five minutes to begin breaking down the soil. Use microfiber cloths to blot away the solution and the soil. Rinse the cloths frequently in plain water. Allow the carpet to air dry and vacuum again to lift the fibers.

    Distilled white vinegar and water in green spray bottle applied to carpet fibers

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

  3. Clean With a Steam Cleaner

    If you have a carpet cleaner or choose to rent one, follow the manufacturer's directions and steam clean the carpet. Removing the soil that weighs down fibers will make the carpet look fluffier.

    You can also hire professionals to deep clean the carpet yearly.

    Steam cleaner passing over carpet fibers to fluff

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

Tips to Keep Your Carpet Fluffy

  • Frequently rotate furniture and heavy accessories to prevent excessive flattening.
  • Use furniture coasters under the legs of heavy items to help distribute the weight.
  • Vacuum the carpet routinely - at least weekly.
  • Remove shoes inside the home to prevent heavy soiling.
  • Add doormats inside and outside entrance doors to reduce the amount of dirt brought into the home.
  • Deep clean carpets seasonally.
Black shoes placed next to fluffy carpet on wood floors

The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska