How To Soften A Hard Carpet: 4 DIY Solutions

Cleaning your carpet is key to keeping it fresh and well-maintained, so it's important to do it on a regular basis. However, cleaning products and techniques can lead to a hard carpet with a crunchy texture that can feel quite unpleasant to the touch. The question is: can you soften it? We've done the research to help you with this problem.

There are a few effective methods to soften a hard carpet using household items, including:

  1. Fabric softener
  2. Baking soda
  3. Vinegar
  4. Blow dryer

Want to learn how to restore your carpet to its former soft and fluffy glory with these solutions? Keep reading to find out! We'll also answer more questions about issues with your carpet, such as flattened carpets, carpet dents, and more.

An up close photo of a hard carpet on the wooden flooring, How To Soften A Hard Carpet: 4 DIY Solutions

4 Solutions To Soften Your Stiff & Crunchy Carpet

Most carpet cleaners have strong chemicals that ensure deep and thorough cleansing of your carpet. After all, you use your carpet every day and only clean it every so often, which is why it needs cleaners that pack a punch. However, these can leave your carpet quite stiff and crunchy.

An up close photo of hard carpet in the living room

Luckily, there are easy ways to solve this problem! Better yet, these methods involve the use of items you already have at home. Here are the most effective solutions to soften your carpet:

1. Fabric softener

Carpets are typically made of the same fiber types as those of your clothes. This is why fabric softeners can soften your carpets just as they do on your clothes.

After cleaning the carpet as you normally would and rinsing it out, mix fabric softener with warm water. A good ratio to use for this would be a half cup of softener per gallon of warm water. Then, pour the mixture into a spray bottle.

Spray this solution onto the carpet. Let it set for about two minutes. Then, extract it and rinse the carpet once again.

Another option using fabric softener is to incorporate it into your homemade carpet cleaner. With this solution, you can be sure your carpet stays nice and soft while cleaning it. This is ideal for anyone with a steam cleaner or carpet cleaning appliance.

You'll need:

  • a gallon of boiling hot water,
  • a scoop of OxiClean,
  • two tablespoons of liquid detergent,
  • 1/4-cup of all-purpose cleaner,
  • and a teaspoon of fabric softener for this solution.

Mix the cleaning products together before pouring in your hot water. Put the mixture into your appliance and test it out to see if it works.

2. Baking soda

This popular household cleaner won't just clean and soften your carpet, it'll make it smell fresher too! It's non-toxic as well, so you can be sure it's safe on your carpet and for your health.

For this solution, mix baking soda with warm water and liquid laundry detergent. Then, pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Spray it over any stained or stiff areas and scrub. After this, rinse it off thoroughly to avoid leaving any dried residue.

You can also add fabric softener to this mixture for a more effective softening effect.

3. Vinegar

Vinegar is another budget-friendly household item that can be a potent softening agent for your carpet. Its acidity will offset the high pH of carpet cleaners, which will help remove the stiffness of the carpet. It can also clean stains off the surface.

Mix 1/3-cup of vinegar into 2/3-cup of hot or warm water. Then, pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Spray it onto your carpet and scrub thoroughly. After this, extract it and rinse with warm water.

If you want to use this solution as a cleaner, you can add dishwasher detergent to the mixture to make it more potent.

4. Blow dryer

Blow drying your carpet can restore its soft, fluffy texture. To do this, you will need to spray warm water onto your carpet. Remember to use only warm water, since hot water can damage the fibers of the carpet. Make sure to cover the entire carpet with warm water, but not to the point that it's soaking as this will also damage it.

Then, turn on your blow dryer and switch on the lowest heat setting. Hold it around six inches away from the carpet and start drying. Once it begins to dry, straighten the carpet fibers with your hands to fluff it up, and you'll notice how much softer your carpet is.

How can I make my flat carpet fluffy again?

An up close photo of a hard carpet

Everyday use, along with heavy objects and furniture, can make your once-fluffy carpet flat and lifeless. The good news is that you can restore your carpet's former fluffiness with a few easy techniques, such as:

Use baking soda and vinegar

Spread baking soda over the carpet and use a stiff brush to ensure it gets into the fibers. Leave it to sit for 12 hours or overnight, then vacuum it up. Spray a mixture of vinegar and water onto the carpet, use the stiff brush to work it into the fibers, then leave to dry fully.

Use an iron

First, vacuum the carpet. Then, place a damp towel or cloth over any flattened areas. Set your iron on medium heat and move it across the towel for 30 seconds to one minute. Fluff up the fibers with your hands. Move the cloth to another area and repeat the process until the entire carpet is fluffy.

Use a carpet rake

Vacuum your carpet before raking, rake two times, use the push-pull motion to further fluff the carpet, and vacuum again after this.

Click here to see this carpet rake on Amazon.

Can you remove carpet dents?

Yes! You can use an iron or a blow dryer using the methods explained in the previous discussions. Another way to remove carpet dents is by using ice. Follow these steps for this method:

  1. Place a large ice cube or a couple of small ice cubes on each carpet dent.
  2. Wait for the ice to melt. This may take half an hour to a full hour. You can use a blow dryer to speed up the process.
  3. Use a toothbrush or stiff brush to fluff up the fibers.
  4. Use a cloth or a sponge to absorb the excess moisture.
  5. Rub the carpet to ensure it looks uniform. Use a fork to further fluff it up.

Ice on the hard carpet

How often should you shampoo your carpet?

It's best to still shampoo your carpet on a regular basis to keep it free of dirt, dust, stains, and odors. Once a year is recommended, although this may vary depending on the foot traffic your carpet gets and other factors that affect its level of cleanliness.  For instance, if you have pets or kids, it's ideal to shampoo your carpet once every six months.

How often should you replace your carpets?

In general, carpets need to be replaced every five to seven years. This will depend on its quality, the level of use and foot traffic it gets, and the type of carpet fibers and material. A high-quality carpet that's treated with regular upkeep and proper care may last well over a decade.

In Closing

An up close photo of a hard carpet on the wooden flooring

Carpets may become hard and stiff due to cleaning. The good news is that there are ways to soften it! You can use a fabric softener, baking soda, vinegar, or blow dryer to make your carpet as soft as it was before cleaning. You can choose the method based on what you have at home or try different techniques to see which is most effective.

If you enjoyed this article, we've got a few more that you might like as well! Check out these posts:

Carpet Seams In High Traffic Areas – What To Do?

How To Keep Carpet Edges From Fraying

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