How to Raise the Pile on Carpet

by on February 11th, 2014
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One of my first jobs out of high school was at a cleaning company. One of the first things I learned was, if the fibers of a carpet are standing up, it makes the carpet look clean and attractive. In fact, raised pile (or nap) makes the whole room look more pleasing to the eye. The cleaner the carpet, the easier it is to raise the nap. Foot traffic, and dirt and debris in the carpet fibers are two main reasons why the pile lays down. Read this informative article and find out how to raise the pile on carpet.

If the Carpet is Lightly Soiled-
Sweep it thoroughly with a vacuum cleaner. The best machine to use has a beater bar or a rotating brush. Make sure the vacuum cleaner height is set correctly in order for the machine to work effectively. Sweep against the direction of the pile, not with it. This will raise the nap, plus remove the most dirt. Sweep the carpet every week to keep the pile raised; heavy traffic areas may need cleaned daily.

If the Carpet Has Dirt/Pet Hair Embedded In It-
Use a carpet rake to raise the nap before and after you sweep. This tool resembles a large, fine-toothed comb with a handle. By pushing and pulling it across small sections of the carpet at a time, it will lift up dirt and pet hair that are lodged into the fibers. Use it after you sweep to raise the nap and give the carpet a clean, uniform look.

If the Carpet is Heavily Soiled-
You need to steam clean it. Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions in order to get the best results. Basically, fill the tank with hot tap water. The cleaning solution is mixed into the water. Or, it’s dispensed separately in a bottle that snaps into the steam cleaner. Pull the trigger to release the water and solution mix as you push it across the carpet. Wet the carpet, but don’t saturate it. After a 3-foot section has been wetted, release the trigger. Slowly pull the steam cleaner back over the area to suck-up the water/solution. Run the machine over the same area a few more times at different angles to dry it even more.

Repeat the process until you have steam cleaned the entire carpet. The carpet is cleaned thoroughly, and the nap will be up. To raise the nap even more, use a carpet rake while the carpet is still damp.


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