Carpet should appear fresh, smooth, and luxurious. When yours begins to take on a frayed, fluffy look, this is a sign that the fibers are becoming worn and beginning to separate. Once this process starts, it will soon be time to replace your carpet – unless you figure out the root cause of the fraying and fluffing so you can do something about it. Here's a look at some common reasons why carpets start to take on a fluffy, frayed appearance.
Failing to clean the carpet often enough.
When a carpet becomes dirty, the little grains of dirt and debris work their way into the fibers. Then, any time someone walks over the carpet or otherwise brushes against it, these pieces of dirt cause friction within the fibers. The friction drives the fibers apart, fraying them. Experts recommend having your carpet cleaned once a year for best results. High-powered, professional cleaning equipment will reach deep into the carpet fibers, removing that friction-causing dirt that is fraying your fibers. If you have pets or children, you may want to have your carpet cleaned even more often. Between professional carpet cleanings, keep it clean by vacuuming thoroughly each week.
Pushing furniture and other items across it.
Do you slide your sofa across the rug when you want to vacuum beneath it? Perhaps you have an area rug that you slide from side to side across the carpet. Sliding items in this manner causes friction that can fray the carpet. When moving things, remember to pick them straight up and set them straight down again. This may mean you need to wait until you have someone around to help you move heavy furniture. It will be worth the wait when your carpet lasts longer.
Vacuuming with the brushes set too low.
Most vacuum cleaners have brushes that work their way through the carpet fibers, separating them so the vacuum can suction between them easily. If your brushes are set too low, however, they can be too aggressive and cause the carpet to fray over time. Adjust your vacuum brush height so that the brushes are just glancing over the top of the carpet as you vacuum. If you have a carpet with looped fibers, such as a Berber carpet, you should vacuum without brushes entirely. Raise the brushes high enough that they don't even touch the carpet, or use a brushless floor attachment to vacuum.
Get to the bottom of what's causing your carpet to fray now, and you'll be able to nip the problem in the bud before your carpet looks too worn.