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Tips for Reviving Faded Rugs and Carpets

If the colors of your carpet or rug look dull, you have 2 options: part with it for good and buy a new one, or try to revive your well-loved floor covering. This last option isn’t easy, and if  not done properly, you could end up causing more damage.

We understand if you don’t want to part with your rug or carpet! If this is the case, you might be better off trusting a carpet specialist with the task of reviving its colours.

On the other hand, you may be confident enough in your cleaning skills to do the job yourself. If so, follow these tips to make sure you don’t damage your carpet or make it more faded than it already is.

Is it easy to make faded carpet look like new?

The answer depends on the extent of the damage to the carpet fibers. If they are severely damaged and have been discolored for years, it may be impossible to revive the original colours. Often, a rug or carpet gets discolored in places that people don’t notice, and by the time the discoloration becomes obvious, it’s too late.
So, it all depends on the severity and stage of the discoloration. But if you act in time, you might be able to enact a miraculous revival.

Revive colors with a mixture of salt, white vinegar and borax

Prepare by vacuuming your carpet well, leaving no traces of dust.

In a bowl, mix ¼ cup salt, ¼ cup white vinegar and ¼ cup borax into a paste that is the consistency of thick flour.

Spread the mixture over any stains you see. It’s not very complicated – just use a spoon. Make sure you cover each stain completely. Leave the mixture to stand for 2-3 hours to give the chemicals time to dissolve the stains.

After a few hours, wipe each patch clean with a cloth and warm water. Rub gently until all traces are removed.

Finally, leave your carpet to dry. Depending on the thickness of the carpet and what material it’s made of, this will take between 5 and 24 hours. You can speed up the drying process by using a fan or turning up your home heating. Once your carpet is dry, there should be no stains left. But this may not be enough to revive the colors.

Don’t have any borax? Use hot water instead

If you don’t have borax, you can mix a little white vinegar and salt with 3 cups of warm water. Moisten a sponge and apply the solution to your carpet.

Dry your carpet or rug with a fan or let it dry by air. This time, carpet drying time should only take between half an hour and 2 hours.

Dyeing carpets to revive colors: a risky procedure

Before you attempt to dye a carpet, make sure you are well-prepared:

  • Decide on a type of dye, i.e. liquid or powder. Use powdered dye if you want to create specific colours. By mixing powdered dye with water you can “control” the intensity of the color.
  • Always vacuum your rug or carpet before treating it. This is important, as any dirt can prevent the dye from soaking in, or give it an uneven appearance.
  • You may wish to read our article about “How to clean and maintain carpets and rugs” and learn how to take cleaning preparations to the next level.
  • Remove all furniture from the room. If the weather is nice enough, take it outside to avoid making a mess in your home.
  • Ideally, place painter’s tape around the baseboards to avoid staining them.

When you’re ready, mix the dye according to the instructions on the package. Pre-mixed dye is ready to use, whereas powdered dye must be mixed with water.

Apply the dye to your carpet, taking your time. Avoid applying dye to the same area more than once, or you’ll end up with some areas that are darker than others.

Leave your carpet to dry for 24 hours to allow the dye to soak in. Then remove the tape, check that there’s no extra dye that needs to be cleaned up, and put the furniture back in place.

Trust a carpet professional to brighten faded carpets and rugs

If you have a problem with faded or discoloured rugs or carpets, consider contacting the team of professionals at Tapis André Viau. Our boutique is open Monday to Saturday, at 1333 Rue Fleury E in Montreal. We’re passionate about what we do and we’d be delighted to help you.

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