Thursday, July 22, 2010

Home Maintenance: Carpet Rakes

Ever heard of a carpet rake? No? Yes?

We hadn't, that is until we discovered that our practically-new-1-year old carpet was a bit matted in places when we embarked upon our Master Bedroom Remodel. Once we removed the furniture from that room, we realized that there was a clear and definite path showing in the carpet high-traffic areas around where the bed was placed. This happened because of the constant walking over certain areas of the carpet (many times with slightly damp feet from just emerging from the shower), and of course the pooch's fur didn't help, either.

We were incredibly dismayed to discover this problem, and started worrying and fretting that we would have to replace the still-new carpet in the bedroom because of this unfortunate reveal. However, we stopped fretting enough to jump on the internet (oh internet, how did we ever live without you?). A few online searches later, and we found out what we needed to prolong the life of our carpet and return it to it's like-new condition: a carpet rake.

What is a carpet rake?

 A carpet rake is a tool with a long handle and little plastic teeth on one end. There are several ways to use it:

  1. You can rake your carpet before vacuuming, to loosen debris and fibers for better vacuuming results.
  2. You can rake your carpet after vacuuming, to pull up matted carpet and give your carpet that "like new" look and feel.
  3. Or you can rake your carpet before a deep cleaning to restore it to it's previous glory.
So far we've raked our carpet before vacuuming and afterwards, and we'd bet our bottom-dollar that we'd get even more stellar results using this handy tool before shampooing the carpet. But even without the deep clean, there's definitely a noticeable difference both in the look and feel of the carpet. The matted areas in the carpet virtually disappeared after a couple of uses with this baby (although the difference was striking after only 1 use!).

Check out the rake in action:

Can you see the difference, man?!

How to Use a Carpet Rake

Some perusing around online found that there are two ways to use it:

Push-Pull Method: This involves pushing the rake forward and dragging it back, usually making a criss-cross type pattern in the carpet that simulates vacuum marks (apparently some folks even do in instead of vacuuming sometimes).

Pull Method: The method we use, which is similar in motion to raking leaves outside. Just pull towards you, in the opposite direction of the carpet pile. This creates a uniform look throughout the carpet, and gives it that "like new" look.

Other Uses and Warnings

Carpet rakes have other uses, as well. If your rug is getting fringed on the edges, a carpet rake will straighten it out and give it a newer appearance.

However, carpet rakes aren't for every carpet or rug. Never use a carpet rake on a berber or woven carpet, because the carpet rake can pull out the fibers - eek! Carpet rakes are for plush, cut-pile carpets - just your regular ole' everyday carpet, really.

Where did we find one?

Surprisingly (or not-so-surprisingly), you can find carpet rakes anywhere online! We found lots of them ranging in all sorts of styles online (click here for them on Amazon), but many of them had not-so-great reviews, mostly because the thin bristles would break off after a couple uses. We decided to call some big stores in town to see if they carried any (and what kind), but we didn't have any luck. After lots of searching online, however, we were able to locate a small janitor store in town that carried the Grandi Groom (we believe, anyways) rake for $35.

Score! And since this rake would certainly prolong the life of our carpets, help us clean them and shampoo them and keep them looking and feeling nice for years to come, we figured the initial investment was worth it.

And call us crazy, but we actually have fun using it! It's easier to tote around than the vacuum - although we are still so in love with our Dyson Ball vacuum (read our review of it here), but we get a bit of cleaning OCD satisfaction when we rake our carpet and make it look and feel brand-new again. What can we say? There's just something oddly soothing about it.

What do you do to keep your carpet or rugs lookin' their best? Anyone else as hooked on this carpet raking business as we are? Have you even ever heard of such a thing? Or are you just laughing at this crazy couple going on and on about carpet rakes right now?
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  1. This is awesome! I've never heard of a carpet rake but our carpet desperately needs one! Thanks!

  2. I have heard of them but never had the need for one. I might just have to get one though because it does look like fun!

  3. COOL! It's like a carpet bonsai/zen garden! You can create harmony and destress your life with just a few strokes of the rake-the total feng shui workout! lol I want one!
    Mom (Mamasan)

  4. hey there! not to be a stickler but did you know that the $ goes before the amount...iv seen you put it after a couple of times and thought maybe you didnt know? for example its $40 not 40$

    1. maybe he's French, that's how they write it in French 40$

  5. I like that tool! We only have one room in the house with carpet, but I can definitely see where the heavy traffic patterns are in that room. I get a little obsessed with vacuuming it to keep it from getting matted. :) Maybe the rake would help.

  6. Interesting! I have never heard of this, but will keep it in mind for the day I have a house of my own. The idea is pretty smart actually. I'm glad there was a product out there to help restore your carpet to how it was when it was brand new!

  7. Oh, God, your husband is a stitch.

    I'd heard of them, being a child of the 70's, but hadn't seen them in eons. That did make a huge difference.

  8. Thanks for stopping by, guys!

    @Alice - Oops, thanks for pointing that out! Unfortunately bad habits die hard... all fixed now! I'll have to keep my eye on that in the future... thanks for giving me a heads up!

    @Sunny - You crack me up. Can you believe I didn't know what "stitch" means? Luckily there's Urban Dictionary to the rescue... although from that description my husband is either "hip, cool, awesome" or "a stupid b****", hahaha! I'd like to think you meant the former! :)

    Thanks for dropping in, everyone!

  9. OK I need one of these...and since we are in the same town, can you tell me where you found it!???:)
    thanks, and I'm SO glad I found you--or you found me:)

  10. You're on apartment therapy!

  11. "If your rug is getting fringed on the edges, a carpet rake will straighten it out and give it a newer appearance"

    I think what you might mean is that it can straighten out the fringe on a rug, the little tassel-type things that edge some rugs. If your rug is getting fringed on the edges, I don't see how a rake could help.

  12. Anonymous - Thanks for your comment, and I believe it can do both! We have an older and much-used rug in our kitchen that tends to get a little frayed on the edges. We noticed that after using the carpet rake (followed by the vacuum) that the frayed edges looked much better. I'm guessing it's because the rake helps straighten the fibers out giving it a better appearance. :) Although I certainly think that using a carpet rake to straighten out the fringe (tassel-type edges) would work as well, but I would use it with caution on those (since the fibers are longer).

    Hope it helps!

  13. Carpet Rakes can help for making a carpet look nice after it has been cleaned.

  14. If anyone is interested I found these rakes here... Happy Carpet!

  15. Yep, I have heard of these and am about to buy one. I have 2 black labs and a beige carpet. So I'm desperate.

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  17. That is a great idea. I am going to try the raking. I am so anal about my carpets. I clean them all the time with Genesis 950 - which is Awesome and with out a doubt the best carpet cleaner I have ever used. It has gotten stains out that were there for years. I can't wait to use the rake next time. I figure if I do it before i shampoo, it will really get down in there. then i can do it again after i shampoo for that extra fluff. Thanks for the great pointer.

  18. I'd be trampled if all sites gave articles like these awesome articles.

  19. Nice answers in replace of the question with real point of view and explaining about that.Bill

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