How to Brighten Faded Carpet

carpet is fading, there are a few ways you can liven up your rug’s color at home using a few household items. While a certain amount of fading from constant sun exposure is to be expected, there’s no reason why you have to live in fear of a faded carpet. Whether you’re dealing with damage from months ago or are just starting to notice a faded patch on your brand new rug, here are some ways to protect your rug and nip sun damage in the bud.

Treat with Salt

If you weren’t aware of the wonders of salt, prepare to be amazed. Salt isn’t just one of your most powerful household cleaners. It can actually help revive colors and restore faded rugs to their original beauty if used properly. Many homeowners use a salt-and-baking-soda solution in the laundry in lieu of bleach to keep colors looking bright, and doing a salt wash can also be a great way to de-grime a second-hand article of clothing or upholstery before introducing it into the home. The premise here is simple: Salt works to break down harmful particles without using the rough, color-erasing properties of bleach. To treat your faded rug, simply vacuum thoroughly, place on a flat surface, and continue to prep by spot-treating and dusting to make sure you’re working with an absolutely clean canvas. After that, mix one cup white vinegar with half a cup of salt.

Dilute this mixture with three cups of hot water, and allow to dissolve. Once your solution is ready, use a clean sponge to dab evenly over the faded areas of your rug, being careful not to get your rug overly wet. When you’ve finished, allow your rug to dry outside or keep a few fans running for an expedited cleaning process. When your rug is dry, go over it with a vacuum again for good measure. You should be looking at a revitalized rug with a new lease on life.

Spot Clean

One of the best ways to deal with fading is to pay attention to dirt buildup on your rug. If you’re treating stains as soon as they appear and making sure no dust mites and finding their way deep into the base of your carpet, you’ll already be halfway to having a cleaner, brighter carpet. Often enough, all it takes to get your rug looking a bit livelier is a serious clean. If you’re noticing a patch that looks dustier or duller than the rest, vacuum the area thoroughly and examine it closely. Using an alkaline-based cleaner like Borax, treat the area with a mixture of cleaner and hot water and let it sit for at least a few hours. When the time’s up, go back over your cleaned spots with a damp towel to soak up any excess. Let your rug dry, either with the help of a fan, an iron, or a clothesline and look over your rug to see if your treatment did the job.

Dye Over Faded Area

If you’re truly at a loss, you can always re-dye your carpet to get back that original pigmentation. This process works better if you have a solid-color rug without a lot of detail or patterns, but if you’re extremely careful you can make it work with other rug varieties. If you see a faded spot on your rug, start by cleaning it thoroughly with a salt solution and letting it dry completely. You can choose from a few different types of dye depending on your preference. While loose, dry mixes tend to be messier, pre-mixed dyes won’t let you choose the shade or depth of color to match to your rug. This could result in a patch that looks a bit too bright or over-dyed. Using a dye applicator, which should be available to rent at a home hardware store or carpet supply store near you, create a clear surface and apply protective tape around your walls after removing all furniture. Slowly and evenly apply your dye to the surface and allow 24 hours to dry completely.