Whether you're rearranging a room for guests or for good, you might notice some trouble in your area rugs. Luckily, dents, wrinkles, and bumps are minor nuisances that can easily be fixed. With just a little work, your rugs can look brand new. If vacuuming repeatedly won't cut it, try these tricks to get your rug to lay flat.

Steam Your Rug to Remove Wrinkles and Creases

Steam Your Rug to Remove Wrinkles and Creases

Steaming rejuvenates smashed carpet fibers. Take care if your area rug is made from a synthetic material, like nylon or polypropylene, because it can melt when exposed to high heat. But you can still use a steam iron to get rid of super stubborn dents, wrinkles, or creases that refuse to let your rug lay flat. Place a damp towel over the problem area and switch your iron to the steam setting. Press the iron onto the towel in quick bursts to avoid burning your towel or the carpet underneath. Voila! Rug wrinkles begone!

For area rugs with longer pile (meaning taller, plusher fibers), try beauty tools. Using a comb and a blow dryer, gently brush out rug wrinkles. If the dent is deep, you can mist it with clean water in a spray bottle first to help the fibers relax. Again, use a low heat setting when aiming your blow dryer toward the rug to avoid burning or melting the fibers.

Use the Ice Cube Method for Furniture Dents

Use the Ice Cube Method for Furniture Dents

Dead spots got you down? Remove rug dents left by furniture with this popular ice cube trick. Place an ice cube over the indentation and let the cube melt overnight. You don’t want to drench the dent all at once because the absorption needs to happen slowly for the fibers to swell and get back their original shape. In the morning, soak up any water that’s left and use the edge of a spoon or coin to gently rake the rug’s fibers back into place.

You might want to avoid this method if the colors on your area rug bleed when wet. Test for any possible dye discoloration by rubbing the area lightly with a towel. If any color was transferred then you’ll want to skip to another rug-flattening method. Keep this in mind when treating stains.

Weigh Down Rug Bumps and Folds

Weigh Down Rug Bumps and Folds

Rug bumps and folds can be dangerous, so we understand why you’d want to deal with them right away. You can try loosely rolling the rug back the opposite direction, using carpet tape, or laying it upside down. To flatten your rug, use heavy plants, books, upturned furniture, or mattresses to push back on the fibers.

If you reverse roll your rug, listen for cracking that could indicate weakness. To avoid damage, try another way. Since rug bumps and folds are usually caused by stretching, dampening the edges of your rug should flatten it. Alternatively, you can lay the rug upside down in high heat, whether that’s provided by sunlight or your thermostat. About 70 to 80 degrees should do it.

Protect Future Fibers

To avoid future dents, wrinkles, and creases in your carpets and rugs, move heavy furniture every few months. Even shifting large items an inch can give you a chance to fluff the carpet underneath and prevent permanent markings. If shifting your furniture won’t work, try rotating your area rug often to spread out the wear in certain areas. 

What Kind of Crease is It?

The type of crease you have on your hands can determine what you need to do to remove it. Let’s take a look at the most common types of creases and what to do:

Ripples/Waves

Typically, a rug will have ripples or waves in it if it is a new rug. Even though those ripples and waves may look bad, they’re actually fairly easy to remove.

All you need to do is lay the rug flat, and the waves will even themselves out after a day or two. You really shouldn’t need to do any ironing or anything extra if the rug is new, so be patient and let those kinks work themselves out.

Corners

Dealing with corners that won’t lie flat can be a huge pain. Luckily, there’s a pretty simple solution.

To flatten corners, a lot of people think the best thing to do is to place a heavy object on them. While this can work, the best thing to do is to actually fold the corners under and let them rest for a day or two.

Ironing

If you’ve tried both of these solutions and the rug still isn’t as flat as you’d like it to be, you can also iron it. Make sure you take extra care when you iron your rug. If done incorrectly, you could easily damage the rug.

Start by ironing it on the lowest setting possible with the steam on. If your iron doesn’t have a steam setting, sprinkle on some water before you begin. To protect the rug from being burned by the iron, place a piece of plain brown craft paper between the iron and the rug.

Again we’d like to stress that it’s important to be patient with your rug. Only resort to ironing if the creases are still present after waiting two full days.

Other Tips for Flattening a Rug

While those are the basics you need to know for flattening out your rug, there are some other tips to keep in mind to ensure you get your rug looking the way you want it to.

Here’s what else you should know about flattening your rug:

  • If possible, place the rug on a hard floor instead of a carpet while it relaxes. The hard floor makes it easier for the kinks to smooth out.
  • Try Back Rolling the Rug: Many people find this one of the easiest ways to deal with a rug that refuses to sit flat. All you have to do is unroll the carpet and roll it up again in the opposite direction. Then, let it sit for a day or two before you unroll it
  • Place the Rug Outdoors Under the Sun: If you’re somewhere where the temperatures are in the 70s-80s, you can place the rug outside in the sunlight for a few hours. The heat from the sun helps the rug naturally release tension.
  • If you’re not in a warm, sunny area, you can apply heat to the rug by using a hairdryer. Just be sure to flip the rug over and hold the hair dryer about 6″-9″ away from the rug. Use a sweeping motion when drying it.
  • Tape it Down: Apply carpet tape (and only carpet tape) to the back of your rug then stick it to your hardwood floors.
  • Have the Carpet Steamed: As a last result, you can have your carpet steamed. This should be done by a professional carpet cleaner.

 

Prevent Future Dents

To avoid future dents, wrinkles, and creases in your carpets and rugs, move heavy furniture every few months. Even shifting large items an inch can give you a chance to fluff the carpet underneath and prevent permanent markings. If shifting your furniture won’t work, try rotating your area rug often to spread out the wear in certain areas.