How to Flatten an Area Rug: Removing Bumps, Creases, and Wrinkles

How to Flatten an Area Rug: Removing Bumps, Creases, and Wrinkles

How to Flatten an Area Rug: Removing Bumps, Creases, and Wrinkles
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.

Prevent Future Dents

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.

The best way to flatten a rug? Keep a rug pad underneath it. Not only does a rug pad add extra cushion for walkable comfort, but it also trains your rug to stay in place. Put an end to curling, bunching, and more. Read all the benefits you can expect in our Rug Pad Guide.