Removing Carpet Dents from Synthetic Carpets
Before you try removing carpet dents on your own by following these instructions, you'll need to determine whether your carpet is made of natural or synthetic fibers. This is important because you can use a steaming iron on a natural carpet, but doing so with a synthetic one may lead it to melt and burn. Thus, you should first look at the label on the carpet itself or the shop receipt it came with, if you saved it.
If the carpet is made of nylon, olefin (polypropylene), polyester, triexta, or acrylic, it's synthetic. Natural fabrics commonly used in carpets and rugs are wool, sisal, seagrass, cotton, coir, jute, and silk. A mixture of synthetic and natural fabrics should be treated as a synthetic carpet.
If you found out that you have a synthetic carpet, follow these instructions to remove a furniture dent on a carpet:
Step 1. Remove the furniture and protect the floor
First things first - clear the area you'll be treating of any furniture to have a clean working surface. If you're working with a rug or removable carpet, it's always a good idea to protect the floor underneath the carpet by placing a rag, old towel, paper towels, or any other padding material under the carpet.
This last step is especially important if you have a hardwood or laminate floor underneath the carpet, otherwise, the water damage can make the flooring bulge or warp.
Step 2. Put ice cubes on the problem area
Everything you will need to remove the furniture marks themselves are a few ice cubes to cover the dents. Place enough ice cubes to cover the dent completely, as it is the water they will produce while melting that will gently soften and fluff up the fibers. The more water the carpet fibers absorb, the fluffier they will become.
Keep in mind, however, that water can stain some carpets, so we highly recommend patch-testing this method in an inconspicuous area before treating the entire carpet.
Step 3. Leave the dented area overnight
After spreading the ice cubes on the carpet dents, you'll have to let them melt and get absorbed by the carpet fibers for about 4-6 hours. You can also do this in the evening and leave the ice cubes on the carpet overnight. This way, you'll be letting the fibers enough time to spring back to life.
Step 4. Blot dry
For this step, you will need a clean rag, a microfiber cloth, or an old towel. Even an old T-shirt will do the trick. You will use the cloth to blot any excess water from the carpet. It doesn't have to be completely dry, but you should blot-dry the carpet to a state where it's slightly damp at most.
When you're done, you can also remove the protective cloth you put underneath the carpet earlier.
Step 5. Fluff up the fibers
Now that the fibers have regained their original shape, it's time to fluff them up in the direction they're supposed to be. To do so, don't use a brush, as it can snag and rip out the fibers. Instead, use your fingers, a teaspoon or a small coin to gently rake the fibers back in place. Let the carpet dry completely before returning any furniture to the area.
Eliminating Carpet Dents from Natural Fibers
When working with a carpet made of natural fibers, which we have listed above, repeat the same process we mentioned in Step 1 in the previous section: remove the furniture, protect the floors with a rag or towel, and you're ready to start.
Instead of ice cubes, however, you'll be using an ordinary iron with a built-in steam function or a steamer. Because natural carpet fabrics are more temperature-resistant, you will be able to steam them back into their original shape.
Step 2. Apply steam on the dent
To start, fill a steamer or steam iron as you would normally and turn it on the highest setting. Hold the iron 4-6 inches (10-15 cm) over the dent and apply continuous steam on the area until the carpet becomes wet and warm. Be careful, the carpet may become quite hot, so we recommend wearing gloves to protect your hands.
Like in the previous case, we recommend testing if your carpet can handle steaming in an inconspicuous location before you do the same method in a visible patch on the carpet.
If you don't have a steam iron, you can achieve similar results by dampening the rug first with a spray bottle and blowing a hair dryer on the highest setting on the carpet 4-6 inches (10-15 cm) over the dent until the carpet heats up.
Step 3. For stubborn dents, steam the dented area directly
If the method mentioned above doesn't work and you have an especially stubborn furniture dent, you can do the following. If not, skip this step.
First, soak a tea towel or muslin cloth with water, and then wring it out thoroughly. Put the towel over the furniture mark, let the iron heat up on a medium setting, and gently place it on the towel. Leave for no more than a minute, and continue holding the iron during this time not to flatten the rug. Then remove the iron, but leave the towel on the rug for several minutes or until it cools down.
Step 4. Blot dry and fluff up the fibers
As we did with the synthetic carpet, gently blot the water out of the carpet and when nearly dry, you can remove the protective cloth we place underneath the carpet earlier. Then, gently fluff up the fibers of the carpet with your hands, a coin, or a spoon. Let the carpet dry completely before putting back the furniture. Et voila, you're done!
How to Prevent Carpet Dents
As you learned, getting rid of furniture dents on the carpet isn't that difficult, but what's even easier is preventing these carpet marks, to begin with. To do so, all you need to do is follow a few simple tips. Here they are:
1. Move furniture around from time to time. Most carpet dents happen because furniture remains in the same spot for too long. So, to prevent dents from forming, move the furniture around regularly, or switch the orientation and placement of the rug itself.
2. Using carpet padding and furniture pads. Carpet padding is a special porous material you put underneath the carpet to make it softer and protect the floor underneath. Using padding that's at least ¼ inch (6 mm) thick will also help prevent carpet dents.
The same goes for furniture pads - those small pieces of cloth or plastic on chairs' legs and other furniture. These are designed specifically to prevent carpet dents and floor scratches. Both of these are easily available in most home improvement stores.
3. Opting for short-pile carpets. If you don't want to worry about all this stuff, the best solution for you is a short-pile carpet. Sure, these short-fibered carpets may not be as soft and fluffy, but they are a lot more durable and easy to maintain.