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How to Get Indentations out of Carpeting

Upgrading the look of a room by adding new furniture or changing the layout is fun and satisfying. If you have large area rugs or wall-to-wall carpeting, though, you probably have indentations left behind from furniture legs, electronics and heavy decor that have been rearranged. There are a variety of methods you can use to reverse indentations in your carpet.

Brush it out

Indentations that are small or shallow can come out with a good brushing. You can use a special carpet rake with stiff plastic bristles that won't damage the nap. It is a handy tool to have, but even a simple dinner fork will work if used carefully.


Utilize the power of steam

If you don't own a steam cleaner, commercial steam cleaners are available for rent and offer the extra benefit of freshening up your carpet and erasing indentations that become visible with a new room layout. This is an effective way to make your carpeting clean and fluffy before you reorganize, but be sure to keep your furniture in another room until the carpeting fully dries.


Use a hot iron

If you only have a small spot to restore, hauling out a commercial steam cleaner is unnecessary. You can simulate a steam clean on a smaller scale by laying a clean, damp towel over the indentation and using a regular clothing iron to steam the area. Since you will need to use high heat, be sure that the towel is made of 100 percent cotton. Using a white towel will also prevent any accidental color transfer to the carpet. Fold the towel to make a thick pad and protect the carpet fibers from overheating. Never put the iron directly on the carpet, as it can burn or melt the nap. Move the iron over the damp towel until it is hot and then remove it, leaving the cloth in place for a few minutes until it cools. The nap should stand back up, but it may take another pass to completely restore it.  


Hot towel treatment

You can still use the steam method to pull up a carpet indentation if you don't own an iron. Put a T-shirt or small towel in a colander and place it in the sink. Slowly pour boiling water over the cloth until it is wet, but not soaked. To avoid getting burned, use a bowl smaller than the colander to press down on the cloth and squeeze out any excess water. Then, dump the steaming shirt or towel into the bowl and invert it over the carpet indentation. Let the bowl sit and steam the spot for a few minutes and then remove it and brush the nap to fluff.