Indentations in carpets are eyesores I run across quite often and to me they look almost as bad as a permanent spot or stain. The good news is that carpet dents are typically an easy problem to fix. They look like permanent, but that’s rarely the case.
Here are two fast and easy remedies.
1. THE ICE CUBE METHOD
Place an ice cube in the indentation and allow it to slowly melt. As it becomes liquid, the moisture is absorbed by the carpet fibers and will plump them again. Apply more moisture with a spray bottle, if necessary. Wait about 12 hours before blotting any excess moisture.
When the spot dries, there should be less of an indentation. Use a kitchen fork, widetooth comb, old hair brush, screwdriver or some other object to gently pull up the carpet fibers. A more proper tool to use is a pile grooming brush, which you can purchase at a carpet store. Keep repeating this process, a half a dozen times if necessary, until the indentation is completely removed.
THE STEAM METHOD
Steam is a very effective method for removing carpet indentations, and is the next thing to try if the ice cube method fails. Warm up your iron and turn the steam setting on. Hold the iron a few inches above the carpet and fire a blast of steam into the carpet by hitting the steam button, being very careful to not touch the sole of the iron to the carpet. You will scorch the carpet if the hot iron touches it.
Allow the steam to penetrate all of the carpet fibers and observe if they are springing back to their original shape. Keep on applying steam until they look like they are springing up. Use a suitable object to help fluff up the pile after steaming.
If you own a household steamer for clothing, it would be easier and safer to use that instead of an iron. Using steam is powerful and likely to work on the worst indentations. Or if you like, you could hire a professional carpet cleaner who can steam the indentation out with their heavy-duty equipment.
A variation of this technique is to cover the indentation with a clean white cotton cloth that is damp, and then hold the hot iron over the area, firing steam into the area. This provides insurance against accidentally burning the carpet.
Yet another variation is to run the iron over the towel while firing steam into the area, but exercise caution with this method. You don’t want to burn or melt the carpet fibers, so keep the iron in motion when you do this to prevent an area from getting too hot. Also, it’s probably best to wet the carpet with additional water and make sure the towel is sufficiently damp. Monitor the carpet every minute or so to observe its temperature and if it’s re-fluffing or not. Leave the towel in place until the area dries. Repeat this method until you see an improvement.
THE BLOW DRYER METHOD
If you don’t have an iron, you may use a blow dryer instead. Warm the wet carpet fibers with air from the blow dryer, while working the carpet pile back into place with a grooming tool or your fingers.
Furniture will create indentations on any carpet. Use manufactured carpet protectors — furniture cups or glides — to prevent this problem from occurring in the first place. A homemade solution is to use old coffee jar lids to house furniture casters. Place the lid on the carpet upside-down and then put the caster inside the lid. The lid will spread out the weight of the furniture over more carpet surface area than the caster did.
In addition to using protectors, it would be wise to reposition furniture and other heavy objects every so often to help reduce permanent damage from indentation. If you do not wish to completely rearrange the room, you can simply shift your furniture backwards or sideways by a few inches so that weight does not get concentrated in one place on the carpet.
Heat, moisture and hand grooming are the best tools to use to return the carpeting to normal. However, severe cases of carpet indentation may be permanent, especially if the backing of the carpet is indented in addition to the pile.