By Maxine Stouffer
Leaving heavy furniture in one spot on a carpet will cause dents over time because the weight of the furniture will compress the fibers in the carpet. It’s usually possible to remove these dents, and you don’t need any special equipment or tools.
Removing Dents from Synthetic Fibers
First, remove the furniture. You can't address dents in the carpet if the furniture is still there! Move the furniture to expose the dent and either rearrange the room to find a new home for the piece or take it out of the room while you work.
When the carpet is exposed, check the label to determine what kind of material it is.
Synthetic fibers can be fixed using the ice cube method. (Common synthetic carpet fibers include nylon, olefin, and polyester.)
But first, remember to protect the floor underneath. This is important if you're removing dents from a rug or area carpet where there's a wood or other finished floor underneath. To protect the floor, place a towel, rag, or other absorbent material under the carpet where the dent is that you'll be treating.
Fill the dent with ice cubes. Use as many ice cubes as you need to fill the dent completely. As the ice cubes melt, the compressed carpet fibers will slowly absorb the water. The more water the fibers absorb, the fuller and more swollen they’ll become, and this will reduce the indentation.
If you're removing multiple dents from the carpet, try out the method first on a dent that’s in an inconspicuous area to test the carpet for color fastness.
Let the ice cubes melt and leave the carpet to absorb the water from the ice for at least four hours, but leaving the ice cubes in the dent overnight is best. This will give the fibers plenty of time to swell and start regaining their original shape and plumpness.
Blot the area dry. When the carpet has had several hours to absorb the water, use a clean towel to blot the wet area and absorb any excess water. The carpet doesn’t have to be completely dry, but it shouldn’t be any wetter than slightly damp. Switch to a dry area of the towel as necessary to keep absorbing more water.
When the towel has absorbed as much water as it can, remove the other towel that’s protecting the floor underneath.
Now fluff the fibers. When the fibers have regained their original plumpness, you can fluff them back into shape to remove all traces of the dent. Use your finger, a small coin, or a spoon to brush and fluff the carpet fibers in multiple directions so they stand up tall and straight like the rest of the fibers.
You can also use a carpet brush or carpet rake to fluff the fibers and remove the dent.
Images used with permission, courtesy of Jessica Dotson