No excuses, just exclusives.
How to Flatten a Rug: Removing Bumps, Creases, and Wrinkles

How to Flatten a Rug: Removing Bumps, Creases, and Wrinkles

Whether you're rearranging a room for guests or a change of scenery, you might notice some trouble in your area rugs. Luckily, dents, wrinkles, and bumps are minor nuisances that are easy to fix. With just a little work, your area rugs can look brand new. If you're wondering how to flatten a rug and vacuuming repeatedly just doesn't cut it, try these tricks to get your area rugs to lay flat.

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!

Break Out Your Blow Dryer

For area rugs with a longer pile (meaning taller, plusher fibers), try beauty tools. Using a comb and a blow dryer, gently brush out rug wrinkles. For a deep dent, mist with clean water from a spray bottle first to help the fibers relax. Again, use a low heat setting and oscillate the hairdryer back and forth to avoid burning or melting the fibers.

Use the Ice Cube Method

Dead spots got you down? Remove rug dents left by furniture with this 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 to their original shape. In the morning, soak up any leftover water. Finish up by gently raking the rug’s fibers back into place with the edge of a spoon or coin.

 

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 transfers to the towel, then you’ll want to skip to another rug-flattening method. Keep this in mind when treating stains, too.

Tape Down Your Rug

Rug bumps and folds can be dangerous, so we understand why you’d want to deal with them right away. For minor buckles, adhere your rug to the floor with carpet tape. Then use heavy plants, books, upturned furniture, or mattresses to push back on the fibers and weigh the rug down.

Turn Up the Heat to Smooth Rug Bumps and Waves

Here’s a trick for flattening a rug you may not have thought of before: flip your rug upside down and let gravity smooth out all the bumps, wrinkles, and waves. This method works particularly well in high heat – whether you let sunlight do the work or turn up the thermostat is up to you. About 70 to 80 degrees should do it.

Flatten Rug Corners With Folds & Weights

If the corners of your rug lift off the ground, realigning the fibers is surprisingly easy. Flatten the corners by folding them under toward the rug’s center. Leave them folded for a day or two, then check your progress. After you unfold the corners, you can also try weighing them down to flatten a rug. Just rearrange the furniture so that heavier items sit on each corner.

 

On the other hand, when rug corners bend downwards, you may notice buckles or bumps in your area rug. Flip it over so that the pile faces the floor, then use the same method to smooth it out.

Reverse-Roll Your Rug

Whether you have a brand-new rug or you are pulling an old favorite out of storage, a tight roll can result in bowed edges. Since rug bumps and folds are usually caused by stretching, reversing the direction of stretch can balance out your rug so that it lays flat. When reverse rolling, listen for cracking sounds that indicate weakness. If you hear a lot of cracks, try another method to avoid damage.

Shift Furniture to Prevent Future Dents

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.

Rotate Your Rug Regularly

Sometimes shifting your furniture won’t work, especially if you have a small space. Instead of reorganizing your floor plan, try rotating your area rug seasonally to spread out the wear. Use a spot method like melted ice cubes or your hairdryer to flatten out any new dents.

Lay Out a Rug Pad

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 area rug to stay in place. Put an end to curling, bunching, and more. Learn more about the benefits of rug pads in our guide.

Ready to start shopping for rugs and rug pads on Overstock.com? You’ll get free shipping* on your order — no minimum purchase amount required, and no extra charges for large items.

*Not eligible in Alaska and Hawaii.