Just Add Water

By DiAnne Crown

January 4, 2012 4 min read

Having a particular furniture arrangement for a long time can get boring. So every once in a while, it's time for a new look in the living room. But once the furniture is in new groupings, there will be four or eight or 12 deep holes where the furniture feet pushed through the carpet into the pad. Two industry experts offer quick fixes if the fibers don't come back up on their own.

"The only way to get furniture indentations out of carpet is to make the fibers 'blossom' again" by adding moisture, says Dan Housley, owner of Calhoun's Mohawk Floorz. This is easier with some fibers than with others, he continues.

Nylons, P.E.T. (polyethylene terephthalate) carpets and P.T.T. (triexta) fiber carpets are more likely to perk up than less porous olefins, says Housley. To get a crushed carpet hole out of just about any synthetic fiber except olefin, run a hand steamer over -- but not touching -- the top of the hole to reintroduce moisture into the fibers.

Try to steam in the direction of the carpet grain, Housley adds, especially if the carpeting hasn't been down very long; otherwise, you may actually turn the fibers during steaming, which will make that section of your carpet appear to be a different color from the rest. "The light will hit it the reverse of the rest of the carpet," says Housley. Then, just rub the pushed-in fibers gently with your fingers to fluff.

If you don't have a travel steamer or a steam iron, says Bruce Cumming, owner of Cumming's Carpet One Floor and Home, use an ice cube. "Yarn needs moisture," says Cumming, so rub the crushed spot with your hand, steam it or melt an ice cube in the hole until the yarn comes back up. Then, after it cools or dries, rub it gently again. "I've never used the ice cube, but I've heard it works," says Cumming.

Make sure not to touch any carpet or area rug, whether synthetic or wool, with a steamer or iron. And once the crushed pile has come up, put something under furniture feet, such as discs or casters made to prevent crushing.

Housley offers one more suggestion. "If you are getting new furniture or moving your existing furniture, that's an opportune time to have a certified carpet cleaning company with a truck-mounted hot water extraction cleaning process clean your carpets." This will not only improve the appearance of your carpet, but it also will help prolong the carpet's life and should meet warranty requirements for cleaning and maintenance.

For more information on removing carpet dents, visit Heloise online at http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/heloise/carpet-dent-cleaning-oct01. There, read about steaming the rug with an iron held over a clean, damp cloth; about lightly spraying the carpet dent with water, blowing it with a hot blow dryer and then lifting the fibers with a spoon or a coin; and more, including the ice cube trick.

And next time you're due for new carpet, remember to consider price, durability, ease of cleaning -- and how often you plan to rearrange your furniture. It could make the difference between nylon and olefin if the decision is close.

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