Carpet Crash Course – Indentation Guide –

Carpet Crash Course – Indentation Guide

Carpet tile indentations can be hugely annoying but are usually very easy to fix. Some methods to remove them are found below:


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 fibres 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 fibres, 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


Place an ice cube in the indentation and allow it to slowly melt. As it becomes liquid, the moisture is absorbed by the carpet fibres 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, wide tooth comb, old hair brush, screwdriver or some other object to gently pull up the carpet fibres. A more effective 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.


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

Always test these methods first in an inconspicuous spot. Lift the carpet corner to see that the water hasn’t damaged the under flooring – be particularly careful if there is wooden flooring underneath your carpet.

Do not use this method on hand dyed rugs, antique carpets, delicate or valuable rugs, or on fibres not compatible with water cleaning.

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