You’ve finally found the perfect area rug. You get it home, lay it in place and step back to admire its beauty. But something looks off. The edges are curling up and the rug just won’t lay flat. “New rugs are usually rolled up tight for transport, and it can be hard to get the rug out of its curled shape,” says Michael Sadigh, owner of Persia Oriental Rug Gallery in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, a 30-year veteran of the rug business. To the rescue: Keep reading for tips from Sadigh and others on how to flatten a rug and make the curls and creases disappear.
How to flatten a rug: The 7 best methods
1. Use the sun
Move the rug temporarily into a sunny spot so that it gets nice and warm, advises Sadigh. “The heat of the sun will relax the rug’s fibers, making them more pliable and able to flatten,” he says. Once it’s good and warm, walk on the rug, using your feet to smooth out any remaining curls. This further softens fibers in the rug and helps them lay flat. Then, when it’s in place, place furniture and heavy objects along the edges of the rug to stop the edges from recurling. Leave the heavy objects in place for a day or two until there’s no curling.
2. Try the ice cube trick
If you’re dealing with just a few curled edges on your area rug, try grabbing four or five ice cubes and a heavy jar or bottle to solve your problem. Place the ice cubes at the corner of the rug, holding the curl flat. Then use a heavy jar or other weight to hold the corner down while the ice cubes melt. Don’t put the weight on top of the cubes, though. This will flatten the fibers of the rug — and then you’ll be dealing with a second problem. As the ice cubes melt, they work to soften and loosen the fibers of the rug, while the weight holds it into place. As you’re just using a few cubes, you won’t be dealing with any mold or mildew, according to Sara Chiodo at functionalforyou.com, the social media influencer who posted the trick. Just make sure your rug can handle water before you try this trick.
See the post that started this viral trick here:
3. Use a rug gripper or tape
Another option for dealing with corner peel-ups that just won’t go away is to roll the curls in the opposite direction and then use double-sided carpet tape (Buy on Amazon, $9.97) to hold the corners down, says DIY and home cleaning expert Stephanie Abbott. “The tape has to be heavy duty, though, and you’ll need to use a good amount — like five or six inches,” she says. As long as the tape grips both the carpet and the floor, eventually the curls will work themselves out. If your rug is just lifting a bit from being rolled in transit, you might also try rolling it up in the opposite direction before unrolling and then using Abbott’s tape trick.
4. Screw or tack it into place
One way rug pros will flatten a piece with some larger wrinkles or curls is to soak the rug, extract the water from it, and lay it out on a flat surface with wood underneath. The rug is then pulled to its correct size and tacked down with very, very thin nails, says Sadigh. “This is called blocking.” Since most of us aren’t professionals and soaking a rug isn’t a good option unless you know what you’re doing and it’s okay to get your purchase wet, this isn’t an option for DIYers. What you can do is nail or screw the rug at the corners once you’ve stretched it out flat. After a few weeks, you should be able to remove the nails or screws and have a perfectly flat rug. If your rug is on carpet and the floor beneath isn’t hardwood, you can likely get away with thin screws. If you’re planning to tack it down to a wood floor, though, be sure to use very thin nails or even industrial staples and know that the holes could potentially be visible if you decide to move the rug later.
See this hack in action by SBKLiving here:
5. Use the mattress trick
“Some rugs are so tightly woven that you can’t stretch them and nail them down,” says Sadigh. In this instance, the experts use a weighting technique, he says. “We wash the rug, remove all of the water and then place a huge pile of rugs on top of it.” This is pressure stretching, and the weight of the pile of rugs will flatten the one at the bottom. While you can’t do this at home, the folks at Plush Rugs offer a similar option for DIYers . Use the weight of your bed mattress to solve the wrinkle or curl issues. Remove the mattress from your bed, and place the rug on top of the box spring, making sure the rug is laying perfectly flat before replacing the mattress. After a week, the rug should be perfectly flat.
One caveat: Don’t use this method unless the rug fits between the two bed pieces with no overlap at all or you’ll be creating more creases in the piece. For smaller creases, Plush Rugs notes that you can use books or furniture to flatten, leaving them in place for a few days.
6. Steam wrinkles and curls away
“As long as it’s safe to use moisture on your rug, steam will work to get rid of small wrinkles or corner curl ups,” says Abbott. The combination of heat and moisture work to relax the rug fibers, allowing it to be pulled into the desired flat shape. Turn the rug over, though, and steam from the back to protect the rug, and be sure to only dampen the rug so that it will dry quickly, preventing mold or mildew. Once you’ve completed the steaming, turn the rug back over and place some heavy objects around the edges until it’s completely dry.
See an Instagram video that shows this tip in action here:
7. Use your iron
“At Beck, we have several methods to remove any wrinkles/creases in your rugs or carpet,” says home cleaning and organizing expert Becca Crandall of Beck cleaning and organization service, who advises first making sure that the materials on the rug are made to withstand heat. “One way to do this, is to test a small inconspicuous area first to ensure that the heat won’t damage the rug,” she says. After testing, her service then cleans the area of the rug to ensure dirt/debris does not become ingrained when heating. They then dampen the rug where it is wrinkled or creased with water and place a cloth or towel on top to serve as a protective barrier. “Next, we gently iron the dampened area through the cloth; we use the iron on its lowest heat setting and are sure to continually move the iron and avoid leaving in one spot,” she cautions.
Dealing with carpet dents? Try these tips
If you’ve rearranged your room and the furniture left dents in your carpet — or if the weights you’ve used to flatten a rug have left behind some marks, use these tips for making the pile look good as new.
Try the ice cube trick
Ice cubes don’t just work to flatten the curled edges of a rug. They can also help to lift pile left dented by a heavy piece of furniture! Simply place a few cubes into the crease and wait for them to melt. Gently blot the area dry, and then use your fingers to lift the carpet threads. The water helps the carpet fibers to swell again and regain their shape.
See the ice cube trick in the YouTube video below:
Use ice water and your blow dryer
Get out your iron
Just like an iron can help to flatten a rug, it can also help to raise smooshed down rug fibers. Place a damp towel or washcloth over the dented area, and use the steam function to lift the fibers. Be sure to keep the iron on low heat only, though, to avoid damaging your carpet.
Use your clothes steamer
Home expert and social media content creator Stephanie Booth uses a clothing or even a carpet steamer to remove dents in carpet. Booth steams the area with the steamer on high, then fluffs it by hand, repeating the process one more time.
See how she does it here:
For more floor cleaning tips, click through the links below!
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