Around the holidays I often get calls for carpet cleaning. I know this is no surprise to most people, but one of the main concerns people have is not just stains but how to get furniture indentations out of carpet . Why? During the holidays people rearrange their furniture. For Thanksgiving we pull out extra leaves for the table and move it over to accommodate more people. At Christmas we move the couch to make room for the tree. At these times people often notice the big indents in their carpet. Some of my regulars call. “Sean, we rearranged the furniture in our living room and noticed big dents in our carpet. What can we do?”

I provide carpet cleaning in Portland, so let me start by saying what you can do to prevent indents in the first place. Concentrated weight causes dents. Spreading the weight out will help prevent the dents. Put casters under table legs. Make sure you use non-ferrous casters to avoid a rust problem. Of course, a heavy couch or chair can leave dents too. However, those dents usually decompress after a short while. That brings up a point. Don’t panic. Let the dent sit for several days. Often they will fix themselves. It took months to make that dent. You can’t expect it to decompress in five minutes.

If the dents don’t fix themselves after several days, they may need some help. Several Internet sites recommended ice cubes as a way to fix dents. The procedure goes something like this: Lay an ice cube on the dent. Let it melt. If that doesn’t fix the dent, apply another and another and another.

The cold seemingly has little to do with decompressing the dent. It has more to do with the water. The carpet fiber, the padding, and even the sub-floor absorbs the water and swells thus causing the dent to apparently disappear. The only issue I have with this method is over wetting or flooding the carpet. Be careful to not over wet the carpet. Flooding a carpet even with ice water can lead to backing delamination, sub-floor water damage, and carpet mold. It does not seem like a very good exchange just to remove a dent.

I recommend to my customers that they start by brushing the carpet. Gently brush the carpet fiber from the outer edge to the center. Gently lift the fibers. After brushing the dent, go over the whole area with the vacuum. Often this special attention to the dent will bring it back to normal. If the brushing fails, try a little water. Sometimes just that little bit of moisture and cleaning will restore nap.

If that fails, we will probably need steam or hot water. My truck mounted system with hot water, under pressure followed by the powerful suction of my extractor will generally remove even stubborn indentations. You can do a similar thing with an iron and a damp rag, but you have to exercise caution. Too much heat can melt your carpet or take the twist out of a strand. In How to Remove Furniture Dents from Carpet they place a damp rag over the dent and run a hot iron over it to produce steam. Don’t get the rag too wet or the iron too hot.

Hope this information is helpful. Until next time….Sean!