Most area rugs are shipped rolled up to help reduce creasing. How do you flatten an area rug that has creases, or wants to roll itself back up? Over time most rugs will flatten out on their own. To speed up the process for you, we've collected our favorite DIY methods of removing creases from an area rug.
The Three Best Ways To Flatten Area Rugs
- Reverse roll the rug so the bent fibers are forced to lay in the opposite direction.
- Use heat or moisture to relax the fibers.
- Flatten the rug by applying weight evenly and firmly.
Follow this DIY guide to choose the ideal flattening method for your particular area rug.
Remove Creases From A Small Rug
Small rugs are quite easy to flatten out by using the weight of your mattress. Place the rug flat between your mattress and box spring. Leave it for at least a week before you check the result. This method works even on stubborn creases and curling - the longer you leave the rug under the mattress, the flatter it gets. For faster results (or stubborn creases) try one of the methods below.
How to Flatten Area Rugs That Are Rolled
Rugs that have been rolled on a tube will often curl up at the ends. The fibers in the rug have relaxed into the shape of the tube, so you'll want to 'train' them to lay in the opposite direction.
Most rugs become more pliable with heat. Start by placing the rug upside down, in direct sun for a few hours. This helps speed up the process of relaxing the fibers; if it isn't quite flat after a stint in the sun, it'll be softer and easier to reverse-roll.
If the rug was rolled right side out and curves towards the floor, it will flatten out easily with some weight on the corners for a few days. Place the rug in the room where you plan to use it, and then arrange your furniture to sit on the corners. In a week or two your rug will relax and lay flat, and you can put your furniture back where it belongs.
If the rug was rolled right-side-in and continues to curl upwards, reverse roll it. Just roll it back up again, right-side-out. Tie a loose cord around it keep it from unrolling and leave it for several days.
If the ends of a large rug curl upwards, you can place the rug in your room upside down. Weigh down the corners with books or furniture. It will look odd for a week or two! But then you can turn it right-side-up and it should lay flat.
How To Flatten A Rug With Curled Corners
Reverse rolling works well for curling corners on a new area rug. You can also gently fold the corners under the rug for several days. To avoid making a new crease, be sure not to step on them or flatten them.
For high-traffic areas where corners are curling from being walked on, non-curl corner protectors can be very effective.
How To Remove Area Rug Creases
Sharp creases in an area rug may require a little extra effort to remove. Heat and moisture are very effective in relaxing the back of the rug to release the creases. Remember, never use moisture on a natural fiber area rug.
Start with heat to soften the rug backing. Set the rug in direct sun for a few hours, upside down. If that's not possible, turn the rug over and use a hair dryer on a low setting to heat up the creased area. To avoid damaging the rug, hold the hair dryer 6 to 9 inches away from the rug and keep it moving. Gently fold the crease in the opposite direction and let it cool, then lay the rug flat. Use this dry-heat method for natural fiber area rugs.
If you have a steam cleaner with an upholstery attachment, you can use it on synthetic, cotton and wool rugs. A hand-held clothing steamer is effective too. Just be sure to steam the back of the rug, and don't soak the fibers. Then gently bend the fibers back and let them dry.
How To Remove Dents From A Rug
Moisture and heat can also remove furniture dents from area rugs. Try our favorite tricks for easy dent-removal:
- Use a spray bottle of water to saturate the dented fibers; then dry the spot with a blow-dryer on medium heat, fluffing the fibers with a terry towel as it dries.
- Set an ice cube on the dent and let it melt overnight. The dripping water will raise the fibers, and you can dry and fluff them the next day.
- Use a clothing steamer and a pick-style comb to gently steam and lift the fibers. Keep the heat at least six inches away to avoid damaging the rug.
- Spray the dent with wrinkle-removing spray, then fluff the fibers with a clean terry washcloth.
How Do Professionals Make Area Rugs Lay Flat?
Interior Designers and Rug Dealers use professional wrinkle-removing spray to quickly remove creases from area rugs. Look for a wrinkle-removing spray that's safe for curtain fabrics and upholstery. The spray releases the 'memory' of the fibers, allowing them to relax more easily. Spray the creased or curled areas liberally on the back of the rug. Then let the rug dry flat. If necessary, follow up with one of the methods above - reverse rolling, low-heat steaming, or weighting the rug.
For more information about area rug care, visit our Area Rug Cleaning Guide.