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How to Flatten a Rug: Best Tips and Ideas 

Did you just take your rug out of storage and notice that it has ripples on it? Do you want your rug to lay flat but instead you see bumps, wrinkles, and creases ruining its appearance? Are you thinking your rug is ruined forever?

If so, you are definitely wrong. Your rug can still be saved and restored to its natural condition.

To get a rug to lay flat, you can try placing it on a hard surface for a couple of days, ironing it if the rug material allows it, unrolling or folding it in the opposite direction and using a steamer, hair dryer or sunlight to relieve tension through heat. If none of these methods work, try placing carpet tape underneath the rug to keep it in place and minimise its wrinkles.

In this article, you will learn how to get a rug to lay flat, how to flatten its edges and corners, and how to get your precious piece of textile to display its timeless beauty again in your home. In addition, you will learn how to store it properly to prevent wrinkles in the first place. 

How to Flatten a Rug that Has Been Folded or Rolled

Super soft rug
Tom Gowanlock/Shutterstock.com

There are a few things you can try to get a rug to lie flat on your floors. First of all, start by unfolding or unrolling the area rug and placing it on a hard surface. This could be hardwood floors or stone floors, or anything else instead of a carpet. In addition, make sure the floor is leveled properly and has no bumps on it. Therefore, try to avoid natural grounds or laying wrinkled rugs on pebbles. 

Another quicker way you can try to flatten a rug that has been rolled and stored for a while in that stage is to unroll it in the opposite direction. Leave it rolled in this state for a couple of days and then unroll it on a hard surface.

Use a hair dryer or steamer to relieve tension from the rug and allow the surface to become more level. For this method to work, either work with a partner where one of you keeps the rug on a vertical level and the other puts heat on the rug, or use a rod where you can place the rug over. 

In addition, you can try leaving the rug out in the sun for a few hours. The heat of the sun will help the rug materials loosen up and lie flat. Be careful with this method however as sunlight might damage the color and surface of a few rugs. It can also cause fading of the design. Therefore, make sure you do not leave the rug in the sun for more than a couple of hours if you want to preserve its quality.  

Last but not least, try using rug tape. This is a specific tape made for rugs and carpets. You can apply it on the back of the rug and tape it on hardwood floors. Leave for a few weeks and remove it to see the effect. If the rug lies flat on the floor then you do not need to do anything else. If you still feel there are wrinkles on it, however, try applying the tape again. 

How to Flatten Rug Edges and Corners 

Egyptian kilim
SalHar/Shutterstock.com

The trickiest parts of a rug are its corners and edges. These are usually the last ones to flatten. But flattening these parts is not only for aesthetic purposes but also for safety measures. 

When the edges of a rug are up they can be dangerous and cause people to trip and fall. 

In order to get the corners of a rug down, there are three methods you can try:

  • The first one is to fold the corner the opposite way and leave them like that for a couple of days. 
  • The second method to flatten corners of a folded or rolled-up rug is to place a heavy object on the corners and leave it on for a few days until you notice some improvement. 
  • The third method is to tape the corners of the rug with carpet tape and leave it on for a few weeks. 

How to Get Creases Out of a New Rug

A new rug is certainly very exciting but it takes a while to become flat and look neat on your floors. It usually comes with a few creases such as ripples and waves due to the warehouse. The good thing about new rugs is that they are easy to flatten. 

All you have to do is lay the new area rug over a flat and hard surface and just wait for the wrinkles to disappear on their own. It might take about a couple of days for the rug to become fully flat. 

How to Get Wrinkles Out of a Rug

The safest and most efficient way to get rid of wrinkles on a rug is to start brushing them out with a soft brush. Make sure to brush gently in order to preserve the material and the surface of the rug. 

Next, you can try vacuuming the rug often. Again, be gentle when using the vacuum. You want to remove the wrinkles without tearing the rug apart, so move the vacuum cleaner in straight motions over the wrinkle.

Another method you can try is to place the rug upside down and leave it like that on a hard surface for a few days. 

Lastly, try ironing and steaming the rug. Make sure to check the label of the rug so you do not iron or steam a surface that should not have been exposed to heat. 

FAQ

Can you iron a rug?

Ironing a rug is possible in some cases. You always need to check the label of the rug to make sure it can withstand ironing. 

Ironing should be done rarely and only as a last resort as it can damage the rug more than other methods. In addition, ironing can lower the pile of the rug. It works better for flat-woven rugs rather than a high pile or shag ones. 

Last but not least, you should always put the iron on the lowest mode possible and make sure you have added distilled water to it, so you can also use the streaming mode. This way, you can prevent the rug from getting burned. Also, try to iron using a thin and lightweight piece of clothing or plain paper in between the device and the rug. 

Can you steam a rug?

You can try steaming the rug in order to get rid of persistent wrinkles that do not seem to disappear through any other method. One way you can steam the rug is through the home iron, in the steam mode. 

The other way to steam a rug is through a professional cleaner. Make sure not to try anything too risky at home or you might end up causing more harm to the surface of the rug, such as altered colors or burned spots.

How to prevent wrinkles on a rug?

The easiest way to prevent wrinkles on a rug is to avoid folding it. Flat Woven rugs are hard to store without folding them, so in some cases, you have no other option. If that is the case, here are some ways you can prevent creases and wrinkles on a rug.

  • Clean the rug properly. Dust and other dirt particles can intensify creases in a rug. This is why it is important to properly clean the rug before folding or rolling it and placing it in storage. You can dry clean it by a professional or opt to do it at home. If you are going to clean your rug at home, make sure to use a proper vacuum cleaner and place it on the ‘Carpet’ option. If the vacuum cleaner has no options, just place it on high and make sure to be gentle when using it on the rug. 
  • Follow the instructions on the label, the manufacturer, or the dealer where you brought it from. Chances are that you will find storing instructions that are designed specifically for the type of rug you have. 

How to properly store a rug to avoid wrinkles?

There are a few different ways to store a rug properly and avoid wrinkles. In most cases, this also depends on the type and material of the rug.

You can fold and place flat-woven rugs, such as wool or cotton ones, in a breathable bag. Make sure to clean them thoroughly before storing them away.  

Storage for thicker rugs is different. The best way to store high pile rugs that are heavy is to roll them. Be careful when rolling the rug. Keep it straight and roll it slowly to prevent any wrinkles. Also, roll the pile on the inside so you can protect its surface. 

Use a protective fabric to cover the rolled rug. Try a cotton sheet or a polyurethane wrap in order to protect the rug from more dust or moisture. 

Lastly, make sure to place the rug in cool and dry storage. It is better to place it on a shelf to protect it from ground conditions. If you live in a very moist area, try using a dehumidifier or a dryer to get rid of some moisture and protect the fibers of the rug from mold. 

How to Store Rugs Properly by Material

Storing Handmade Rugs

Handmade rugs are the most delicate rugs. Therefore you should be very careful when dealing with them. Clean the rug properly by a professional and fold it or roll it up as gently as you can. Do not use a vacuum bag. Instead, let the fibers breathe using a polyurethane bag, and do not place anything over the folded or rolled up rug. 

Storing Wool Rugs

Clean the rug with talcum powder a couple of times and brush it over gently for a while. Shake the rug and get rid of the powder before folding or rolling it up. Place it in a dry storage and away from sunlight. 

Storing other Natural Fiber Rugs

Natural fibers can attract more dirt and stains than polyethylene rugs. As such, they should be vacuumed thoroughly before being placed in storage. In addition, make sure to remove any stains before folding the rugs as the stains can set and become very hard to remove. 

Lastly, make sure the rug is completely dry before being rolled up or folded. Leave it to dry in an open space and try patting it down with a dry cloth or dry it with a blow dryer just to make sure there is no moisture in between the fibers. Once you are sure the rug is completely dry, you can place it in a breathable bag and put it in storage. 

Storing Braided Rugs

Braided rugs are usually considered throw rugs and can be cleaned in a laundry machine and folded without any problems. The braided construction is quite flexible and versatile so you can store it and will not get any wrinkles when you take it out again. Whether the braids are thick or thin, these rugs will preserve their texture.

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