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7 foolproof ways to flatten a rug without waiting for it to settle

If you just bought a new rug or have recently moved and are taking one out of storage, you know how much of an eyesore it is when the edges are turned up and creases run across the piece. Sure, you could wait for it to settle, but it takes too long and can be a walking hazard if it’s in a place where people are coming and going. The good news is there are easy ways to flatten a rug, and it only takes minimal time and energy on your part.

No one wants their rug to look bumpy, wrinkled, or lumpy, especially if you’re redecorating a room and want it to look perfect right away. Here are seven foolproof ways to get your rug looking in pristine condition without any wait.

How long does it take for a rug to flatten?

If you do nothing at all and wait for it to settle on its own, it will take about a week or two, depending on the material (i.e., wool, cotton, poly-blend). It doesn’t seem like a lot of time, but if it’s placed in a highly visible area or you’re waiting for it to flatten before putting furniture back in the room, it can feel like forever.

How do you flatten a bumpy rug?

Steam it

Steaming your rug with a carpet-cleaning machine can give you instant results and flatten a bumpy rug with ease. Just make sure you know what your rug is made of to ensure it’s safe to steam. Synthetic fibers like acrylic, polypropylene, and polyester can be steam cleaned; just make sure you do a color test beforehand to ensure the colors won’t bleed when wet.

Stretch it

You can also have a rug stretched to get any bumps or wrinkles out quickly. This is best left to professionals, as inexperienced DIYers may accidentally damage the rug itself.

How do you flatten a cheap rug?

If your rug is less expensive, it’s more susceptible to wear and tear, so regular flattening techniques may damage it.

Use tape

For these types of rugs, visit your local hardware store or Home Depot and buy double-sided carpet tape. Stretch your rug as far as you can and tape down each corner. Leave it on for a day or two and it should be completely flat when you remove the tape.

Weigh it down

You can also try weighing it down, which works well if it’s a small rug like one that belongs in a bathroom or office. Find heavy pieces of furniture and place them over the rug, especially the edges, to press it down.

How do you flatten a warped rug?

Roll it out

If it’s been rolled up for a while, roll the rug out and back in the opposite direction. You may need to do this a couple of times, and this method works best on heavier rugs, like wool ones.

Place it in the sun

You can also flatten a warped rug with a little help from Mother Nature. Place the rug in a sunny spot in the house or out on the deck, and the heat from the sun will naturally flatten it. By the end of the day, your rug will be perfectly flat and warm enough to become your pet’s favorite spot for the next few minutes.

Use an iron

Finally, you can use an iron to flatten your rug the same way you would a work shirt. Turn your iron on a low setting and place craft paper or a towel between the rug and iron so you don’t damage the materials.

Want to avoid wrinkled rugs altogether? Store them properly whenever you put them away. Never fold your rugs because it can damage them to a point where they are unfixable or cost quite a lot of money for a professional to repair and stretch. Rolling rugs and storing them at room temperature will guarantee your rug, though slightly bumpy at first, will return to its pre-storage glory quickly. To protect it, be sure to clean your rug thoroughly before storing it to avoid any stains setting in and prevent it from generating a musty smell.

A little preparation will ensure your rug stays in good condition. Whether it’s an expensive rug or a discounted item from Wayfair or a secondhand store, these pieces can become a treasured part of your home decor, adding a bit of personality and tying the room together.

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Julie Scagell
I am a freelance writer based in Minneapolis, MN. My passions include my dogs, talking about my dogs, and taking pictures of…
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