Out, damned [dent]! Out, I say!
September 10, 2015 6:47 AM   Subscribe

I just bought a condo, and the owner moved out, leaving dozens of various-sized furniture dents in the carpet. What to do?

The previous owner told me she had the carpet professionally cleaned a few months ago, and I don't doubt her. Will having it cleaned again remove all the dents? I know how to do them one-at-a-time, but really, there must be at least 40 (she had a LOT of furniture). If I can make them go away by throwing a little money at it, I'm for it. If I'll just get cleaner dents, I'll skip it. Your experiences with this?

I'll add that my girlfriend wants me to do it because it seems more hygienic to her, and I usually walk barefoot in the apartment. But it seems to me any value here will be eradicated by the movers tracking street dirt all over the place.
posted by ubiquity to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
My retro home cleaning/maintenance book suggests setting an ice cube on top of a dent and letting it melt. It seems to work really well on my carpet - the gentle trickle of moisture slowly plumps up the carpet fibers. Worth a try?
posted by brushtailedphascogale at 6:59 AM on September 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Try this: Take a stiff bristled brush and firmly but slowly scrub up the dent with the following mixture: 1 pt water, 1/2 tsp laundry detergent and 1 tsp fabric softener. After 1-2 minutes of scrubbing the soap and softener should help "pick up" the crushed fibers of the carpet. Rinse off and dab dry.

If this works ok, you might benefit from another deep carpet cleaning. If not, maybe you shop for carpet, or you put your furniture in places to strategically hide the dents.
posted by boo_radley at 7:01 AM on September 10, 2015

Carefully holding a steam iron just above the carpet dents will also work. Don't actually iron the carpet - you just want the steam. Sounds like the same basic principal as the ice cube trick above.
posted by COD at 7:23 AM on September 10, 2015

If you happen to own a clothes steamer, this will also work well to remove the dents.
posted by Jemstar at 7:27 AM on September 10, 2015

Yep, came in here to recommend the ice cube trick. It has always worked for me.

I'm puzzled by this: "I'll add that my girlfriend wants me to do it because it seems more hygienic to her, and I usually walk barefoot in the apartment." Is your girlfriend saying that the dents are unhygienic? Because they are just there because a heavy thing pressed the carpet fibers down.
posted by fiercecupcake at 7:40 AM on September 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: The girlfriend is saying I should have the carpet cleaned no matter what. She doesn't even know about the dents.

And let me clarify what I'm asking for. I know how to remove dents from carpets. I am asking whether having the carpet professionally cleaned will also remove the dents.
posted by ubiquity at 7:50 AM on September 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

In my experience, yes, a professional cleaning will remove carpet dents. It may vary based on carpet types, etc, but the shampoo and steaming that they do fluffs carpet right back up.
posted by bookdragoness at 9:03 AM on September 10, 2015

Best answer: One of those drug store rental carpet cleaners, or even a crappy bissell will handle this. I've done it tens of times.

I'm usually shocked at how well those cheapo carpet cleaners work too, especially if the carpet was relatively clean in the first place.
posted by emptythought at 11:45 AM on September 10, 2015

Best answer: If you just wait long enough they should self-correct.
posted by jeffamaphone at 2:07 PM on September 10, 2015

Response by poster: I decided to just let them self-correct over time. Once I get furniture in, I'll use ice on the ones that are visible and don't self-correct fast enough. Thanks for all your suggestions.
posted by ubiquity at 11:56 AM on September 28, 2015

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