How To Fix A Burn In Carpet

Burns in your carpet can be caused by small or large things, such as dropping a lit match, a cigarette, candles, a hair straightener or a curling iron, or an ember from a fireplace.  The good news is that carpet burns can be easily fixed, and we are here to give you a guide to fixing them. Keep reading to learn how.

Small carpet burns from cigarettes, matches, or cigarettes are simple to repair because you only have to replace the fibers. For medium or large-sized burns from irons, candles, or hair straighteners, you will have to remove the burned carpet section and install a new piece of carpet in its place.

Fixing burns in a carpet can be done cheaply, using only a few tools that you probably already have at home. Please continue reading for a step-by-step guide on how to fix areas of burned carpet, both large and small.

A man picking up a cigarette on the carpet and leaving a burn on it, How to Fix a Burn in Carpet

Repairing Small burn Areas of Carpet

A burn on the carpet caused by cigarette

If you lit a cigarette or match and accidentally dropped it (hey, it happens), chances are that it probably just singed the fibers of the carpet or only left a small burned spot. No worries, because this is a very quick fix. To fix small burned areas in your carpet, you will need:

  • Medium grit sandpaper
  • Scissors
  • Superglue

Your first step is to get a piece of medium-grit sandpaper and use it to rub the black discoloration out of the carpet fibers. Medium grit is best because fine-grit sandpaper may not be rough enough to remove discoloration, and coarse sandpaper may be too rough.

Click here to see medium-grit sandpaper on Amazon.

If rubbing the area with sandpaper doesn't work, your next step is to use scissors to cut only the burned fibers out of the carpet. You will need to replace the fibers because the now empty area you've cut is likely to be noticeable.

To replace the fibers, find an unnoticeable carpet area, such as under furniture or near the wall or closet, and cut out fibers from that area. Using the superglue, glue the fibers you cut into the burned area. When the glue dries, cut the fibers to the same length as the rest of the carpet.

Click here to see Krazy glue on Amazon.

Alternative fixes for cigarette burns

To remove cigarette burns in the carpet, you can also use a similar method as removing rust stains. Using medium grain sandpaper, rub the area to remove the black spots, then vacuum the area to remove any leftover residue. 

For any remaining burned areas, mix hydrogen peroxide and water in a 1-part hydrogen peroxide ratio to 10-parts water. Use a solution soaked cloth to blot the area, starting on the outside and working towards the middle. Rinse the area with plain water and let it dry.

Repairing Medium to Large burn areas of carpet

A red carpet with cigarette burns on it

Because larger burns cover more area and may penetrate deeply into the carpet, they will require several steps to fix, and you will need a few tools to fix them properly. To fix large burns, you will need:

  • A craft knife
  • Spare carpet
  • Carpet adhesive
  • A vacuum 
  • A comb

1. Cut out the piece of carpet

The first thing you will need to do is cut around the burned area using a craft knife. It's best to cut the carpet out in a square shape to make it easier to replace. Cut through the carpet, but not the underlay. (It's okay if you accidentally cut through the underlay, but you will need to replace it as well using this same process.)

Click here to see this X-acto knife on Amazon.

2. Cut a new piece from the spare carpet

Hopefully, you still have some extra carpet laying around from your original carpet installation. If not, you can buy a carpet sample to replace the carpet you removed. If the carpet is patterned, make sure the new piece matches the old piece if you don't want it to be noticeable.

Once you've removed the damaged carpet, place it on top of the spare carpet to use as a template. Cut through the new carpet around the old carpet using the craft knife. You may want to do this step outside so that you don't cut more of your carpet or floor.

3. Clean the area and fit the new carpet

Use the vacuum to clean the area where you took the damaged carpet out, removing any carpet fibers or dirt. Don't skip this step, or your new carpet may not adhere. Put the new carpet into the place where the old carpet was. If it fits, great! If not, trim it down if it is too big. It should fit snugly without any gaps or raised areas.

4. Glue the new carpet in place

Remove the new carpet. Apply carpet adhesive to the overlay and put the new carpet back into place. Press it down and cover it with something heavy to make sure that it dries securely. Leave it overnight. 

Check out this carpet adhesive on Amazon.

You can also secure the carpet with double-sided tape, but it may not stick as well as using carpet adhesive.

Or you can try this double-sided carpet tape, also from Amazon, instead. 

5. Blend the carpet

After the carpet has dried overnight, use a comb (wide tooth works best) to comb the carpet fibers so that they blend into the rest of the carpet. Comb the new carpet's seams until the piece blends with the existing carpet -and there you have it!

Is it bad to burn carpet?

Yes! Carpet, especially older carpet, contains many toxic chemicals, such as phthalates and Volatile Organic Compounds, which are known to cause health issues such as cancer and nerve damage. While small burns that happen inside the house are okay, burning large sections of carpet or rugs can release those toxins into the atmosphere, which you could then inhale. 

While many carpet manufacturers are aware of the toxicity of the chemicals found in the carpet, most consumers are not because the materials used to make carpets are not disclosed to retailers. For carpet disposal, the best method is recycling. Visit the Carpet America Recovery Effort to find out how to recycle old carpet in your area.

How much does it cost to fix a burn in carpet?

To have a burn in your carpet repaired professionally will cost around $100 to fix small burns using the same process mentioned above. Repairing yourself may save money, depending on what your carpet is made of and what supplies you already have at home.

The average cost for carpet adhesive is between $10 and $150, but for small areas like burned areas from cigarettes, matches, irons, or hair straighteners, you won't need a lot of adhesive, so it shouldn't cost you more than $10 to $15. Some carpet material costs more than others, but you shouldn't need a lot to repair an area caused by a burn. Here is a list of the average cost of different types of carpet per square foot:

  • Polyester- $1.00
  • Polypropylene- $1.08
  • Nylon- $1.25
  • Wool- $3.00

If you have the rest of the tools at home, large carpet burn repair shouldn't cost more than $25 to do it yourself.

Can you patch a small area of carpet?

Whether the carpet has a burn, a hole, or a stubborn stain you can't get rid of, yes, you can patch a small area of the carpet using the steps above. Cut out the old piece of carpet, cut a new piece to fit, and adhere it to the floor using carpet adhesive. However, before you try to cut out a stained carpet area, try these carpet stain removal suggestions for various types of stains.

It's easy to fix burns in carpet!

Now that you know how to fix both small and large carpet burns, you see that it's a fairly easy and affordable process. If you're unsure of your carpet repairability, you can always call in a professional, but doing it yourself can save you money in the end. Good luck!


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