How To Get Wrinkles and Creases Out of Carpet? [6 Practical Solutions]

An area rug or carpet adds a beautiful touch to your room, but sometimes that carpet refuses to lie flat or has some unsightly creases from being rolled up or stored in an odd shape. Sometimes your wall-to-wall carpet gets wrinkly over time. How do you get those awful creases out of the carpet? We've done the searching and have some tricks for you to try.

How you flatten your rug or carpet will depend on if you have wall-to-wall carpet or an area rug. They do share a few similar steps to attempt. Try the following methods:

  • Allow the carpet to settle naturally
  • Use a steam iron
  • Roll the area rug in reverse of the wrinkle or crease
  • Place large, heavy furniture on the wrinkles
  • Use a steam cleaner
  • For wall-to-wall carpet specifically: restretch and re-tack the carpet

Now that we've mentioned the basic ways to rid your carpet or unsightly wrinkles, let's discuss them in more detail, as well as address other questions you might have. Continue reading!

Stylish carpet with pattern on floor in room. - How To Get Wrinkles and Creases Out of Carpet [6 Practical Solutions]

How To Get Wrinkles And Creases Out Of Carpet

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Surface of crumpled cloth

Allow the Carpet to Settle Naturally

If the wrinkled culprit is your area rug, once you unroll and place it out, it will settle naturally over time. Those curled edges, wrinkles, or creases will eventually release without intervention. You always have the option to just let gravity do its thing and wait for the creases and wrinkles to go away on your own. Of course, some might not have the patience for this or feel like the creases are unsightly, in which case there are plenty of other methods to try. 

Use a Steam Iron

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Electric iron lying on the old patterned carpet.

A simple household iron can sometimes be the solution to your wrinkly carpet woes. Make sure the handheld iron you use has a steam setting, and that you've poured some water into the iron if necessary, depending on the manufacturer's instructions. Place a slightly damp towel over the wrinkled area and use the iron to steam the wrinkle or crease.

View this mini steam iron on Amazon.

Roll the Area Rug in Reverse of the Wrinkle or Crease

carpet rolled, background

If the wrinkle issue is an area rug, sometimes simply rolling it up in reverse will do the trick. Roll the opposite of whatever wrinkle or crease of which you are attempting to rid yourself. Allow the rug to rest in a rolled position for several hours and hopefully, the creases or wrinkles will release.

Place Large, Heavy Furniture on the Wrinkles 

Placing large pieces of furniture over the wrinkles or creases can help flatten them out. Just ensure, before placing the furniture, that the crease or wrinkle is stretched out or else the heavy furniture could worsen the crease.

You'll need to enlist the help of a friend or two for this. One person will need to stretch the spot while the furniture is placed, while you and your other friend lift and move the furniture over the spot. After some time, depending on how bad the wrinkle or crease was, the area will flatten and smooth. 

Use a Steam Cleaner

Woman cleaning the carpet with a steam cleaner

If all else fails, consider using a steam cleaner on the wrinkles or creases. If you don't own a steam cleaner, you can generally rent one for a fee. Or check around to see if your friends own one. Follow the manufacturer's instructions regarding the use of the steam cleaner, and use it on the stubborn wrinkles or creases.

If you can't rent or borrow a steam cleaner, you can hire someone to come steam your carpets. This is very much the most expensive option to rid your carpet or unsightly wrinkles.

View this steam cleaner on Amazon.

Wondering if you should tip a carpet cleaner? We have a post about that, Do You Tip Carpet Installers And Cleaners?

Restretch and Re-tack the Carpet

If your wrinkles are located on a wall-to-wall carpet, then it's possible you'll have to restretch the whole thing in order to get rid of wrinkles. Once wall-to-wall carpet starts wrinkling, it will only worsen over time. It's best to tackle the issue head-on to avoid more issues later. Take the following steps to restretch the carpet. 

Tools you'll need:

  • Locking pliers (optional)
  • Power stretcher
  • Knee kicker
  • Carpet knife

If you don't own some of this larger equipment, such as a power stretcher or knee kicker, they can generally be rented from most home improvement stores.

Stretching the Carpet

artisan laying carpet

First, remove all the furniture from the room, or at least the furniture from the wrinkles and back.

Next, locate the wall closest to where the wrinkles are located. This is the wall from which you'll want to stretch the carpet.

Pull the carpet up from the tack strip at the baseboard. If you have trouble gripping the carpet or need assistance removing the carpet from the tack strip, this is where you can use the locking pliers if desired.

View these locking pliers on Amazon.

Sink the teeth of the power stretcher into the carpet where it needs to be pulled taut. The power stretcher will have a lever you use to stretch out the wrinkle. 

View this power stretcher on Amazon.

Next, use the knee kicker on either side of the power stretcher to fasten the carpet back onto the tack strip. 

View this knee kicker on Amazon.

There will be excess carpet now; curl it toward you at the baseboard and trim it back with the carpet knife. 

View this carpet knife on Amazon.

Ta-da! You now have wrinkle-free wall-to-wall carpet. 

What causes carpet to wrinkle?

Several factors could cause carpets to wrinkle over time. Let's take a look at a few of the most common causes. 

Poor installation

Carpet installed without a power stretcher will wrinkle over time. The indicators of poorly installed carpet are wrinkles or creases. 

Temperature fluctuations, humidity, or excessive heat

If you live in an environment with a lot of humidity or temperature fluctuations, this can cause the carpet and padding underneath to wrinkle. This can be avoided at times by allowing the uninstalled carpet to rest in the room it will go in so that it can acclimate for a day or two before installation. 

Moisture from excessive carpet cleaning or spills left without adequately drying

Carpet and steam cleaning are great, but ensure that the excess moisture is suctioned away and the carpet is allowed to fully dry before replacing furniture. If left unchecked, excess moisture can lead to your carpet or rug wrinkling.

Old carpet

Sometimes carpet is simply just old and needs replacing. Over time, the carpet does stretch on its own as it wears, sort of like your favorite pair of blue jeans after you wear them awhile. Stretching old carpet can put off needing new for a while, but eventually, the carpet will need replacing.

How do you know if your carpet is stretched enough?

Wrinkles and creases in the surface of the carpet are a big indicator of the carpet needing to be stretched. If no wrinkles are present, a simple way to test would be to try and lift the carpet from the center of the room.

Using your fingers, grab the pile, and try to lift the carpet. If it won't lift very far, that's a good indication that it is adequately stretched. When you let go of the carpet, observe how quickly the carpet goes back into place. If it snaps back down, it is nice and tight and doesn't need stretching. If it floats slowly back down, this indicates a need for stretching. 

In Closing

Wrinkles in your carpet can certainly be unsightly, but they are not impossible to remove. Many methods can be tried to rid these ugly creases from any rug or carpet. Try each method to find what works best for you!

Is carpet hard to install? Read our post, Is Carpet Hard To Install? about just that!

Texture and wrinkles of a carpet made by rag fabric, How To Get Wrinkles and Creases Out of Carpet? [6 Practical Solutions]

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