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As is often the case when replacing furniture, I've just bought a new sofa, but the old one has left "footprints" where the carpet pile has been squashed under the feet of the old one.

Is there anything that can be done to make the old footprints blend in? Similarly, is there anything I can do to prevent this in the future?

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For the future, you can get little blocks, kind of like drink coasters, to put under each foot. – aphoria Sep 3 '10 at 21:58
what type of carpet? See this google search : google.com/… – Brian Sep 3 '10 at 22:35
up vote 10 down vote accepted

Lay a very damp, but not dripping, heavy towel over the mark, then iron it with a regular clothes iron on high heat. Go over it for a few minutes until it's good and steamy. Then remove the towel and brush the carpet with a stiff brush, against the direction in which the fibers are lying down. Try to get them raised as much as possible and then let it dry.

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Laying a damp wash cloth over indented carpet and then ironing it with steam was a fantastic idea. I have low pile dense carpet made of polyester and my heavy furniture left deep depressions in the carpet. Using this technique was totally awesome as I sold my home and wanted the carpet in perfect shape. Two thumbs up for this technique. – user7298 Aug 31 '12 at 14:50
That's great, I'm glad to hear it worked so well for you! – Mike Powell Aug 31 '12 at 18:09

I have heard about putting an ice cube in the indentation and letting it melt will help raise the fibers. I did try this once and while it did seem to loosen up the carpet, I still had to comb out the indentation a little.

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Hadn't thought of that. I wonder if adding a tiny amount of fabric conditioner would help as well... – Rowland Shaw Sep 4 '10 at 6:42
Interesting -- any thoughts on why this works? – Mike Powell Sep 6 '10 at 2:35

Two options spring to mind:

  1. Rearrange your furniture regularly. This will cause flattening elsewhere, but give the original area time to "recover". If you don't want to do this make sure you move the sofa when you vacuum. The suction should help the pile lift a little bit (but it's not a complete solution).

  2. If it's not a fitted carpet rotate it every so often. If it's square do it 90° at time, if not 180° will have to do. Again it spreads the flattening out and gives the previously affected areas time to recover.

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