How to Flatten a Wrinkled Area Rug

Rolling up an area rug to move or store sometimes results in unsightly wrinkles, ridges or waves, preventing the rug from lying flat. Fix the problem by allowing the rug to relax a bit, helping it along with heavy objects or sunshine.

Rolled-Rug Blues

An area rug that has been rolled up for a while -- especially one with a backing -- may look wrinkled or rippled a bit when you unroll it. Creases and wrinkles across the entire rug are not uncommon and they may make you want to roll the rug right back up and give it away. Instead, roll it out over a flat, smooth floor so it can relax on its own for a day or two; it may take a little longer if the rug has a thick backing.

Reverse Rolling

If the rug still seems a bit wrinkled after several days, roll it in the opposite direction of the curls or ripples. If the edges curl upward, roll the rug so the edges curl down, toward the backing of the rug. Unroll the rug again after several hours or more, and smooth it back out on the floor. If the rug's ripples seem particularly stubborn and remain after this treatment, smooth the rug out as much as possible, and then place heavy objects -- such as books or clean boards -- on it for a day or so to help it relax faster.

Curled Corners

If the edges or corners of the rug curl up a bit, fold them under slightly, forming an arc shape rather than creasing them. Place a few heavy objects near the edges of the rug, such as a stack of books, if the rug won't stay put in this shape on its own. Keep the rug positioned like this for a day or two, and then tug the edges flat again. This "trains" the corners and edges to lie flat.

Relaxing in the Sun

A warm, sunny day of relaxation outdoors isn't just nice for humans -- it's good for a wrinkled rug, too. Spread the rug out flat, upside down, on a clean surface such as a patio table during sunny, moderately warm weather. Several hours of natural warmth relaxes the rug's fibers. It should lie flat on your floor after that.