Carpet burn accidents happen in an instant. All it takes is a wayward fireplace ember or a dropped curling iron to leave an unsightly mark on your carpet. Before shelling out big bucks on new carpet or a professional restoration, consider doing the repairs yourself using items you already have around the house.
Get surface scorch marks out of carpet by gently buffing the affected area with 220-grit sandpaper. If you don’t have sandpaper, carefully trim the tips of the scorched carpet with manicure scissors. Vacuum the residue and remove remaining stains with a solution of mild detergent and water.
Clean from the outer edge to the center of the burn to prevent the discoloration from spreading into surrounding carpet fibers. Spray with water to rinse. Remove excess moisture by blotting with a clean towel. Avoid walking on the repair until the area is completely dry.
Cut away charred carpet fibers. Snip or pull replacement fibers from a closet corner or along the edge of a baseboard. Apply superglue or contact cement to the base of the burned spot. Squeeze the replacement fibers together and press them firmly into the opening. Weight the repair with a heavy pot or book. Allow the glue to dry completely, remove the weight, and trim the fibers flush with the rest of the carpet.
Large burns may require replacing a section of carpet. Cut around the damaged spot with a sharp utility knife without cutting into the carpet pad. Use that piece as a template for the replacement. Cut the new piece from an inconspicuous area of the house or a carpet remnant.
Make the replacement piece slightly larger than the original to ensure a snug fit. Vacuum the repair spot and apply double-sided tape in the bottom of the opening. Position the replacement piece over the area and carefully press it into place. Blend new and old fibers together with your fingers. Set the seams with a rolling pin and trim any stray fibers.
Do not sand or trim the ends of looped pile carpets. Sanding or cutting the loops will further damage the carpet, resulting in more problems than the burn itself.
Create an alternative cleaning solution for carpet burns using 1 part hydrogen peroxide and 10 parts water. Hydrogen peroxide works as a natural bleaching agent to gently remove stains from textiles.
In the case of extensive damage or botched DIY repair, contact a licensed flooring contractor or certified carpet restoration service to assess the damage and recommend next steps.