How to Get Wrinkles Out of Carpet Without A Stretcher

Patricia Oelze
by Patricia Oelze

Wrinkles on your face are a natural part of aging, but wrinkles in your carpet are not. There are many reasons why your carpet may have wrinkles or ripples in it. Some of these include humidity, flooding, and improper installation. But if you do not have a carpet stretcher, what can you do?

You can use a carpet kicker or steamer to remove wrinkles from a carpet without a stretcher. Applying pressure and weighing down your carpet can also help remove wrinkles. You can place ice cubes on wrinkled carpet and blot it dry to remove wrinkles.

A carpet kicker is a sort of mini stretcher that you can use to stretch the carpet effectively without a stretcher. By hitting it with your knee, the tacks on the other end push the carpet to the wall, where you can tack it down. However, there are more detailed steps to do it correctly.

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How to Get Wrinkles Out of Carpet Without A Stretcher

If you do not have a carpet kicker, you can use your own feet to stretch the carpet. It is not difficult and can actually be somewhat entertaining.

  • First, get all of the furniture out of the room.
  • Pull up the carpet with pliers, starting in one corner of the room.
  • Remove the carpet from the tack strips working from wall to wall.
  • Replace damaged tack strips as you work if they are bent.
  • Start at one end of the room, stand about a foot from the wall, and jump forward with both your feet, letting the carpet slide into the wall.
  • The carpet should move at least 3″. Try again if it did not move until it does.
  • Tack the carpet in place where it moved.
  • Repeat these steps until you the carpet is stretched to your liking.
  • Trim the excess carpet from the edges and tuck the carpet between the floor and the wall.

How to Get Wrinkles Out of Carpet Using a Carpet Kicker

  • Remove all the furniture from the room.
  • Use a pair of locking pliers to pull the carpet from one corner of the room.
  • Continue to pull the carpet up from the tack strips all along one wall.
  • You may have to replace some of the tack strips if they are crushed or bent. Make sure you put on thick gloves before replacing the tack strips because they are sharp.
  • Start at one end of the wall and place the tack strip end of the carpet kicker about five inches from the wall. Hit the padded end of the carpet kicker with your knee to stretch the carpet.
  • Pull the carpet up and over the carpet tacks and pin it securely before cutting the excess carpet off at the wall.
  • Push the ends of the carpet under the wall with a putty knife.

Make Your Own Carpet Kicker

You can make your own carpet kicker with a 4×4, some tack strips, and a few other items. It is not difficult and can be done in less than an hour. Here are the easy steps to take in making your own carpet kicker.

  • Using a 4×4 or two 2x4s nailed together, cut a piece about 16 inches.
  • Cut a tack strip into several 16-inch length pieces. You need enough to cover one side of the piece of wood.
  • Use wood glue to affix the tack strips to one side of the piece of wood. The tacks need to be facing down.
  • Cut a piece of foam padding and glue it to one end of the wood. You can cover the padding with whatever material you like by holding it to the wood with finishing nails.
  • If you do not have any foam padding, you can leave it as it is and just use a mallet or hammer to stretch the carpet instead of your knee.

Related Questions

What are some of the reasons that carpets get wrinkles or ripples?

There are many reasons that your carpet may end up with wrinkles. It could be that the carpet was just faulty, or the installer was in a hurry. It may be from moisture or high heat. Check out these other reasons why carpet would get wrinkles or ripples.

Causes for Wrinkles in CarpetExplanation
Old carpetingSimilar to humans, age can cause wrinkles too. If your carpet is over five years old or gets a lot of traffic, this can eventually cause wrinkles.
Cheap carpet paddingHaving a thin or low-cost carpet pad can cause wrinkles as well. The thickness and quality of the carpet pad are always described by the carpet manufacturer.
Having heavy furnishingsAny kind of heavy furniture can cause shifts in the carpet. Especially if you move it without lifting it up off the floor.

An office chair that is constantly moving is another cause of carpet wrinkles. If you have a heavy swivel chair, make sure it has wheels and consider putting a carpet protector underneath.

Moisture or humidityUsing a steam cleaner can also damage the carpet and padding if the floor does not get dried out enough. Not only does this cause mold, but excess moisture and humidity can cause the carpet to bunch up. The carpet may even separate from the backing and you will end up needing a whole new carpet.
Excess heatHigh temperatures in the room can cause buckling and wrinkling if it is not used to its surroundings. Never leave a new carpet in a room that gets over 80 degrees.
Improper installationThe most common reason that your carpet gets wrinkles is because of improper installation. Using a cheap or unprofessional carpet installer is always a bad idea. Not only does it possibly cause wrinkles, it can also void the warranty. Always check out your carpet installer’s references before hiring.
Wrong type of underlayHaving the wrong type of underlay material is also a common reason for rippling or wrinkles. The carpet has to have proper support underneath it, so it does not move when in use.
Not acclimatedAfter installation, the carpet installer should always wait the proper amount of time before stretching and attaching the carpet to the floors. The typical amount of time for acclimation is about 3 to 5 hours.
Factory defectsSome carpets are not laminated correctly at the factory and it can cause delamination after installation. This is due to a breakdown of adhesives.
What does it mean by the carpet has to be acclimated?

According to the experts, carpet has to get used to the interior conditions before installation and stretching. The carpet may have been sitting in a cold (or hot) carpet van for weeks before it gets put in your warm (or cool) house.

It is best for a carpet to be brought into the room where it will be installed and unrolled. Then it will typically be left for several hours or even overnight. The carpet installation company will sometimes have the carpet delivered the day or night before installation so it can get used to the temperature and humidity of the home.

Do You Need a Carpet Repaired, Refastened, or Stretched?

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Can I Rent a Carpet Stretcher?

Yes, there are many companies that rent carpet stretchers. In fact, you can typically rent a carpet stretcher and carpet kicker for less than $50. And they are not difficult to use either. Follow these steps to stretching your carpet with a carpet stretcher.

  • Take all the furniture out of the room.
  • Using a pair of locking pliers, grab the carpet in one corner and pull up on it, unhooking it from the carpet tacks along the wall.
  • Continue to do this all along one wall.
  • Put the end of the power stretcher with back padding against the middle of the wall across from the wall you pulled the carpet up from. Use a piece of cardboard to protect your wall.
  • Adjust the pole so the head is six to eight inches from the center of the wall with the loose carpet.
  • Turn the knob on the head of the stretcher to push the teeth out so it can grab the carpet.
  • Press on the stretcher handle to stretch the carpet toward the wall with the loose carpet.
  • Attach the newly stretched carpet to the carpet tacks and then push the carpet between the wall and the floor with a knife.
  • After loosening the carpet stretcher, move the head about 12 inches to the right.
  • Repeat steps 5 – 8.
  • Continue to move one foot at a time until you get to the corner.
  • Use your carpet kicker to stretch the corner carpet so you can tuck the excess in between the floor and the wall.
  • Repeat steps 5 – 9 until the whole carpet is finished.
Patricia Oelze
Patricia Oelze

I am a DIYer who loves writing about anything home-related. When I am not writing, you can find me studying for my PhD in Psychology, photographing nature, and swimming at the lake with my grandkids.

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