How to Repair Worn Carpet

Accidents happen. Dogs can't wait to get outside, cigarettes and candles get dropped and somehow, no matter how careful you are, bleach spots magically appear. Damaged carpet is inevitable, but not impossible to repair. Even the worst burns, stains and snags can be restored using items you likely already have in your home. Be patient; carpet repair is not to be rushed. Clean thoroughly beforehand and smooth the pile following repair to make the patch, dye or loose fibres disappear.

Thoroughly vacuum the area. Having the whole carpet professionally cleaned is also a good choice to eliminate debris and stains. This also brings the carpet close to its original colour, which is important if you need to create a patch to replace a worn piece.

Try carpet dye on faded high traffic carpet. Match colour by bringing a remnant piece to a carpet distributor. Pour a few drops of the dye on a rag and dab, not rub, the dye into the pile. Work in stages and re-coat if necessary. Try a similar coloured Sharpie permanent marker for small bleach spots.

Give dull carpet new life by shaving the worn area. Using a new blade on your razor, gently shave the carpet. This removes the faded or worn spots while keeping the integrity of the colour or design. Discard the blade after use.

Replace a ragged, stained or burnt piece. Cut the affected area away with a utility knife down to the carpet padding. Size a remnant colour match to fit; there should be several from the carpet installation. Remove the section and place double sided carpet tape in the resulting hole or on the patch. Note pile or pattern direction on the carpet already laid and the replacement piece. Set the new piece into place and muss the pile to blend the area. This technique works best with uniformly shaped cutouts.

Cut runs or snags from your tightly woven Berber carpet with sharp scissors. Use a carpet glue and a heavy book to weigh down resulting fibre edges. Large pieces can be replaced using the patch method. A professional can reweave damaged areas as well.

Talk to your insurance agent. Badly damaged carpets or blemishes due to fire or flooding may be covered under your homeowner's policy.


Allow adhesives and dyes to dry completely before walking over or vacuuming the affect area of carpet. Smooth the pile with your hand or a comb following patch repair to blend the new piece into the existing carpet.


Never use cleaners containing bleach on your carpet.

Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum
  • Carpet dye
  • Rag
  • Sharpie or other coloured permanent marker
  • Razor blade
  • Utility knife
  • Carpet remnant
  • Double sided carpet tape
  • Sharp scissors
  • Carpet glue
  • Heavy book
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About the Author

Glenna Parks' work has appeared in "Missouri Life" magazine, "Marshall Democrat-News," "Central Collegian," and the Union Pacific and Amtrak employee publications, "BNSF Today" and "BNSF Railway." Parks received a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Central Methodist University in Fayette, Mo., in 2007.