Rippled or buckled carpet after cleaning

Written by jules halliday Google
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Rippled or buckled carpet after cleaning
After cleaning, carpets can become rippled or buckled. (Goodshoot RF/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Sometimes after cleaning, you may notice buckles or ripples in your carpet. The reasons for this vary and are normally a result of the cleaning itself but a problem that already existed with the carpet prior to cleaning. If the installer does not power stretch your carpet or fails to do so properly, buckles and ripples may occur. In most cases, the carpet will return to its normal state once fully dry.


Moisture can cause the fibres in the carpet, backing and underlay to swell, which may create a temporary loose appearance. This is more common with older carpets, which may need re-stretching prior to the cleaning. Steam cleaning can reduce the risk of buckling or rippling as less water penetrates the fibres.

Uneven drying

It is common for a carpet to dry unevenly due to different temperatures in the room. It may be cooler near to a window or door whereas sunlight can speed up the drying process in other areas. Any furniture returned to the room after cleaning may result in damp patches underneath and slow down the time it will take to dry fully.

Dragging furniture

Dragging furniture or heavy objects along a carpet can wear down the fibres. This can cause an uneven density and will prevent the carpet from drying evenly thus causing rippling to buckling.


Usually, buckling and rippling after a carpet has been cleaned is not permanent. Avoid walking on the area or replacing furniture for 48 hours to ensure the carpet is fully dried. In most cases, the carpet will return to its original shape, however if it is old or worn, re-stretching may be necessary to remove and bumps or ripples.

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