Renovation & Design

Damp cloth and heat can help revive flat carpet

QUESTION: I read your column, and I’m hoping you can help me with this problem. I moved some big pieces of furniture around and I want to bring up the nap in the carpet again. I poked the tines of a fork in the indentations and vacuumed, but that didn’t help. Thanks for your help.— Darwin

Answer: You can use a damp cloth and a hot iron or hair dryer to remove carpet dents (be careful not to scorch the carpet). Place the damp cloth over the dents and place the iron on for a few seconds. Then take a soft hair brush and brush over it to bring up any remaining spots. This may take several minutes.

Or just place a few ice cubes in each of the indentations — when the ice melts use a pet-fur brush to pull up the carpet and the indentations should be gone. Or use a garment steamer or steam iron to soften the indented areas (be careful not soak the carpet), and gently rake the pile with your fingers or a brush to fluff them up again. This takes care of the pile only; indentations in the padding beneath the carpet will take some time after the pressure source is removed to become less flat.


Q: What is the difference between white versus brown sugar and butter versus margarine in a chocolate cookie recipe? Thanks. — Aaron

A: Brown sugar gives you a softer, chewier cookie; white sugar bakes into crispier cookies. Using butter in cookies results in flatter cookies compared with cookies baked with margarine, which are higher. Now I’m hungry.


Feedback from Contributors

Re: rolls of tape 

Hi Reena,

In a recent column, you suggested using a toothpick to help find the end of Scotch Tape. I have a better one, if you do not mind: the tabs that hold the bag on a loaf of bread closed work way better, and I have used this now for years to help find the end of masking tape. Thanks for all the hints over the years. I enjoy your columns.  --Faye

Re: freezing cream cheese 

I read your piece a while ago about not being able to freeze cream cheese and then use it for cheesecake. I just did it and it’s fine. I wonder if it’s a function of the percentage of fat. Mine was 9g fat/226 g box. I say this because in the U.K., heavy/whipping cream can be frozen because it’s 40 per cent fat, whereas Canadian is 33-35 per cent fat and can’t be successfully frozen. Took me years to figure this one out. Thanks. — Selema

Fabulous Tips from Contributors 

● Instead of storing dish soap in a bottle, decant it into a plastic bottle with a spray nozzle. That bottle of dish soap will last about three times as long. Save money and the planet. The pull-up tops of detergent often dispense more than you need. Cheers. — Nikki

● I like to reduce the flour amount in most cookie recipes by one-quarter cup to make the tenderest cookies that do not dry out even after several days. — Glen

● I make icing with confectioner’s sugar and milk. I make it thin, as I "paint" the icing onto the cookies with a pastry brush, thin enough to spread easily but not so thin that it just makes your cookies wet and runny. — Glen


Note: Every user assumes all risks of injury or damage resulting from the implementation of any suggestions in this column. Test all products on an inconspicuous area first.

I enjoy your questions and tips, keep them coming. Need a presenter on the topic: Effective Speaking or The Power of Words? Check out



Browse Homes

Browse by Building Type