Carpet burns can happen in a variety of ways, but dropped
cigarettes are by far the most common cause. Of course you should
try to pick up that lit cigarette as quickly as possible. If
you do get it before it makes a hole, the damage can be easily
You can repair the carpet in the case of many light burns.
Perhaps "repair" is not be the right word here, because
you really just make the damage unnoticeable. To do this use
a small pair of sharp scissors. Carefully clip off the blackened
ends of the carpet fibers until no burn is visible. Then, if
necessary, you can trim the tufts around the spot, shortening
them slightly, so the remaining depression blends into the surrounding
If done right (and assuming the burn was minor), the damage
will be invisible. If this doesn't work, you can try the method
for repairing cigarette holes.
Repairing Cigarette or Burn Holes in Carpet
Often a dropped cigarette will burn a neat little hole right
to the bottom of the carpet fibers. You can improve the appearance
of these holes by trimming away the burnt fibers, as described
above. But you will still have a noticeable hole.
The video below shows you a good
method for repairing a carpet burn, but be careful using the
carpet cleaning spray which is used. It has been known to damage
or discolor some carpet fibers, so at the very least rinse it
all out well.
Now what you need to do is to fill the hole with new fibers.
If you have any left-over pieces from when the carpet was installed,
you can use these. Otherwise, clip some fibers from some hidden
spot which has the same carpet, like the corner of a closet,
or behind a door. If you take just a small piece from several
different locations, the spots will probably be entirely unnoticeable.
Put a small gob of waterproof glue into the burn hole and,
using tweezers, push the new carpet fibers into place until the
hole is full. Cover the spot with a clean white cloth or paper
towel and place something heavy on it. Let it dry for a few hours.
Afterwards you can trim the fibers if any are sticking up
above the level of the surrounding carpet. If done well, the
cigarette hole will now be invisible.
Larger burns might require replacement of a small section
of carpeting. For more on that see the page on permanent