How to Remove Dents From Paper

If you’ve ever encountered a dent in your paper, whether it’s a valuable drawing, an important document, or a cherished photograph, you know how frustrating it can be. However, there are several techniques you can try to remove those unsightly dents and restore the paper to its original condition. In this article, we will explore various methods that can help you effectively remove dents from paper.

How to Remove Dents From Paper

Dents on paper can occur due to various reasons such as improper handling, pressure, or accidents. Luckily, with the right techniques, you can often fix these dents and restore the paper’s appearance. Let’s explore some effective methods for removing dents from paper.

The Wet Technique

One of the simplest techniques to remove dents from paper is the wet technique. Start by moistening the area around the dent. You can either use water or a damp cloth if water is not accessible. Allow the paper to sit until it is dry. As the paper dries, the moisture will help smooth out any bumps on the paper surface and lift the dent itself.

The Hot Iron Technique

If you have access to an iron, the hot iron technique can work wonders for removing dents from paper. Place a hot iron on top of the dent for approximately 30 seconds, ensuring the heat penetrates the paper fibers. Then, gently lift the iron away. The heat from the iron softens the paper fibers, allowing them to contour around the dent and restore the paper’s original shape.

The Sponge Technique

Another effective method is the sponge technique. If you have a damp sponge available, moisten the surface and gently rub it around the dent. Be cautious not to apply too much pressure or over-rub the area, as it may tear or rip the paper. This technique can help flatten out the dent and restore the paper’s smooth surface.

The Lighter Method

For minor dents, you can try the lighter method. Hold the tip of a lighter close to the dent without touching the paper. The heat from the flame will gradually soften the paper fibers, allowing them to be molded back into shape. Be careful not to hold the flame too close to avoid burning the paper. This method requires patience and precision but can yield satisfactory results.

The Big Old Book Method

When other techniques fail, the big old book method can come to the rescue. Place your paper between two heavy books or other flat objects, ensuring the dent is facing upwards. Allow the paper to sit for a couple of days, allowing gravity to slowly pull out the dent over time. This method is particularly useful for more severe dents but may require a longer waiting period.

The Paperclip Technique

If your dents are minor and don’t require extensive treatment, the paperclip technique can be effective. Take a large paperclip and use it to gently push down on the dent until it pops back out. If needed, you can switch the paperclip to your dominant hand or use your weaker hand for added control. This technique is quick and easy, making it suitable for small dents.

The Hair Dryer Method

The hair dryer method can be useful for minor dents on paper. Set your blow dryer to a warm or hot setting and direct the airflow towards the dent. The heat from the hair dryer will help bolster the paper fibers, making them less resistant to being pulled back into place. Although not the most effective method, it can still contribute to the restoration of your paper.


Dents in paper can be a frustrating issue, but with the right techniques, you can often fix them and restore the paper’s original condition. Whether you choose the wet technique, hot iron technique, sponge technique, lighter method, big old book method, paperclip technique, or hair dryer method, it’s essential to approach the process with care and patience. By following these methods, you can significantly improve the appearance of dented paper and enjoy your restored documents, drawings, or photographs.


Can these methods be used on different types of paper?

Yes, these methods can generally be used on various types of paper. However, it’s always a good idea to test the technique on a small, inconspicuous area before applying it to the entire paper.

Can these methods work on old or delicate paper?

Old or delicate paper requires extra caution. It’s advisable to consult a professional conservator or expert before attempting any dent removal techniques on such paper.

What should I do if the dent doesn’t fully disappear?

If the dent persists after attempting the techniques, you may need to seek professional assistance from a paper restoration specialist.

Can I use a hairdryer on the coldest setting?

While a hairdryer on the coldest setting may not be as effective, it can still contribute to the restoration process by cooling and setting the paper fibers.

Are there any alternative methods to remove dents from paper?

There may be other techniques or variations of the methods mentioned in this article. It’s always a good idea to explore different approaches or seek professional advice when dealing with valuable or sensitive paper.

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