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A deep cigarette burn or indelible-ink stain in your carpeting doesn't have to be permanent — a carpet-patch repair tool can quickly remove and replace the damage. The tool looks like a cookie cutter designed by Stephen King: It's about 3 inches in diameter, with two sharp razor blades protruding from its rim. You'll find the tool ($7) at a carpet shop that caters to pro installers. Also buy a peel-and-stick adhesive disk ($2) as well as a tube of carpet glue ($5).

To begin the repair, place the cutting tool over the damaged area, press down, and twist until you've cut through the carpet but not the padding. Remove and discard the plug of damaged carpet. Then cut a replacement patch from a leftover carpet swatch or from an inconspicuous place, such as inside a closet.

Next, remove the protective backing from the adhesive disk and slip it into the hole with the adhesive side facing up. Apply a bead of carpet glue around the hole edge and firmly press the patch into place. Let the adhesive cure overnight, then vacuum the area to help blend the carpet fibers over the repair.