How to Dry Carpet After Cleaning

Did your carpet cleaning leave your carpet feeling damp or wet? Here’s how to dry your carpet after cleaning.

So, you’ve successfully deep cleaned your carpet, but now it’s got that unfortunate dampness that remains after a thorough clean. It’s very important to clean your carpet regularly to avoid a buildup of dust, allergens, and other debris that will make your carpet look dingy and impact your family’s health. 

Once your carpet is clean, you will be left with a damp carpet. If it stays wet for too long, mold and mildew can grow. To prevent that, here’s how to dry your carpet after cleaning it. 

Why is it Important to Dry Your Carpet After Cleaning?

Mold is a huge problem; the longer your carpet stays wet, the more likely it is to grow mold. Promptly drying your carpet after cleaning reduces the chances that your carpet will grow mold that could adversely affect the health of your family. 

Plus, deep cleaning and properly drying your carpets is one way to remove smells from an old house – musty carpet is never the goal!

How Long Does It Take a Carpet to Dry After Cleaning?

The usual time frame is 6-10 hours but can be up to 24 depending on your environment and the cleaning method used. 

Factors that Affect Drying Time

  • Weather: in the humid summer months, the carpet may take longer to dry. Turning on the AC will help minimize the humidity. In the winter months, turning up the heat in the house to combat the cold will make the carpet dry more quickly. 
  • Cleaning Method: different cleaning methods will result in different drying times. Shampooing a carpet will take 6-10 hours to dry, while steam cleaning can take 24+ hours to fully dry.
  • Type of Carpet: artificial materials like nylon or rayon dry much faster than natural fibers like wool or cotton.
  • Air Circulation: the more airflow you have in your home, the faster the carpets will dry. Opening windows and doors and turning on any available fans will help. 

(Source: Bob Vila)

Fastest Ways to Dry Carpet After Cleaning

Use a Fan to Dry Carpet

Use a standing or box fan to dry wet carpet.

Move any standing fans into the carpeted area and turn on any available ceiling fans. The fans will increase air circulation in the area. Increased air circulation will help dry the carpets more quickly. If you can, set up enough fans around the area to create a swirling air pattern to keep air continually moving over the wet area. 

Turn on Air Conditioning

Use an air conditioning unit to dry wet carpet.

Especially in the warmer summer months, turning on the air conditioning in your home is a great way to combat humidity, which will speed up the carpet drying process. 

In the winter, set your thermostat a little higher than the typical room temperature to warm up the room and dry the carpet faster. 

Utilize a Dehumidifier

Use a dehumidifier to dry wet carpet.

A dehumidifier works by removing water from the air surrounding it. A humid environment, with lots of water in the air, can significantly hinder the drying process for your carpet. A dehumidifier will take all that humidity out of the air and create a dry environment. This will allow your carpet to dry faster. 

Open Windows to Dry Carpet

Open windows for air flow to dry wet carpet.

Opening up your windows will help create airflow in your home, which will help your carpets dry faster. The more moist air allowed to escape through the windows away from the space, the faster your carpet will dry.

However, if the air outside is humid, this may backfire and allow moist air in. If it’s a humid day, there might be better options for drying your carpets. 

Towel Dry Carpet

Use dry towels to blot excess moisture from wet carpet.

Lay towels over the entire wet area. Walk over the towels until they are completely soaked, then replace them with clean, dry towels. Repeat the process until as much water as possible is absorbed from the carpet. 

This method is effective but will create many wet towels that need to be laundered, so it may not be the most efficient drying system. 

Use a Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum

Use a wet dry vac to suck up moisture from wet carpet.

A wet/dry shop vacuum will suction out water from the carpet into the tank. Make sure you are using a vacuum meant for wet surfaces. You may have to empty the tank multiple times throughout.

While a wet/dry vacuum will very efficiently clear any remaining water, it may not get any water that has saturated the padding underneath the carpet. 

Expose Padding Beneath Rugs 

Expose the pad underneath thick rugs to dry wet carpet.

If the water from the cleaning process has gone underneath to your rugs’ padding, you may need to lift your rugs to expose the padding beneath to dry them fully. The rug will not fully dry if the padding beneath the carpet is wet. 

Make sure you start in the corner. Once the rug is lifted away from the padding, use a fan or blow dryer to blow dry air between the carpet and the padding to dry it. 

Hire a Professional Blow Dry

Hire a professional carpet cleaner to dry wet carpet.

If your carpet isn’t getting dry, or you don’t have time to wait for it to dry fully, you can hire a professional blow-dry team. Professional teams have the right skills and tools to ensure your carpet is well taken care of. 

This option can be expensive, but it is undoubtedly effective for drying carpets. You can also rent a commercial blow-drying machine.  

More Tips for Drying Carpet

  • Clean your carpet regularly so you don’t have to use as much water every time.
  • Work quickly. The longer you leave the carpet damp, the more likely it is to grow mold or mildew.
  • If you have some wet spots remaining, use baking soda. Sprinkle the baking soda over the damp area and let it sit to allow it to absorb any remaining water. Once it’s dry, vacuum up the baking soda.
Did your carpet cleaning leave your carpet feeling damp or wet? Here’s how to dry your carpet after cleaning.

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