How to Dry a Wet Carpet

Suffering from a spill? Or has flooding wreaked havac on your carpet and textiles? Some may be tempted to just let the carpet air dry and let it take care of itself. However, It's a bad idea to leave a wet carpet alone and hope for the best. Wet carpet is an invitation for mould to grow, not to mention the damage it can cause to the carpet. Using our easy guide, you can learn how to dry wet carpet quickly to prevent damage, mildew, and also damp socks!

If the source of your wet carpet problem is anything other than clean water, you may also want to check our article on carpet cleaning.

When dealing with flooding, there are a lot of things to do, and if you want to minimise water damage, you have limited time to do them. Water damage restoration services and expert carpet cleaning can be a lifesaver for flooded carpets.

How to dry carpet

Remove excess moisture

Man removing excess moisture from a wet a carpet to help dry

The first thing to do is to move any furniture that is sitting on the wet area. Drying will be harder with furniture in the room, and the furniture itself will be at risk for dampness.

The carpet will be harder to remove liquid from after it’s sunk into the fibres, so begin getting rid of the water as soon as possible.

When drying wet carpet, you’ll find it useful to put down towels. Lay a towel over the stained area, replace the damp towel with a dry one, then apply pressure until it has absorbed as much as it can.

You might also consider using a wet vacuum. This is a type of vacuum cleaner that can remove liquids as well as dry particles without clogging up the machine.

 It’s unlikely that you have a wet vacuum to hand if this is an accidental spill. However, if you’re dealing with a recurring flooding issue, wet vacuuming could be something to invest in as it can work wonders for wet carpets. 

Never use a regular vacuum cleaner on liquids as this can easily break them.

In both instances, the carpet cannot be completely dried with the towels or the wet vacuum. If you want the carpet to be damp, rather than soggy, you should eliminate as much moisture as possible.

Let the Carpet Air Out

Bedroom windows open to air dry we carpet

The carpet should be checked underneath. You need to get the wet floor underneath the carpet dry first: replacing a carpet is easier than replacing the floor. Even if the floor below isn't wet, the carpet will dry significantly faster if it's completely removed and hung to air out and dry in the sun. It’s a pain, but it’s worth doing to save your carpet.

Of course, this isn’t an easy step and it isn't always doable. Fortunately, there are a few more things you can do to speed up the drying process of your carpet:

  • Increase airflow by opening the windows. Fresh air on the carpet will dry and aerate at the same time (as well as preventing that stale smell)
  • On a humid day, you may find that running a fan rather than opening a window works better
  • If it's cold, turn on the central heating or use a portable heater
  • Install a dehumidifier in the space to absorb excess moisture in the air

Use bicarbonate of soda to dry a carpet

A spoonful bicarbonate of soda on a wet carpet to dry it

This is an optional step that you may want to use after you've soaked up any excess water from spills. Bicarbonate of soda can help absorb extra water deeper into the fibres, and it also works to get rid of that funky wet carpet smell!

Don't use the soda until you've drained as much as possible from the carpet beforehand, otherwise this step will be a lot trickier. 

Once the affected area has become more ‘damp’ than ‘sopping wet', liberally pour bicarbonate of soda over it, let it sit for an hour or so, then vacuum it up. Some of the moisture will be drawn into the soda which you can then easily pick up and dispose of.

If you're only dealing with a tiny section of your carpet, this method is a quick and inexpensive way to dry it. Of course, if you have a significant area of carpet that has been damaged by indoor floods or leaks, you may need to use many pots of soda, which isn't ideal!  

Replace Carpets Padding

Home owner replacing carpet padding to dry wet carpet

In most circumstances, if your carpet has been flooded or drenched with water, your carpet padding will be ruined. It should be replaced to keep the main carpet from becoming mouldy and damaged. A new layer of padding should also make your carpet a little comfier to walk on!

Use a Hairdryer

To further soak up water, place towels over the carpeting and walk over them. As they become wet, replace them with fresh, dry towels. Hold a hair dryer over the damp towels and dry them on a medium setting. Continue to do this until they are completely dry, then pick up the towels.

Try Steam Cleaning

Steam cleaning a wet or water damaged carpet eliminates impurities and nasty growths, and also deodorises it. You can do it yourself or hire an expert carpet cleaning service to assist you. Steam has a high enough temperature to kill any toxins, and as the steam cleaner sucks up the dead mould spores, it also reduces the potential harm a wet carpet has on your health. 

Steam cleaner on a wet carpet

How long does it take for a wet carpet to dry? 

It varies based on the carpet's material and fibres, how wet it is, and whether it can be hung up. 

The majority of carpets should be dry if left for 24 hours if the temperature and air is right. If the carpet is wet for more than two days, it may develop mould, mildew, and bacteria, so it’s best to do everything you can to speed up the drying process. 

Never delay if you notice a spill, as mould in a carpet can be bad for your respiratory system and overall health. 

Hire a Professional Cleaning Service to Restore Your Carpet

It's essential to have wet carpets thoroughly cleaned and dried if you want to salvage them. Up-to-date and effective carpet cleaning tools and procedures are needed to ensure there’s no harmful bacteria hiding underfoot. When your carpet is serviced for cleaning, you want at least 90% of the dirt and bacteria to be taken from it. This is why it’s always best to employ professionals. 

Cleaning a carpet involves the same specialised processes whether it's in a home or an office. Your goal is to hire a carpet cleaning company that uses specialist equipment and products to get the most out of your carpet cleaning service. Don’t settle when you have water-logged carpets!

Brown wet carpet close up

Let A Cleaning Service Clean your Wet Carpet

When you need carpet cleaning experts who are not only members of the NCCA, Trustmark, and Trading Standards authorised, but also have the customer service quality you deserve, contact A Cleaning Service.

We have specialists on staff who provide professional high-quality carpet cleaning to restore your carpets back to their former glory. You’ll love the quality, and you can also discuss your needs so we can give you targeted and specialised cleaning where you need it most.

Our carpet cleaning services cover North Somerset (covering Portishead, Nailsea, Clevedon, and Weston Super Mare), Bristol, Cardiff, Newport, Bath, Bridgewater, and Gloucester. We’ll also give you a 100% satisfaction guarantee- why would you want to go anywhere else?