How to dry your wet carpet: easy and fast ways
A wet carpet can cause mold growth, which can put your and your family’s health at risk. This article will show you how to dry your wet carpet.
How long does it take a wet carpet to dry?
The time of your carpet drying depends on what drying methods you chose, who dries it, and even what time of the year it is. After a professional cleaning, your carpet can feel damp for 6-10 hours. Some rugs can hold moisture for up to 24 hours, and the hours also depend on the time of the year and humidity level.
If you need to dry a wet carpet after a serious leak or a flood, it will take longer to dry. Even if you use the most effective ways to dry wet carpet, it can still take up to 3 days. Your carpet can still be wet after 72 hours even after a professional carpet cleaner.
How to dry your wet carpet: easy and fast ways
There are many ways how to dry wet carpet quickly. The way you dry carpet depends on the way you clean it. You can use a dry cleaner, steam cleaner, or special carpet cleaner.
Create air flow
One of the best ways to dry a wet carpet fast is by creating a nice airflow in your room.
But first, you need to check your carpet underneath. It’s necessary to get the wet floor under the carpet dry first – it’s way easier to replace a carpet than a floor. The carpet will also dry much faster if there’s no water underneath – you can even hang your carpet up, so it won’t be touching the wet area.
If the room with your drying carpet has windows, open windows to let the fresh air do its work. This way is also perfect for avoiding any damp, musty smells that some wet carpets can have, especially after being in a closed room.
It’s especially good if you have 2 windows facing each other. You can open one a little bit and the other one fully and let the air dry your carpet. That will make a strong crosswind, which will help your carpet to dry even faster with all the fresh air.
But you need to remember that this method heavily depends on the weather. If there’s rain or a lot of clouds, opening windows won’t much with drying your carpet. On the contrary, such weather can add even more humidity to your room. So, when it’s not sunny outside, keep your windows closed and try some other methods that will be listed next.
Use a fan
Ceiling fans can be very useful when you need to dry carpet. It will work best if your carpet is right under the fan.
You can use a ceiling fan if the weather is not very good for drying your carpet. The fan will form a concentrated channel of air that can dry the carpet rather fast. The ceiling fan is also a great method to avoid damp smells because it circulates air very well.
You can even use a regular desk or standing fan if you don’t have a ceiling one. But these 2 options definitely won’t be as effective as the ceiling one, since it has a perfect location above the carpet. But you still can put 2 small fans on different sides of your carpet to create good circulation and let the air dry your carpet.
Some professionals also use a fan or a blower to dry a carpet after the cleaning. It’s a quite quick method, but it can be not as thorough as the other ones. But anyway, it’s a great way to start the drying process.
You can use other things that create an airflow to dry carpet, for example, an air-conditioner. But this shouldn’t be one of your first choices. While it still can dry carpet, it’s not as effective as a ceiling fan. It doesn’t circulate that much air, so it can’t create a fresh environment. But if the weather is rainy and humid, the air-conditioner can be helpful if you don’t have a fan.
You need to keep in mind that the cold air from the air-conditioner will react with the damp material of your carpet. It can be difficult to understand if your carpet is dry or simply cold. The best way to dry your carpet is to expose it to warm and dry air, much like a sunny and warm day. Using cold air can take longer and be not as effective.
When your carpet starts to feel dry, you should turn off the air-conditioner. Let it warm up to room temperature and then check its padding.
Use a hair dryer
If you don’t have anything else, and you need to soak up water, you can use even a hairdryer. Just place towels over your carpet and walk over them. Replace them with new and dry towels when they become wet. Dry the damp towels with the hairdryer in a medium setting. Proceed to do this until they become fully dry and then replace them with the other ones.
Use a shop vac
A shop vac is usually used in woodwork shops or on building sites. It has a very strong suction and can deal with much more difficult challenges and objects than a regular vacuum cleaner. But you don’t have to go being your carpet anywhere – you can just rent a shop vacuum cleaner in some local hardware store.
Some of these vacuums are also great for wet vacuuming. They are called dry or wet vacuum. This wet vacuum cleaner has a very strong motor and a special filter that can remove water. You can probably use any shop vac, but you need to make sure that the filter is made out of a sponge or is water-safe. Usual paper filers will be destroyed after interacting with water.
A wet vacuum usually comes with a lot of attachments to fit the size of the affected area with the water damage. You can start with the largest attachment, which will probably get as much water as it can, and then try the smaller ones if it’s still damp.
You need to push the attachment into the carpet while cleaning – this will ensure a good suction of the remaining water from the padding, which holds most of the water.
Try steam cleaning
Steam cleaning can help with an especially wet or water-damaged carpet by eliminating nasty growths and impurities and deodorizing everything. You can do it yourself, but also call a professional to clean and dry your carpet. Steam has a high temperature that will kill any toxins and the steam cleaner sucks any impurities and can prevent mold growth.
Call a cleaning service
If you want to save your wet carpet, it’s very important to clean and dry it. Most modern and effective carpet cleaning devices and methods can destroy all harmful bacteria from water damage. It’s good to get rid of at least 90% of the excess moisture and dirt to successfully clean and completely dry a carpet. That’s why it is a good idea to call a professional.
When hiring a cleaning company, make sure they use the most advanced equipment for wet carpets, so there will be no excess moisture left.
Replace carpet padding
Sometimes, when there was a flood, the carpet padding can be ruined. The padding always holds all the excess moisture, which means you won’t be able to dry a carpet quickly. In this case, you need to replace the padding before it becomes damaged and moldy. A new layer of padding means no more wet carpet, and also adds some comfort to the main carpet.
What dries a carpet fast?
If the previous ideas didn’t work or aren’t fast enough, there is another method. Baking soda is a universal thing used for a lot of activities, mostly baking and cleaning. But it also can be very effective at absorbing fluids, which means you can use it for carpet cleaning.
Remove excess water
Before using baking soda in this drying process, you need to remove as much water as possible. You can choose one of the methods above and start drying the carpet with a fan, dry towels, or a shop vac. Don’t forget to extract water from the padding, it holds a lot of it.
Sprinkle baking soda
When you dried the carpet enough, it’s time to use some baking soda. Spread a lot of it over the wet area of the carpet. You will probably need more than one can, so don’t forget to buy enough soda before starting this process.
Let the baking soda sit on the carpet for an hour. But if you have time, you can leave it for the whole 24 hours. The baking soda will absorb all the moisture and smell on the carpet.
Take a vacuum and hoover the entire area. If you have a bagged vacuum, don’t forget to replace its bag afterward because soda can clog.
Run a fan
There can still be a little bit of excess water left on the carpet. You can get a carpet completely dry by finishing with a fan.
This method is also very helpful if you don’t have a whole wet carpet, but a small section of it. It’s very easy to pour some soda over a small area and one pack will be enough.
Will the wet carpet dry on its own?
It can vary based on the material and fibers of the carpet, how wet it is, and whether you can hang it up or not.
Most carpets can dry on their own if you left them for 24 hours, but only in the air and temperature are alright. But it’s not a very good idea to just leave it because a carpet only needs 2 days to develop some mold and bacteria. So, you should do everything to start the carpet cleaning and drying as soon as possible.
Is the carpet ruined if it gets wet?
It’s very important to dry the carpet correctly and completely after carpet cleaning, leak, or flooding. Otherwise, there’s a high chance the space between the floor and the padding will create a perfectly dark and moist area for mold to grow. Mold is very quick to ruin the surface it grows on. And it’s hard to notice it, but you will feel the smell.
The carpet’s padding acts like a sponge and soaks up any moisture that it comes in contact with. When mold starts to form, it quickly creates an awful air quality that can lead to respiratory issues such as asthma. In the worst-case scenario, it can even lead to infections and severe illnesses.
It can also be very tricky to get fir of mold. You need to find and get rid of the source because spores easily spread and create a new mold. If you can’t do it, you might need some professional help. However, it’s not a very large issue for professionals. They will be able to remove it easily using their mold-killing equipment and products.
How long before mold grows on a wet carpet?
Mold can begin to form in a carpet within the first 24-48 hours since contact with water. It will continue to grow rapidly until you don’t get rid of it.
There are some signs that the carpet could be infested by mold:
- Smell: sour or musty and coming from the carpet.
- Color: some discoloration on the carpet or the padding.
- Breathing difficulties: people can experience some allergic symptoms, and people with asthma can be affected especially.
Now you know how to dry a carpet fast in a few different ways, and also why thorough carpet cleaning and drying are important processes. Don’t forget that even a simple spill can harm your floor, carpet, or even family members. Want to know how to remove ink from leather, read.