Getting carpets professionally cleaned comes with a lot of benefits. Though, the drying time is often considered an issue, especially when you are expecting guests or are just trying to keep the pet and kids away from the wet rug. It doesn’t have to be so complicated. In fact, you can enjoy fresh and clean carpets, and cope with the drying time inconvenience easier than expected. 

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How long does a carpet take to dry completely

It pretty much depends on the cleaning technique. The choice normally is between dry cleaning and hot water extraction (often referred to as steam cleaning). The drying period is one of the main differences between the two. The first method involves minimum moisture and, therefore, there is almost zero drying time. 

That’s not the case with the steam cleaning where mainly pressurised hot water is used. The moisture penetrates deep into the carpet’s fabric to loosen up the dirt and contaminants. Although the water is then extracted up to 95%, the carpet remains a little bit wet. When left on its own, a carpet will normally take between 3 and 6 hours to dry completely. This time can be significantly reduced if there is lower humidity, higher temperature and fresh air accessing the room.

Check also!: Dry Carpet Cleaning Vs. Steam Cleaning

Factors that affect how long your carpets will need to dry:

  • The type of cleaning technique – As we clarified above, the cleaning method is a major factor when it comes to the carpet’s drying time. Still, don’t skip on a hot water extraction cleaning just because of the drying time. This a great way to disinfect not only the carpet’s surface but also what’s beneath it. Dry cleaning does not provide the same deep sanitation effect and could be qualified as a refreshing procedure.  
  • The specifics of the carpet’s material – Not all carpets can be cleaned with water. Those that can come with their specifics. Some materials can absorb a substantial amount of liquid easier than others, and thus, require a lot more drying time. Wool carpets, for instance, are heavily absorbent. Although a 100% wool carpet could be steam cleaned, it may need up to 24 hours to dry, even longer if the weather is cooler.  Natural materials usually cannot be subjected to hot water extraction cleaning. Synthetic ones, on the other hand, can and they easily release the moisture trapped in their fibres, making the drying period shorter.
  • The temperature and humidity inside and outside your home – Basically, the lower the humidity in the room is, the quicker your wet carpet will dry. It is a lot easier for moisture to evaporate when the air is dry and the temperature is high. After a while, though, it is best to let the accumulated humid air out and some fresh air in. It would be best if the weather outside is sunny and warm. Even if that’s not the case, it is preferable to avoid being in an enclosed space with a wet carpet

How can you make a carpet dry faster

  • Keep the windows open – Good ventilation is the main factor that determines how long your carpets will take to dry. So, the easiest way to provide sufficient air circulation is to crack open a window. Just open as many as you can when the cleaners leave and don’t close them for the next few hours
  • Put on the AC – Opening a window won’t be as effective if it’s rainy and cold outside. In this case, the AC is your best bet. Leave it on and check the carpet every few hours to see if you need to adjust the temperature. You can also check if your AC can serve as a dehumidifier. Some models have that function and it should be mentioned in the manual.  
  • Make use of the fans – If you have fans in the house, then don’t hesitate to take advantage of them. Whether it’s a ceiling fan, floor fan or just a desk fan, they can significantly help speed up the drying of the carpet. The only difference is their efficiency, as smaller and less powerful fans will have to work longer hours to dry the material.

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  • When you opt for a carpet cleaning method that involves water, you will have a minimum drying time of 3 to 6 hours. 
  • It is important to learn more about your carpet’s fabric. Not just to know how to best clean and maintain it, but also to try and estimate approximately how long the fibres will take to dry.
  • Leaving the room well ventilated can shorten the drying time by at least 1-2 hours. 


Need more information about drying a carpet? Perhaps you have a question regarding your carpet’s specifics? Don’t hesitate to ask us in our comment section below!

  • Last update: April 16, 2020

Posted in All Articles, Cleaning Guides

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