Cleaning Guides

How Long Does Carpet Take to Dry

Alexander Penyushkin /

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 carpet 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.

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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 significant factor in the carpet’s drying time. Still, don’t miss out on hot water extraction cleaning just because of the drying time—it is a great way to disinfect the carpet’s surface and what’s beneath it. As for dry cleaning – it does not provide the same profound sanitation effect, but it’s an effective restorative procedure nonetheless.
  • The air humidity – if the weather outside is rainy or just humid, your carpet could take as much as 50% more time to dry. Aside from the air outside, the air inside your home can also make a difference. According to the Fantastic carpet cleaning experts: the perfect temperature to air-dry your carpeting is about 24°C or 75°F.
  • The carpeting materials – carpets made from synthetic materials, such as nylon, polyester, polypropylene (olefin), or triexta, will dry significantly faster than carpets made from natural fibres. For example, a polyester carpet could dry in as little as 6 hours after steam cleaning, but a wool carpet might need anywhere from 16 to 24 hours to dry completely.

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!

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