How Long Does It Take for Carpet to Dry?

Red and black carpet steamer being used to clean pink wall-to-wall carpet.

Anybody whose living space includes carpet or rugs knows that keeping them clean can be a challenge, particularly if more than a quick vacuum is required. Washing a carpet may be necessary after a spill or if the carpet is in a high-traffic area frequented by children or pets.

When you need carpet to be washed and dried, whether it’s because you’re preparing to host a party or just want to get the cleaning done before the kids get home from school, you might ask, How long does it take carpet to dry?

The answer may depend on several factors, including how you washed the carpet, which products were used, and even the weather. Before we get to carpet drying time, let’s first review the basics.

Why is it Necessary to Wash Carpets?

Carpets help to insulate homes and provide a non-slip surface for people to walk on. There are many reasons that you may want to wash your carpet and here are some of the most common.

  • Carpet absorbs odors. Because carpet is made of fibers, it can and will absorb odors inside your home. These may include pet odors, food odors, cigarette smoke, and odors trapped in people’s shoes or on their bare feet.
  • Carpet traps bacteria and allergens. Carpets are there all the time and that means that as people and pets walk in and out of your home, they are likely to leave deposits that include bacteria tracked in from outdoors as well as allergens. For example, in the Spring when trees are dropping pollen everywhere, it’s likely that some pollen will end up in your carpet.
  • Usage may flatten carpets and ruin their appearance. In high-traffic areas, it’s common for constant pressure from feet and furniture to flatten carpet fibers and leave them looking less than their best. Regular cleanings ensure that fibers retain their appearance.

While regular vacuuming will remove some of the dirt and other substances trapped in carpet, regular cleanings can help to prolong the life of your carpet and keep it looking like new.

How Often Should You Wash Your Carpet?

Washing any carpet requires effort and a time commitment, so it’s useful to know how often your carpet should be cleaned as well as how to clean it.

High-Traffic Areas

Carpet in high-traffic areas should be vacuumed at least two or three times a week to remove dirt and pick up particles.

Deep cleaning may be needed every six months, and options include shampooing or steam cleaning to prevent the build-up of dirt and bacteria.

Low-Traffic Areas

In low-traffic areas, it is enough to vacuum your carpet once each week to ensure that dirt doesn’t get ground into the carpet fibers.

Deep cleaning should happen every 12 to 18 months to keep your carpet looking its best.

Kids, Pets, and More

In any home where there are small children, pets, or a smoker on the premises, it may be necessary to kick cleaning into high gear to prevent carpet from becoming dirty and unhealthy for the inhabitants of your home. Frequent cleaning is a must, particularly if you have a puppy or kitten who may have an accident on the carpet.

Vacuuming every other day or even every day is recommended to remove pet fur, dirt, and odors. You may want to use a carpet deodorizer. Deep cleaning should happen every three months to make sure odors are removed.

Young boy and girl kissing a puppy on deep pile carpet.
Brother and sister kissing puppy on rug at home

How Long Does It Take Carpet to Dry?

The length of time it takes carpet to dry can depend on several factors. You should expect it to take between 12 and 24 hours for carpet to be completely dry after cleaning. Here are some things to take into consideration.

  • The cleaning method. Deep cleaning may require steaming or shampooing. If shampooing involves a detergent-based cleaner, the drying time will be longer because the detergent is effective only if the fibers are soaked with water. The answer to how long does it take shampooed carpet to dry is usually 24 hours at minimum. Steamed carpet may be dry in as little as eight hours.
  • The type of carpet. As a rule, a carpet with a deep pile takes longer to dry than a carpet with a short pile. On a related note, carpets made of natural fibers typically absorb water more readily than carpets made of synthetic fiber and therefore, take longer to dry.
  • The weather. Washed carpet will dry more slowly in humid weather, or on a rainy day, than it would when the weather is dry.

You can schedule your cleaning for a time that’s convenient by using a calculator to estimate the time when your carpet will be completely dry after cleaning. You may also want to factor in the amount of time it will take to clean the carpets by starting with the square footage.

Why Is It Important for Carpet to Dry?

There are some important reasons that you need to know how long it takes for carpet to dry. First is that wet carpet can provide a breeding ground for mold and mildew, both of which can cause health problems.

The second reason is that wet carpet may be slippery and people who walk on it may find it hazardous. You’ll need to keep people off any carpeted area that has been washed until you’re sure that the carpet is completely dry.

Finally, any dirt that’s tracked onto a wet carpet may spread more easily than it would when the carpet is dry, leaving you with a carpet that’s dirtier than it was before you cleaned it.

Keep Your Carpets Looking Their Best with Regular Cleanings

Installing carpets in your home can create a welcoming environment and provide insulation and protection. Keeping your carpets clean is a must, and estimating how long it will take them to dry after a deep cleaning will keep everybody safe and healthy.

This entry was posted in DIY, Home & Garden, Time and tagged , . By Aimee Parrott