Having your carpets professionally cleaned once or twice a year can greatly extend their lifespan and help you deal with stains. It's a service which also improves indoor air quality by removing dust and dirt stuck deeply inside the carpet. Moreover, professional carpet cleaning gets rid of allergens, such as dust mites and pet dander, leaving the carpet fully disinfected.

In terms of how long it would take the carpet to fully dry out, the answer really depends. The main factors which form the drying, however, are as follows:

  • the initial state of the carpet (how dirty it is)
  • the material of the carpet and length of the pile
  • how well the room is ventilated
  • the weather outside

We will now go into detail on how to completely dry the carpets as efficiently as possible.

How to speed up the drying process after steam cleaning?

Steam cleaning results
  • Leave windows open

By far the best way of drying after steam carpet cleaning services is by ventilating. Constant air circulation will reduce the drying time significantly. High floor flats, for example, are privileged in this aspect as the wind is stronger the higher you go above ground level. In comparison, basement flat carpets will dry out significantly slower due to the many obstacles on ground level, such as buildings and trees.

  • Put on the heating

During colder seasons, airing out the property might not be the best idea. This is due to the high humidity percentage in the air and of course the low temperatures. By turning on the heating, the problem disappears. Heat makes the moisture inside the carpet evaporate at a decent rate.

There are cases in which turning on the heating and leaving windows slightly open is the fastest way to dry the carpet. Essentially, the evaporated moisture leaves at a faster rate through the windows due to increased air circulation.

  • Turn on the a/c and fans

Regardless of the time of the year, turning on the a/c or fans will speed up the drying process. Obviously, this is due to the stronger air current, which you will be creating. Combining this step whilst windows are left open ensures a minimal waiting time.

  • Put a dehumidifier in the room

Putting a dehumidifier in a room with damp carpets is another great way of accelerating the drying. The Eco Air DC14 is able to extract up to 3.5L of water in a matter of a couple of hours. It has two built-in fans and is relatively silent for its budget class. It's portable and affordable, and does not consume much energy - an ideal option for UK homeowners who don't want to spend a fortune.

  • Have the carpets cleaned more often

While this may sound strange at first, there is a good reason why it's on the list. As we mentioned in the beginning of this article, the initial state of the carpet is one of the main factors which forms the drying process. The dirtier a carpet is, the more treatment with water and chemicals it will require. Carpets which get cleaned more often are likely to dry less.

Additionally, a particularly soiled carpet may even cost more to be cleaned to begin with. To avoid this, ask your local carpet cleaning company about their special offers for regular customers. Not only would you be getting a good deal, but also all the benefits which come with the cleaning method.

How to dry the carpet after a flood?

Due to how densely populated the UK is, and in particular London, floods happen all the time. Essentially, rain water ends up on rooftops and drains more than it does on concrete and trees, for example. This makes draining systems more likely to overflow, resulting in leaks. It's currently estimated that one out of six homes in the UK is at risk of a flood.

If you're from the unlucky ones and you currently have a very wet carpet, do not panic. The first thing you would need to do is establish if the flood has caused the sewage system to overflow. If it has, salvaging the carpet might not be possible. In case it hasn't, follow the below tips to dry the carpet:

  • Move furniture

It might be a good idea to remove the furniture from the room affected by the flood. When wood, for example, is exposed to prolonged moisture it can start to rot and also discolour the carpet. The only situation in which this wouldn't be necessary is if the flood is concentrated in a specific place away from furniture.

  • Use wet and dry vacuum cleaner

Powerful wet and dry vacuum cleaners can be of great help and their use should be your first course of action. Make sure you've set it up for wet cleaning and start going over the damp areas. We advise using the largest attachment and when most of the water is gone, replace it with a smaller one. Clean the carpet from the inside of the room to the wall.

  • Place towels

By placing towels onto the flood affected areas and applying pressure, some of the water will be absorbed. Feel free to walk or even jump onto them, and only replace them once they start to feel wet. Once the towels feel damp even when pressure is applied to them, it's time to go on to the next step.

  • Turn on the heating or fans

As previously established, heat and good air circulation are essentially the fastest way to dry out carpets. If you've already dealt with most of the excess water, the last step would be to keep on ventilating and heating the rooms. Do this for as long as necessary, or basically until the carpet is fully dry.

What to use
  • Turn to professionals

Assuming the flood has affected a very large portion of the carpet, or simply more than you can handle, give your carpet cleaner a call. Professional steam extraction machines have significantly more suction power than your regular wet and dry vac. They also have bigger water tanks, which allows them to deal with more water faster.

On arrival, the team of experts will firstly inspect the carpet and determine if it's salvageable. Assuming it is, they will commence with the extraction process from the heavily affected areas. Once most of the water is removed, the next step is to disinfect the carpet. For this cleaning process, only a minimal amount of water and some cleaning products are used.

Some companies also offer an extra drying service in the form of "carpet dryers". Placing them upon the disinfection process significantly decreases the drying time. These machines have a hot and cold air blow function, and after a couple of hours of use, the carpet should be fully dry.

What will happen if you don't dry out the carpet on time?

If your carpets have been exposed to moisture for more than 24 hours, the chances of mould to appear begin to increase. The first sign of mould development is the unpleasant musky smell. Soon after you will start noticing small white dots appear onto the carpet's surface. By this point it would be high time to get professional help, as steam cleaning is widely known to deal with mould issues.

Other problems, which might occur due to prolonged exposure to moisture are:

  1. Loss of fixture to the carpet underlay - potentially an unfixable issue; the underlay might need replacing
  2. A bubbling or wrinkling effect - a problem which could be fixed with professional help
  3. Shrinkage - most common in wool and other natural fibre carpets
  4. Water stains - generally removable issues with steam cleaning

Frequently Asked Questions

Considering all possible factors, the average drying time for carpets after steam cleaning is 2 to 4 hours.

Yes, it does - lower pile carpets, such as carpet tiles in offices take significantly less time to dry as opposed to high piled wool ones.

Spring and especially summer are the best seasons for carpet cleaning due to the warmer temperatures and ability to aerate.

Most experts recommend having your carpets professionally cleaned once or twice a year. Homes with children and pets, should consider steam cleaning services even more frequently.

Dry carpet cleaning uses a very small amount of moisture and leaves the carpet ready to be used almost straight away.