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How Long Does it take Carpet to Dry After Cleaning?

Cleaning your carpet is an essential part of household deep cleaning, but it can be quite an ordeal, especially for some types of carpet. You might even wonder if it is worth all the furniture moving, and having to find something for every human and pet while the carpet dries. 

Carpet cleaning is an essential part of household deep cleaning. A carpet acts almost like a filter for your home, absorbing dust, dirt, and odors so they are not floating around in the air. At  some point, however, all that dirt and all those odors need to be gotten out of it. A clean carpet can provide a pleasant place to walk barefoot, do yoga, romp with children or pets, or even just sit down and relax. 

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That brings up an important question: How long will it take for your carpet to dry? You want a nice, clean carpet, but what do you do with the children and pets while it is drying? How long will you need to keep them entertained or boarded out while the carpet is drying? 

Things that can affect carpet drying time

It would be so nice if every carpet cleaning company could just give you a scheduled time for your carpet cleaning and promise that it will be dry by the time everyone returns from work, school, or pet daycare. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all for carpet drying time. There isn’t even a firm answer for the same carpet taking the same amount of time to dry every time it is cleaned. Let’s talk about a few of the things that can affect your carpet’s drying time.

First off, the kind of rug you have will certainly make a difference. A low-maintenance utility carpet will take a lot less time to dry than a deep-pile luxury rug or even one of those 1970s shag rugs. Second, the amount of water used on the rug will matter, too. That can vary from one shampooer to another and might depend on the extent of soil in the carpet. The time of year will also make a difference because that might determine how humid the air is, and how warm or cold the atmosphere is. An ideal time to shampoo a carpet is when the weather is warm and dry, but that might not always be an option. One thing is for sure: you want your carpet to dry thoroughly before putting your rooms back together.

Different Kinds of Carpet Cleaning and Their Drying Times

Keeping in mind that different types of carpet, time of year, and atmospheric conditions can decrease or increase carpet drying time, here are the average carpet drying times for common ways to clean carpets. 

Hot Water Extraction

This is sometimes called steam cleaning, but steam is not used to clean the carpet. It is usually done by a professional carpet cleaner. A specialized machine pumps a small amount of hot water into the carpet and then vacuums it back out, along with the dirt, debris, and odors that might have gotten trapped in the fibers. This is a highly effective way to thoroughly clean your carpet The machine has a powerful vacuum suction that gets most of the water back out of the fibers, but it can still take six to twelve hours for the carpet to fully dry after cleaning. 

Shampooing

According to Ask Any Difference, You can do your own carpet shampooing or you can hire a professional. High traffic households might even invest in a carpet shampooer for clean-ups between hot water extraction deep clean sessions. Shampooing uses a foaming detergent and rotating brushes to dislodge dirt and to get rid of stains. Because of the brushes, it can damage some kinds of carpet, especially those with deep pile. However, it is usually fine on easy-clean utility carpets. Because it usually uses less water than hot water extraction, the carpet will usually dry more quickly. However, with that said, if the carpet is extra dirty and requires more passes over it, shampooing can take anywhere from four hours for a light soil to as long as twelve hours for heavy soil, but four to six hours drying time is more common. 

Dry Cleaning

An article from HGTV Home Life Style gives a good hint about what to do if you need a quick cleanup and there just is not time for hot water extraction or shampooing. Dry cleaning your carpet uses sprinkle on or scrub in cleaners, and perhaps a small amount of moisture. The cleaner is applied, there might be a brief waiting time to allow the chemicals to do their work, then the cleaners are vacuumed up using a strong vacuum cleaner. For a lightly soiled carpet, the whole process might be done in less than an hour. There are some disadvantages, however. Some people might be allergic to the perfumes or chemicals used. Some formulas might not be baby or pet friendly. You can create a moderately affective substitute for commercial cleaners using baking soda, borax  and salt. This one is reasonably effective for treating carpets for fleas. You can add cinnamon to give it a nice scent. 

Bonnet Cleaning

Now, this is an interesting method. It is a good one for schools, offices, or businesses that use low-pile carpets. It doesn’t get the carpet as wet as hot water extraction or shampooing and doesn’t involve a dry mix like the one used for dry cleaning. Instead, chemicals are sprayed evenly across the surface of the carpet. Next, a buffer with a specialized pad is used to massage the spray into the carpet. Allow the chemcals to dry, then vacuum up the dried chemicals and loose dirt. This is perfect for fast clean up in high traffic areas because it doesn’t take long, dries quickly, yet can leave a soiled carpet looking good. Perfect for days when there is a lot of snow or mud outside and there is not time to have a corridor or office out of commision for a long time.  

Tips for speeding up the drying process

Now that we’ve looked at some different ways to clean carpets and some drying times, let’s talk about ways that you might be able to speed up drying your carpet. First, use the minimum amount of moisture possible while still getting good results. Keep in mind that the more water goes into the carpet, the harder it will be to get it back out. You can use a dehumidifier to combat ambient humidity, or turn up the heater or run an air conditioner. The heater will dry the air, and the air conditioner will act like a dehumidifier and remove some of the moisture from the air. You can place fans to strategically blow across the carpet. If it is a hot summer day, open the windows to let the moisture evaporate naturally. 

Precautions to take after cleaning

Let the carpet dry completely before you walk on it or put furniture back. In fact, wait until the carpet is completely dry before using a regular vacuum cleaner on the carpet. This will avoid accidental streaks from the vacuum cleaner’s wheels, brushes, or edges.

Summarizing Drying Time of Carpets

Just to wrap it all up, the time it takes for a carpet to dry after cleaning depends on the method used to clean the carpet, the weather, and the ambient temperature and humidity in your building. For best results, always follow cleaning directions carefully, using as little moisture as possible. Use fans, dehumidifiers, heaters, and similar means to speed drying times. And remember, nothing freshens up a room like a nice, clean carpet. 

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