Professionally Cleaned Carpets: How Long Will They Take to Dry?

Cleaning carpet

The everyday wear and tear on a carpet can greatly decrease the investment you have made in your home or business. For dirt, stains, discoloration, and odors that regular cleaning often cannot properly address, it is recommended to thoroughly clean your carpets and surfaces once a year. A&D Pro Floor Savers provide the most up-to-date cleaning practices, equipment, and information for homeowners looking to have their carpets cleaned. One of the most common questions we get is “When will my carpets be dry again?” The slightly complex answer is that it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 72 hours for your freshly cleaned carpets to completely dry. This depends on a variety of factors including the kind of carpet you own, size of the carpet, ventilation in the space, and more.

Below you’ll discover how a variety of cleaning methods and factors can play a role in the drying time of your carpets.

It depends on the cleaning method.

There are a number of carpet cleaning methods that can be used to remove stains, odors, and discoloration, but each dries a bit differently. Whether you choose a professional service to have this done or do it yourself with a high-quality portable carpet cleaner, it is valuable to know how quickly each method dries so you can include that time in your process and timeline.


This method entails adding a deep-cleansing shampoo or foamy soap into a carpet extractor, which uses hot water and steam to suck the dirt out of the carpet. The shampoo creates a thick layer on top of the carpet and heavy-duty rotating brushes are used to work the formula into the carpets and clean them. Shampooing is one of the most common methods of carpet cleaning and great for extra-dirty carpets filled with residue. It takes between six and 10 hours to dry. Just ensure all the shampoo has been cleaned out of the carpet or it can cause discoloration.


Steam cleaning your carpets uses detergent and extremely hot water that turns to steam. Pressure is then applied to the clean carpet by sucking out grime and dirt. Then, the water is vacuumed up, although the carpet will be left very wet. Steam cleaning takes a bit longer to dry than standard shampoo cleaning – anywhere from 24-72 hours. This method is a bit more expensive but extremely powerful for areas with high-traffic and will not leave behind any soap residue.


One of the quicker cleaning methods, this popular option for homeowners only takes one to two hours to dry. The method uses a brush machine that applies a foam to the carpet, slowly drying it into a powder. Dirt and debris become “encapsulated” within this powder and are easily vacuumed away. Encapsulation does not leave behind residue, but it is not recommended for heavily stained carpets.

Dry Carpet Cleaning

Another quick cleaning method that involves very little moisture is dry carpet cleaning. This option includes sprinkling dry powder chemicals onto the carpet, letting them sit for about 20 minutes, and then removing them with a vacuum. This method does not provide a deep-clean for heavily stained carpets, but is ideal for removing odors and small debris. Drying time is only 30 minutes to an hour as this barely uses any water.

The Material of Your Carpet

There are many different types of carpets that require different care methods and have various drying times. Artificial materials such as nylon and polyester dry much faster than natural materials like wool and cotton. Carpet made from polyester takes between six and 12 hours to dry, while wool carpet will take at least 24 hours. The size and thickness of the carpet also play a role. Wool carpets are much thicker and require longer to dry. In general, carpets with thick, deep material take longer to dry because they absorb water more easily.

Environmental Conditions

Believe it or not, weather can play a significant role in how quickly your carpets will dry. The ideal weather for carpet cleaning is hot and sunny, where it is easy to open your windows and let the carpets air dry a bit quicker. Humidity and rain can extend the drying process much longer. To help speed up drying time, an ideal indoor environment is around 70 degrees.

How to Dry Carpet Faster

Ensuring your carpet is completely dry is essential to preventing any mold or mildew growth. Wet carpet will eventually dry on its own, but luckily homeowners can speed up this process with a few tricks.


Fresh Air and Sunshine 

A simple solution to speed up the carpet-drying process is to ensure that your home is properly ventilated. You can do this by opening the doors and windows to your home. This gets fresh air circulating throughout carpeted rooms to make drying faster, and also eliminate any odors. It is best to get carpets cleaned during a warm and sunny season to help ensure they dry quickly. Fresh air and sunlight are some of the best ways to ensure your carpets are dry before moving your furniture back into the space.

Using fans

Another way to ensure ventilation throughout the home and circulate air to dry your carpets faster would be to use a fan. Ceiling fans, floor fans, and bathroom vent fans can all help accelerate the process. If you can use a fan while also having your windows open, this is even better to improve the airflow in your home. Homeowners can also rent an industrial floor fan to reduce drying time up to 30 minutes, although that would involve an additional cost.

Air Conditioning

An alternative to running fans is using air conditioning. This will help increase air circulation and remove excess moisture from the home to help your carpets dry. This option is ideal in warmer months when it might be too hot to open windows and doors.

Crank Up the Heat

On the flip side of running your air conditioning, another great option is turning up your heat. This is ideal in cooler months, especially when you have no option of opening windows and doors in the winter. Heat circulating in the air increases evaporation, which helps the carpets dry quicker. Turning the heat to about 78 degrees Fahrenheit or higher will help move the drying process along.

Use a dehumidifier

If you have a dehumidifier in your home this is a great option to quickly reduce moisture. Avoid having your windows open while your dehumidifier is running as this will decrease the effectiveness.


How to Get Wax Out of Carpet

Keeping your carpets clean is not always the easiest task, especially when you have kids...

How Long Does Carpet Last?

Like most kinds of flooring, carpet doesn’t last forever. Although regular cleaning and maintenance can...

How to Disinfect Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are an elegant way to increase the value of any home. They are...

How to Remove Ketchup from Carpet

Ketchup is one of the most common household condiments, and almost anyone with kids or...



Leave a Comment