There are many benefits of having clean carpets – from enhancing the overall appearance of the room and extending the life of your carpet – to removing dirt and bacteria for a healthier environment.
Whether you clean the carpet yourself or hire a professional to do it for you, there will be a drying time following the procedure. So, how long do carpets take to dry after cleaning? Read on…
Reasons for Drying Your Carpet After Cleaning
It’s actually very important to dry your carpet properly after cleaning as the space between the floor and the carpet backing can quickly create a moist area where mildew and mould can form. And although you may not be able to see it, it emits an unpleasant smell.
As the fungal infection increases and starts to affect the air quality this can lead to respiratory illnesses such as asthma and affect the eyes, nose, and throat. If your carpet is infested it may also show signs of discolouration.
Factors That May Affect Drying Time
Humidity is probably the greatest factor that determines the drying time. Excess moisture from the carpet after cleaning needs to evaporate into the air. If this air is drier than the carpet it will be a relatively quick process. But humid air won’t absorb much moisture resulting in the carpet taking much longer to dry.
Using a dehumidifier or turning up the heating can counter-balance the humidity.
Well trained and experienced professional carpet cleaners will ensure that carpets are deep cleaned effectively without leaving large amounts of water within the carpet fibres. Most modern steam cleaning machines will extract dirt and debris alongside 95% of moisture.
Just bear in mind that an inexperienced technician can have a real impact on drying time if excess water is left afterwards.
Methods of Cleaning Your Carpets
There are basically two methods of cleaning your carpet and these are using a steam cleaning technique with specialised carpet cleaners, or dry cleaning the carpets. Which method you use will affect how you dry the carpets afterwards and the length of the drying time.
Steam cleaning uses a heated water method where the hot water and detergent are powerfully driven deep into the carpet fibres to loosen the dirt and grime, and eliminate harmful bacteria. This is sucked out of the carpet along with excess moisture.
How long for carpets to dry after steam cleaning? Typically, this takes around six to 10 hours, but depending on the time of year, air circulation, and humidity this could be extended to 24 hours.
Dry cleaning carpets involves machines that use very low moisture technology with an absorbent bio-degradable cleaning compound that is spread over and brushed into the carpet. This attracts the dirt and is then vacuumed off, leaving the carpet immediately clean and dry.
Dry clean carpet techniques are safe for all types of carpets and are recommended for delicate fabrics that may shrink when exposed to water.
After Cleaning Carpet Drying Tips
How to dry carpets after cleaning can be helped by:
- Opening the windows – creating a good airflow in the room will improve drying time particularly when the weather is fine and dry
- Using a fan – when the weather is humid or rainy an alternative solution is to make adequate air circulation with fans placed at each side of the carpet
- Hiring an air-conditioning unit – this isn’t as effective as a fan as it doesn’t circulate the air as much, but it can be beneficial if fans aren’t an option
- Asking your professional carpet cleaner to provide a blower – this is a quick and effortless way to start the drying process
- Grooming the carpet – this is done by using a carpet rake or brush to move the fibres back and forth to align the nap. This results in pulling the moisture away from the carpet backing to speed up drying time
After Cleaning Carpet Precautions
How long for carpets to dry after cleaning? As previously mentioned, a thorough dry can take up to 24 hours. During this time, you need to be careful as you may walk on the damp carpet and then slip on a hardwood floor.
Re-soiling is a potential risk if you walk on the carpet before it’s dry as the soles of your feet or any footwear can carry dirt that will rub off. Wear protective shoe covers if you really must walk on the carpet before completely dry.