Since you have invested time and money in your carpet cleaning project, you will surely want to make sure it remains spotless. It does not matter if you perform the procedure yourself or if you hire a carpet cleaning professional.
If you want to achieve the desired results, besides using quality tools and solutions, you will also have to allow your carpet to dry completely. This means that you, your kids, or your pets should not walk on the carpet, nor should you move the furniture back on a still wet rug.
How Long Should You Stay off a Wet Carpet?
Usually, it is ideal to avoid any type of contact with a freshly cleaned carpet for at least 6 hours, but it might take even longer. You see, there is no specific rule about a carpet’s drying time, but there are a few aspects you need to keep in mind, and you also need to acknowledge that nobody has control over them. Let us see what things can influence a carpet’s dry time.
1. Method of Cleaning
The way in which a carpet is cleaned has a great say in how long it is going to take to dry. However, you should not select a method just because it will reduce the dry time while it may do a poor job of actually cleaning your carpets. Generally, hot water extraction has a dry time range between 6 and 12 hours.
2. Carpet Type
Another aspect you need to consider in terms of dry time is the type of carpet you are cleaning. This mainly refers to the fiber type as well as the construction of the matting. For example, a nylon carpet that is not very dense will dry much faster compared to a heavy wool carpet. A polypropylene or olefin carpet will also dry very fast because its fibers do not absorb a lot of moisture.
3. Soil level
In case the carpet in question is only lightly soiled, your steam cleaner does not have to work so aggressively, This means that you will not have to use as much water.
If your carpet is heavily soiled, on the other hand, you will need to use a lot more water in order to remove all that debris. As you might have already guessed, more water also means a longer time to dry.
4. Humidity Levels
This is a very important factor to consider when it comes to a carpet’s dry time. We are referring to the humidity inside and outside your home. Basically, if the air in the room is humid, your carpet is going to take longer to dry. The explanation behind this fact is quite simple. There is little dry air for the water in the carpet to evaporate in.
If the air is dry, water will be able to evaporate faster so your carpet with also dry faster. In case you are dealing with such a situation, getting an appliance that can help you control the humidity levels in your home would not be a bad idea.
Airflow is essential for the drying process of any type of textiles. In case the weather allows it, it is recommended to open your windows when cleaning your carpeting. If the weather is good and the windows are opened, moist air will move to dry air which will reduce the dry time for your carpet.
Moreover, the air will be flowing directly above the carpet’s fibers. This process pulls moisture out of that surface and moves it away. As you can imagine, airflow is a major factor in reducing the time your carpet requires to dry.
6. The 6 to 12 Hours Range
As we previously mentioned, it usually takes between 6 and 12 hours for your carpet to dry after deep cleaning. Even though we are sure you would like this process to end as quickly as possible, there are some aspects you need to keep in mind. If your neighbor’s carpet has dried in 6 hours and yours is still wet after 8 hours, you will know why that is.
Things You Can Do To Quicken the Drying Process
No matter how much in a hurry you are to finish the cleaning process and move your furniture back in its place, your priority should be to get your carpet properly cleaned. You need to make sure you are using your cleaner correctly and that you get a reliable carpet shampoo. Naturally, if you use less water, the carpet will dry faster, but it does not mean that it is cleaned properly.
One of the easiest and best things to do is to get the air moving. Professional carpet cleaners actually use air movers in order to reduce the drying time. When the appropriate quantity of air movement is used, your carpet will dry in no time. It can even happen as fast as 2 hours, especially if the humidity levels are low. The secret to very fast drying is to extract as much quantity of water as possible during the cleaning process and get air movement on the rug shortly after cleaning. Once a part of the carpet is done, like a quarter or a half, depending on how large it is, you should get air movement on it.
Furthermore, to increase airflow, make sure you open the windows and doors. For best results, open your windows in various rooms and leave the interior doors wide open as well. In case your house has more levels, make sure you also use the windows from upstairs and from the basement.
Simply put, your carpets should be completely dry and ready to use in 12 hours or less. If everything is done correctly, your carpet could be dry in 6 hours.
In case you are lucky enough to find a good carpet cleaning professional, should you choose this option, he or she might be able to reduce the dry time to 4 hours or even less. Still, you need to remember that there are a few factors that can influence the time your carpets require to dry.