• johnoreynolds

How long will my carpet take to dry after professional cleaning?


Unfortunately, this is not an easy question to answer as there are many factors to consider!


After a professional carpet cleaner has cleaned your carpets using a specialist extraction machine, your carpets should be slightly damp to the touch. However, the total drying time can take several hours and sometimes longer, depending on your carpet construction. Wool based carpets are very absorbent and will hold a lot of moisture, whereas a polypropylene carpet will not.


Many specialist cleaning companies will advise that the drying time should take around 2-3 hours, which in some cases is the norm. The hot water extraction or steam cleaning (See Steam Cleaning Blog) method says what you need to know. A professional carpet cleaner will use water to clean your carpets. Water takes time to evaporate!



How long will my carpet take to dry after professional cleaning?


Many professional firms use high powered hot water extraction machines, sometimes truck-mounted and sometimes portable. These carpet cleaning and extraction machines are designed to extract water from deep within the fibres of your carpets, and each method gives different results. As mentioned earlier in this post, you can expect a carpet to take two to three hours to dry, but the construction will inhibit this time.


So how can we speed up the drying time after carpet cleaning?




Good air circulation is better than anything. When your professional carpet cleaner arrives at your property, ask if the cleaner of your choice can speed up the process with an air mover.

An air mover is a powerful fan unit that will blow a blast of cool air across the surface of your flooring, which will speed up the drying time of your carpet when wet cleaned.


The best option is to open the windows in the room that has been cleaned: the more natural air movement, the better.


When a recently cleaned carpet starts to dry, the water still trapped in the fibres slowly rises to the top of the carpet in the form of evaporation. The structure and fibres of the carpet will dictate the length of time it needs to dry.

Natural fibres such as wool will take longer to dry than man-made fibres like polypropylene. The drying time can be significantly reduced by adding air circulation from an open window or an air mover.


Another natural way to speed up drying time is to reset the carpet pile after cleaning. Some people like the vacuum lines left in the carpet after their professional has completed the cleaning. (See our post on choosing a professional carpet cleaner)

Unfortunately, leaving these marks in your carpets are not professional and should be removed. By leaving these marks in your carpets, you will experience varied drying times throughout the room.

By resetting the carpet pile, so the carpet looks like it has just been laid by a professional and experienced carpet fitter, the pile fibres should be in their natural position and dry quicker. There is another issue to consider when leaving the triangular vacuum lines in your cleaned carpets, but that is for another blog.


Will regular carpet cleaning protect my carpets?


It may be seen as a marketing gimmick, but professional carpet cleaning will help protect your carpets in the long run.


Found to be the norm from independent carpet cleaners to national carpet cleaning companies, regular carpet cleaning can protect your carpets, and yes, it can also help speed up the drying process.

I know, I know, you are sighing to yourself about now saying, “how can regular carpet cleaning speed up the drying time?”


Most professional cleaners will recommend that you deep clean your carpets once every six months, depending on the traffic through your home and if you have pets or not.

By cleaning your carpets every six months or so, the level of dirt and bacteria will be reduced.

By reducing the ground-in detritus in your carpets, your professionals will need less water to clean them. The less water sprayed into your carpets, the less we have to extract; in turn, the quicker the drying time.


The cleaner your carpet is, the more options we have as professionals to clean it. If you have had your carpets routinely cleaned, we may now have an opportunity for dry cleaning. This cleaning option uses a semi-dry powder that can leave your carpets virtually dry after your professional finishes their cleaning at your home.

The semi-dry powder used varies from professional cleaner to professional cleaner, but the principles are the same. The cleaning powder is scattered across the carpet that needs to be cleaned and then brushed in using a CRB Machine.


The CRB machine brushes the cleaning compound deep into the carpet, which, when left to dwell, absorbs the dirt and greasy matter in your carpets. After a short period, your carpets will be vacuumed to remove any dirt and greasy matter it has clung to. Your carpets will be refreshed, but most importantly, they will be dry. The worst-case scenario. They will be damp for a half-hour or so.


To summarise, “How long will my carpet take to dry after a professional cleaning?


• Always allow as much ventilation as possible, open as many windows to allow natural airflow.


• Add more natural airflow. Ask your professional if they have an air mover they can introduce to speed up the drying process.


• The less water we need to introduce into your carpets, the better. Regular or routine cleaning helps the drying times as there is less debris to remove and less water sprayed into your carpets.


• Make sure your professional carpet cleaner removes the triangular vacuum lines from your cleaned carpet.


If you would like any further information, like to be kept in the loop on our blogs or book a professional carpet clean, head over to our contact page and send us your details. We would love to hear from you!

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