How long will it take for my carpets to dry?

by | Feb 1, 2023

A common question we receive is “How long will it take for my carpets to dry?” 

The short answer to this question is around 4 hours for carpet extraction and around 30 minutes for carpet encapsulation. If you’re not familiar with those types of carpet cleaning, check the description for links to other videos explaining them.

But there are four main factors that can either increase or decrease that carpet dry time:

  • Humidity Levels

  • Carpet Type

  • Air Movement

  • Cleaning Method


Number 1 – Air Humidity Levels

This is the number one factor in determining your carpet dry time. This is because as dry air passes over a carpet it draws moisture out of the carpet, eventually leaving a completely dry carpet. And the number one dehumidifier in your home is your air conditioner.  Many customers will turn off their air conditioners or raise the temperature in their home when we come to clean their carpets because they think, “We’ll have the door open a lot” or “They’re going be putting a lot of moisture in the air”, so they don’t want to waste energy on running the air conditioner.  However, this will dramatically reduce your carpet dry time.  The best plan is to leave your air conditioner on during and after the cleaning and even turn the temperature down a few degrees to keep it running until it draws more moisture out of the air. This will give you the fastest carpet dry time.

Number 2 – Carpet Type

The key factor here is carpet pile length.  A long pile carpet is going to hold more moisture, while a short pile carpet, more commonly found in commercial properties, will hold less moisture, and therefore dry more quickly.  An extreme example of this would be comparing a residential shag carpet to a commercial carpet tile.  Obviously, there is going a significant difference in how much moisture these two carpets hold after the cleaning process.

Number 3 – Air Movement

Proper air movement in combination with dry air will speed up the drying process. If you have a room of stagnant air, you can imagine that the air in that room will draw as much moister out as it can, but without fresh air circulating, you’re going to limit the amount of drying that can occur.

Finally Number 4 – Cleaning Method

As I mentioned before, there is a significant difference in dry time between carpet extraction (around 4 hours) and carpet encapsulation (around 30 min).  This is because carpet extraction, aka steam cleaning, uses much more moisture but also provides a deeper cleaning.  Compared to carpet encapsulation, a low moisture cleaning method, is great for maintenance cleaning and lighter soil levels.

Tools & Equipment to Speed Up the Drying Process

So are there any ways that we can speed up the drying process outside of those factors? Yes.  We do have the additional option of using air movers and dehumidifiers to speed up the carpet drying process. This does come at an additional cost though since we have to leave equipment behind and pick it up after the carpet is dry.  By reducing air humidity and increasing air movement, you increase the speed and efficiency of the carpet drying process for the reasons mentioned previously.  However, in most cases, this really isn’t necessary and your carpets will dry well on their own with the help of a well-operating, and running, air conditioner.

I hope this helped to answer the question “How long will it take for my carpets to dry?.  If you’re interested in a professional carpet cleaning service to clean your carpets in the Madison Wisconsin area, fill out the below form and we’ll reach out to you.


<a href="" target="_self">Isaac LaRonge</a>

Isaac LaRonge

Isaac's role at Skyline demonstrates an intricate balance of responsibilities. While engaged in creating operational efficiencies for the company, he also focuses on developing and realizing growth potential. Growing up in the family business, Isaac has a unique and holistic view of Skyline and the industry. In the past several years, he has optimized methods for inventory control, commercial cleaning services, customer relations and workforce management. Isaac strives for excellence and efficiency in every facet of operation.

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