You spend most of your time keeping your carpet clean and making sure that things don’t get spilled on it. Then, periodically, you subject it to steam cleaning and your carpet will get wet. Of course, steam cleaning is an effective way to clean your carpet. But, because it’s wet, you need to know how long to stay off it before it’s properly dried.

Understanding The Steam Cleaning Process

Steam cleaners need to have water in them. They heat this water internally to boiling point, effectively turning it into steam. The steam is then pumped into the carpet as you move the vacuum back and forth.  

This heat and moisture hits the dirt and debris in your carpet and forces them apart. In principle, it's similar to pouring hot water down the drain as it breaks down all the fats and debris in your pipes. The wet steam breaks down the dirt while dry steam is used to suck it into the cleaner. 

The beauty of steam cleaning is that it gets deep into your carpets, ensuring they are cleaned properly. But, it doesn’t just remove the debris. The heat also kills bacteria and mites living in your carpet. The fact that steam is natural also means that no pollutants are entering the atmosphere in your home.

Drying Times

The drying time will be affected by the type of carpet you have. For example, carpet tiles tend to have shorter piles and will, therefore, dry quicker. In contrast, a deep and luxurious pile will take longer to dry.

This means it can be hard to define how long your carpet will stay wet. However, on average carpets will take between eight and twenty-four hours to fully dry. During this time it’s recommended that you don’t go into the room, you’ll want to leave the piles of the carpet to dry and recover properly. This will leave your carpet feeling and looking fantastic. 

In short, assume you’re not going back into the room for a day and make sure you have everything you need out of the room before you start. If you’re planning on doing the whole house it’s obviously best to spread it out and do one room at a time.

Speeding It Up

You can reduce drying times in any room by adding cold air blowers. These are more effective than hot air blowers at drawing the moisture out. Heat is likely to encourage the growth of mold spores in your freshly clean carpet. Keeping it cool encourages the humidity to be carried away in the air, reducing the drying time.

Final Thoughts

The exact time your carpet takes to dry will depend on its piles and the steam cleaner you use. The wetter the carpet gets during cleaning the longer it will take to dry. The best approach is to assume it will take twenty-four hours and then time it when you do it. This will ensure you know for the next time.