Can I Use a Regular Vacuum on Wet Carpet? – Ways to Dry Wet Carpet

Wet carpets that are not handled properly can cause a lot of trouble for owners. Whether it is because of a recent flooding in your room or a deep cleaning routine, you must handle the wet carpet properly right away.

But can I use a regular vacuum on wet carpet? Continue reading to see if it’s okay to use a standard vacuum on a damp carpet and check out ways to dry wet carpet.


Can I Use A Regular Vacuum on Wet Carpet?

If you need to clean wet carpets, the answer is never to use an ordinary vacuum for that purpose. Even if you can find tips spreading on the internet, experts have always assumed that conventional vacuums are not designed to handle water at all.

A standard vacuum can pick up dry objects just fine, no matter how small they are. However, the filter cannot work properly with water and other liquids.

It can cause electrical issues and possibly ruin the machine. In the worst scenario, it may lead to electric shock and result in more devastating consequences.

To clean up a wet carpet, you’ll need a specific vacuum for water and spills so it can handle the above problems. If you need to vacuum a damp carpet for cleaning purposes, a shop vacuum would be the best resolution.

In case it is due to flood-related issues, or you don’t want to purchase a new vacuum, you can contact a professional to quickly deal with the situation.

How Often Should I Deep Clean My Carpet?

Ensuring your carpet is always clean and hygienic is a must if you want to preserve it for a long time. Apart from the regular dry vacuum to remove the dirt on the carpet’s surface, you may want to actually wash the carpet through deep cleaning every once in a while.

How often you should deep clean the carpet depends on different circumstances. Normally, the ideal time to deep clean your carpet is at least once or twice a year, along with frequent dry vacuuming.

It would be better for households with small children to deep clean the carpet twice a year. The sole reason you should pay more attention to the carpet’s hygiene is because children are more vulnerable to the dirt in the carpet.

Especially if the kids spend a lot of time playing on the carpet, they are more likely to inhale the dust, put their hands on the dirty surface, and touch their mouths.

If you have pets at home, it’s also recommended to deep clean the carpet every six months because the pets’ skin shed, fur, and odor are easily trapped in the carpet’s fibers. Therefore, deep cleaning more regularly would maintain your home’s sanitation and prevent health issues.

More importantly, if there are smokers in your house, the carpet should be deep cleaned even more frequently, at least three or four times a year. The toxin from cigarette smoke can be absorbed and trapped in the carpet.

It’ll be extremely harmful to both smokers and everyone inside the house if you don’t perform deep cleaning for the carpet often enough.

How Do I Deep Clean The Carpet Without A Vacuuming Machine?

As you’ve known from the previous section, using a regular vacuum on wet carpets is dangerous. So is it possible to deep clean a carpet by yourself if you don’t have a specific vacuum cleaner for that?

The answer is you totally can. Apart from the option to hire a professional, which is quite expensive, you can make use of the ingredients and tools that are readily available in your home.

You only need to prepare baking soda, salt,  some detergent, and a brush to clean the carpet by yourself effectively.

First of all, you need to vacuum the dry carpet like you always do to get most of the dirt out first. After that, spread the baking soda and salt over the rug, especially the more polluted parts.

Gently mixing a few detergent drops with water and using a spray bottle to spray the mixture on the carpet. Remember not to use too much detergent or water. Let it sit for a few minutes before moving on to the next step.

Using a spray bottle to spray detergent on the carpet

Now gather the brush and start scrubbing carefully in one direction to pick up the remaining dirt efficiently. You can continue scrubbing at a different angle if there’s still dust and debris stuck in the fibers until it’s clean.

When you are done, you can spread the towels on the carpet and let them sit for a while to absorb water if it is too damp. You can try putting heavy stuff on the towels to make them absorb more moisture.

Finally, fill the spray bottle with tap water and spray it lightly on the carpet again. Again, ensure that the carpet is not too wet because the more water there is, the harder it’ll be for the carpet to dry.

When you’ve finished cleaning the whole carpet, make sure you dry it properly. This method is really convenient and safe if you want to deep clean the carpet more frequently but cannot afford a cleaner.

How Long Does It Take for Wet Carpets to Dry? 

If your carpet is wet after a deep cleaning, a flood, or any other reasons, don’t let the carpet sit and dry naturally. It’ll leave a musty odor and even ruin the carpet’s quality because of moss.

The immediate inconvenience you’ll notice is the unpleasant smell that’s extremely hard to get rid of. However, underlying the surface is more health problems like sneezing, allergic issues, respiratory issues, or skin rash. 

Depending on the circumstances, the average time for a carpet to dry may vary a lot. If there was flooding in the room, it could take 3 days to a week to dry completely.

In case you deep clean the carpet with a steam cleaner, it will take roughly 4 hours to dry. Cleaning by yourself with DIY recipes would take a bit longer, up to 8 hours or more.

Overall, the temperature and humidity will also determine how long it will take for wet carpets to dry. You can apply different ways to dry wet carpet simultaneously so the carpet can dry as quickly as possible.

How To Dry Wet Carpet After Cleaning?

Seeing the importance of drying a carpet, you’d probably want to take action right after finishing cleaning.

If you haven’t removed all your furniture when cleaning, do it now. It’ll prevent moss from growing in hidden spots and avoid dents. Furthermore, fewer furniture in the room can help air circulation to foster the drying process.

Remove furniture from the carpet to help it dry faster

Secondly, place desk fans in the room’s corners and turn them on the highest settings to help dry the carpet quicker. If you have a ceiling fan, also turn it on to maximize the effect.

It will be extra helpful to dry the carpet faster. Without assistance from desk fans, it’ll take much longer to dry the carpet. There’ll also be a chance that the musty smell won’t go away, and mold will develop quickly.

Additionally, make sure to open all the windows if there are any so the fresh air can get in. Even if it doesn’t directly dry the carpet instantly, air circulation and ventilation are actually the keys to keep the room smell fresh and prevent mold problems.

However, if it’s a rainy day or the humidity level is high, opening the windows won’t make a difference. Therefore, try to schedule your cleaning on a sunny day if it’s possible.

Continue using dry towels to absorb the water from the carpet if it’s still too damp. It’s the best way to get the extra water out when you don’t have a shop vacuum.

You can put heavy stuff on the towels and let them sit to absorb the moisture more efficiently, but don’t leave it for longer than half an hour.

Finally, the air conditioner works surprisingly well for drying wet carpets, especially if there are no windows in your room. For most air conditioners, you can find the mode “dry” to lower the room’s humidity level. It’ll surely help to dry the carpet much quicker.

After doing all the above steps, you should check the carpet every few hours to see if it’s drying well. For the final tip, you can use a blow dryer to dry it even faster. However, it’s only applicable to a small area, and using the dryer too much might ruin the carpet’s fibers.


A carpet for your home is a considerable investment that you want to pay more attention to its hygiene and condition, especially when it comes to deep cleaning and taking care of a wet carpet.

Through this article, we hope that you have found the answer to the question “Can I use a regular vacuum on wet carpet?” or ways to dry wet carpet after cleaning. Thanks for reading!

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