How to Clean Wet Carpet
Help! The sink has overflowed, the bathtub has leaked or some other water accident has soaked your carpets. There are important steps that need to be taken immediately to clean your wet carpet. Your carpet will need water removal, airing and odor control. Mold and mildew can grow in wet carpets if not cleaned and dried as soon as possible. There are several methods below to clean your wet carpets.
Step 1 - MEASURE THE WATER DAMAGE
Some water soaked carpets can be cleaned up by the homeowner while others will need professional help. A small amount of water can be handled by the homeowner. If you do not have the equipment to dry out your carpets then call a professional. You may save thousands of dollars by calling a professional carpet cleaner to dry out your carpets.
Step 2 - REMOVE WET ITEMS
If you have area rugs or other items that are wet move them outside. Remove as many items as you can that are sitting on your wet carpet. If your carpet is not glued down take it outside and lay out on your driveway or patio to dry. Be sure your carpet is completely dry before bringing it back into the house.
Step 3 - DRYING WITH FANS
As soon as you discover that your carpets are wet open your windows and turn on your fans. Turn on your ceiling fans, place any free standing fans that you may have in a location that will blow air across your wet carpet. It helps to turn on your air conditioner also. You can rent large fans that are made just for carpet drying from carpet cleaners or a local rental shop. Leave the fans running until your carpet is completely dry.
Step 4 - USE A WET VACUUM
If you have a wet vacuum use it to pick up the moisture from your carpet. You can also use a carpet shampoo machine without adding water to pick up the water from your wet carpet.
Step 5 - DRY WITH HEAVY TOWELS
As an alternative to using the wet vac pick up the water by using heavy towels. Place the towels on the carpeting. Step on the towels to help wick the water into the towels. Continue to do this until your towels stop picking up the water. This method is good to use when only a small area of your carpet is wet.
Step 6 - CHECK YOUR CARPET PAD
If your carpet pad is a spongy type that has absorbed a lot of water it will be best to remove the pad and replace it. Carpet pad is inexpensive. Also, the carpet pad may be very heavy to carry if it is full of water and you will need to cut it in small manageable pieces.
Step 7 - CLEAN WITH BLEACH
If you removed your carpet and pad outside to air dry clean the underlying flooring with bleach and water to stop mold from growing.
Step 8 - CHECK YOUR INSURANCE POLICY
Some types of flooding may be covered under your homeowners insurance. Check to see if a new carpet or carpet cleaning would be covered under your insurance plan. Use an indoor/outdoor type of carpet to replace carpet in an area that may flood again.
Step 9 - BEWARE OF HEALTH RISKS
Wet carpet can mold and cause health problems. If you think that your carpet has mold then remove it and replace with new carpet. Cleaning your carpets with a vinegar and water solution can help prevent mold and mildew from growing.