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Old 06-04-2007, 03:32 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Up a creek
Posts: 749
Drying a water spill on carpet?

After an unfortunate incident involving up-ending about 4 cups of (clean) water onto a (wall-to-wall) carpet, I've been having a heck of a time drying the area out.

I blotted the area multiple times with towels, but I think that only dried the top of the pile. I tried the trick of putting a layer of dry toweling on the area and weighing it down with a heavy object, but it still feels damp to me after a night of this treatment.

Anyone have any tips on drying out this spot before it gets moldy? It's not a large area, maybe 6" x 8" or so.

Old 06-04-2007, 03:37 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 14,455
Did you sit a large floor fan next to it, running a medium or higher to promote evaporation?

Our cats often throw hairballs. After the usual clean up, we run a floor fan for about an hour to evaporate the water. Works just fine.

Last edited by Duckster; 06-04-2007 at 03:38 PM.
Old 06-04-2007, 03:38 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Left of spleen
Posts: 2,662
If it was just clean water, why not let it be so it can air dry? Without any towels or weights on top? Do you live in a really humid place where evaporation might take too long?

Last edited by Pullet; 06-04-2007 at 03:39 PM.
Old 06-04-2007, 07:12 PM
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Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 26,618
Originally Posted by Pullet
If it was just clean water, why not let it be so it can air dry? Without any towels or weights on top? Do you live in a really humid place where evaporation might take too long?
The problem is that it'll get down to the pad and rot that.
Do you have a shop vac? When I spill something, the first thing I do is use my wet/dry vac to suck as much of it back out as I can.
Old 06-05-2007, 09:51 AM
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Ontari-ari-ari-o
Posts: 1,031
Keep in mind that carpeting usually has some sort of underpad which ends up acting as a sponge. The carpet on top also helps to keep in the moisture and keeps it wet for a long time. Mold is nasty and can grow quickly.

You'll have to pull back the carpet and pull out the underpad to dry it properly. You may be able to dry the underpad. If not, you should be able to buy a remnant to replace the wet area. You can rent a carpet stretcher from Home Depot type place for a few dollars to get the carpet back into place.

We've had a number of different water incidents on carpet. I had shop-vacced the carpet to where it felt slightly damp to the touch, but when I walked across the area the water came up through my toes. After pulling out the carpet, we discovered the true sponge effect of the underpad. The underpad held on to an astonishing amount of water. The flooring underneath is concrete and so the water had nowhere else to go, so your situation may be different.

BONUS, try this experiment:
Take a dry sponge and put a washcloth on top. Pour water on the washcloth and try to blot out the water with a towel. How much water do you soak up compared to the amount you poured? Lift the washcloth away and try wringing out the sponge. How much was left in the sponge even after the blotting?

Good luck!
Old 06-07-2007, 03:03 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Up a creek
Posts: 749
Thanks for the replies, everyone!

Unfortunately, I didn't think of my shop vac at the time (it's down in the garage and the spill was upstairs). I think the blotting took care of most of it, eventually.

We live in a pretty dry climate, so once I removed the towels, it seemed to air-dry pretty quickly. The pile is a bit matted now, though, so I'll have to brush it out again. I don't think the pad got (overly) wet, because I don't feel any humidity or dampness on my fingertips when I press down to the base of the pile.

I guess I'll just keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn't start to discolor or something.
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