Drying times for carpet cleaning depends on a number of different variables.
Among the different variables are carpet type, cleaning method chosen, assisted drying, ventilation, the weather, and heating systems.
With the hot water extraction method of cleaning the normal drying time for carpets will be about 4-6 hours with good ventilation and perhaps with some help from the heating or good weather. If a protector is applied after cleaning, this will be extended to approx. 6-8 hours. Again, this is assuming the area is well ventilated.
Air movement is key to faster drying. For example, when clothes are out on the line on a dry, windy day, they dry very quickly. It is similar with carpet cleaning.
This is a video of a wedding carpet that we had to clean and have ready the very next day.
Thanks to some quick thinking and a couple of air movers, we had everything ready in time.
In certain commercial work, (e.g. cinemas or hotels), where a quick turnaround can be essential to the running of the business, air movers can be used which can speed up the drying process dramatically.
The degree of soiling also has a big bearing on the drying times. A lightly soiled carpet may not need a pre-spray. It may also only need one to two passes of the cleaning head. Heavily soiled carpets e.g. cinemas, restaurants, entertainment venues) almost always need a pre-spray and full extraction clean. The more moisture introduced in the cleaning job, the longer the drying time.
Equipment is an important component of the cleaning effort. Having the best carpet cleaning equipment, whether truck-mounted or mobile can remove 90-95% of the moisture. Obviously, the more moisture removed, the quicker the drying time.
The conclusions on drying cleaning carpet times are these:
In domestic jobs, 4-6 hours should be sufficient with good ventilation, unless a protective treatment, or sanitisation treatment has been applied.
In commercial work, drying times are not always critical, sometimes the office can be left to dry overnight or over a weekend. However, as mentioned above, for some commercial cleaning jobs, time is of the essence. A drying time of 2 hours is possible with the use of air movers on the job.