How To Dry a Car Carpet: Home Remedies With High End Results

“How to dry a car carpet effectively?” is the first question that comes to mind if your car just went through a flood or you just spilled water, and the carpet is damp. If left unattended, damp carpets can generate a funny smell in the car, which can be embarrassing if you have passengers.

Dry Wet Car Carpet

Fortunately, we’ve discovered various simple but effective ways by which you can get the carpets in your car dry. We’ll also describe useful methods to make your carpet dry when you just experienced flooding.

What Are the Most Effective Steps to Dry Wet Car Carpets?

The most effective steps to dry wet car carpets include wiping with towels, opening the car to allow the sun to dry the carpet, and turning on the car’s heat. Other efficient ways include using a hair dryer or a wet vacuum to dry the carpet.

  • Use Towels and Tissues

This method is effective when used immediately after water spills onto the carpet of your car. Car carpets are made of materials that don’t easily absorb water, thus the water will remain on the surface of the carpet for a few minutes before being absorbed.

This gives you ample time to quickly wipe it with towels and tissues before the carpet gets wet. Using towels and tissues is cost-effective, fast and the easiest of the methods.

It is efficient when the water spill over a small area in the car interior, but if the area is big or the water travels under the car seats then you’ll need a different method.

  • Open the Car Doors

If you live in warmer areas, then all you have to do is to open the car doors and the ambient heat will do the rest. However, this will take days for the carpet to dry depending on the area in which you live.

Open the Car Doors

Summertime is also the best period to try this method as temperatures are generally high. However, make sure you cover the dashboard while you leave the sun to dry the carpet because it is made of plastic and can be deformed by intense heat.

Obviously, this method will be useless during the rainy or winter season as the extreme cold can make it worse. You can try the next few methods during these times.

  • Increase the Temperature

You can also try heating the car to dry the water to quicken the drying process. This involves turning on the car and setting the temperature to its highest. The idea is that the heat from the engine and the inside of the car will dry the carpet. However, this method may end up costing you money due to the consumption of fuel when the car engine is running.


It is advisable to sit outside while the engine is running and the temperature is high to avoid health complications. Also, this method is perfect for warmer places as colder areas tend to suck the heat out of the car and significantly slow the drying process. Remember to keep the windows of the car slightly open to let out some steam during the process.

  • Use a Hairdryer

A hairdryer will also do the trick but may cost you some amount of energy just like the above method. It involves plugging a hairdryer into a power outlet, turning it on, and directing the heat at the wet area.

This will take some time depending on the size and power of the hairdryer and the size of the wet area. If you can’t get a power outlet, you can look around the vehicle as some cars are equipped with proper power outlets.
Be sure to turn on the vehicle first before plugging in and using the hairdryer to avoid draining the car battery.

  • Use a Wet Hoover

Wet Hoovers are designed to remove water from materials and can help to dry wet carpets. However, they would require a lot of power which a car might not be able to provide.

Use a Wet Hoover

Thus, you’ll need to charge them at places where you can access a proper supply of electrical power. You can also go to a car wash that has a wet hoover to help remove water under carpet in car.

  • Use Rice or Cat Litter

Rice has high absorbent properties that make it useful in drying the wet carpet in your car. However, you might need several quantities of rice to do a perfect job. You can pour the rice over the wet area and leave it overnight for it to soak the water from the carpet. This method is the least effective and you’ll end up wasting food, which is not a good idea.

Instead of rice, you can use cat litter to draw out the water from the carpet. Put it directly over the wet area and leave it for some hours. Remember to vacuum the rice or the cat litter after the area is dried up.

How Can You Dry a Flooded Car Carpet?

To dry a flooded car carpet, draw out as much pooling water as you can, use a fan and a dehumidifier to blow air, and use moisture-absorbing products. Remember to take precautions by wearing protective clothing including face masks and gloves.

1. Wear Protective Clothing

The first step is to wear protective clothing including gloves and face masks. Ensure that the car is parked in an area with excellent airflow and open all the car doors and trunks for proper air circulation. Make sure the temperature is a bit high and humidity is low to aid with quick drying.

2. Draw Out as Much Water and Moisture as Possible

Use a vacuum carpet cleaner to get rid of the water in the soaked carpet. Make sure the vacuum cleaner covers as much area as possible. The ideal type of vacuum cleaner to use for this step is the small-sized, cordless, hand-held one because it can enter all corners. You can then use a microfiber towel to absorb the traces of moisture or water left by the carpet.

3. Use Fans and Dehumidifiers To Dry Carpet

Next is to place electric fans near car doors to blow it dry. Use a humidifier to hasten the process by placing it inside the car and constantly checking the carpet to see if it’s dry.

Use Fans and Dehumidifiers To Dry Carpet

Change the positions of the humidifier and fans depending on which part of the carpet needs drying. You can also turn on the air conditioning, but only do this when the humidity is high and all car doors and windows are closed.

4. Lift the Carpet To Dry

First, remove all the floor mats (if there are any) and dry them out against a wall. The mats should dry with the help of the wind or you can hasten the process by using a fan. Then lift the carpet and check for signs of water or moisture underneath. If you find water underneath the carpet, then support it with a stick or any object that’ll expose the underside of the carpet.

Use a microfiber towel or a dry cloth to wipe the water and use a humidifier to dry the underside of the carpet. When the area is dry, remove the object that supports the carpet and return the mats.

5. Use Damp Rid Bags To Get Rid of Moisture

Get rid of dampness and moisture by hanging damp rid bags on the handles, armrests, headrests, and rearview mirrors. You can leave them overnight to suck in all the dampness in the car and leave it dry.

6. Final Checks

Finally, check all the areas of the carpet to make sure that it is completely dry. You can then use baking soda, white vinegar, or activated charcoal to get rid of any scent the water may have left behind.

Can Using a Car Battery Charger Overnight Damage the Carpet in My Car?

Using an overnight car battery charger may pose a risk to the carpet in your car. Excessive heat generated by the charger can potentially damage the carpet fibers, leaving behind permanent marks or even causing discoloration. It’s essential to prioritize overnight car battery charger safety and avoid placing it directly on the carpet to prevent any unwanted harm.


So far, we’ve discussed the various methods on how to dry the soaked carpet in a car.

Here are the main takeaways from this article:

  • You can use towels and tissue paper to dry any liquid as soon as it spills on the carpet of your car.
  • However, if the water gets absorbed by the carpet, you can resort to either using a hair-dryer or a wet hoover.
  • Parking the car in the sun, turning on the engine, and increasing the temperature in the car are other effective methods in getting rid of water in the carpet.
  • You can then rid the car of bad smells by using white vinegar, baking soda or activated charcoal.
  • However, if your car is flooded, then you’ll need a wet hoover to draw out all the water and a dehumidifier to get rid of excess water.

Lift the carpet and support it with an object to allow the underside to dry. You can set fans near the doors and a dehumidifier in the car to hasten the drying process.

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