Can You Put a Carpet in the Dryer? (Do This Instead)


Can You Put a Carpet in the Dryer?

If you’re looking for a quick fix to get your carpet clean, you might have considered putting your carpet in the dryer. It may sound like an easy solution, but there are some things to consider before you do this. Can you put your carpet in the dryer without ruining it though?

Carpets can be put in the dryer, but it’s generally not recommended because of the high heat and pressure created by a running dryer. If your rug or carpet has been stained with food or drink, using this method could cause permanent damage to the fibers of your rug or carpet. 

As with any home appliance, if not used properly, there could be consequences to both the machine and the piece of clothing being washed.

In this blog post, we’ll explore what those consequences might be as well as other options on how best to wash carpets from top-down or bottom-up.

This post contains affiliate links. This means Household Blogger may earn a commission should you make a purchase using any of our links. Please refer to our full affiliate disclosure policy for full details.

Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!

If drying your carpet outdoors isn’t an option, the fastest and best approach you can take is using a dedicated heavy-duty air dryer.

Amazon has a bunch of great options to choose from for dedicated carpet dryers.

We personally recommend the OdorStop OS2800 Heavy Duty Air Mover and Carpet Dryer

Can You Put a Fluffy Carpet in the Dryer?

You should not put a fluffy carpet in the dryer. The carpet should always air dry to reduce the chances it will shrink. Carpet is living and will react if placed in a very high heated environment such as the dryer.

The warm, fuzzy under-layer of a carpet can shrink up to 6 inches in length when it gets too hot. As the base material heats up inside of the dryer, it dries out and shrinks so much that you’ll end up with an odd, wrinkled carpet that isn’t fit for use.

While wool carpets will better resist the effects of heat than other types of carpeting, you should never put any type of carpet in the dryer!

If you want to fluff your carpet or get rid of wrinkles after cleaning your home, simply lay it outside on a sunny day. The sun’s rays will help revitalize your rug – no dryer necessary!

If you need assistance with your rugs, consider hiring a professional cleaner to help maintain your carpets.

What Size Carpet Can You Put in the Dryer?

You should never put a large carpet into the dryer, only small pieces of fluff. This will likely shrink your carpet and reduce its durability.

Many users have been surprised that their carpets lost shape after being dried with a hairdryer or popped into a hot tumble for just a few minutes. In general, it is best not to use the dryer on any kind of fabric.

Can You Put Carpet in the Dryer if It’s Machine Washable?

If your rug or carpet is machine washable, you can put it through a cycle with some towels to fluff it. If the instructions on your particular product don’t specify that it can be washed, there are likely reasons for this.

For example, many carpets cannot support being immersed in water. If you’re still tempted to use the dryer though, just know that there are risks involved.

The main thing to keep in mind here is that your carpet will shrink when placed into a hot-water washing machine at too high of a temperature! While you may think an easy way to get rid of wrinkles and freshen up your carpet is to pop it in the dryer, you’re risking a lot by doing so.

Is Putting Carpet in the Dryer Healthy?

Putting carpets in the dryer is generally considered unhealthy. The problem with using a dryer on the carpet is that it will release all of those toxins contained within your carpeting which you don’t want to be breathing or exposed to yourself or your family.

In fact, carpets are a major source of indoor air pollution! If you want to clean your home without putting yourself at risk.

Placing rugs in the dryer will create a chemical reaction and cause the dyes to run. For this reason, it is best to air dry your rugs and carpets. This will keep your house clean and healthy!

Can You Put a Rug in the Dryer?

You can put a rug in the dryer, but only if you only have a tiny area rug to dry and do not need it for a long time. However, even then we would recommend hanging it over a fence or line outside instead of using the dryer.

Even if your rug does not shrink, using high heat can wear out and roast the material making it less plush.

If you have no choice but to use the dryer there is always the chance it will shrink so be sure to check frequently until done. In this case, use an ‘air fluff’ or no-heat cycle setting on your machine for best results.

Always air dry any carpeting when possible to avoid excessive from high heat drying machines.

You might also enjoy our post on How Much Does It Cost to Dye Carpet?

How to Dry a Rug After Washing It?

To dry a rug in the washing machine, spin it completely dry before taking it out of the washer. Then lay it out on your driveway or in your backyard to air-dry.

Professionals recommend air-drying rugs instead of putting them in the dryer because if they are exposed to too much heat, they are more likely to shrink.

Lay your freshly washed rug over furniture so that any place where water is still pooled is laying flat against something solid and upside down with something heavy on top of it – this will help weigh down the area so any water can be absorbed quicker.

If you have an outdoor drying rack, use that! Allow anywhere from two hours to overnight for standing objects to dry enough only with gravity and lack of direct sunlight.

If you have your rug in the dryer, set it on a low heat setting and check on it regularly to make sure no part is being over-dried or burned. You don’t want to shrink or damage your rug more than necessary!

Remember, the longer you allow a wet carpet to stay wet, the more likely it will develop mold and mildew.

How Long Does It Take for a Rug to Dry?

It typically takes anywhere from one to two hours for a rug to dry. The downside is that the rug will be extremely warm until it has cooled down.

Air movement helps- turn on fans, open windows, use ceiling fans, set up a mobile clothesline indoors – which can help speed it along.

If you still want to use the dryer, set it on low heat without any heat-dry or fluff cycle. That will help reduce the drying time.

How Can I Make My Carpet Dry Faster?

The best way to get your carpet dry faster is by using a high-powered fan. Stand the fan five feet away from the wet area and turn it on so that it blows onto the detergent or water.

If outdoor drying isn’t an option, the best thing to do would be to use a dedicated carpet dryer machine. This will dry your carpets fast and make the whole process a lot easier.

There are a bunch of great options for carpet dryers on Amazon, and we personally recommend the OdorStop OS2800 Heavy Duty Air Mover and Carpet Dryer

This will speed up drying time, but if you have pets in your home, this might irritate them. To really speed up the drying process, you can also put a towel or two over the wet area and use a hairdryer to dry it faster.

How Can I Speed Up Drying Time?

If a hairdryer alone doesn’t work all that well, you can try placing towels on top of the wet area and then using a hairdryer to dry the carpet faster. You could also try putting on some rubber gloves and scrubbing at the wet area with a towel or cleaning brush.

If you have a carpet sweeper, use it to get any extra water out of your carpet fibers. When you’ve finished all these steps, put a fan on your wet carpet and add a few more towels, if needed.

If you have a dehumidifier in your house like this one from Homelabs, it will also help to speed up the process of drying out your carpet. You might even want to run the dehumidifier overnight so that you don’t need to worry about looking at the wet carpet in the morning.

You might also enjoy our post on Can You Carpet Over Laminate Flooring?

Carpet Damage in Tumble Dryers

Putting a rug into a clothes dryer uses very high heat for an extremely long period of time, which can cause damage. It can shrink and damage fibers.

If you put a rug in the dryer, be sure to use low heat settings to reduce the risk of damage. Only use the tumble dry setting if there is no alternative.

Always check with your rug manufacturer or carpet cleaner for advice on whether or not you should use a tumble dryer to clean your carpet.

Never twist or wring your rug out always use a clean cloth to wipe up excess water, then roll it up in a new towel and stand on top of it for 10 minutes.

Drying Wet Carpet With Baking Soda

Drying a wet carpet with baking soda is a common practice to remove moisture from the carpet.

It’s also an effective way to clean up vomit, urine, or other spills that may have occurred on the flooring.

The following are some important points to keep in mind when drying your wet carpet with baking soda:

  • The best time for this process is during cool months of the year, as cold air will help dry out and kill bacteria at a faster rate than warm weather would. If you’re wanting to try this process during warmer months then be sure not to leave carpets outside for more than 4 hours at a time and only use natural sunlight if possible (which won’t cause any extra heat).
  • When using bicarbonate or baking soda you’ll need to use twice the amount compared to normal carpet cleaning products, so be sure to have around 1.5kg for every 1 square meter of flooring.
  • If after drying your carpets there is still some dampness on the floor then simply sprinkle them with bicarbonate or baking soda and wait until it’s dry. Once it’s dry you can vacuum up the floor.

Drying Wet Carpet With Rubbing Alcohol

Trying to dry a wet carpet with rubbing alcohol is possible but rather difficult to do in practice, especially if you want to change your flooring quickly.

The best-case scenario would be if the spill only happened inside one room and you wouldn’t need to pass through any other rooms in order to get to the one containing wet carpet.

If this is not the case then drying your carpet with rubbing alcohol will most likely end up taking longer compared to other methods.

The following are some important points to keep in mind when trying to dry your wet carpet with rubbing alcohol:

  • Using a mixture of rubbing alcohol and water in a spray bottle will make it much easier to clean up spills. It can usually be prepared within minutes and you won’t need to leave the house while waiting for it to dry out either. If there is a large spill then you’ll also need to use paper towels on top of the spray.
  • Trying to dry wet carpet with rubbing alcohol is most effective during warm weather. If you’re doing this process during winter (or cold weather) then be sure not to leave carpets outside for more than 4 hours at a time and only use natural sunlight if possible (which won’t cause any extra heat).

Drying Wet Carpet With a Hair Dryer

Drying a wet carpet with a hairdryer is an easy alternative to most other methods.

However, it’s not a good idea to do this in the winter if your flooring will be exposed to areas of cold weather (eg: outdoors) for more than 4 hours at any one time.

Unlike other methods, drying wet carpet with a hairdryer will take 1-2 hours to complete (depending on various factors like the room temperature, etc).

The following are some important points to keep in mind when trying to dry your wet carpet with a hairdryer:

  • It’s best to use this method during warm weather. If you’re trying to dry carpeting with a hairdryer during the winter (or cold weather) then be sure not to leave carpets outside for more than 4 hours at a time and only use natural sunlight if possible (which won’t cause any extra heat).
  • If there isn’t another person in your household that can help you stay at home while drying wet carpet with a hairdryer then it’s best to use baking soda or bicarbonate instead. This will be much faster than using a hairdryer and you can clean up spilled liquids using paper towels (which doesn’t require any extra equipment).
  • Hairdryers can also be used in combination with rubbing alcohol or baking soda. This is a good alternative to using hairdryers alone if your carpet will be exposed to areas of cold weather for more than 4 hours at any one time.

Final Thoughts

Carpets are not designed to be dried in a dryer.

Carpets should only be machine-washed with the appropriate detergent and then hung outside for drying or placed on furniture (or another suitable surface) that has been covered with plastic sheeting so they can air dry without being contaminated by household dust, dirt, pollen, etc.

If your carpet is wet from spilled liquids like water or wine you will need to use about twice as much of an effective cleaner than normal because carpets do not absorb liquid well.

For spills inside rooms where there isn’t any direct sunlight coming through windows, it’s best to wait until morning when temperatures have risen before attempting this process–especially if winter weather conditions are present at the time of spillage.

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