If you have a wet carpet, the best thing to do is remove it from the floor to hang it or spread it outside until it dries completely. However, if you have a rug that is wall-to-wall or too large to remove from the floor, you may need to dry it without taking it elsewhere.

You have a couple of options available to you when it comes to cleaning and repair a wet carpet. The biggest concern, however, is what is the source of the water damage. If it’s a storm or sewer drain that’s flooded and backed into your basement, you may need professional help. Water damage from such an event can be costly, but the health risks it poses are even more serious. Don’t try to rehabilitate rugs and carpets after a major sewage event. Call in a professional and have the carpet professionally cleaned or removed. Otherwise, you can probably fix things yourself. 

Things You Will Need

  1. Squeegee
  2. Rubber gloves
  3. Vacuum cleaners
  4. Bleach
  5. Baking soda, carpet cleaner-soda powder
  • Move the carpet (and padding) out to air dry, if the carpet isn’t secured and can be removed. The use of rubber gloves. You may want to use a vacuum cleaner or squeegee before moving it to remove most of the water. Once outside, sprinkle some baking soda, cleaner or a fresh carpet product on top of the carpet and return from the vacuum. Turn the carpet now and then. Using a chlorine bleach solution on the floor in the basement (if that’s where the damage occurred) to disinfect and kill and prevent mould growth.
  • Use a vacuum cleaner on the carpet if it cannot be moved outside. Using a flat head, attach and remove as much water as possible. Use a squeegee if you don’t have a vacuum cleaner. Set up and activate some fans as working. Open any windows and turn off the oven and any humidifiers.
  • Sprinkle baking soda, cleaner or a fresh carpet product on the carpet once you’ve removed as much water as possible with the vacuum cleaner. Spray it with a broom to cover the carpet, and then vacuum again.
  • Drill a small hole in the centre of the mat and insert a hook attached to a sturdy chain or rope. Loop the rope over a tube and pull the mat taught in a tent-like way to allow air to circulate and the padding to dry. Leave the runners up and turn to a dehumidifier if you have one.
  • Make sure the carpet is completely dry before removing the folding mechanism. This may take a day or more. Walk on the carpet in bare feet. Make sure the padding is not wet and leaking through or crushing when walking. If so, repeat the crease maneuvering and keep the fans blowing until dry.
  • Use a chlorine bleach solution on all areas surrounding the carpet that came into contact with water.

Tips & Warnings

  • If time doesn’t allow the rug to be moved, use some of the chairs rather than cover the rug to dry. Do the same with the filling.
  • The filler will act like a sponge and take much longer to dry. You can have it roll and squeeze out the water. Filler is generally inexpensive. Replace it if … it’s not recoverable
  • Do not move the carpet back into the house until it is completely dry. All your work will be wasted and mould could develop if the carpet isn’t dry.


  • Excess fluid can cause carpet and padding to shrink and seam to separate, regardless of whether the carpeting needs to be removed. A professional carpet company should be able to make the necessary repairs.
  • If the carpet has been wet with dirty water, dry it as soon as possible. Add clean water to the carpet before vacuuming to soak up dirty water. Rent a carpet cleaner and use it to blot up excess water before sucking up the remaining liquid with a vacuum cleaner. By soaking up only dirty water, you can make the dirt stick to the carpet and stain it.