How to Dry Wet Carpet in an Auto

Written by lauren thompson
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How to Dry Wet Carpet in an Auto
Removing water from the carpet of your car can be easier if you have a wet/dry vacuum. (rain image by tomash from

Automotive carpet can become wet if the seals around the windows or doors are faulty, or if the windows are left open during a heavy rain. If left untended, wet auto carpet can become mouldy and discoloured. Drying auto carpet can be tricky, particularly if areas under the seats have got wet. A powerful wet/dry vacuum can help to speed the drying of the carpet, and leaving the car open will help to expedite evaporation of accumulated moisture.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Towels
  • Wet/dry vacuum
  • Fan

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  1. 1

    Open the car doors. If possible, remove the seats according to manufacturer's directions. If not, slide the seats back as far as you can.

  2. 2

    Fold an old, white towel into fourths and begin sopping up the liquid in the wet area. Turn the towel frequently to prevent transferring water from the towel back onto the carpet.

  3. 3

    Use a new towel when the old one has become soaked with liquid. Continue until the towels are no longer soaking up water.

  4. 4

    Vacuum the liquid with a powerful wet/dry vacuum set to a wet setting. Use care to get under the seats and around the trim of wet areas to remove as much moisture as possible.

  5. 5

    Park the car in a sunny location with the doors open. Turn the dome light off. Position a fan to blow over the carpet, if possible. Allow the car to sit with the doors open for several hours or until the carpet feels dry to the touch.

Tips and warnings

  • Wet/dry vacuums can be found at many car wash locations. If you do not have a wet/dry vacuum, drive the car to the location and use the vacuum to remove the water. Then drive home and let the car dry out the rest of the way.
  • To make sure the interior is completely moisture-free, after the car dries outdoors, put it in a garage overnight with the windows and doors open and a fan placed near the damp carpeting.

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