How to Dry Out Auto Carpet

Updated March 23, 2017

Remove water from your vehicle carpet as soon as possible to prohibit the sheet metal floor beneath the carpet from rusting. Dehumidify the area by removing moisture followed by circulating dry air through the area. The carpet must be dry before closing the vehicle doors and windows to avoid mildew or mould from growing. Maintain the value of your vehicle by keeping the interior clean and smelling fresh.

Suction the water from the carpet with a steam cleaner or wet vac. You may need to go over surfaces multiple times.

Ventilate the vehicle by opening doors and windows. Direct a fan to the interior, helping dry air circulate throughout.

Push down on various areas of carpet to ensure that dampness is removed from the bottom of the carpet below the pile. Keep dry air circulating until carpet is dry to the touch.

Vacuum the interior carpet with a residential or commercial vacuum once it is completely dry. Vacuuming dry carpet restores pile to an upright position and prevents matting.


Sunshine can help dry wet carpet. Move your vehicle out in the open air and sunlight to speed up drying. A wet/dry shop vacuum at a commercial service station has stronger suction than a portable home system.


Do not use a regular household vacuum on wet carpet unless it is designed to handle water. A steam cleaner with suction capability or a wet vac intended for moisture is necessary. Mildew and mould thrive in damp wet areas. Be sure your carpet is fully dry before closing the vehicle's doors and windows.

Things You'll Need

  • Carpet steam cleaner with suction or a wet vac
  • Fan
  • Vacuum
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About the Author

Jennifer Dermody started writing in 1992. She has been published in "Running Wild Magazine," "The Green Book" environmental bid journal and local publications in the areas that she has lived all over the world. She is currently a licensed Florida real estate agent. Dermody earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Regis College in 1993.