How to Dry Wet Car Carpet & Remove Mold and Mildew?

Written by Howell Crist / Fact checked by Sam Howard

how to dry wet car carpet

A lot of factors may cause a leak in your car. You may have left your windows partially open in the rain, or your window seal has already been damaged. It could also be due to an air conditioning leakage or a congested sunroof. After a leak, you now have a problem to solve.

So, how to dry a wet car carpet? You should indeed dry carpets in the car quickly to prevent molds from growing. No problem, we got it covered. Continue reading the easy steps below.

How to Dry Wet Carpet in a Car


These are the things you need to use to dry without removing the carpets:

What You Need:

  • 4 Small fans
  • Microfiber Towels
  • Hand Tool or Block
  • Handheld Wet Vacuum
  • Dehumidifier (Optional)
  • Protective Glasses, Gloves, and Facemask
  • Any of the following: Cat Litter, Damp Rid Bags, Uncooked Rice, Baking Soda

Step 1. Prepare to dry soaked carpet in car

Start your task in an open and well-ventilated area. Also, open all of the car doors and windows, as well as the trunk, to make cleaning and drying easier.

Put on your gloves and mask before applying any chemical cleaners to avoid inhaling and touching the abrasive/harmful agent.

Step 2: Remove the Stagnant Water.


Using your cordless vacuum and a clean microfiber towel to remove the stagnant water from the car carpet.

Run the vacuum nozzle over damp spots to hasten the drying of your automobile carpet. Then, press the damp area with the microfiber towel and squeeze out the water while doing so.

Step 3: Turn on the dehumidifier and fans.

Bring all of your fans and set them directly in front of the car door to dry the water inside. Then, position your dehumidifier inside the car alongside the fans to help the car seats dry fast.

Allow both to run for 12 – 24 hours, checking in between to ensure the seats and interiors are dry.

Step 4: Dry the floor mats and water under the carpet in car

Remove the plastic floor mats before proceeding to the next step. Use a fan to dry them outside.

Then, take out the plate sitting on the car door’s bottom. Raise the carpet’s back to see if water has been absorbed into the back foams underneath.

Bring out your hand tool to lift the carpet, then absorb water from the car carpet with several microfiber towels. For faster drying, place a fan in front of the raised carpet.

Step 5: Put everything back


Return the dry floor mats to their original locations. Making sure everything is absolutely dry is the final step. Put back your carpets in their original place, and you’re done!

Step 6 (Optional): Place Water Absorption Products

A cat litter to dry car carpet is a good option for further drying. You can utilize Damp Rid Bags, which can be hung on handles, mirrors, or headrests.

Baking soda on wet car carpet and grains of uncooked rice are also excellent water absorption agents that you can use. They can dry car carpet padding.

Pour the opened baking soda into containers and put them on the car carpet. Put uncooked rice grains on socks and leave them in the car carpet to act as moisture absorption agents.

The Best Way to Get Rid of Mold and Mildew on Wet Carpet


Sometimes it is not enough to remove water from the car carpet, as what if it has already grown molds and mildew?

To ensure that molds and mildews are removed, follow the instructions outlined here.

What You Need:

  • Bowl
  • Borax
  • Funnel
  • Spray Bottle
  • Car Vacuum
  • Lukewarm Water
  • Soft-Bristled Brush
  • Any of the following: Vinegar, Dishwashing Soap, Detergent

Step 1. Create the Solution

In a spray bottle, combine lukewarm water and vinegar or dishwashing soap for easy application. Then, test a tiny area of the carpet to determine if it causes discoloration or stains.

Proceed when you are sure that the cleaner is safe.

Step 2. Remove the mold and mildew with a brush.


Spray the cleanser liberally on the moldy spots. Allow the solution to operate for 20 to 30 minutes. Scrub the mold and mildew gently with a soft-bristled brush in a circular motion. Repeat the technique until the odor and mold are gone.

Step 3. Remove Stains Using Borax

Allow a dash of Borax to sit directly on the stained area for 5 to 10 minutes.

Then, you can suck out particles in the car carpet with a handheld car vacuum. Continue vacuuming until all of the Borax powder has been removed from the car carpet.

Frequently Asked Questions


Does baking soda absorb moisture in a carpet?

Yes. It serves two purposes. Aside from the ability to get moisture out of car carpet, it can help eliminate odors in your vehicle. Just make sure you use the vacuum after applying baking soda.

How long does it take for a car carpet to dry?

Depending on the drying techniques you employ and the weather conditions, your car carpet will dry in 24 hours or longer in the winter.

To hasten the drying process, utilize fans or open doors, windows, and trunks.

Can a heat gun be used to dry a car carpet?

Yes, you can use a heat gun but it is not something the professionals recommend since high heat can damage the carpet’s fibers.


You have to clean the wet car carpet. Whether it is caused by leakage or after a flood, these could leave your car carpet wet and smell awful. To some, this situation can be stressful, thinking it might cause an expensive drying procedure from a car detailing professional.

However, since you have read this article, you are saved from trouble. You can confidently follow the simple steps and finish the task in no time.

It does not matter if wetting your car carpet happens again because you already know how to dry a wet car carpet!

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Our chief editor is Sam Howard. The vast market of car care necessitates extensive research. He entered the market, experienced the service, and reported customer feedback in order to provide the best advice and content to car owners. We have faith in him to turn our website into a reliable resource for all car owners.

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