It poured last night and rain leaked from my ceiling and soaked up a portion of my carpeted floor. I've been laying down paper towels and towels to soak up some of the moisture but there is still some present and I'm afraid that mold will begin to form. What can I do to prevent this and is there some type of pet-safe cleaner I can use?

  • 1
    Hi user37384, Welcome to Lifehacks. You do not need to find a lifehack - visit the Home Improvement StackExchange sister site with the issue: diy.stackexchange.com/search?q=Wet+carpet Otherwise pull up your carpet and dry the floor and carpeting BEFORE mold forms. After it forms, you will NEVER be free of it unless you remove and replace your flooring. Don't waste another minute.
    – Stan
    Jan 1, 2022 at 20:05

5 Answers 5


The safest way to dry a wet carpet is to crank up the heating to full power. The warm air can retain more moisture than cool air and slowly draws the moisture from the carpet. Frequently (3 - 5 times a day) open all the windows as far as possible to let the moist, warm air out and let cool, dry air in. If the ambient air is very moist where you live, you should keep your windows closed and instead put an air dryer in the room.

You also need to dry the ceiling / wall where the rain dripped through. Without proper heating and drying there's a high risk of mold growing in the next few weeks or months. Mold spores are a health hazard for humans and pets alike.


After a similar issue, this is what I found effective:

  1. Find a large funnel, perhaps 20 cm (8 in.) across, and tape it to the hose of a shop vac that can handle water. Place the funnel on one spot at a time to pull up water, shutting the vacuum before moving to another spot. (The force can pull up carpet if used injudiciously.)
  2. Use many large, fluffy towels, doubled or trebled over, to place on the damp spots and step (or jump!) on them. After using al the bath towels in the house, wash, dry and repeat. (Yes, I looked silly jumping on the towels, but it was effective at removing much of what the vacuum left.)
  3. Leave a fan running so that warm, dry air from the house blows over the carpet.

Do not use a portable room heater due to possibility of shrinking the carpet or causing a fire.


An upright carpet cleaner is partly a vacuum cleaner to pull water from the carpet. Followed by circulation fans. I wash our white carpet about once a year, getting fairly wet in dirty spots. It works well and makes the cost of the cleaner worthwhile. But the cleaners can be rented for a one time use.


To prevent mold (and kill whatever mold already exists) add a good layer of baking soda over the wet area (and maybe a little more). Then allow the carpet to dry. At the end, vacuum-clean the baking soda.

Note: I have no idea if the baking soda is safe for pets. In small quantities, it is safe to be ingested by humans.

About how to dry the carpet faster, you already have several answers. The best would be if you have under-floor heating. If possible, remove the carpet and allow it to dry mid-air, not laying down (and surely not rolled).


Towels, whether paper or cloth, won't be very effective.

Buy a pack of large-size diapers and lay them inside down and close together on the wet area. Covering them with a board or other weight to keep them flat and in contact with the carpet will make them work even better.

Wait an hour or two, throw away the diapers, and then use fans and perhaps heaters, to evaporate the residual moisture.

Diapers contain slush powder, which will absorb an amazing amount of water.

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