How to Vacuum Wet Carpet


A wet carpet provides the perfect breeding ground for fungus such as mold and mildew. Both will feed off your carpeting, spread to other areas of your home, and fill the air with an unpleasant musty odor. No matter how your carpet became wet, you must remove the excess moisture and dry the carpet completely as soon as possible. A normal vacuum cannot remove the water from a wet carpet successfully. Instead, use a wet-dry vacuum capable of removing both solids and liquids.

Things You'll Need

  • Wet-dry vacuum
  • Attach the carpet attachment to the wet-dry vacuum hose. Depending on the type of vacuum and how wet your carpet is, you may be required to remove the filter from the vacuum before cleaning the carpet. Refer to the instruction manual for more information.

  • Start at the area of the carpet farthest away from the entrance so you can work toward it. Turn the wet-dry vacuum on and hold the carpet attachment to the floor.

  • Move the carpet attachment backward across the floor in a straight line. Work in small sections -- about 3 to 4 feet -- at a time. Pick the attachment up and place it directly beside the line you just vacuumed.

  • Repeat Step 4 until you have removed the excess moisture from the carpeting. When the wet-dry vacuum canister becomes full, the airflow will automatically shut off. You must remove and empty the canister before you can continue cleaning the carpet.

Tips & Warnings

  • Rent a wet-dry vacuum for your local home-improvement store or tool-rental center. You may be required to show two forms of picture ID as well as leave a refundable deposit. You will receive your deposit back as long as you return the machine in the same condition as when you rented it.
  • Read and follow all directions and warnings printed on the vacuum.


  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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