Spilled Water on Carpet – Now What? Cleanup & Smell Removal

Spilled Water on Carpet? Not Sure How to Clean it up, dry it out & remove any Stains?

In this guide you will learn:

  • How bad is it If you spill water on your carpet,
  • How to Remove the Water & Dry out your carpet,
  • What to do If your carpet starts to smell bad after a water spill,
  • What to do If your carpet now has stains after the spill.

Spilling water on carpet is an extremely common household problem.

Maybe you simply accidentally knocked a drink over or you dropped a bucket of soapy water you were carrying.

Whenever it happens it can be annoying to have to take the time to dry out the water from your carpet and make sure there aren’t any stains left.

However, if you don’t deal with wet water stains right away, they can lead to more serious problems.

Water that has been left to sit on a carpet can lead to bad smells, possibly mold, or worse.

This article will inform you of what to do to take care of water spills on your carpet and also the possible consequences of not taking care of them.

Is Spilling Water On a Carpet Bad?

While some may think that some water on your carpet is not that big of a deal, if water gets soaked into the carpet over a period of time it can still cause major water damage.

Among the problems it can cause include invasive mold, a mildew smell, brittle carpet fibers, or even water damaged wood underneath the carpet.

Though water might not be easier to work with and not as bad as spilling other liquids, it is certain to do just as much damage if left untreated.

Especially if the water was dirty with anything you will want to take care of it right away or even call a professional.

Water that is dirty can lead to even worse consequences than normal clean water.

What if it’s a small spill?

Regardless of the size of the spill, leaving it to sit on the carpet is not a good idea.

Generally, a carpet can only hold a couple ounces of water so even relatively small spills are going to leave damage.

What if it’s a larger spill?

A larger spill is of course even worse than a small or moderately sized spill.

Not only will a much larger area of your carpet be damaged, but it may also cause damage to other things on your carpet such as a couch or wood furniture.

Large water spills can seep through into your subfloor, if not dried properly, this can cause your subfloor to rot!

In addition to this, you will want to make sure that it didn’t get on any electronics in the vicinity either.

Can Spilling Water on a Carpet Cause Mold?

Yes, mold is one of the most common consequences of untreated water spills on carpets.

Whenever water spills onto a carpet, in time it will get soaked into the underside of it, or the padding underneath it.

This will in turn cause the wood underneath the carpet to get wet as well. Though the carpet may dry out over time, the mold will still stay there and if it gets wet again, it will cause the mold to grow back.

If you want to check if your carpet has mold in it, look for the following:

  • A circular area with a brown, green, or blackish tint to it. A stain with this color is usually a sign of mold
  • If you see an area like this, get up close to this and see if you can smell a foul odor
  • Press your hand to the discolored area of the carpet. Mold and mildew thrive in moist areas so a moist carpet is yet another sign of mold
  • One last thing you will want to do to check for mold is cut out and lift up the section of the carpet with the mold stain on it.

To ensure that what you’re seeing on your carpet is mold and not some other growth, there are home mold testing kits available at many major retailers.

Soaked Carpet?

Call 844-994-1288 for a Risk Free estimate from a Licensed Water Damage Restoration Specialist in your area.

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Spilled Water on Carpet-Now It Smells

A bad smell from a wet, stained carpet is of course one of the major signs of mold after a water spill.

However, mold is not the only reason why you should be worried about it. The smell you can sense is due to the bacteria and germs that grow in a carpet when it is moist.

These germs not only smell bad but can negatively affect your health as well.

In order to get rid of this smell, there are a couple things you can do on your own.

One common trick is to use some baking soda.

First scrub the carpet with soap and water, and then apply a moderate layer of baking soda on top of the carpet and leave for two nights.

You can also add vinegar too give the layer of baking soda some extra power.

If the baking soda doesn’t work you may want to try specially made cleaning products instead, or possible even call a professional to clean it for you.

Spilled Water on Carpet Caused Stains

While you might think a substance like water might not cause any stains, unfortunately you’d be wrong.

Despite water being relatively less harmful to your floor and furniture compared to other liquids such as soda or alcohol, it is still able to sink into your carpet and cause stains.

This happens largely because, even after the water dries, it can leave traces of residue that discolor the fabric of the carpet.

In addition to this, water that sinks into the carpet can absorb dirt that’s been stuck in the carpet for a long time.

Now that you know why water leaves stains on a carpet, you’re probably wondering how you can get the stain out of it.

Thankfully the solution is fairly easily and can be used with items most will have somewhere in their household.

The first thing you need is, ironically, water.

  • You can either fill up a bowl or, even better, an empty spray bottle with some water and mix it with an equal part of vinegar.
  • If you don’t have any vinegar on hand, you can mix the water with dishwashing soap instead.
  • Then, if using a spray bottle, spray a moderate amount of the mixture over the stain.
  • If you have a bowl, use a towel to blot over the stain instead.
  • Then you simply dry the carpet using either a dry cloth or paper towel and let the remaining liquid dry.

How to Remove Spilled Water and Dry Out Carpet

Of course, whenever you do get water spilled on your carpet, the first thing going through your mind is probably how to dry it out as soon as possible.

There are a few ways to go about this and it partially depends on how big the spill is.

First, if it’s a smaller spill, you can follow these steps below:

  • The first thing you will want to do is soak up as much water as possible with paper towels or a dry cloth.
  • To put more pressure on the towels and absorb more water, you can press down on it with your knees.
  • Once you think you’ve soaked up as much water as possible, you may want to get a fan to dry it.
  • You can use a common household fan to help dry out the carpet by blowing on the water spot or, if the cord is long enough, you can use a hair dryer to give it more heat
  • Then, simply wait for the wet spot to finish drying. Try to avoid stepping on it until it’s completely dry

Large water stains can be more complicated but you can still follow these instructions to try and tackle it on your own:

  • Before doing anything else, you will want to remove any furniture or electronic that are close to the stain off of it or away from it do they don’t get any damage.
  • Next, the best thing to use to get up the water is a wet vacuum if you have one. If you don’t have a wet vacuum, you can try using larger beach towels to soak up the water.
  • If you’re using beach towels, much like with a small spill, try pressing your knees onto them to help them soak up water.
  • No matter what you’re using, try to soak up as much water as possible.
  • Once that’s done use a fan to finish drying it off as well. While a common household fan might work okay, a professional grade fan will definitely work better
  • In addition, in order to make sure no one steps in the area, you may want to cordon off the wet area.

A larger spill is definitely much more difficult to work with, if you think you need help to deal with it, you can try calling a professional.

If it’s a large spill and it’s not dried out properly, water can seep through carpet in your subfloor and cause it to rot causing structural issues to your home.

Large water spills will also usually mean that you will need to replace your carpet underlay if you do not remove the water fast enough.

Continue Reading: How to dry out Carpet Padding

How Long Does a Carpet Take to Dry After Spilling Water?

In general, a carpet can commonly take between 6-12 hours to dry depending on the size of the water spill, though in some cases it can take twice as long as that.

If you keep a fan on it, the carpet should dry quicker. There are also a couple other things you can do to help it dry quicker.

For example, if the weather is nice, you can open up your windows to let the air in the room circulate.

You can also go over the spot with a Shop Vac in order to try and suck up some last bits of moisture.

Continue Reading: Can you Vacuum Wet Carpet

When to Call a Professional

While in most cases, a water spill is manageable enough on your own, there are certainly some cases in which calling a professional is a must.

If the spill was very large and has already soaked beneath the carpet and gotten into the wood underneath it, you will need professional tools and help to get everything fixed.

Also, if the water being spilled was dirty water, you will want to call a professional cleaner as well.


We have Water Damage Restoration Technicians that can help Dry out your Carpet , Carpet Padding and your Subfloor. As well as repair any Water Damage Caused.

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