Over-Wetting: A Common Problem When Using Rental Carpet Cleaning Machines

Over-Wetting: A Common Problem When Using Rental Machines Or Hiring An Inexperienced Carpet Cleaner

In the early days of carpet cleaning over-wetting was much more common.

The chemicals were sometimes harsh and the machinery somewhat less sophisticated and powerful than today.

And yet, over-wetting is still a problem we come across fairly regularly – most often when we’ve been called out to try and rectify the handy work of a cost-conscious homeowner who’s hired a supermarket rental machine!

But it’s not just rental machines that are responsible for over-wetting carpets.

There are also untrained and uninsured part-time carpet cleaners using sub-standard machinery and cleaning carpets using incorrect methods.

But aside from the inconvenience and excessive drying time, why else is an over-wet carpet a problem?


Shrinkage is caused by over-wetting a carpet during the cleaning process. This can be due to using too much water or because the machine is either not powerful enough, or it’s been set-up and operated incorrectly.

It is vital that your carpet cleaner assesses any risks and identifies the type of carpet you have in your home.

Over-Wetting Carpets

If there is only slight shrinkage, it may be possible to stretch the carpet back into place. But if there is significant shrinkage, the only option is to replace the carpet.

Although an experienced carpet cleaner will take measures to ensure there is no risk of shrinkage, it is important you check they hold full insurance just in case there’s a problem.

Bad Odours

A carpet that has been over-wet and remains damp for several hours / days may develop a nasty musty smell. This is often cause by bacteria setting in.

Although this problem can usually be remedied, it should be avoided in the first place by an experienced carpet cleaner.

And if you absolutely insist on cleaning your carpets yourself, it’s a good idea to ensure you have good air flow and ventilation within your home – both during and after the cleaning process. Open your doors and windows until the carpet is completely dry.

If your carpet is still wet after several hours, contact an experienced technician – otherwise you risk bacteria and mold forming.

It seems over-wetting and stagnant, musty smells are a common complaint of homeowners who’ve used rental machines.


This is something to be particularly aware of when cleaning wool carpets.

Browning is the term used to refer to brown spots that appear out of nowhere sometime after the cleaning process has taken place.

It is more common in jute backed carpets and is caused by soil or previous spillages wicking back up, often due to over-wetting.

Although these spots can appear irreversible if you were to simply try and scrub them out, a good carpet cleaning technician will have the knowledge to remove them safely and prevent any further problems.

We’re often called out to customers who’ve had their carpets cleaned with a rental machine or by an untrained cleaner and notice these brown spots suddenly appearing all over their freshly cleaned carpet!

Although over-wetting can cause expensive damage to your carpets, you can avoid the risk altogether by hiring a fully trained and insured company with the experience and knowledge to carry out the work and deal with any potential problems.