I was compiling the kernel 3.2 when it was taken more time than the walkthrough indicated. So I cancelled it, realizing that it took 5 gb of hard drive space. I deleted all the kernel folders downloaded but that still didn't recover the space. Any suggestions?
By delete did you mean from the GUI file browser or rm -rf from the console? If it's the former than all those files are in the trash and you need to empty it to reclaim the space. The build is self-contained, if you truly wiped out the git/build tree then everything associated with the build is gone.
This is the procedure I use to build kernels:
Most users usually don't have a good reason to build their own kernel, unless you're into tweaking that is in which case have a blast :-).