How Much Does Professional Carpet Cleaning Cost?
Get a deep-down clean to sanitize and remove stains and odors with a professional cleaning. Professional carpet cleaning costs range from $122 to $235, with the national average at $178.
- Typical Range: $122 to $235
- National Average: $178
Regular professional cleaning can keep carpets looking newer for longer. Professional carpet cleaners have the equipment and experience to ensure greater cleanliness than a DIY cleaning project. While vacuuming often can help remove surface dust and debris, a deep-down professional clean can remove allergens, bacteria, and other irritants like mold and mildew. The cost of carpet cleaning can range from $122 to $235, with the national average at $178. The type of carpet, size of the cleaning area, cleaning method, and any pretreatments or stain removal can affect carpet cleaning cost. Labor costs can also fluctuate due to geographic location; labor rates are typically more expensive in more densely populated urban areas than in rural communities. Some professional rug cleaning companies charge by square foot or per room. Be sure to check with the cleaning company about how they charge for their carpet cleaning services.
It’s recommended that homeowners clean their home’s carpeting at least once a year. If the carpets have an unpleasant odor or are matted and discolored, it’s time for a deep clean. Instead of googling “how much to rent a carpet cleaner” and tackling the job on their own, many homeowners agree that the benefits of professional carpet cleaning are worth the cost. Local carpet cleaners can eliminate pet messes, sanitize, and refresh the carpeting in your home.
Factors in Calculating Professional Carpet Cleaning Cost
How much does carpet cleaning cost? Many factors can influence carpet cleaning cost. Prices can differ from the national average due to carpet size, carpet material, the cleaning method, and how the services are priced. Keep in mind that unusually high prices could signify rate inflation, and companies with very cheap carpet cleaning rates may deliver poor-quality cleaning. Here are some factors that affect the overall pricing of a professional cleaning.
Many professional carpet cleaners do not charge by the hour but per square foot or a flat rate by room. The average range for professional carpet cleaning costs is between $0.20 and $0.40 per square foot. A team will typically visit your home to measure and calculate the square footage for an estimate. If the company charges a flat rate per room, each room can cost between $75 and $125, although some places will limit room size and may charge extra for larger rooms. If a homeowner is interested in cleaning carpets in the entire house, the company may offer carpet cleaning deals for multiple rooms.
The cleaning method will depend on the carpeting material. The twists and loops of the material impact how much dirt, dust, and pet hair the carpet holds. The methods of carpet construction affect the thickness, overall look, and risk of staining. If a carpet is thick, it may take more time and effort to remove stains, dirt, and debris. There are different cleaning solutions, cleaning methods, and equipment that are more appropriate for certain types of carpeting. All of these factors can impact overall carpet cleaning cost. Berber carpet is the easiest to clean and costs around $90. Cut and level loop is more challenging to clean and costs between $60 and $120. Cotton and wool carpeting are the hardest to clean and cost around $100 to $150.
There are several carpet cleaning methods, each with its own specifications and special pricing. The type of carpet, length of the pile, overall condition, and the number of set-in stains all play a role in determining what kind of cleaning method will work the best. How much it will cost is affected by how long it takes to clean the carpet, the cleaning solutions needed, and what type of equipment is required. The most common cleaning methods are shampooing, dry cleaning, hot water extraction, encapsulation, bonnet, and carbonated cleaning. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, so knowing the difference can help you make an informed decision.
Per-Room vs. Square Footage Rates
Some companies charge by square foot or per room. The average pricing per square foot is between $0.20 and $0.40 per square foot. By using this estimate, it’s easy to calculate potential carpet cleaning costs. Those who charge per room usually have a flat fee per room, although some restrictions may be made on the size. Some carpet cleaning price ranges per room are:
- 1 room: $25 to $75
- 2 rooms: $50 to $150
- 3 rooms: $75 to $225
- 4 rooms: $100 to $300
- 5 rooms: $150 to $600
Always check to see if there are discounts available for cleaning multiple rooms.
Additional Costs and Considerations
When budgeting for carpet cleaning costs, it’s helpful to know of any additional price factors and considerations. These can include stain and odor removal, water damage, furniture moving, room preparation, stairs, furniture cleaning, carpet replacement, and travel fees.
Stain and Odor Removal
Stain removal can cost between $40 and $300. Pet stains can cost more since they can sink deep into the carpet fibers and take a significant amount of time to remove. It’s crucial to eliminate pet stains as soon as possible to avoid strong odors. Food stains rarely take as much labor to extract and are usually priced toward the lower end of the estimate. Odor removal typically involves pretreatment and specialized cleaning fluids.
Water damage cleaning can run between $450 and $2,000. Water damage happens when excessive water is allowed to sit on the carpeting and soak into the padding. It usually takes high-powered extraction to remove the water, and even then, the padding may remain wet. If that’s the case, the padding will need to be replaced to prevent the growth of mold and mildew.
Furniture Moving and Room Preparation
Most companies request that any personal and delicate belongings be removed from the area before the cleaning process begins. Most companies will move light furniture out of the room, but if a homeowner wants heavier furniture removed, it could cost $200 for two professionals to move furniture for 2 hours. Some companies will charge for removing any furniture, so be sure to double-check before scheduling carpet cleaning services. Preparing the room by vacuuming and removing furniture can keep costs down and expedite the process. Explaining the high-traffic areas and providing information about stains can help a professional treat them with the correct type of pretreatment solution. If there are pets in the house, they should be temporarily removed or secured in another room, so they don’t walk across freshly cleaned carpets or dart out the front door when it’s open to move the equipment in and out.
Cleaning stairs can cost between $2 and $3 per step. When you get an estimate, be sure to ask if this price is included with the charge per square foot or if it’s added as an extra fee.
Some carpet cleaning companies also offer upholstery cleaning. This convenient additional service can cost between $120 and $220 per furniture piece.
If homeowners ignore the need for professional carpet cleaning for too long, they may need to replace the carpet. Allowing stains to set, not using pressure to draw out water that’s been spilled on the carpet, and infrequent vacuuming can result in carpeting that is impossible to clean. Replacement costs can range from $750 to $2,500.
Carpet cleaning companies may charge an extra fee if they need to travel long distances to clean carpets. Some companies may not travel to a location if it’s outside of their established service area, so be sure to ask if there are any additional fees to travel to your home.
Carpet Cleaning Methods
There are several methods that professionals use to clean carpeting. While all of these practices may be available, only one or two may work well on the carpeting in your home. Knowing the methods that are the best for the type of carpet in your home can help you make informed decisions pertaining to the pile length, overall condition, and amount of staining on your carpet. Here are the most common cleaning methods available.
Hot Water Extraction (HWE)
Many use the terms “hot water extraction” and “steam cleaning” interchangeably, but there are some differences between the two. Hot water extraction can cost between $100 and $500. This cleaning method uses high pressure to deliver hot water and sometimes a cleaning agent to dissolve dirt and grime. The solution is then vacuumed up, but it can take a day or two to thoroughly dry. Be aware that this cleaning method can be harsh for natural fibers, such as wool or velvet, and can damage the material.
Steam cleaning involves heating water hotter than for hot water extraction, so almost all the liquid water is turned into a vapor. It’s an effective way to kill germs and allergens, but steam cleaning doesn’t raise the pile of the carpet, meaning it doesn’t clean as deeply into the fibers as hot water extraction would.
Shampooing a carpet can cost between $80 and $400. This cleaning method uses a shampooing machine that applies a foaming cleanser. It creates a foam layer on the carpet that the rotating brushes work into the carpet. Powerful suction then removes the foam and dirt, and it takes little time to dry. While this method works well for heavily stained and soiled carpets, shampoo residue can be left behind that can discolor the carpet and eventually attract more dirt and stains.
Dry cleaning is a low-moisture method of carpet cleaning. Dry cleaning uses a dry formula of solvents and cleaning agents that adhere to dirt. After sitting for about 10 to 15 minutes, the formula and dirt will be vacuumed away with powerful suction. This method isn’t a deep clean, but it does remove dirt, debris, and odors. This is a popular cleaning method because there’s virtually no drying time. Dry cleaning cost ranges from $75 to $350.
Encapsulation is a popular cleaning method due to the quick drying time of one to two hours. This method uses a brush machine to apply a foam or liquid cleaning agent to the carpet, forming a powder. Dirt and debris become encapsulated within the powder, which is vacuumed away. Encapsulation will not leave behind a residue, but it isn’t recommended for heavily soiled carpeting. Expect to pay between $75 and $350 for this type of carpet cleaning.
Bonnet cleaning focuses on a superficial clean rather than a deep-down cleaning of the carpet fibers. A cleaning solution-soaked spinning pad on a motorized machine spins over the carpet’s surface to remove dirt and debris. The pad will need to be rinsed or replaced often since it will absorb dirt quickly. The lack of moisture means this method has a quick drying time, but be aware that dirt from deep in the carpet will eventually resurface. Bonnet cleaning typically runs between $25 and $85.
Carbonated cleaning costs between $125 and $550, on average. This process uses hot water and chemical bubbles to work out ground-in dirt in the carpet fibers, which is then vacuumed. This cleaning method uses minimal water for a quick dry time.
Green Carpet Cleaning
While not technically a cleaning method, green carpet cleaning practices are important to many homeowners. Using eco-friendly carpet cleaning methods costs between $115 and $220 per room. Organic cleaners are nontoxic and can be used with shampoo machines, hand brushes, and steam extractors. These natural solutions also work as disinfectants, and they can be used as an all-purpose cleaner throughout the home. Many carpet cleaning companies offer green carpet cleaning options, but always ask what services and cleaning solution brands they provide.
Signs You Need Professional Carpet Cleaning
It’s recommended that carpeting be cleaned at least once a year—and sometimes more if there are pets, small children, or high traffic levels in the home. Carpets trap dust, dirt, pet dander, pollen, and other irritants. If you’re unsure if your carpeting needs cleaning, here are a few signs that a carpet needs professional attention.
Allergies and Other Health Issues
If family members develop allergies or other respiratory health issues, you may be able to blame the carpets. Dust, pollen, dust mites, pet dander, mold, and mildew can collect within carpeting and lead to sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, and more. If someone in the home has asthma, their symptoms could become severe. Professional carpet cleaning can eliminate allergens within the fibers while disinfecting and sanitizing the entire carpet.
If it’s been more than a few years since the last professional cleaning, or if the carpet has never been cleaned, it’s time to schedule an appointment. The older the carpet, the more dirt and debris is embedded deep down in the fibers. A professional cleaning will do wonders for the look and feel of the carpet and keep it looking newer for longer.
Carpet Appearance and Smell
If deep-down stains just won’t budge, a professional carpet cleaning company has the correct pretreatments and cleaning solutions. If stains are set in and spot cleaning isn’t helping, an experienced cleaner can do the job. Carpets can give off offensive odors because of pets, spills, smoke, water damage, bacteria, mold, and mildew. A deep clean will help eliminate tough odors.
Benefits of Choosing Professional Carpet Cleaning
Professional carpet cleaning keeps carpet clean and prolongs the life of the carpet. While regular vacuuming and spot cleaning helps, the benefits of professional cleaning are numerous.
Less Investment in Tools
Homeowners who aren’t interested in investing their money in carpet cleaning machines and solutions will benefit from hiring a professional company. Some may wonder, “How much does it cost to rent a carpet cleaner?” This is certainly an option instead of getting a professional cleaning, but for many, it’s worth it to pay for the service to save time and effort.
Decreased Chance of Carpet Damage
Cleaning carpets once a year can reduce potential permanent damage to the carpet fibers. While vacuuming can mitigate any surface-level dirt, a professional cleaning can take care of deep-set dirt and stains.
Carpet cleaning is typically time-consuming and tedious work. Hiring an expert to clean is an efficient move for many homeowners who don’t have the time to dedicate to a DIY project. The experienced cleaning team and their professional equipment provide efficient practices to ensure exact water extraction during the cleaning process.
Additional Cleaning Services
Many homeowners take advantage of the additional services offered by carpet cleaning companies. Some offer upholstery cleaning, furniture moving, anti-stain protection, carpet restretching, patch repair, and water damage cleaning.
Extended Carpet Life
One of the primary benefits of carpet cleaning is extending the carpet’s life. Over time, dirt, grime, and allergens will build up and damage the carpet material. Cleaning the carpet will remove the filth and improve the carpet’s longevity.
Allergens trapped in the carpet fibers are released into the air when people walk across the surface. These can cause respiratory health issues and allergic reactions. The hot water used in the cleaning process can successfully eliminate the allergens and sanitize the fibers.
A dirty carpet can bring down the entire aesthetic of a room. A clean carpet can improve the overall appearance by removing stains, high-traffic lanes, and matted-down areas.
Carpet Cleaning Cost: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
Renting a steam cleaner from a home improvement, grocery, or hardware store typically costs between $35 to $50 a day, and the cleaning solution can run between $5 to $15 per bottle. If you only need to clean a small area, a DIY approach may work the best. If you need to clean multiple rooms, stairs, and hallways, the rental period may exceed 3 or more days. Tackling a DIY carpet clean takes a lot of time and effort. There is always the risk of a machine malfunctioning or damaging the carpeting. For carpeting and deep stains that haven’t been cleaned in years, it’s advised to hire an expert since individually cleaned spots can stand out from the rest of the dirty carpet. Hiring a professional will save time, and they can get the job done efficiently with skillful results.
Mobility Issues and Physical Limitations
If you or a family member cannot maneuver or physically manipulate a DIY carpet steamer, hiring a professional to take care of it for you is always recommended. This can avoid the risk of injuries.
Those living in rental apartments or homes with carpets still want to keep their carpets fresh and stick to the recommended yearly carpet cleaning. But they may not have enough space to keep their own carpet cleaning machine. And if you live in a second-floor apartment in a building without elevators, it can be tricky to maneuver a bulky rented cleaner through narrow stairways. Hiring a professional eliminates these inconveniences. Keeping the carpets clean and free from stains can also keep renters from sacrificing their security deposit.
How to Save Money on Professional Carpet Cleaning
Staying within a budget for professional carpet cleaning costs can be challenging, and the additional fees associated with the project can quickly add up. One way to save money on carpet cleaning costs is to hire the cheapest cleaning company you can find, but there are other ways to save without compromising the services you want.
- Take preventive action. Vacuuming often is a good way to extend time between professional cleanings. Taking care of the carpet by spot cleaning to remove stains can cut the cost of a cleaning by opting to have a professional come every 2 years instead of every year.
- Use area rugs. Using runners in a hallway or mats and area rugs for high-traffic areas can cut down on the wear and tear on the carpeting.
- Get multiple quotes. Get at least three quotes from reputable carpet cleaning companies in your area.
- Do some of the prep yourself. Moving furniture and personal items before a team of professionals comes in to clean can eliminate any potential additional charges.
- Ask about discounts. Some companies may offer discounts and deals during their slow season. Some may also offer discounts for cleaning multiple rooms or offer an additional service for a reduced rate.
- Prioritize. While cleaning every square foot of carpeting in your home may be tempting, the cost can quickly add up. Focus on the high-traffic areas to prevent permanent damage and freshen up the room.
Questions to Ask About Carpet Cleaning
Asking the right questions about carpet cleaning costs can minimize miscommunication and save money. Here are some questions to ask a carpet cleaning professional.
- Are you insured?
- Will you come to my home for an estimate?
- How much for carpet cleaning?
- Do you use eco-friendly cleaning practices?
- Do you have references?
- Do you currently have any coupons or discount offers?
- Who will clean the carpeting?
- What carpet cleaning methods do you offer?
- What brands and types of cleaning solutions do you use?
- Do you charge an extra fee for moving furniture?
- What additional services do you provide?
- How long will it take for the carpeting to dry?
- What type of guarantee do you offer?
Deciding on carpet cleaning while staying within your budget can be a daunting process. Here are some frequently asked questions about carpet cleaning costs to help guide you in your decisions.
Q. Is carpet cleaning worth the money?
For many homeowners, professional carpet cleaning costs are more cost-effective than replacing the carpet. Hiring a team of cleaners can extend the life of the carpet and keep it looking newer for longer.
Q. How do I know if my carpet needs cleaning?
If your carpet has stains, odors, high-traffic lanes, and is matted, it’s time for a professional cleaning.
Q. How often should carpets be cleaned professionally?
Professionals recommend that carpets be cleaned every 12 to 18 months. Some homeowners opt for twice a year if they have high-traffic areas, pets, or children in the house.
Q. Do you need to clean a new carpet?
It’s recommended to steam clean new carpeting to get rid of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that cause the new-carpet smell, as well as to eliminate any other hazardous toxins. It will also help the new carpet look and feel better.
Q. Why does my carpet look worse after cleaning?
Sometimes old stains and dirt can surface after a cleaning. When the padding underneath the rug gets wet, it can release stains as the carpet dries. This process, called wicking, is a sign that replacing the carpet may be in order. Residue left behind from the cleaning process can also make the carpet look stained and dirty. When dirt and grime make contact with the residue, the carpet can look dirtier than before it was cleaned. Other times, worn carpet pile can break off and be different lengths. When the pile is cleaned and drawn back up, it will look uneven and thin.