Carpets can make your home feel cozy. No wonder carpets are one of the most used types of flooring in the US.
Unfortunately, however, carpets are also a place where dust mites gather. These, in turn, can trigger asthma and allergies. Therefore, it’s advised to vacuum weekly, and in addition, to deep-clean the carpet every month (1).
But how much does it cost to get your carpet cleaned professionally? Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about carpet cleaning so that you can keep yours allergy-free.
How Much Does Carpet Cleaning Cost?
Professional carpet cleaning companies will usually charge based on the size of the area that requires a deep cleaning, or per room.
The average cost of cleaning a square foot of carpet is $0.25, while a room is between $50 and $75 (2). Depending on the size of the home, most people pay between $121 and $233, so on average $176 (3).
|Average cost per square foot.||$0.25|
|Average cost per clean.||$176|
|Average cost per room.||$50–$75|
|Average cost for 200–400 square foot home.||$80–$130|
|Average cost for 1000–1500 square foot home.||$200–$300|
|Average cost for 2000–3000 square foot home.||$400–$550|
Carpet Cleaning vs. Rug Cleaning
While a carpet must be cleaned at your house, a rug is easy to take elsewhere. Professional rug cleaners will pick up the rug from your home and take it for a thorough cleaning. You can also deliver your rug to specialized cleaning companies. A carpet of 8 to 10 feet will cost you around $160 for professional cleaning (4).
Additional Carpet Cleaning Costs
The above estimated costs just take the cleaning into consideration. However, you might want extra cleaning for spots, repairs, or help with moving furniture. These are all extra services which lead to additional costs.
You may need extra cleaning for several reasons:
- Pet stains: Not all pets are house-trained, so they might relieve themselves on your carpet. A professional carpet cleaner will pre-treat the stains before the general cleaning of the whole carpet. This will also help reduce any bad odors that accompany this type of stain.
- Bloodstains: It’s best to remove them as soon as they happen because they might not come out later. Apply some cold water, spray with a solution of detergent and cold water, and repeat if needed. Never use hot water because it might only worsen the stain.
- Coffee stains: These also have to be removed immediately. Shops sell specific products against these stains. But, if you don’t have any at hand, you can use a mixture of water, vinegar, and light bleach. Always blot when cleaning the stain; don’t rub.
Stains can cost anywhere between $40 and $300 to remove, depending on the severity and size.
Your carpet should last you at least 10 years. However, some factors can speed up the degeneration process. Fibers can be damaged by excessive sunlight, high foot traffic, bleach and stains. This fiber damage can eventually lead to discoloration.
Professional carpet cleaners can apply color repairs, also known as dyeing. With a mixture of the original carpet’s paint and other materials, they dye the carpet again. Once it is redyed, the life span of the carpet is extended.
Consider carpet treatments that create resistance against stains. This way, you can try to avoid the process of discoloration. Some products to invest in include Teflon, Scotchgard, and Stainmaster.
Additional damage to your carpet can be caused by the loosening of the carpet. This can cause waves and ripples in your carpet, which signal a need to re-stretch. Carpets can loosen for many reasons such as steam cleaning the wrong way or false installment. For these reasons, it’s recommended to get in touch with professional carpet cleaners and installers.
- Moving: Your carpet is probably covered by several pieces of furniture — some heavier than others. Most professional cleaners will charge extra to move your furniture (and cost may depend on weight). Others, though, may include it in the price. With all these different possibilities, it’s good to check beforehand. If you’d like to save costs, you may move the furniture yourself before the cleaning.
- Cleaning: Some professional carpet cleaners offer a package where furniture cleaning is included. This can often save you the extra cost of having another company come and clean the furniture separately. So ask your cleaner to see what the offers are.
As this cleaning takes a bit more effort, many professional carpet cleaners include an average extra cost of $2 per stair.
This is one of the treatments you can do — or let professional carpet cleaners do — to pre-treat your carpet. Teflon adds a stain- and water-resistant coating to the carpet, which gives you more time in case of spills.
If you prefer a 100 percent eco-friendly cleaning with non-toxic products, you will find several companies offering this. The average cost per room is around $65.
What’s the Best Method for Cleaning Carpets?
There are different types of carpet cleaning. Each type comes at its own cost and uses a different set of cleaning techniques.
Hot Water Extraction (HWE)
This is the most often used technique. Under high pressure, hot water is applied to the carpet. Simultaneously, a grooming tool scrubs the carpet to loosen the dirt inside of it.
In some cases, an ammonia solution is added. After this, the carpet is rinsed with hot water. This water is then suctioned back into the machine.
Clearly, this method uses a lot of water. Therefore, it’s crucial that most of the water is well suctioned out again to avoid the growth of mold inside the carpet fibers. So, your carpet will need 24 hours to dry after this cleaning treatment.
For cotton and wool carpets, this method can cost around 30 percent more as they are more challenging to clean. The more loops in the carpet and the more twisted they are, the more it will cost.
Also known as dry moisture cleaning, this type of carpet cleaning uses much less water than the HWE method. Chemicals and cleaning powders are mixed with hot water and brushed into the carpet. After this, the carpet is vacuumed.
With this method, your carpet only needs to dry for 20 minutes before you can walk on it again. Dry cleaning is less labor-intensive than HWE cleaning, but it’s also less effective. So don’t be surprised to find that less dirt and debris are removed.
Encapsulation Carpet Cleaning
This type of cleaning is not that different from dry cleaning. A mixture of cleaning products is rubbed into the carpet by a machine. This can either be a rotary machine, a brush applicator or a compression sprayer. The added detergent binds to the debris and dirt inside the carpet, before being vacuumed again.
After this type of cleaning, the carpet can be walked on immediately. If your carpet isn’t that dirty, it’s an excellent method to improve its appearance. On a heavily soiled carpet, however, this type of cleaning is less effective.
Shampoo Carpet Cleaning
This technique doesn’t require much drying because a low amount of moisture is used. The foam of the carpet shampoo is brushed into the carpet through rotation and then vacuumed.
It’s worth noting, though, that the product might leave some residue in the carpet as it is not rinsed. This is also the downside of this method as the residue might attract more dirt in the future.
Bonnet Carpet Cleaning
This is a surface-cleaning method mostly used in hotels and commercial buildings. A rotating pad is soaked with cleaning products and attached to a machine. This device is then pushed over the carpet with a speed of 100–300 rpm.
Every few hundred square meters, the pad must be treated again with extra solution and rinsed to ensure its efficiency. Otherwise, it just fills up with the dirt of the carpet, which is afterward spread out on the whole carpet. As this is not a deep-clean, it might have to be repeated more often.
The price of cleaning can vary per type of carpet. With more delicate materials, there will be an increase in price. Let’s take a look at the most common materials carpets are made of:
- Nylon: The most popular material to produce carpets. They can be cleaned with the cheaper hot water extraction technique. A downside to this fabric is that it stains easily and therefore, might need cleaning more often.
- Olefin: This material is resistant to mold. It’s also stronger than nylon but performs less than other fibers. It has a wool-like appearance and has good stain-resistance. Its soil-resistance, however, is very poor.
- Acrylic: This is a cheaper alternative to wool. It’s soft, fine and luxurious with a good stain-resistance.
- Wool and cotton: These types of carpets are made from natural materials. They tend to be durable, stain-resistant and eco-friendly. The disadvantage of wool and cotton is that they’re more expensive as a material as well as to clean.
How Are Carpets Professionally Cleaned?
Most professional carpet cleaners will follow these steps:
- Pre-inspection: The cleaning company will most probably send an employee to check your carpet. This way, they can inspect possible stains and the type of carpet you have. Once they have an overview of all factors, they can give you an estimation of the expected price. Sometimes, though, this pre-inspection is done over the phone. If that’s the case, make sure you check your carpet for spots before you make the call.
- Removal of furniture: You can do this yourself or you can ask the cleaning company. Small furniture will be removed, while bigger pieces might have to remain in place. In that case, they will be covered for protection. The furniture should only be returned once the carpet is dry — the duration of which depends on the type of cleaning.
- Pre-vacuum: The carpet gets the first vacuum to remove any dry dust and dirt out of the carpet.
- Pre-spray and pre-spots: The carpet is sprayed, with stains given special attention. This treatment increases the effectiveness of the cleaning process.
- Cleaning: The whole carpet area will be cleaned depending on the method your carpet needs. The soil is extracted from the carpet, and if needed, the carpet is thoroughly rinsed.
- Post grooming: Some companies apply this grooming. This helps the carpet dry faster, and in the correct way.
- Dry: The time your carpet needs to dry depends on the method that was used to clean it. If this is a long time, professional carpet cleaners can use ventilators to speed up the process. These draw in the dry air of the room and push it towards the carpet. It also helps if you open your windows and put on the AC or fans.
- Post-cleaning inspection: After cleaning, an employee will join you to check the carpet. You can point out anything not to your liking.
Can I Clean My Carpets Myself?
Especially for cleaning stains, some DIY techniques can be effective as well. You can use some household products such as baking soda to create your own stain removers.
Some stains, however, will not be removed easily. You can try to get them out with a machine. Many local home improvement stores offer them for rent. Renting costs start at $30 per day. Most of these rental venues will also provide the cleaning solution to use with the machine.
Is Professional Carpet Cleaning Worth It?
You may think of getting carpets professionally cleaned as a hassle, especially since it’s only going to get dirty again. But DIY is not always the easiest or cheapest option.
Some cleaning tasks don’t require professional carpet cleaners. But DIY carpet cleaning can’t cover everything. The downsides of hiring a machine yourself are:
- Difficult to use: If you are not used to operating heavy machines, it might be hard for you to move them around. This is especially so if you have a small living space. Unfortunately, it doesn’t help that these machines often come with difficult instructions.
- Malfunction: Others have rented the material before you and might have used it the wrong way. This might cause the machine to break, leading to additional costs or damaging your carpet.
- Wrong size: Depending on your carpet surface, a professional carpet cleaner will bring a machine with the necessary size. When renting yourself, you might end up with a device that’s too big or too small. This might result in a longer working time.
Professional cleaners might be more expensive, but they know what they’re doing. They have the exact materials needed and can change their methods depending on the type of your carpet. The difference in price might be worth it as the effort you have to make for DIY is high.
How to Choose Your Cleaner
Before making your choice, do some research on the different cleaning companies in your neighborhood. Ask them the following questions:
- How much experience do they have?
- What kind of methods do they offer?
- Do they have any packages and offers? (e.g., for furniture cleaning)
- What is the cost?
- What are the additional costs?
To try and keep your carpet clean, follow these tips:
- Vacuum your carpet two to three times per week.
- Apply a stain-resistant spray or treat your carpets with a protective solution.
- Avoid walking with dirty shoes on the carpet, so debris doesn’t become stuck in it.
- Check if rugs lose their color when they become wet, before putting them on top of your carpet.
- Don’t wait until your carpets look dirty to clean them — the dirtier your carpet, the more it will cost you to clean it.
Count the Cost
When planning your carpet’s monthly cleaning, there are many things to consider. The size of the room will influence the price a professional cleaner will charge you. So when choosing a type of flooring for your home, you can examine first what the estimated costs would be.
You now have an overview of any additional costs. With spills, you now know how to clean them with common household products. This prevents spills from turning into stains that require a professional clean.
While DIY carpet cleaning is always an option, the amount of work doesn’t always weigh up against the cost of professional cleaning.