How Much Does Professional Carpet Cleaning Cost?

$25 – $70 per room

The average cost of carpet cleaning is $0.25 per square foot of carpet or between $25 to $70 per room, with most homeowners paying around $50 per room. For an average three-bedroom home, you can expect to pay $175 whereas larger whole house cleans can cost between $300 to $600.

Average carpet cleaning costs per room:

Carpet Cleaning Prices Per Square Foot

National Average Cost $50
Minimum Cost $25
Maximum Cost $70
Average Range $35 to $55

Average carpet cleaning costs per home size:

Home Size Average Cost</b
650 to 1000 sq. feet $99 – $250
1000 to 1800 sq. feet $150 – $450
1800 to 3000 sq. feet $300 – $600

Additional Carpet Cleaning Costs

Some companies will charge more for heavily soiled carpets but are willing to tie in the deep cleaning needed at a discounted price if the whole house is done. A reasonable price for up to 1,000 sq. ft of heavily soiled carpet is around $190.

Some companies can do a bait and switch by adding costs for entryways and halls after quoting based on a per room cost. You may prefer to choose a company that charges by the square foot to be more up front and avoid any hidden costs.

Pet stains and odor removal – Professional carpet cleaners can remove these stains. They will give pretreatment of heavy, odorous stains before the main cleaning work begins. If pets continue to relieve themselves in those areas, you may need to replace the carpet pad underneath, which can cost up to $300.

Furniture and Upholstery Cleaning – Hot water extraction can remove a lot of the dirt and grime from your furniture starting from $50 and up.

Stairs Cleaning – this can be an extra charge, although we have seen charges as low as $2 for each stair cleaning.

Water Damage – be sure the company is certified with the IICRC as a cleaning and restoration expert. This will ensure that there is no water retention in the water-damaged carpet and furniture once they have been cleaned. Always address water damage immediately before it seeps past your carpet pad.

Furniture Moving & Removal – Parts of the carpet that need cleaning will likely be those not covered by large pieces of furniture—the traffic area—so it’s not necessary to move large pieces. If you do need items like a piano moved, though, expect to pay at least $20/hour or more.

Teflon Treatment – add a stain- and water-resistant coating to the carpet. This puts a barrier between the carpet fibers and any liquid or solid spills. It gives you a 15–20-minute window of time to blot up the liquid. Teflon treatment costs $20 and up and sometimes it’s included free.

Wicking – Wicking may occur with stains that have seeped into the carpet pad. They may show up within one to two days of drying. A dark spot reoccurs from the dark stain rising up through the pad and the carpet to the surface of the carpet fibers, in which case your carpet cleaning company may need to come back and clean that spot again. Be sure to have a cleaning warranty with the service provider you use to take care of this. Many offer warranties of a few days to a month.

Carpet Cleaning Methods

The type of carpet cleaning method you choose will also affect your cost. Hot water extraction (HWE), is the preferred cleaning method of most carpet cleaning companies and claims to remove about 97% of dirt and bacteria. Less water is used than steam cleaning, and drying time is shorter because of the suction power of the machine used, giving it a deep clean. Older carpets with weak backing and natural yarns could shrink after HWE.

Hot Water Extraction (HWE) Carpet Cleaning

Very hot water and (sometimes) a cleaning agent are applied at high pressure, via water jet nozzles, with a grooming tool to agitate/scrub the carpet fibers and dissolve the dirt. The chemical reagent—usually an ammonia solution for synthetic carpets or an acidic one for wool—liquifies any dirt and oil-based substances. Simultaneously, the carpet is rinsed with hot water, and water is suctioned back up with an extraction wand. Be aware that the heat of the water can damage natural fiber carpets like wool or velvet, and because so much water is used, efficient water extraction and a long enough drying time are vital to avoid mold growth.

Cost will depend on the loops in the carpet and how tightly they are twisted, with Berber being the easiest/cheapest to clean. Cotton and wool carpets can cost 30% more.

Shampoo Carpet Cleaning

Shampoo in the form of a foam is worked into the carpet with rotating brushes and then vacuumed up, but no rinsing is done. The residue foam can remain sticky once it dries, possibly making the carpet even more susceptible to future dirt. Moisture is minimal so drying time is short.

Dry Carpet Cleaning

A “dry” (about 10% water based) cleaning powder of solvents and cleaning agents which dissolves and then absorbs dirt is brushed/worked into the carpet fibers and then vacuumed away after 10–15 minutes. The carpet can be walked on after 20 minutes.

This is not a deep clean, but it’s less labor intensive. Furthermore, the chemicals used don’t attract future dirt the way carpet shampoo does, and they don’t do as much damage to carpet fibers.

Encapsulation Carpet Cleaning

Somewhat similar to dry cleaning, the detergent is applied as a wet foam by rotary machine, brush applicator, or compression sprayer. The detergent binds and crystallizes/encapsulates the dirt and dries over a period of twenty minutes before being vacuumed up. This method uses less shampoo than regular carpet shampooing and dries faster. It doesn’t work well, however, on heavily soiled carpets.

A benefit of using this type of polymer solution is that the entire carpet is coated with the film, which continues to gather and crystallize future dirt long after the initial cleaning is done.

Bonnet Carpet Cleaning

First, a cleaning detergent is sprayed onto the carpet. A pad is immersed in cleaning solution and then attached to a motor so it can spin over the top of a carpet at 100–300 rpm and absorb dirt from the carpet. The pad is repeatedly rinsed or replaced because it fills up with dirt quickly, often every few hundred square feet; and once full, it starts spreading the dirt instead.

Carpet Cleaning Process

Usually a company will have you complete a pre-clean questionnaire over the phone, via an online form, or during an in-home visit before giving a carpet cleaning quote. Expect to answer questions about stains, odors, soiled areas, and high-traffic areas.

Remove any smaller pieces of furniture from the rooms to be cleaned, especially items that could fall or be knocked over, like lamps and side tables. Large pieces of furniture will remain in place and be covered, such as beds, entertainment centers, and office desks. Items like coffee tables should not be moved back after cleaning to let the carpet dry out properly first.

Stains and soiled areas will be pretreated.

All carpeted areas will be cleaned.

Some companies will do a final grooming or brush.

Final inspections are welcomed.

Open windows and/or put the AC on high to help reduce the drying time. This could take 2–24 hours depending on the cleaning method used. Some companies will have a Studebaker Fan which can dry the carpet in a 12 x 14 room within half an hour. It draws the dry air from the top of the room and distributes it toward the carpet, dramatically reducing drying time.

Don’t wear shoes indoors during this time and take care to avoid slipping.

Common Stains Carpet Cleaners Can Remove

Common stains professionals can remove from your carpets and upholstery are coffee, tea, wine, feces, urine, food or protein-based stains, blood, nail polish, rust, chewing gum, red dye stains, soot, juice stains, mustard, ink, soda, and shoe polish.

Green Carpet Cleaning

Many carpet cleaning companies use green certified, safe, non-toxic cleaning solutions derived from plants. They have no soaps, detergents, solvents, or other harsh chemicals. Look for products that have a Green Seal or an Environmental Choice Program seal. To qualify, products must:

Efficiently clean the carpets, prevent resoiling, and avoid impacting carpet color.

Set low toxicity limits for water and solutions.

Be biodegradable.

Not negatively affect the environment.

Be low waste.

DIY Carpet Cleaning Costs

Some household cleaning products are safe and effective stain removers:

Use baking soda as a whitening, deodorizing, abrasive cleaner.

Vinegar can cut grease and has anti-bacterial qualities – use a 50/50 solution with water to neutralize stains.

Borax is an antiseptic and antifungal cleaning agent that deodorizes and disinfects – mix ¼ cup each of salt, borax, and vinegar and leave on carpet stains as an overnight treatment.

Some stains are stubborn and need a carpet cleaning machine with some horsepower to get them out. Renting your own machine can cost from $30/hour from a local home improvement store but may still not remove stains entirely.

If you have a few stains but have not had your carpets cleaned for a year or more, a full professional carpet cleaning is recommended rather than DIY spot cleaning, as the cleaned spots will show up against the background of the dirtier carpet around them.