How Much Does Carpet Cleaning Cost: A Comprehensive Guide

Carpet cleaning is a crucial aspect of home maintenance that not only enhances the appearance but also prolongs the life of the carpet. The cost of carpet cleaning can vary based on several factors, such as the method used, the size of the carpet, and the level of dirt and stains.

On average, professional carpet cleaning services may charge between $25 and $75 per room or per area, depending on the factors mentioned above. It is essential to research and compare prices to obtain the best service within your budget.

Factors Affecting Carpet Cleaning Cost

When considering carpet cleaning costs, several factors come into play which can influence the final price. In this section, we will discuss some of the most important factors that affect carpet cleaning costs, such as square footage and room size, carpet material, cleaning method, and the level of dirtiness and staining.

Square Footage and Room Size

One of the primary factors that determine the cost of carpet cleaning is the size of the area being cleaned. Most cleaning companies charge either by the square foot or per room. For instance, a smaller room will typically cost less to clean than a larger room. Moreover, the total square footage of the area being cleaned can also impact the price.

Carpet Material

The type of carpet fiber also plays a significant role in the cleaning cost. Different types of carpets, such as cotton, wool, or synthetic materials like Berber carpet, may require different cleaning methods and solutions. Some fibers may be more delicate, demanding specialized techniques or products, which can increase the cost.

Cleaning Method

There are various methods used in cleaning carpets, and each one affects the cost differently. The most common methods include shampooing, dry cleaning, encapsulation, and bonnet cleaning. Some methods, like carbonated cleaning, may be more expensive due to the use of specialized equipment and cleaning solutions. It is essential to choose an appropriate method for the type of carpet and level of dirtiness to ensure effective cleaning.

Level of Dirtiness and Staining

Another factor that affects the cost of carpet cleaning is the level of dirtiness and staining on the carpet. Heavily soiled carpets require more labor, which can increase the price, as well as the use of stronger cleaning solutions. Stains that are tough to remove, like those from wine, ink, or pet urine, may also warrant specialized treatments, adding to the cost.

In conclusion, to get a better understanding of the investment needed for proper carpet cleaning, take into account factors such as square footage, carpet material, cleaning method, and the level of dirtiness and staining on the carpet. Ultimately, these factors will help you make an informed decision when it comes to selecting a carpet cleaning service.

Types of Carpet Cleaning Methods

In this section, we will discuss various carpet cleaning methods to help you understand the differences and benefits of each one.

Hot Water Extraction

Hot Water Extraction, also known as HWE, uses high-pressure hot water to agitate the carpet fibers and dissolve dirt. This method typically includes a pre-conditioning treatment with a cleaning solution followed by a high-pressure hot water rinse. HWE equipment ranges from portable units to truck-mounted machines, which offer better power and faster drying times.

Steam Cleaning

Steam cleaning is often confused with hot water extraction, but they are different methods. Steam cleaning uses vaporized water to clean and sanitize carpets. This method is effective in removing allergens, bacteria, and mold without the use of chemicals. However, steam cleaning is not as powerful as hot water extraction in removing heavy soil and stains.

Dry Carpet Cleaning

Dry carpet cleaning, also known as compound cleaning, involves the use of a cleaning powder or compound that is spread onto the carpet and then worked into the fibers with a brush or machine. The cleaning compound absorbs dirt and is then vacuumed away, leaving the carpet clean and dry. This method is ideal for moisture-sensitive carpets or high-traffic areas that require quick drying times.

Bonnet Cleaning

Bonnet cleaning uses a rotating buffer machine with a cleaning pad soaked in a cleaning solution. As the pad spins, it lifts dirt from the carpet fibers. This method is a low-moisture cleaning process that is best for routine maintenance rather than deep cleaning.


Shampooing involves applying a carpet cleaning shampoo with a rotary brush, which creates foam that binds to dirt particles. The foam is then vacuumed away once it dries. This method may temporarily brighten the appearance of your carpet, but it may leave a residue behind that can attract more dirt over time.


Encapsulation is a low-moisture carpet cleaning method that uses a cleaning agent with special polymers that surround and encapsulate dirt particles. The encapsulated dirt is then vacuumed or brushed away. This method provides a longer-lasting clean, and the polymer residue can help prevent future soil from adhering to the carpet fibers.

Professional Carpet Cleaning Services

When it comes to professional carpet cleaning services, there are several factors that influence the overall cost. While the national average cost for professional carpet cleaning ranges from $120 to $230, the actual cost may vary depending on the company, the extent of cleaning required, and the specific services requested.

Pricing Structures

Most carpet cleaning companies offer different pricing structures to cater to various customer needs. Some of the common pricing structures include:

  • Prices per room: Some companies charge a flat rate per room, which usually includes a deep clean, stain removal, and extraction of dirt and bacteria.
  • Prices per square foot: In this pricing model, the cost is determined by the total area being cleaned. Larger spaces usually cost more for both the chemicals and the time taken for cleaning.

It’s important to understand the pricing structure of a carpet cleaning company before hiring its services to ensure that you get the best value for your money.

Additional Services

Some carpet cleaning services provide additional services that can add to the overall cost. These may include:

  • Odor removal: This is necessary when dealing with persistent odors, especially pet stains and mildew odors.
  • Wicking treatment: Wicking is a process that addresses the recurring stains that rise to the surface after cleaning. The treatment helps prevent stains from reappearing.
  • Furniture and upholstery cleaning: Some companies may offer this service along with carpet cleaning to provide a comprehensive solution for maintaining a clean living environment.
  • Green carpet cleaning: If you’re concerned about the environmental and health impacts of chemicals used in carpet cleaning, opt for green carpet cleaning services that utilize eco-friendly products and methods.
  • Water damage restoration: In cases of water damage, professional cleaning services can help extract water, dry the carpet, and remove any mold or bacteria present.

Discounts and Promotions

Many carpet cleaning companies offer discounts and promotions to attract new customers and retain existing ones. Some common discounts include:

  • Multiple room deals: Bundling multiple rooms or cleaning projects can result in significant savings, as companies may offer a discounted rate for larger jobs.
  • Seasonal promotions: Some companies offer special rates during certain times of the year or around major holidays.
  • First-time customer discounts: Companies may offer a reduction in price as an incentive for trying their services for the first time.

Always inquire about available discounts and promotions when hiring a professional carpet cleaning service to ensure you’re getting the best possible deal.

DIY Carpet Cleaning vs. Professional Services

When deciding between DIY carpet cleaning and professional services, it’s essential to consider aspects such as cost comparison, cleaning efficiency, and time and effort. This section will explore these factors to help determine the best choice for your carpet cleaning needs.

Cost Comparison

DIY cleaning can be a more affordable option, as it typically only requires purchasing or renting a carpet cleaner and cleaning solution. On the other hand, professional services generally cost more, with prices varying based on carpet size and the level of cleaning required.

For example:

Carpet Cleaning MethodEstimated Cost
DIY Cleaning$30-$60 (renting a machine)
Professional Services$100-$500 (depending on carpet size and cleaning complexity)

Cleaning Efficiency

Although DIY cleaning is more cost-effective, professional services often provide a deeper and more thorough cleaning. Professionals use high-quality equipment and methods, such as hot water extraction, ensuring the removal of allergens, mildew, and dirt, especially for cut and level loop carpets.

Both methods require regular vacuuming, but professional services can often remove stubborn stains and bacteria that DIY cleaning may not be able to tackle effectively.

Time and Effort

The time and effort involved in carpet cleaning vary between DIY and professional services. DIY cleaning requires you to do the work, which can be time-consuming and physically demanding, depending on the carpet size. You also need to transport and set up the cleaning equipment, manage the cleaning process, and return the rental equipment when finished.

On the other hand, professional services handle everything, from transporting the equipment to cleaning and drying the carpet, allowing you to save time and effort. However, you need to arrange appointments and be present during the cleaning process.

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