From your carpets to your drapes to your furniture, all fabrics need to be cleaned. Cleaning upholstery, or the fabric on your furniture, removes the dirt and oils that are transferred to couches and chairs through regular use. Because furniture upholstery can be delicate and colors can fade easily, it’s often a good idea to let professional sofa cleaners handle the job. They’ll determine the type of fabric — usually cotton, linen, wool, suede or microfiber — and the appropriate method for cleaning it, either steam-cleaning or applying a dry-cleaning solvent. In general, cleaning an entire piece of furniture includes a pretreatment, cleaning, and neutralizing rinse to the body, plus removing and cleaning all cushions and cleaning all crevices.
An upholstery cleaner may clean the entire piece of furniture, on a regular schedule or by request, or do spot treatments to remove pet, food, drink, or oil and grease stains. Furniture can also be deodorized to remove the smell of pets or tobacco smoke. Furniture that’s used often, like that in your family room, should be cleaned once a year to keep it fresh and extend its life. Sofa cleaners often also offer repair services to mend tears in fabric or patch holes in leather.
Dirty carpets can be unhealthy for the people living in the home, particularly those who have allergies, so it’s important to have them cleaned regularly; simply vacuuming once or twice a week isn’t enough. Carpet cleaning should be done by a professional carpet cleaning service at least once a year to remove grime and help extend the life of your carpet. Most carpet manufacturers recommend professional steam cleaning, which penetrates deep into the carpet fibers and lifts out both dirt and the pollutants that get tracked inside. Steam cleaning also removes most of the moisture, so carpets dry quickly enough for homeowners to resume using them the same day. Between professional carpet cleanings, your carpet may need an emergency spot cleaning. Pet accidents, food or drink spills, and more can often be effectively cleaned with some water and a drop of white vinegar, although many cleaners will also make house calls for smaller spills and hard-to-clean spots like wine or grease stains.
Dirt, mildew and grime can make your grout lines look downright tragic. If you have the ability, DIY tile and grout cleaning is definitely doable. Your main obstacles are time, project size, availability of the right materials and effort. Your first step in tile and grout cleaning is making sure the surface area is cleaned of basic dirt and buildup and wiped down. Be sure not to use a bleach-based cleaning agent, which could react dangerously with the vinegar used in later steps.
Depending on the delicacy of your tile and grout, it may be wise to start with water and friction before proceeding to a cleaning solution. In the shower you can spray the area while brushing gently, or use a spray bottle filled with warm water on countertops or floors. If water won’t do the trick, try a solution of equal parts warm water and white vinegar, and repeat the gentle brushing motion. This combination should begin to lift dirt and grime from the grout. For additional tile and grout cleaning power, baking soda applied directly to grout lines and sprayed with your water vinegar solution can help suds off sticky grime. If your DIY cleaning solutions aren’t doing the trick, store-bought sprays and pastes may have more cleansing power. Rinse thoroughly after cleaning and enjoy your sparkling clean grout.
Tile and grout cleaning supplies include:
- Old standard or electric toothbrush
- Stiff bristle brush
- Spray bottle
- White vinegar
- Commercial grout cleaner
Like your carpets, area rugs should ideally be cleaned at least once a year to remove dust and dirt and help them last longer. In general, carpet cleaning professionals also clean area rugs. Some rug cleaners bring their cleaning equipment to your home, while others remove your area rugs and clean them at their facilities. Either way, the rug should be cleaned with the solution most appropriate to its specific fabric and construction. It should also be completely dry before you return it to the floor.
You may benefit from hiring a professional move-out cleaning service, depending on your budget, time frame and whether you will be getting a deposit back. Hiring a cleaning service takes the stress out of your move. But if you’ve had your house regularly deep-cleaned, or if your landlord will charge you for cleaning anyway, you can save costs by DIY-ing it.
The national average cost for house cleaning ranges between $25 and $50 per hour, per cleaner. However, the cost of house cleaning services near you might be different.
House cleaning prices vary based on how many square feet your home is, how dirty your house gets and how often the cleaning service comes. And, prices can be lower in areas with a lower cost of living, higher in big cities or affluent regions.
Some companies charge a set amount — such as 5 cents — per square foot, with a minimum amount, such as $100. You may save money by increasing the frequency of your house cleaning visits. Often a company will charge you less per cleaning when you schedule more cleanings per month. The cost advantage rewards your loyalty, and also reflects the fact that more frequent cleanings make it easier to maintain a high level of cleanliness in your home. A housecleaning service may charge more for the first visit or for one-time services than for recurring cleanings.
To learn more about the cost of house cleaning, visit our House Cleaning Cost Guide.
There are several services offered by professional house cleaning companies, each suited for a different purpose. These services include:
- Standard cleaning, which is a basic cleaning typically done on a weekly or monthly basis;
- Deep cleaning, which is a detailed cleaning with more intensive work than a standard clean;
- Move-in and move-out cleaning, which is a detailed service preparing a home for residents moving in or out;
- Green house cleaning, which is a service that uses eco-friendly cleaning supplies and products.
Aside from the type of cleaning services available, homeowners may also choose daily, weekly, monthly or one-time services.
Even if your furniture doesn’t appear dirty or stained, your couches are collecting just as much dust, pollen, germs, pet hair and dander, and even food crumbs as your carpets. In general, the same professionals who clean your carpets and drapes can also clean your couches. Carpet cleaners usually offer upholstery cleaning services as well, and may offer a discount if you have your carpets cleaned at the same time. Alternatively, you can choose from a range of professional upholstery cleaners in your area who specialize in cleaning different types of upholstery fabrics, including delicate antique fabrics and other hard-to-clean materials such as suede. In addition to deep-cleaning the entire piece of furniture, sofa cleaners can spot-treat food, pet, and oil and grease stains. Most professionals also offer services to sanitize and deodorize your furniture and apply protectants to prevent future stains. As with carpets, experts recommend that you have your upholstered furniture cleaned once every year or two, depending on how much use it gets and whether you have children and pets.
The cost to have your upholstered furniture cleaned depends mostly on two factors: the size of the furniture and the type of fabric. The national average cost of upholstery cleaning ranges from $120 to $150. Most people have multiple pieces cleaned at once, but sofa cleaners will come to your home for just one heavily soiled couch or to spot-treat stains. The smaller the furniture, the lower the cost: A lounge chair may cost an average of $50 to clean, while a couch costs an average of $135 and an L-shaped sectional costs an average of $190. Delicate materials such as antique fabrics or suede upholstery are more expensive to clean than sturdier ones. Having the sofa cleaner do repairs will also add to the cost. Repairs such as mending a tear in fabric or patching a hole in leather may be charged by the task or by the hour; in general, repairs cost an average of $15 each. Special or delicate fabrics may cost additional fees, too.
Regular professional carpet cleaning can both extend the life of your carpet and remove harmful pollutants from your home. Finding a good carpet cleaning company is an important aspect of home maintenance. When choosing a carpet cleaner, consider these top three questions:
- What method of carpet cleaning do you prefer? Steam cleaning is an increasingly popular method because it’s thorough and safe, and dries quickly enough for you to return to your home the same day the carpets are cleaned.
- Have you checked the company’s references? Most cities are home to several carpet cleaning companies, so it’s a good idea to check their reviews and references. Look for references from people in your neighborhood with homes similar to yours.
- What’s included in the base price? What other services does the carpet cleaning company offer? Some companies will move furniture for you, while others charge a fee for it. Some include stairs in the cost of the home’s cleaning, while others charge per step.