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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

How much does it cost to get your carpet cleaned professionally?

The cost of carpet cleaning is generally determined by the type of carpets, stains, square footage and number of rooms that you need cleaned. On average, a professional will charge $94 to clean one room. Two rooms cost an average of $120, and three rooms cost approximately $146. 

To find out how much it will cost to clean your carpets, contact the top-rated professional carpet cleaners near you and ask for free cost estimates.

How much does carpet cleaning cost per square foot?

In some cases, a quote from a carpet cleaning company will depend on the square footage of the room. The lower end of these prices will be between $0.15 and $0.20 per square foot, and they may rise as high as $0.40-$0.50 per square foot. Factors raising the price include the carpet’s condition (are there stains?) and whether they have to clean carpeted stairs, which take longer.

To find out how much it will cost clean your carpets, request cost estimates from pros near you.

Which is better: steam cleaning or shampooing carpet?

Both steam cleaning and shampooing are tried-and-true methods for getting dirt and stains out of your carpets. The methods are different, however.

Steam cleaning will remove dirt from your carpets via hot water extraction, while shampooing requires scrubbing. If you’re in a time crunch, or if you just have one or two small spots that need to be removed, shampooing may be a better option, as it allows you to spot-clean small areas. Both steam cleaning and shampooing make your carpets wet, so you will need to allow for time for the carpets to dry. 

Contact carpet cleaning pros near you, and discuss the best options for your carpets.

How do I find and hire a professional carpet cleaner?

First, take your search online to find the best carpet cleaners near you. Look at their ratings, photos of their past work and customer reviews. Having too many negative reviews can certainly be a bad sign, but you should also pay close attention to how they handle those reviews. 

Before you make your final decision on who to hire, ask yourself these 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.
  • Are the pros reputable? It's always 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.

Ask a few carpet cleaners to provide you with an estimate for your home, and compare their quotes to decide on the best one for you. You should also check to make sure that the contractor holds the proper insurance and licenses. 

Is it worth getting carpets professionally cleaned?

Purchasing a steam cleaner yourself may help to remove stubborn stains, but it simply won’t match the deep clean and efficiency that comes from hiring a professional carpet cleaner. Pros have powerful tools that can quickly remove even the most stubborn stains. 

If you’re selling your home, clean carpets can make your home more appealing to prospective buyers. And the expense is offset when you consider that you only need to get your carpets cleaned about once a year. Plus, professional carpet cleaning can extend the life of your carpets, saving you money in the long run.

How long does carpet cleaning take?

Given the way it can transform the carpet, cleaning happens remarkably quickly. You can expect an average size room to require about 20 minutes to thoroughly clean.

The job could take longer for several reasons. If the stains are widespread or particularly deep, the professional cleaner might need to spend more time removing them. They may also need to take time to move furniture out of the way.

How long does it take for carpet to dry after cleaning?

After a cleaning, you can expect your carpet to remain slightly damp for between six and 12 hours. You can expect the lower end of this figure if the air is dry, there’s plenty of air circulation or the temperature isn’t too low in your house. However, for humid environments or lower temperatures, your carpet could stay damp for longer.

What is dry carpet cleaning?

Dry carpet cleaning uses very little moisture to clean carpets. Instead, this method uses compound cleaning agents to loosen dirt that might be trapped in the carpet’s fibers. It’s an effective way to remove stains from soiled carpets. 

To learn more about how to maintain your carpets, read our guide.

What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with a professional carpet cleaner during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Set up a virtual appointment to discuss the scope of work. Conducting the consultation over video conference or phone call will ensure that you remain within the CDC's social distancing guidelines

Start by messaging a professional steam cleaner or carpet cleaner near you, and ask them if they would be willing to talk by phone or video call. Be sure to ask them how they handle payments and what precautions they have in place to keep you and your household safe. 

How can I find out if a professional carpet cleaner is considered an essential COVID-19 service provider?

Local and federal governments are currently in the process of defining essential services guidelines, and it’s best to read them to see whether professional carpet cleaning or steam cleaning is considered essential. A good place to start is with your city or state’s government website.

The CISA's Identifying Critical Infrastructure During COVID-19 webpage identifies 16 critical infrastructure sectors on a federal level. Some, but not all, jurisdictions follow CISA’s definitions of critical infrastructure.

Reviews for Ashburn carpet cleaners
Jitin G.
On time and carpets were clean.
Gordon Facility Services llcGordon Facility Services llc
Tosha L.
I called the day before I spoke with Russell he was professional and to the point got me scheduled for the next day as I needed for my ABNB carpet cleaning and did a great job! I recommend Clean Rite for carpet cleaning needs and I will be giving them a call for my next carpet cleaning services.
Clean Rite Steam Cleaning and MoreClean Rite Steam Cleaning and More
Crystal R.
DL was very punctual and took his time cleaning my carpet. Also, his price was very reasonable for 5 rooms of carpet. He was very professional and my carpet looks great.
D L Carpet & UpholsteryD L Carpet & Upholstery
Danielle S.
Carpet looks fresh, clean, and smells great! My carpet had not been cleaned in months so very dirty it looks so much better and it was a good value! I will definitely hire again.
Honey child's LLCHoney child's LLC
Tracey M.
Overall great experience with White Van. They responded right away when I submitted the job and replied to every inquiry in a timely manner. The quality of the work was great. They cleaned carpet that was not maintained well by tenants. When they were done it was almost like new carpet again! Highly recommend for any carpet cleaning needs!
White Van Cleaning ServicesWhite Van Cleaning Services
Elizabeth H.
D.L. carpet was awesome! Within 24 hours of my job request my carpet was cleaned! Prompt, efficient, and excellent results! Price was very reasonable too!
D L Carpet & UpholsteryD L Carpet & Upholstery
Raquel V.
Sergio did a great job cleaning my carpet. he got all the cat urine and dirt out and now my carpet looks brand new!
Sergio's Carpet & Floor Cleaning ServiceSergio's Carpet & Floor Cleaning Service
Wen Tze N.
Rug and carpet was very clean after the service. Thankful that they did a good job.
LiveCleanLiveClean
Pam M.
The carpet, while it is old, did not look any cleaner when they left. Also, they did not vacuum first, so there are new stains from cat litter, and they did not clean near the floor boards. Also, the carpet is still very wet three days later. Very disappointing, a waste of money. We have to buy new carpet for that room now.
Green Team Carpet CleaningGreen Team Carpet Cleaning
Michelle I.
Sergio did an exceptional job cleaning our carpet. The carpet had not been cleaned in a while and the pets had done a job on it. After Sergio was done the house looked and smelled so clean. He was on time and very professional. I will be referring him to my family and friends. Thanks Sergio.
Sergio's Carpet & Floor Cleaning ServiceSergio's Carpet & Floor Cleaning Service
British B.
He was Great on time and carpet was clean with wonderful prices I will work with him again
Sergio's Carpet & Floor Cleaning ServiceSergio's Carpet & Floor Cleaning Service
Kelly L.
Green Team arrived early to clean my carpets and finished quickly. Thank you!
Green Team Carpet CleaningGreen Team Carpet Cleaning
Andy S.
Did a good job at the best price. Cleaned some of our carpet and two couches.
Green Team Carpet CleaningGreen Team Carpet Cleaning
Thumbtack Customer
Sam is a nice, friendly and easy person to work with He is very knowledgable about carpet cleaning. I will definitely use him against and will share his carpet business with my friends.
D L Carpet & UpholsteryD L Carpet & Upholstery
Sarah C.
We called Jim at Fiber-Tech Carpet in the morning and he came out in the afternoon to clean our carpets before moving in. He was very informative, professional and did a quality job!
Fiber-Tech CarpetFiber-Tech Carpet
Dustin L.
Antonio did a great job cleaning our carpets, and the best rate in town! Highly recommended.
Honey child's LLCHoney child's LLC
Carol l.
I highly recommend the Clean Rite Steam Cleaning company. Their team cleaned my carpeting and it looks beautiful. They did a thorough job. Very professional and kind people too!
Clean Rite Steam Cleaning and MoreClean Rite Steam Cleaning and More
Lucas F.
Work was done as expected, but make sure to move furniture or they won’t clean the carpet under it, including beds
Sergio's Carpet & Floor Cleaning ServiceSergio's Carpet & Floor Cleaning Service
Meagan J.
He did a great job cleaning the carpet in my apartment building! Would definitely use again!
Sergio's Carpet & Floor Cleaning ServiceSergio's Carpet & Floor Cleaning Service
Jasmine C.
Very prompt & professional easy communication and simple to set-up appointment. Work action, the pro was curiously fast. He cleaned the carpets quicker than my housekeeper can vacuum. Unfortunately, simple dirt spots were not removed (which later came out using basic dish detergent). The dirt spots were there before the pro cleaned the carpeting but I was told since I left a window open to help carpeting dry, that's where the spots came from. The pro offered to come back re-clean the carpeting but keeping the short stay rental properties vacant for another day isn't sensible. Save your money and rent a good steam cleaner from a reputable cleaning supplies store
Honey child's LLCHoney child's LLC
Clark K.
Carpets look like new! The common areas of our building were looking pretty crummy, and Stacey and team brought them back to life. Very fair pricing and would definitely recommend them for carpet cleaning.
Good Girl Carpet CleaningGood Girl Carpet Cleaning
Thumbtack Customer
friendly service...punctual...and...now i have a clean carpet again...if needed, i will call him again...
Fiber-Tech CarpetFiber-Tech Carpet
Robyn B.
I was ready to change the Carpet. But decided to get it cleaned, and I’m glad I did! The service was Great, & Quick!! Two rooms cleaned within 30mins! They look Great! Thank You!
A1 Master Carpet Cleaning  LLCA1 Master Carpet Cleaning LLC
Timothy L.
This company advertised it guarantees its work. It does not. I had a few spots in the carpet. After the cleaning and it dried the spots spread. I called them back to report and sent photos. They gave me the rookie excuse about the padding must be soaked with whatever was spilled on the carpet. I knew that was not the case. The knew moment I heard them use this excuse where this was going. They made no offer to try to rectify the problem. They didnt even offer to try to spot clean. Do not use this company. They are either rookies or do not have the proper equipment and products to clean carpet. I was not going to argue about $95. I will have to get another (professional) company to come in to properly clean the carpet. I only went with this company because the one I usually use had a minimum charge and I only had 1 room to clean. As the saying goes. You get what you pay for. Lesson learned.
Green Team Carpet CleaningGreen Team Carpet Cleaning
Rochelle V.
Sergio was able to take out a stain another carpet cleaner wasn't able to take out. He did an amazing job cleaning. Will definitely hire him again when the need arises.
Sergio's Carpet & Floor Cleaning ServiceSergio's Carpet & Floor Cleaning Service
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What you need to know about professional carpet cleaning services.

No matter how clean you keep your home, your carpet withstands wear and tear from dirt, dust and debris. If you have pets or kids, you’ll probably have to take care of additional stains and smells. Nothing beats the convenience of hiring a professional carpet cleaning service. Even if you’re willing to handle it on your own, you'll have difficulty getting the same results as professional cleaners. 

Common carpet cleaning services.

Most professional carpet cleaning services provide the following services:

  • Wet, steam or chemical cleaning method
  • Stain removal including water damage, fabric damage, food stains and pet stains
  • UV light stain identification
  • Odor removal
  • Stair cleaning
  • Upholstery and area rug cleaning 
  • Furniture moving

How professional carpet cleaning works.

When you hire a professional carpet cleaning service, they'll look closely at the carpets in your home to identify the type of carpet, stains and areas that may need special treatment (like embedded dirt). Professional carpet cleaners often use separate tanks for cleaning solutions and hot water to speed up the cleaning process. 

After the room is cleared, they'll begin by applying a spot treatment. Then, they’ll use industrial-grade equipment to get deep into the fibers of your carpet. They’ll also apply stain and soil protectants to help keep things fresh for a long time. 

What kind of carpet cleaning is best?

There are three main carpet cleaning methods you should be aware of when you hire professional carpet cleaning services. These include carpet shampooing, steam cleaning and dry carpet cleaning.

Carpet shampooing is a very common treatment. You can hire a pro or rent a carpet shampooing machine from your local home improvement store. It’s quick and easy, but excess use with a poor machine can result in moisture issues in your carpet padding.

Steam cleaning is a popular deep cleaning method that removes dirt, bacteria stains, mold, allergens and grime from the floor. It’s also known to leave your carpeting feeling softer. Keep in mind it usually costs more than carpet shampooing and can also result in issues from moisture left by the steaming process. 

Dry carpet cleaning is a very low-moisture (VLM) method that uses a powder and motorized brush to clean carpet fibers. It’s often recommended to clean high-traffic areas like hallways. This method reduces drying time and is often cheaper than steam cleaning. The best option for you will depend on how deep of a clean you’re looking for and how much time you can spare for the cleaning (and drying) process. 

Is it worth having your carpets cleaned?

Dirt, debris, dust and allergens can invade your carpets. From time to time, a professional deep clean is required. 

There are many benefits to professional carpet cleaning services that make it worth the cost. For example, professional carpet cleaning:

  1. Removes dirt and bacteria
  2. Removes carpet stains
  3. Removes funky smells
  4. Leaves little to no residue
  5. Can help extend your carpet’s lifespan

Will professional carpet cleaning remove pet odors?

Professional carpet cleaning has many benefits and is often able to remove pet odors. The biggest problem is that the bacteria creating bad odors can seep down into the carpet padding. 

Surface-level cleaning like vacuuming and cheap professional services just won’t do the trick and can sometimes make the smell worse. The Carpet and Rug Institute recommends having your carpet professionally cleaned every 12 – 18 months to help resist pet stains and odors. For best results, make sure you let the professional know that you’re hiring them to help remove those pesky pet odors. 

How much does it cost to clean one carpet?

The average cost to clean the carpet typically ranges between $145 – $178. The pricing for carpet cleaning services will vary from company to company and the type of treatment you require. Some companies charge by room and others charge area (per square foot). Companies may charge extra for tough stains or stairs — or they may have a minimum fee. 

Contact several carpet cleaning services near you for quotes.

How do you clean residential carpet?

Professional carpet cleaning companies offer different methods for cleaning residential carpet. The method (shampooing, dry carpet cleaning or steam cleaning) used will depend on your home’s carpet material. 

The most common carpet cleaning methods use a rotating brush and shampoo or detergent to clean the carpet. The machine pushes water or steam into the carpet to loosen debris and then the shampoo, water and dirt are extracted from the carpeting. Machines used by professionals often do a better job of extracting moisture from the carpet. 

How can I clean my carpet without a machine?

If you aren’t ready to hire a pro and don’t have access to a cleaning machine, you can use alternative methods to clean your residential carpeting. For example, you can use a vacuum and a stiff-bristled broom to remove loose dirt, dust and hairs from the carpet. You can also disinfect your carpet with a cleaning solution and brush.

Benefits of hiring a carpet cleaning service.

Even if you vacuum frequently, it may be impossible to get your carpet looking new without help from a carpet cleaning service. And if you buy an industrial steam cleaner, keep in mind these high-end steam cleaners require careful maintenance between uses.

When you hire local carpet cleaners, your rug will be cleaned using meticulously maintained equipment. 

Questions to ask carpet cleaning companies.

If you've never hired a carpet cleaning service, it can be tough to know what questions to ask. Here are some questions that local carpet cleaners should be able to answer for you:

  • Are you licensed, bonded and insured?
  • Could you provide me with local references from past jobs?
  • What other services do you offer? (air duct cleaning, tile cleaning, upholstery cleaning, etc.)
  • What method do you use to clean carpets like mine?
  • Do you use a soil and stain protectant as part of the cleaning process?
  • How do you treat stains?
  • Are your cleaners safe for pets and small children?
  • What guarantee do you provide?
  • Does your company conduct background checks to screen employees? 

How to choose the best carpet cleaners near you.

Even after your carpets have been restored, it's crucial to have them professionally cleaned at least a year. When you choose a carpet cleaning company, remember that you'll likely need their services again in the future, so take your time deciding who to hire. Look at their online profiles and read the customer reviews and ratings. And get cost estimates from a few local cleaners to ensure you get the best price.

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