Carpet Cleaning

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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.

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 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. 

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.

Are there ways to be safe if I hire a professional carpet cleaner or steam cleaner when social distancing?

If you decide to hire a carpet cleaner or steam cleaner, follow all guidelines surrounding social distancing, sanitize any involved surfaces, ventilate indoor areas where workers have been and use digital payment services instead of cash or a check. Before the pro arrives at your home, create a plan with them to make sure everyone in the household stays safe.

Do professional carpet cleaners or steam cleaners offer remote or virtual services?

While cleaning services such as professional carpet cleaning or steam cleaning are not typically done remotely, many businesses and professionals are making changes to accommodate the CDC's social distancing guidelines. If you come across a carpet cleaner’s profile and it states they’re offering remote services, contact the cleaner to see what those services include. 

Reviews for Ashburn carpet cleaners
Stephanie F.
Clean my carpet did a great job on a carpet that likely hasn’t been cleaned in years.
Clean My Carpet-Upholstery-FlooringClean My Carpet-Upholstery-Flooring
Jane K.
They were were very diligent about getting the carpet clean
Pro Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning ServicePro Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Service
Christy H.
I am totally impressed with how well my carpets turned out! They look new! The stains are gone and my carpets are clean and deodorized! It didn't take long for the carpet to dry. I was totally impressed with everything and will be using this company again!
Shine Cleaning ServicesShine Cleaning Services
Thumbtack Customer
I am pleased with the service that they provided. I highly recommend Coronado's Carpet Cleaning!!! Safia!
Coronado's Carpet CleaningCoronado's Carpet Cleaning
Erica S.
Recently, I hired Daniel for my carpet cleaning. I really like his method of cleaning because he used very little water. Just after 3.5 hours, we got home and my carpet was dry already. I highly recommend him.
Clean My Carpet-Upholstery-FlooringClean My Carpet-Upholstery-Flooring
Madlyn R.
I'm very pleased with Green Clean Services. Mike was able to get rid of the stains in my carpet and was very efficient. I'll be calling on Green Clean again.
Green Clean ServicesGreen Clean Services
Tulsi Z.
Great job, fast and Mike was very accommodating to work around my schedule to get my rental unit carpet cleaned
Green Clean ServicesGreen Clean Services
Kris H.
Needed a quick clean and Mike responded quickly, arrived on time, shampooed the carpet quickly. I recommend getting an on-site quote.
Green Clean ServicesGreen Clean Services
Thumbtack Customer
My experience with Mother Nature's Carpet Cleaning was AMAZING. From the beginning they were super responsive and accommodated my needs. Furthermore, their team arrived EARLY and did an AMAZING job cleaning my carpet which hadn't been touched in years. My apartment looks brand new thanks to them and I can't wait to hire them again.
Mother Nature's CleaningMother Nature's Cleaning
Jorge S.
We requested carpet cleaning for two bedrooms and a set of stairs. The cleaners arrived on time and did a great job! Handling the contract and payment online made the whole process very seamless.
S&T Commercial & Carpet CleaningS&T Commercial & Carpet Cleaning
Louise R.
Daniel was right on time,. easy to work with, was efficient and very professional. I highly recommend him and Clean My Carpet! Louise RR
Clean My Carpet-Upholstery-FlooringClean My Carpet-Upholstery-Flooring
Priya J.
Excellent team - they communicated well and showed up on time then cleaned our carpet extremely well. We will definitely work with them again.
Shine Cleaning ServicesShine Cleaning Services
Thumbtack Customer
Amazing! Fast. Responsive. On time. I look forward to my next carpeting cleaning because I have been in my apartment 4 years and my carpets now look brand new again! Even with all the damage my cat can do.
Mother Nature's CleaningMother Nature's Cleaning
Kyoko Y.
Green clean had enough good reviews that O just went with them. They gave me an estimate for 3 carpets that needed cleaning. Did an excellent job and I will definitely call them again!
Green Clean ServicesGreen Clean Services
Ashika N.
I’ve used their services twice already. I appreciate how quickly they work and how clean they get the carpets. Always a pleasure to work with them!
Clean My Carpet-Upholstery-FlooringClean My Carpet-Upholstery-Flooring
Calvin B.
Fantastic! I received great service that was on time, reasonably priced and most importantly carpet came out super clean. Which was no small feat as carpet had thousands of food and coffee stains and had never been professionally cleaned in the 5 years I lived in the apartment. I would definitely hire them again and I highly recommend this company. Thanks SupraClean!
SupraClean RestorationSupraClean Restoration
Sherelle S.
Amazing and professional service from Peter! My carpet has not been cleaned in years. I had coffee and juice stains. I was very impressed with the work of Peter. My room looks brand new. He was professional, courteous and focused on getting my carpet cleaned. I would highly recommend your company to a family or friend. Thank you so much!
Green Clean ServicesGreen Clean Services
Ebony M.
Mike was on time and professional. He gave me an additional price to shampoo once he arrived and assessed a few stains. I had a very small area to clean considering there was mostly furniture on the room, so he finished in about 15 minutes..... SUPER fast! My carpet is brown, so I can't really tell how clean my carpet became...... but my baby blue/nude area rug was visibly cleaner than before.
Green Clean ServicesGreen Clean Services
Sara C.
Daniel was very knowledgeable and a master of his craft, even identifying our wool carpet, which we didn’t even know was a thing as first time homeowners. The carpets were fresh and clean and dry within a few hours after he left. Will absolutely hire him again in the future.
Clean My Carpet-Upholstery-FlooringClean My Carpet-Upholstery-Flooring
Michelle R.
Needed a flight of stairs cleaned due to an accident my dog had, he managed to poop on every last stairs! The cleaner came in and got the carpet on the stairs restored, smelling clean and sanitized. He did a great job and I highly recommend their services.
Green Clean ServicesGreen Clean Services
Abe S.
Got in contact with them super fast, and then the service was easy and great. I worked with Tim, who did a fantastic job cleaning my carpets - the house is looking great!
Green Clean ServicesGreen Clean Services
Brian G.
Amazing service and responsiveness. Showed up on time. Job was done fast but we have had better and more thorough carpet cleaning in past experiences. Maybe the dryer method has limits.
Oxi Fresh Diablo ValleyOxi Fresh Diablo Valley
Sandra F.
Daniel did an exceptional job cleaning the master bedroom carpet and stairs. There was a noticeable difference. Prior the cleaning, there was dirt tracks on both the stairs and in the bedroom. I’m especially happy with the stairs, as there were dark stains at the edges of the stairs which Daniel got out. Thanks again Daniel!
Clean My Carpet-Upholstery-FlooringClean My Carpet-Upholstery-Flooring
Clayton B.
Daniel was very responsive and quick. Job well done, carpets look newly installed after his cleaning process. I will most definitely use his services again. Thank you for the work you did for us.
Clean My Carpet-Upholstery-FlooringClean My Carpet-Upholstery-Flooring
Karen C.
Sterling was the ultimate pro. He showed up ontime, explained his cleaning process, and completed the work within 45 minutes. I am so pleased he was able to perked up my 20 year old carpet.
SupraClean RestorationSupraClean Restoration
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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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