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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

How much does steam cleaning a carpet cost?

Several factors determine the cost of professional carpet cleaning, from the number of rooms in the home to additional carpeted areas to the products used to lift stains. The national average cost to steam clean a carpet ranges from $100 to $130. Most professional carpet cleaning companies’ rates are based on the number of rooms they clean, starting at an average base rate of $30 per room or $55 for two standard rooms and a hallway. Larger rooms may be charged as two rooms or incur a square footage fee. Carpet cleaners often charge by the step to clean a stairway as well as additional fees for closets and hallways; for example, some charge an average of $5 per step. Expect extra fees, starting at an average of $15 per stain, for lifting difficult food, pet or oil stains from carpets. Some carpet cleaning companies offer package deals to also clean furniture and throw rugs while in the home; a chair usually costs an average of $70 to be steam cleaned, and a couch costs an average of $100.

What is steam cleaning?

Steam cleaning is an increasingly popular method of carpet cleaning that uses hot water and a detergent solution. The carpet cleaning machine sprays the solution onto your carpet, then sprays hot water on top to activate it. The machine then sucks up the majority of the water, extracting grime and pollutants from the carpet fibers. Steam cleaning is generally considered a safe way to clean carpets because it doesn’t use chemicals that are unhealthy for people or risky for the carpet fibers. Professional carpet cleaners use machines that are more powerful than home cleaners, so they can suck up more dirt and leave the floors dryer. Because steam cleaning penetrates the surface of the carpet, it removes far more dirt, pet hair, dust mites and other debris than vacuuming does. Steam cleaning is also commonly used for cleaning furniture and mattresses, so steam cleaning companies may offer these services bundled with carpet cleaning services.

How often should carpets be steam cleaned?

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.

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.

What is upholstery cleaning?

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.

Who cleans area rugs?

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.

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.

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. 

Reviews for Ashburn steam cleaners
Patricia D.
These folks were awesome! I could not have asked for a better company to do the job. I will DEFINITELY used them again. He does a lot more than just steam clean!
Bravo carpet cleaning Inc.Bravo carpet cleaning Inc.
Lanlin Z.
Manny did great job and I would definitely hire him next time! Use water base and steam no bad chemical smells and clean and fresh!!! Manny also explained everything. If you are thinking about carpet cleaning, alpha carpet clean is your choice. Though they are not the cheapest but very reasonable price and worth the money!
Alpha Carpet Clean, LLCAlpha Carpet Clean, LLC
SRAVAN D.
Durand arrived on time. He did his job silently and delivered amazing work. I was very impressed with the work done in 3 bedrooms and the staircase. I would recommend Durand anytime for carpet steam cleaning work. I would rate him 5 out of 5.
Durand Carpet Steam CleaningDurand Carpet Steam Cleaning
Shawn G.
I hired Mica Inc./Tomer on 03/11/2021 for steam cleaning the carpet of my house after checking his excellent ratings on Thumbtack and due to his quoted price being more reasonable compared to the other pros. Tomer was punctual, cleaned the carpet efficiently, removed the stains and showed me the cleaned areas multiple times during cleaning to make sure I'm satisfied with the work. I'm very satisfied with the quality of his work. He also took good Covid-precautions by wearing a good quality mask, gloves, shoe caps and maintaining social distancing. His friendly and communicative nature is a pleasure to work with. I'll hire him again. Thank you Tomer for the good work!
Mica carpet,rugs&upholstery cleaningMica carpet,rugs&upholstery cleaning
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