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.
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.
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
Carpet cleaning costs vary depending on the type of cleaning, such as steam cleaning, and whether there are any stains that require special treatment. The main cost factors are the square footage of the carpet and the material it’s made from. The national average carpet cleaning price ranges from $100 to $130 for a typical suburban home, but steam cleaning prices start at an average of $120. In general, professional carpet cleaning ranges from an average of 20 cents to 50 cents per square foot, depending on where you live. Many companies have a minimum fee or room requirement — such as two rooms for an average of $40 each — and will charge more to clean carpeted stairs or a second floor. Finally, the carpet fiber type, density and pile will also affect the cost of cleaning; man-made fibers are stain-resistant and easier to clean, while wool carpeting is sensitive to water and requires more care.
Area rugs are typically found in high-traffic areas of the home, like hallways and entryways, so they collect more dirt and stains than simple vacuuming can handle. Similar to carpet cleaning, professionals can come to your home to deep-clean your area rugs. The national average cost for rug cleaning ranges from $80 to $120, but may be higher or lower depending on the rug’s size and fiber type. Rug cleaners generally charge by the square foot; for example, a standard 8-foot by 10-foot rug costs an average of $100 to clean. Natural fiber rugs, such as wool or silk, are usually more expensive to have cleaned than synthetic rugs. A carpeting cleaning company may charge on average $1.50 per square foot to clean a synthetic rug, $2 per square foot for a wool rug, and $3 per square foot for a silk rug. Some delicate rugs need to be washed by hand, which increases the price. Carpet cleaning companies often offer additional services, such as removing odors or applying moth deterrent, which can add 20 cents to 25 cents per square foot.