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Carpet cleaning or rug cleaning is available for rental properties, homes, multiunit buildings, offices and commercial spaces. Depending on the carpet, several different methods can be used including steam cleaning, dry cleaning, hot water extraction and other special techniques. Professional carpet cleaning services address general cleaning and odor removal, as well as pet, food, drink, oil, grease, water damage and other specific stains. Technicians are trained to use special cleaning solutions that are best suited for the type for carpet, rugs and upholstery that need to be treated. Multiple factors affect quality carpet cleaning service costs including the square footage of the carpet or area rug that needs cleaning, stain removal, the type of carpet fibers, the cleaning process required, whether you want green cleaning products, and more.

Square footage

More than anything else, square footage determines the overall cost of carpet cleaning. Anthony Yacobozzi of Techniclean says the average cost for professional carpet cleaning in Florida ranges from 25 cents to 50 cents per square foot, while in North Carolina, Steve Toney of Toney’s Floor Care says that prices average 20 cents per square foot. Many carpet pros have a minimum cost for service. They may also offer a deal on upholstery cleaning if you choose to have your furniture cleaned at the same time.

Number of rooms

House layout can also affect carpet cleaning costs. Carpet cleaners may charge per room; a rooms larger than a specified size may require an extra fee or be charged as two rooms. Some companies may have a minimum room agreement, such as Toney’s Floor Care, which has a two-room minimum at $42 per room. If you live in a high-rise in New York, the cost to clean your carpet may also be more than for a ground-level home in the suburbs because of the time and expense of transporting the carpet cleaning equipment.

Stairs

Carpeted stairs require more labor, time and occasionally special cleaning tools, all of which can demand a higher price per square foot than standard flat carpet cleaning.

Stains

Pet stains, other stubborn stains, or hard-to-remove spots and odors may require special products or extra time and attention during cleaning. For really stubborn stains, professionals use a high-pressure hot-water extraction method commonly referred to as "steam cleaning" (although no steam is actually generated). They apply a cleaning agent into the carpet pile and use water in the extractor to recover the used solution and soil.

Carpet type

The carpet fiber type, density and pile can all affect the cost of cleaning. As a general rule, the denser the carpet fibers, the more resistant to stains. Man-made fibers are often easier to clean. For example, wool carpets clean well but are more sensitive to water and require a higher level of attention, which may make them more expensive to clean than carpets made of resilient synthetic fiber such as nylon. Most professional carpet cleaners use steam cleaning machines. Oriental rugs or silk rugs may cost more to clean as well. Whenever possible, provide the name of your carpet manufacturer to the carpet cleaning service for an accurate estimate.

Cost-saving strategies

Moving furniture requires time and labor, which can increase the cost of the carpet cleaning. To save on your overall bill, move desks, tables, sofas and bookshelves off your carpets ahead of time.

Pro tip

  • Most beds do not need to be moved to properly clean the carpet, says David Varnai of Mother Nature’s Cleaning. Save money by not having the carpet company move beds, and avoid back pain by not moving beds yourself.
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Millions of people ask Thumbtack for help with their projects every year. We track the estimates they get from local professionals, then we share those prices with you.