The national average cost for steam cleaning is $130 to $180. While most often used for carpet cleaning, you can also use steam to clean everything from furniture to mattresses. The cost typically depends on what you want cleaned (carpet, furniture, mattress, tile, etc.) the square foot size of the area, the kind of surface, and the type of soiling.
If you've ever bought or rented a steam cleaner, you know DIY carpet, curtain, or mattress cleaning can be tedious and time-consuming. And even after putting in all that effort, you may not end up with that sparkling-clean, better-than-a-vacuum, carpet or upholstery you would get from a professional carpet cleaning service.
Hiring a professional steam cleaning service can get you far better results with powerful machines that give you a deeper cleaning with a shorter drying time. Before you hire a professional carpet or steam cleaner, get an estimate of how much it will cost with this guide.
What's in this cost guide?
- Steam cleaning cost factors
- Steam cleaner process
- Additional steam cleaner costs
- How to save money on steam cleaner services
Most areas cost $140-$180 to steam clean, but your total price will depend on a few factors. The biggest factor is the total square feet of the area that needs to be cleaned. While carpet cleaning is the most common reason why homeowners need a steam cleaner, you can also clean furniture, curtains, mattresses, tile, and grout.
Steam cleaning companies typically charge a flat fee, which includes general cleaning as well as stain and odor removal.
Steam cleaners work well for refreshing carpets. Carpet cleaners generally base their prices for steam carpet cleaning on the size and number of rooms. Larger rooms can raise your carpet cleaning cost, and you may pay a two-room fee for exceptionally large rooms.
Some professional steam cleaners charge by the square foot, especially when quoting commercial carpet cleaning jobs.
Below are examples of carpet cleaning prices from several steam cleaning services:
- Carpet Magic of East Tennessee in Tennessee: $30 per room base rate.
- JD Cleaning Services LLC in Colorado: $25-$30 per room.
- Sunshine Carpet Care in Michigan: $55 for two rooms and a hallway.
- Dependable Carpet Cleaning in Ohio: $99 for three rooms and a hallway.
- Bloomington Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning LLC in Minnesota: $129 minimum for the first three areas and then $30+ per area, depending on the size of the room.
Some professional carpet cleaning companies include hallways in a package deal when cleaning more than one room. In other cases, adding a closet, hallway, or staircase may increase your carpet cleaning price. For example, a carpet cleaner in Miami charges $5 per step to clean carpet on stairways.
Does the carpet type affect the cost of steam cleaning?
The material of your carpet or rug also impacts carpet cleaning costs, since some are more difficult to steam clean than others. For example, berber carpet has a loop construction that makes it difficult to clean when dirt gets into the fibers. For this reason, some professional carpet cleaners charge extra to clean berber with a steam cleaner.
Carpets made of natural fibers such as wool or cotton also may be harder to steam clean or require special detergents or cleaning products.
How often should you have carpets steam cleaned?
Even if you vacuum carpeted areas regularly, you should have a professional carpet cleaning service come out at least once a year to remove grime and extend the life of your carpet.
Most carpet manufacturers recommend using a steam cleaner, since it penetrates deep into the carpet fibers to remove dirt and pollutants trapped inside. Steam cleaning also removes most of the moisture, so carpets dry quickly.
Steam cleaners won't just get you a clean carpet. Steam can also help get furniture upholstery, mattresses, and tile and grout cleaner. Like carpet cleaning, the costs for cleaning the items will depend on type and size.
Here are the average costs to use a professional steam cleaner for items other than carpet:
In steam cleaning, the steamer heats water past boiling to create steam that comes out through a wand and penetrates the fibers of carpet or upholstery. The steam breaks the bonds of the dirt, dander, and stains, and it also kills bacteria and dust mites, leaving your home cleaner and free of odors.
If you want a chemical-free cleaning, ask the cleaner about their cleaning method. Some carpet cleaning services use chemicals with the steam cleaner for more effective cleaning.
There are multiple types of professional steam cleaners, including small portable cleaners and large truck-mounted units that can easily clean bigger areas. Professional equipment is far more powerful and effective at cleaning than a home steam cleaner.
Especially with carpet cleaning, there are some extras that may increase the cost of a steam cleaning job, such as:
- Removing tough stains: A professional carpet cleaner may charge you an additional fee for areas with hard-to-remove stains or pet odors. For example, one Thumbtack pro and professional carpet cleaner in California adds $15 per area for stain removal.
- Adding carpet protection: A professional carpet cleaner or upholstery cleaning service may offer to add Scotchgard or a similar product to protect the area from future stains. The fee is usually $15 or more per room.
- Furniture moving and vacuuming: If the cleaning job requires the cleaners to move heavy furniture or vacuum before starting, your carpet cleaning service will likely charge extra. Be sure to ask about furniture moving surcharges when you ask for your initial estimate, since this might be something you could do yourself to lower the total price.
A professional carpet cleaning or steam cleaner service doesn't have to break the bank. To cut down on costs on hiring a professional to use a steam cleaner on your carpet or furniture, be sure to:
- Look for package deals: Companies often advertise or send out coupons offering deals on multiple rooms or items.
- Get free estimates: Get estimates from multiple carpet cleaning services and ask what's included in the total. For example, do they charge extra to move furniture or remove tough stains?
- Go DIY: You may want to consider buying a small handheld steamer to allow you quickly steam clean small areas of carpet or upholstery. While this won't be as powerful as a professional steam cleaner, it can help with spills and stains in between professional visits. One steamer that gets good reviews is the Steamfast SF-370WH, which uses pressurized steam for chemical-free deep cleaning. The McCulloch MC1275 is another heavy duty option for do-it-yourself steam cleaning.
If you vacuum your carpet regularly and do spot stain removal as needed, you can prevent stains from setting in, keep high traffic areas looking nice and extend the life of your carpet. However, there's nothing quite like having a professional use a steam cleaner on your carpet, furniture, or drapes to give them a long-lasting, fresh look. To get started, find a steam cleaning service near you on Thumbtack.