Steam cleaning for carpets and furniture comes with several cost factors. While you can do it yourself by renting a steam cleaner, it’s often worth the expense to hire an experienced professional who can do a superior job in a shorter amount of time. Although it's often called "steam cleaning," the process doesn't use actual steam. A warm or hot water and detergent solution is spread over the carpet and worked into the fibers. Then as much moisture as is possible is vacuumed up, essentially rinsing the carpet and removing the dirt. Professional service providers use vacuums that are more powerful and leave fibers dryer, so the room or furniture can get back in use faster. In addition to steam cleaning of carpets, many professionals offer other services, such as furniture and mattress cleaning, and may bundle those additional services into a complete discounted package.
Size and number of rooms
Most steam cleaning rates are based on the number of rooms to be cleaned. For example, Darrell Odom of Carpet Magic of East Tennessee in Strawberry Plains, Tennessee, charges a base rate of $30 per room. Peter Hendrie of Sunshine Carpet Care in Warren, Michigan, charges $55 for two rooms and a hall. Bear in mind that unusually large rooms might be charged as two rooms. Other companies base their rates on the total square footage to be cleaned. With more rooms or square footage to be cleaned, the per room or square-footage rate should be lower. Labor and materials should be included in the price.
Steps, closets and hallways
Professional steam cleaners likely will charge by the stair or step, closet or hallway. For example, Keep It Clean Carpets and Tile of Miami charges $5 per step.
Furniture moving and vacuuming
Prepping the areas to be cleaned before the professionals arrive can save money. When cleaners need to move furniture to access sections of carpet, they may charge an additional fee. The same goes for vacuuming carpets or furniture before cleaning.
Spot cleaning and deodorizing
Cleaners may charge an extra fee for cleaning particularly difficult food, drink, pet or oil stains from carpets. Some companies offer color-repair or dye treatments as well as deodorization. A Step Above Cleaning Services in Wildomar, California, offers pet-stain and odor removal for $15 per area to be cleaned.
Type of carpet
Some steam cleaning services base their rates on the type of carpet. Berber carpets, for example, are the least expensive to clean and cotton or wool carpets are the most expensive.
Furniture and rugs cleaning
Many steam cleaners also clean furniture and throw rugs. Package deals can help lower the overall cost for getting a number of items cleaned. For example, Keep It Clean Carpets and Tile of Miami charges $69 to steam clean a chair, $89 for a loveseat and $99 for for a sofa—or $219 for all three, which is a savings of $38.
Steam cleaning a mattress depends on the size of the mattress. Keep It Clean Carpets and Tile of Miami charges $79 for a twin mattress and $109 for a king-size mattress.
Some steam cleaners offer to apply a fabric protector such as Scotchgard to repel liquids and block stains. Pros generally charge a minimal fee for this—in the neighborhood of $10 per room or piece.
Getting carpets cleaned on a regular scheduled basis can be cost-effective over the longer-term, and many professionals offer discounts for ongoing services.
Guarantee or warranty
Find a steam cleaner who is bonded and insured, which means that if anything goes wrong with the job, your costs are covered. Warranties and guarantees should come standard as part of the price.
Many cleaners are IICRC-certified, which means they have received industry-standard training. Also check the provider’s Better Business Bureau rating.
Move your furniture and vacuum the area to be cleaned before the steam cleaner’s visit to avoid incurring additional charges. Be sure you get estimates for steam cleaning and not dry cleaning, which, according to many in the industry, is actually less effective. Look for packages, coupons and discounts, including those for seniors.