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How Much Does Carpet Cleaning Cost?

©2021 by Alan Fletcher - 30-Year Carpet Expert and Consumer Advocate


How much should I pay to have my Carpets Cleaned?


The price you will likely pay for carpet cleaning depends on the age and condition of your carpet and the amount of time and effort it will take to do the job right.


Take your time to read and learn how to make sure you properly care for your carpet and you will save time and money and also be happy with your carpet's performance for years to come!



What Homeowners Need To Know:

  • How Often Should I Have My New Carpet Cleaned? 

  • How Do I find a Reputable Carpet Cleaning Company?

  • How To Avoid Costly Carpet Cleaning Mistakes


Carpet Cleaning Rule # 1 


The dirtier your carpet is… the more it’s going to cost to have it cleaned properly.

Imagine not cleaning your stove top for a week, or a month or a year! How much more difficult would it be for you to clean it? If your stove top was just dirty from last night’s meal then it might take just a few quick swipes with a damp cloth or sponge to get the surface clean again. 


But if you had not cleaned it after daily use for a week or more, then can you imagine how long it could take to clean it and how much more difficult it would be? The same goes for your carpet. If you haven’t your carpet cleaned in years, no matter who you call it’s going to take some extra time and effort to do a thorough job.



Carpet Cleaning Rule # 2 


Don’t expect miracle results from low-cost or discount carpet cleaning services.


If your carpets are in serious need of a thorough deep-cleaning, don’t go searching for a Carpet Cleaner Coupon that says “Two Rooms Cleaned for $29.99!” You won’t be happy with the results from a light surface cleaning. 


Carpet Cleaners that advertise super cheap prices are notorious for luring you in with an amazing low price special and once they arrive, they surprise you with an estimate so high it will knock you off your feet! You don’t need this type of aggravation! But do be prepared to pay a reasonable and fair price to have your carpets properly cleaned.



Carpet Cleaning Rule # 3 


Have your carpets cleaned before they start to look dirty.  

When carpet is new the fibers are shiny and beautiful. Abrasion is what causes carpet to look ugly and worn out. Abrasion causes the carpet fiber to lose its beauty and shine. 


This is caused by dirt and debris being ground deep into the carpet pile from repeated and ongoing foot traffic. If you wait too long between cleanings, your carpet can become permanently damaged and lose its shine permanently. Dirt and grime can easily cause abrasive wear that cannot be undone. 


Once you reach this point, there is nothing any carpet cleaner can do to restore the “like-new” shine or beautiful appearance your new carpet once had. Sure you can have your carpets cleaned, but you won’t be happy with the way your carpet looks when it’s all said and done. 



Carpet Cleaning Rule # 4 


Make arrangements to have your carpets cleaned on a regular basis.

There are plenty of "poor quality" carpet cleaning companies that you need to avoid. So instead of clipping out a carpet cleaning coupon and rolling the dice hoping you get good service, visit Alan's Best Carpet Cleaner Directory and see who I recommend near you. If you don't find one, make sure you find a cleaning business with the IICRC Certification. 


All the companies on my list are IICRC certified or equivalent and have been personally hand-selected by me. They must pass my own set of requirements before I will recommend them to my readers. Make an appointment and be sure to ask them about their Carpet Maintenance Plans.



Typical Carpet Cleaning Costs:


The typical cost to clean your carpet ranges from 15 cents to 45 cents per square foot. 

Dirty carpets are harder to clean and take longer to clean and you must understand this when you get an estimate or bid from a carpet cleaning business. If you have your carpets professionally cleaned every 12 to 18 months as required to maintain your new carpet warranty, then the cost to have your carpet cleaned should be on the lower end of the pricing scale. 


That's because it will not take as long to clean your carpets. But if you only have your carpets cleaned once every 2 or 3 years, and your carpet is fairly dirty, then you should expect to pay more for their carpet cleaning services. 


If you haven't had your carpets professionally cleaned in 4 to 6 years, and your carpet is really dirty and you have a lot of stains and spots that need special attention, then don't be surprised when the estimate is at the higher end of the scale! This higher estimate should not be viewed as a scam, but the higher price reflects the actual cost to properly clean your carpet based on the amount of time it will take to do the job.


The fact is, all carpet cleaning companies must charge a reasonable price for their services or they won’t be able to stay in business. If it takes twice or three times as long to thoroughly clean your carpet then don't be surprised when your carpet cleaning estimate is much higher than you originally expected. 



One-Room Carpet Cleaning Cost Example: 


A common bedroom size is 10’ X 14’ or 140 square feet. 


  • At 18 cents per square foot the cost for cleaning would be about $25.00 (Carpet doesn’t appear dirty)

  • At 28 cents per square foot the cost for cleaning would be about $40.00 (Carpet looks fairly dirty)

  • At 36 cents per square foot the cost for cleaning would be about $50.00 (Carpet is very dirty!)


Some Carpet Cleaning companies prefer to charge by the room or by the job. It still ends up being pretty close to the same price as it would be if calculated by the square foot, so if you know about how many square feet you need to have cleaned it will be easy for you to calculate an approximate cost. 



Whole House Carpet Cleaning Cost Example:  


Most 3-bedroom ranch-style homes are about 1000 to 1500 square feet 


  • At 18 cents per square foot - Total cost about $180.00 (Carpet doesn’t appear dirty)

  • At 28 cents per square foot - Total cost about $280.00 (Carpet looks fairly dirty)

  • At 36 cents per square foot - Total cost about $360.00 (Carpet is very dirty!)



 The Carpet Professor Says...


It's NOT a scam for a professional carpet cleaning business to charge you according to the amount of time and effort needed to properly clean your carpet.



Proper Carpet Care and Maintenance


It's up to you to make sure your carpet is maintained and cared for according to the carpet manufacturer's guidelines. Failure to do so will void your carpet warranty and cause your carpet to wear out prematurely. Regular vacuuming and professional cleanings every 12 to 18 months is required and will allow your carpet to last as long as possible.



What is a Carpet Maintenance Plan?  


It’s a special price for purchasing your future carpet cleanings in advance at a discounted price. Perhaps they offer four cleanings for the price of three or three cleanings for the price of two. Either way, it is in your best long-term interest to invest in a carpet maintenance plan to keep your carpets cleaned on a regular and ongoing basis. 


I think it is a very smart move and you have the option of setting the date of cleaning whenever it is convenient for you. You will save money in the long run, your carpet will last years longer, your home will always look nice and be a healthier place to you and your family to live.



Carpet Cleaning Extras


Spills, spots and stains... Some carpet stains need special treatment and require extra time, treatment and effort. You should expect pre-treatment of most spots and stains to be included as part of the basic price, but in some cases, especially with pet accidents or biological spills and stains there may be an extra charge.


It’s impossible to predict how much extra it might be without knowing the type of stain, size and disposition of the affected area. 



Carpet Damage, Restoration and Repairs  

Carpet Cleaners may be able to repair or restore your damaged carpet. Carpet is often damaged from floods, accidents, burns or pets, but may be repairable or restored by a competent carpet Cleaning technician. Some spots and stains are impossible to clean but other options may be available. In some cases, depending on the type of carpet you have, carpet dyeing may restore the color to a faded or bleached out area. 


Burns can be cut out and replaced with leftover carpet or by using the same carpet taken from a “less critical” area (like a closet). Some carpets may need to be re-stretched or reinstalled. The cost for these extra services will depend on your situation. 


If the repair or replacement cost is too high or if your carpet is not repairable you will have to decide if it's time to start thinking about buying new carpet.




Alan's Preferred Carpet Dealers


It's hard to find an honest and reputable carpet dealer these days! That's why I have compiled my own special list of hand-picked carpet retailers who I trust... who  are reputable, locally owned, give free estimates, offer fair prices, have knowledgeable staff, provide honest measuring and hire qualified installers. See who I recommend near you!


Carpet cleaning cost, how much does carpet cleaning cost, cost of carpet cleaning, Alan's best Carpet cleaner list.



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