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What Are Average Carpet Cleaning Prices?

The cost falls between $25 to $75 per room for carpet cleaning, or an average of $51 per room. Larger whole house cleaning projects can cost more than $550.

Homeowners often wonder how much they should expect to pay for carpet cleaning, and how to know whether they're being overcharged.

Going the DIY carpet cleaning route with a carpet cleaner rental may be tempting, but to keep your carpets looking new and minimize wear and tear, sometimes it's best to hire professional carpet cleaners.

How much does carpet cleaning cost?

Because every home is a different size and many contain one of several types of carpets, there is no "one-size-fits-all" category for carpet cleaning prices. There are, however, two common ways companies determine cost.

Professional carpet cleaning services may charge per room, meaning they offer a flat cleaning rate for each room in a home. This method typically includes a size cap, so companies may treat one room as two if it measures over the maximum square footage.

Carpet cleaners typically charge extra for moving furniture, so homeowners may need to move couches, entertainment centers and other large objects to keep costs down.

The average cost is $25 to $75 per room for carpet cleaning, or an average of $51 per room, with the cost varying depending on where they live.

Companies may also charge per square foot. If you own a smaller home, you will typically pay more because the company needs to offset travel and material costs. Those with larger homes will pay slightly less per square foot because equipment setup and material requirements are fixed.

Average rates for carpet cleaning run between 30 and 50 cents per square foot, and should include all labor, products and a guarantee about the standard of clean — for example, in compliance with the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification guidelines.

Dry carpet cleaning or steam cleaning?

The type of carpet cleaning you choose also affects the cost. The most popular method, known as steam cleaning, uses hot water extraction. This kind of cleaning doesn't actually use steam but instead uses high pressure to push very hot water, along with a cleaning solution, into carpet. The resulting moisture is then removed via suction, and the carpet needs at least 24 hours to fully dry.

Most carpet manufacturers recommend using a steam cleaner for deep cleaning and often require homeowners to use steam cleaning in order to keep the warranty valid on their flooring. Carpet cleaners may use either portable electric steam cleaners or vehicle-mounted equipment for more powerful suction.

The cost to hire carpet cleaning services to steam-clean your carpets varies depending on where you live. Carpet cleaning prices for a 2,200-square-foot home with three bedrooms, living room and one hallway can cost as low as $75 while the entire house could run $550. In national polls the typical range paid fell between $120 to $235.

Dry carpet cleaning, also known as "low moisture" or "encapsulation" cleaning, uses a chemical solution and minimal water for a quicker clean, but it can't reach as deep as powerful wet cleaning methods.

"Dry cleaning isn't as effective as steam cleaning because nothing reaches deep into the fibers to release dirt," says Dan Ayoub, owner of Ayoub Carpet Service in Chantilly, Virginia.

With dry cleaning, homeowners don't need to wait as long before walking on their carpet, though some companies may ask you to vacate the home during cleaning to prevent accidental chemical inhalation.

Dry carpet cleaning prices for an entire 2,200-square-foot home ranges from $323 to $600.

Are there any hidden carpet cleaning costs?

The 2018 national average is $175 for carpet cleaning (single room and whole house projects). Expect to pay between $120 and $235 for typical homes - larger whole-house projects can cost between $350 to $550 or more.

While most carpet cleaning services now offer an upfront fee that covers all basic costs, it's still possible to incur some add-ons.

A carpet cleaner may charge extra for a targeted spot cleaning, and in some cases, a standard service won't be able to remove a stain completely and will require further followup. This may be covered under an initial contract, but homeowners need to know exactly what they're paying for and any added costs. Many companies offer extra services, such as color repair and dyeing, as well as dry and steam cleaning services.

For a fee, typically assessed at an hourly rate, the company will correct carpet discolored by a stain or restore portions of a carpet to its original color. Always ask for references and guarantees if you choose to use this kind of service.

Carpet cleaning prices depend on the way a company determines rates, the type of cleaning requested and the number of add-ons purchased by a homeowner. No matter the final total, however, homeowners should always receive a transparent, easily understandable invoice detailing what they owe and exactly what it covers.

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