All You Need to Know About Carpet Cleaning Prices

by Admin on September 18, 2009

Is it time to get your carpets cleaned? If you have never had your carpets cleaned professionally or done it yourself then you may be wondering just how much this will cost you. Let me help you determine what carpet cleaning prices you are in for. Depending on whether you are a do-it-yourselfer or you prefer to sit back and let someone else handle the work, the carpet cleaning price can vary quite a bit from region to region.

Professional carpet cleaning prices will depend on the method of cleaning the company uses and other factors such as overhead and competition. Carpet steam cleaning prices may be very different from prices for bonnet cleaning or dry carpet cleaning methods. Carpet cleaning pricing will also differ based on whether it is an individual having the cleaning done or a business. Many cleaners will discount cleaning for businesses because they tend to have the cleaning done more frequently. If you are a homeowner, inquire with the cleaner about possible discounts for cleaning on a regular schedule.

Residential carpet cleaning is normally priced by either the square foot method or by the per room or area method. Normally, either one or the other will dominate a market. This allows customers to compare pricing easier and eliminates confusion over trying to compare two different quotes based on two totally different pricing methods. There may be some companies that decide to price differently than the others; however, you should find most companies charge rather uniformly when it comes to cleaning carpet.

Square foot pricing for carpet cleaning is generally the fairest and most consistent method of pricing. This allows the consumer to only pay for the area cleaned. In case you forgot, square footage is calculated by multiplying the length of the room by the width of the room, so a 12 foot by 12 foot room would be 144 square feet. Once you figure out the square footage of all the areas you want cleaned it is a matter of finding out what the companies charge per square foot to clean. A lot of carpet cleaning companies will provide free in home estimates to give you an accurate written quote. This is advisable since most homes will have tiled or vinyl flooring and certain pieces of furniture that need to be subtracted from the cleaning price. The national average for carpet cleaning is around $.28 a square foot. This will give you a ball park when making phone inquires. Be reminded however that not all services are equal. Some may be skipping steps to cut cost while others may be going above and beyond to provide outstanding service. Be sure to ask what method the cleaner is using and what steps they perform in the preparation and the actual cleaning.

The other method of carpet cleaning pricing is the per area cleaning price. This method is easier to obtain a quote over the phone; however, it does have some negatives. The way a company defines an area or room may increase the price you pay. Generally, a company will put a maximum size on an area to be cleaned. So, if you have an oversized room that measures out at 300 square feet and the company will clean a room up to 200 square feet, then you would be charged for two rooms instead of one. Also, if you have a small room that is only 100 square feet you still will be charged the price for a room up to 200 squarer feet. Finally, per area pricing does not usually take into consideration any square footage that needs to be subtracted such as other flooring surfaces and large furniture.

When contracting for professional carpet cleaning, it is wise to be aware of bait and switch carpet cleaners. Bait and switch is when a company advertises a ridiculously low price to entice a customer to book the job then upon arrival they start adding additional charges to the bill. You have probably seen carpet cleaning coupons advertising $6.99 a room. Common sense would tell you that it would be impossible to make any profit from prices this low. By the time the cleaner pays for fuel, chemicals, and labor not to mention fixed costs such as insurance, equipment loans, advertising and so on, they would be losing money charging these prices. Bait and switch cleaners will try to charge additionally for items like vacuuming, pre-spraying, and will push very hard for up sells like protectant and disinfectants. It may be tempting to act on these low priced ads; however, most customers regret it after dealing with cleaners that use intimidation to charge more money.

Commercial carpet cleaning prices are another area that can vary greatly. Businesses can receive discounted cleaning prices because they tend to maintain their carpets on a much more regular basis than a homeowner. Many carpet cleaners will issue a bid for a commercial location based on how frequently the business wants the cleaning performed. A business may receive 30 or 40% off for cleaning every three months instead of once a year. Carpet cleaning companies usually base their bids on either total square footage of the facility or by total man hours needed to complete the job. It should not concern a business owner how the bid is arrived at, only the total cost and the service provided. Cleaners may end up charging only $.08 or $.09 a sq. ft., but they can remain profitable at this price because of large open areas that are not time consuming or do not require large amounts of solution usage.

If you are up for doing your own carpet cleaning, you can rent a machine at most major retailers. Home Depot, Wal-Mart, and most grocery chains carry Rug Doctors that can be rented for 24 hours. Rug Doctor dominates the market for rentals, and the carpet cleaning machine prices that you will pay are pretty close but will vary between stores from about $20 to $30 dollars for the 24 hour period. The machines are very reasonably priced; however, the major cost involved in doing the cleaning yourself is the price of the cleaning solutions. They have a variety of cleaning solutions available. There is a solution to get pet stains out of carpet, for regular cleaning, spotting, and anti foaming solutions and more. If you purchase all these solutions then it can really add up quickly.

The drawbacks of using a carpet cleaning rental machine is that the carpet can re-soil quickly, stay wet for a long time, and it is very time consuming. Rental machines do not provide any agitation, so they typically only clean the tops of the carpet fibers. This may leave the carpets looking clean; however, soil left deep in the carpet near the base of the fiber can scratch the fibers over time, leading to dingy looking traffic lanes that are not dirty but scratched and beyond correction. Also, rentals can be very time consuming and hard work. You will continually have to carry water to the machine to fill it up, and the time involved in the actual cleaning could be better spent. The machines do not heat the water either, and this leads to a reduction in the cleaning effectiveness. Lastly, many people complain about the dry times when using a rental. The carpet could be wet for a day or two, allowing mold and mildew a chance to take hold.

Whether you are a business owner or homeowner there are a great number of factors that involve carpet cleaning prices. Make sure to do your homework and ask plenty of questions when surveying cleaners. Remember, if you are someone that likes to do it yourself, it may be cheaper and easier to let a professional cleaner do the job for you.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

office cleaning Wheeling January 4, 2011 at 2:56 am

Very well written article that describes how carpet cleaning services are priced. Like you mentioned, there are many different methods and depending on the method used the customer can get a different price. Also the price will change depending on what steps are performed during the cleaning. Does the carpet cleaner vacuum the carpet before cleaning, is spot cleaning included in the price, what about drying the carpet? When the customer is shopping for carpet cleaning services he needs to compare not only the prices but also what do these prices include.

Cleaners February 10, 2011 at 8:23 am

Well thought out post about carpet cleaning and their prices. thanks

Richard Smith February 26, 2011 at 6:58 pm

Great information here. I own a carpet cleaning company in Chico California and wish my potential customers read this first before calling. You get what you pay for in Carpet cleaning or any other service.

Carpet Medic March 21, 2011 at 7:16 pm

Very nice article. As a 15 year professional in carpet cleaning you really do get what you pay for. If you want a cheap price you will get a cleaner that has to cut corners to give you that cheap price. If you want professional service with professional workers using professional chemicals that costs money, but the results are worth it.

Bob Miller August 27, 2011 at 7:59 pm

Thanks for the article. I work for a carpet cleaning company myself, and being in the business, I know how easy it is to con people out of their money and charge them a lot more than they need to be paid. I always try to be fair with my customers, and I would definitely recommend all of them to read this article before they call me up for a quote. You should definitely only get what you pay for – nothing less, nothing more. Square foot pricing provides a good gauge of how much a particular job should cost.
Bob Miller

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