Editor’s note: This post was originally published on 9/4/17 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehension.
What does a floor cleaning company use to determine carpet cleaning costs?
A professional floor cleaning company will consider factors like these when determining carpet cleaning cost:
- Is the carpet synthetic, wool or nylon fiber?
- What has caused the damage?
- Is there furniture that will need to be moved to perform the cleaning process?
You’re a homeowner who cares about how your carpet looks, feels, and how long it lasts.
Regular maintenance is the key to extending your carpet’s life, but you probably have questions about the cost to clean carpets.
We’ve put together this guide to give you an idea of what you can expect to spend to keep your carpet in good shape and protect your investment.
Understanding carpet cleaning costs
The number one question we hear every day from our customers is, "How much will it cost to clean the carpets in my home?”
Understandably, most of our clients are trying to work within a budget or determine if replacement or cleaning is the right decision for them.
Getting to an answer is a matter of narrowing down a few specifics about what type of carpet you have and what your concerns are.
Here are a few of the factors we have to think about when pricing carpet cleaning services:
- Is it a synthetic, nylon or wool fiber?
- Has it been damaged by pet urine, bleach stains, dye stains, mold, mildew or smoke?
- Is there furniture to be moved?
When carpet cleaning experience matters
Despite the variables for cleaning costs, HammondKnoll's years and years of experience – combined with the millions of carpet square footage cleaned (yes, you read that correctly 81+ years of cleaning carpet = millions) – gives us the ability to “ballpark” some basic costs.
The math behind the cost of cleaning carpeting
How is carpet cleaning cost determined?
Carpet cleaning cost is determined by multiplying the length of the room by the width of the room to get the total square footage. That number is then multiplied by the cost per square foot to get a total cost.
When calculating carpet cleaning cost, we base cleaning and additional services for carpet on square footage.
To get square footage, multiply the length times the width to get the number of square feet.
Let's say you have a room that is 12 feet by 16 feet. The total square footage of the room is 192 square feet.
To determine the cost, you multiply 192 square feet times the square footage price:
12' x 16' = 192 square feet.
192 square feet x $0 .53 = $101.76
Note: When measuring a room of carpet, the entire room is measured from the widest points.
Cleaning cost based on carpet type
The type of fiber your carpet is made of plays a role in the cost to clean carpets.
Here’s a rundown of what some common carpet fibers cost to clean.
1. Nylon, olefin, synthetic, Polyester, and man-made fibers
This is what you can expect to spend, depending on the size of your space.
- Under 800 square feet of carpet to be cleaned: $0.53 per square foot
- 800 - 1,500 square feet: $0.49 per square foot
- Over 1,500 square feet: $0.42 per square foot
- Stairs (standard size): $4.16 each stair
2. Wool And specialty custom rugs
Wool, specialty and custom rugs will cost a bit more to have cleaned.
- $0.65 per square foot
3. Additional cost information
The prices listed include moving furniture, cleaning under it, and returning it into its original location, with the exception of pianos, entertainment centers, TVs, and desks.
A 15% discount applies if the furniture is moved or if we clean around the furniture. (Furniture discount does not apply to wool carpet.)
Side Note: We charge a minimum cleaning price of $165, which is not valid with discounts or other offers. (Some out of area minimum service charges may be extra.)
Figuring out your carpet type
If you don't know what type of carpet you have, don’t worry – we’ll help you figure it out.
Most wall-to-wall carpeting (approximately 98%) is made out of synthetic fibers.
If you purchased wall-to-wall carpeting made out of wool, you would definitely remember that it’s wool.
Because wool carpeting is very expensive and high quality.
(Note: Some nylon carpets can be costly, as well. If you made this kind of a purchase, you would know it!)
If you have carpeting in your home that you didn’t purchase, there’s a test that you can perform that will tell you for sure whether it’s wool or synthetic. And it involves fire!!!! 🔥
The “Burn Test” tells you what type of fiber your carpet is made from by the way that it burns.
Don’t worry – you won’t burn the house down!
Here’s what to do:
- Cut a small piece of your carpet fiber from an inconspicuous area. Choose a spot on your carpet that is easily covered up, on the fringe or edge of the carpet. You only need a small fiber – don’t cut too much.
- When you have your small piece of carpet fiber, pinch it with a pair of tweezers or a paper clip. With the tweezers or paper clip in one hand and a lighter in the other hand, light the end of the carpet fiber on fire.
- This is best done outside in an area with good ventilation.
- If your carpet is made from a synthetic fiber, it will melt and stick to the side of the lighter. But, if it’s made from natural fibers, it will burn and crumble.
You should also pay attention to the smell of the burning carpet fiber. Here’s a little guide to help you determine what type of carpet you have, according to smell:
- If the burning fiber smells like celery, it’s nylon.
- If it smells like asphalt, it’s olefin.
- If it smells sweet, it’s polyester.
- If it smells like burning paper, it’s rayon.
- If it smells like charred meat, it’s acrylic.
- If it smells like burning hair, it’s wool.
If you don’t want to do the Burn Test on your own, leave it up to your professional carpet cleaning expert.
All IICRC certified carpet cleaning technicians (including HammondKnoll) are trained in the proper execution of the Burn Test.
Most carpet cleaners will be happy to safely perform the burn test for you and tell you what your carpet is made of.
How frequently should you clean your carpeting?
It's important to routinely have your carpet cleaned to prolong the life of the carpet by removing dust, dirt and soiling that can break down the fibers over time.
Plus, you’ll enjoy the health benefits of removing dust and mites that can cause allergies, and supply a sanitary area for pets and children.
Heavy-traffic areas, such as family rooms, halls, and bedrooms should be cleaned every 6-12 months.
Lightly-traveled areas like living rooms and spare bedrooms need to be cleaned once every 2-3 years.
But what happens when an issue comes up between regular cleanings?
Many times a "problem" is a motivating factor to cause a carpet to need cleaning.
What are the most common carpet stains professional carpet cleaners see?
The most common stains professional carpet cleaners see are pet urine, pet feces, wine spills, coffee stains and cat vomit.
What are the top fives pet stains we see on carpet?
The top five pet carpet stains we see are:
- Pet urine
- Pet feces
- Wine spills
- Coffee stains
- Cat vomit
For some extra help, download our free stain removal guide and tackle those stubborn stains!
Additional Carpet Cleaning Options
In addition to cleaning, we have other services that are optional but suggested on a case-by-case basis.
1. Teflon protection
Teflon™ protection is an application that’s applied to a clean carpet. The repellent characteristics of Teflon Advanced keeps dirt from sticking to the fibers, making carpets easier to care for, stains easier to remove and the carpet much easier to clean the next time around. It makes a dramatic difference for stubborn stains.
Teflon Protection costs $0.26 per square foot.
Check out this example of the difference between treated and untreated carpet.
2. Anti-allergen treatment
Anti-allergen treatment repels dust mite feces, dander, and other allergens in your carpet. This treatment can also be used on upholstery, mattresses and rugs.
Anti-allergen treatment costs $0.26 per square foot.
3. Pet Odors
A topical enzyme product can be applied to pet urine spots that are causing odor issues.
This method typically works best with light urine odors.
For heavier pet issues, such as a pet continuously marking their territory in one area, a sub-floor extraction can be effective. The costs for this procedure vary depending on the size of the area and the extent of the damage to the carpet.
In some cases, the affected area can have the carpet pulled up, the backing cleaned and treated, and the pad removed and replaced. Then, a sealant can be applied to the sub-floor and the walls, if necessary.
A topical treatment can also be applied to water-damaged carpets that have mold and mildew odors.
These are extreme cases and are left as a last resort if other processes are not effective. This can be a costly service and can be discussed with an expert as to what to expect with the outcome and whether it's time to replace or bite the bullet and have it treated.
Topical deodorization costs $0.37 per square foot.
The cost of sub-floor extraction requires an estimate.
Carpet cleaning pricing examples
Here are some specific examples of cleaning costs to give you an idea of how much you may have to spend.
1. A living room
A living room that is 14' x 18', a hall that is 3' x 12' and 14 stairs, and moving all of the furniture:
288 square feet x $0.53 per square foot = $152.64
14 stairs x $4.16 each = $ 58.24
Total cost: $210.88
2. A family room, bedroom, bathroom, hall, landing and stairs
A family room that is 16' x 24', a hall that is 3' x 12', a master bedroom that is 14' x 18', a master closet that’s 6' x 10', a master bathroom measuring 6' x 12', 14 stairs, and a landing that is 8' x 8.' Cleaning around the furniture.
868 square feet x $0.49 per square foot = $425.32
14 stairs x $4.16 each = $58.24
Minus the 15% discount for not moving furniture: -$63.80
Total cost: $439.76
3. Bonus room, bedroom and den
A bonus room that measures 18' x 25', a child's bedroom that is 10' x 12' and a den that’s 10' x 12', moving furniture, and applying Teflon to the bonus room only.
690 square feet x $0.53 per square foot = $365.70
Teflon protection on 450 sq ft x $0 .26 = $117
Total cost with Teflon treatment: $482.70
Carpet cleaning FAQs
Let's wrap up with some FAQs about a few more things you need to know.
How long does it take to get an appointment?
Typically, we’re booked out three-five days in advance. The first appointments in the morning go the quickest.
If it's an emergency, we have ways of working magic to find an open spot.
What are the scheduled times?
The first appointment in the morning is an arrival time between 8:30 and 9 a.m.
The second slot (depending on the size of the job prior) can have an arrival time sometime between 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. or 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
The third is typically between 12:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. or 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
What days do you clean residential carpet?
The days we normally clean residential carpets are Monday through Saturday, though some exceptions can be made, depending on circumstances.
Can I trust your technician in my home?
Yes, absolutely, all of our employees are background-checked and drug-screened.
You can even check them out before they even arrive in your home right here.
What kind of carpet cleaning is best?
Check out this helpful article that breaks down the different carpet cleaning methods.
Have pet urine concerns?
Click here to find out how to deal with this stinky situation.
Wondering how to extend the life of your carpet with proper maintenance?
Find answers right here.
Want a free carpet cleaning quote?
Get a quote here.
What will the technician actually do while in my home?
For fun, check out our video, "A Day in the Life of a HammondKnoll Carpet Cleaning Technician” here.
Do you have any customer reviews to share?
The bottom line on the cost of carpet cleaning
You’ve just been given a whole LOT of information. Not only about cost, but a lot of other relevant topics.
The most important thing for you to remember is that regular maintenance is the best way to give your carpet a long life and to keep it looking great, year after year.
Your friends at HammondKnoll are here to help you make it happen.