Carpet Cleaning Costs: Price Per Room and Square Foot

The national average carpet cleaning cost in 2023 is $175. But, this number ranges from $90 – $400 depending on location, type of carpet, and the type of cleaning.

Some carpet cleaning companies charge by the square foot, while others charge by the number of carpeted rooms. 

Average Carpet Cleaning Costs Per Square Foot

Carpet Cleaning Costs: Price Per Room and Square Foot

The average carpet cleaning cost per square foot is about $0.25 but can range from $.20 – $0.50, depending on the company and the severity of your carpet. 

To get an estimate, a carpet cleaning company can come to your home and measure the square footage of the carpet. You can also estimate the square footage by using this calculator or measuring the length and width of the room in feet and multiplying those numbers by each other.

  • Carpet cleaning costs for 500 sq. ft. – $125
  • Carpet cleaning costs for 1,000 sq. ft. – $250
  • Carpet cleaning costs 200 sq. ft. – $50

*Many carpet cleaning companies require a minimum fee of $150. So, even if you have a 400 sq. ft. area, you’ll still pay the company’s minimum.

Carpet Cleaning Costs per Room

Some national carpet cleaning companies, like Stanley Steemer, charge per room. Average carpet cleaning rates per room range from about $40 – $90, depending on size and carpet type. 

My quote from Stanley Steemer was $209 for five rooms, totaling $41.80 per room before tax. The quote included carpet cleaning only. When I added Stanley Steemer’s upsells,  protect and deodorize, the quote jumped to $441 or $88.20 per room.

Even if you only have one carpeted room, you still need to meet the minimum order criteria. Some companies won’t bother coming to your home for orders less than $150.

Carpet Cleaning Add-ons Price

Standard carpet cleaning quotes include price by room or square foot. Obstacles like stairs cost more. Here’s a look at the most common carpet cleaning extras.

  • Stairs – $2-$3 per stair
  • Odor Removal – $25/room (in addition to regular cleaning)
  • Sofa Upholstery Cleaning – $85
  • Chair Upholstery Cleaning – $45
  • Sectional Upholstery Cleaning – $170

Types of Professional Carpet Cleaning Services

There is more than one way to clean a carpet. Some companies only use one method, while others may offer several.

Hot Water Extraction

Hot water extraction is the most common professional carpet cleaning method. During hot water extraction, a carpet cleaning chemical is applied to the floor and agitated with a brush. Then a carpet cleaning machine that uses high-pressure hot water goes over the carpet, dissolves dirt, and sucks up the dirty water. After this process, it may take the carpet several hours to dry.

Encapsulation Carpet Cleaning

During encapsulation, cleaners apply an acrylic polymer solution to the carpet. As it dries, the acrylic polymers bond to dirt on the carpet, helping them release from the fibers so cleaners can remove them with a vacuum.

Carpet Shampooing

Traditional carpet shampooing involves using a foam cleaning product to loosen up dirt and stains and then using a carpet shampoo machine to rinse and remove the cleaner and dirt. While this was a popular method 30 years ago, it’s not as common today. Instead, hot water extraction and encapsulation can produce superior results. 

Some companies may still use traditional carpet shampooing on more delicate or heat-resistant carpets.

Carpet Dry Cleaning 

Dry carpet cleaning is ideal in situations where water can’t be used. The process involves applying a dry cleaning compound to the carpet, working it into the fibers with an agitator brush, and then leaving it on for a specified period. After that, the compound will begin to work, absorbing dirt in the carpet. Cleaners can vacuum the compound after leaving it on the carpet for the necessary time.

Bonnet Carpet Cleaning

Bonnet carpet cleaning is typical in commercial spaces, like hotels, where cleaning needs to be quick with a short dry time. The process involves spraying a cleaning solution on the carpet and running a bonnet machine over it. A bonnet machine contains a circular absorbent pad that spins.

What to Consider Before Getting Your Carpet Cleaned

You must move all furniture out of the room(s). While carpet cleaners can move small, light furniture, you should clear the space before they arrive. Failure to do so can lead to delayed carpet cleaning or extra charges. 

The carpet needs time to dry. Hot water extraction is the most popular professional cleaning technique. Because this method saturates the carpet, it will take 6-24 hours to dry. Plan your cleaning on a day you won’t need to access carpeted rooms in your home.

Berber carpet is the simplest to clean, while wool is more complicated. Carpets with thick fibers and intricate patterns require more care and may be more expensive to clean.

It takes about 30 min per room to clean carpets. If the size of your space is above average or your carpet is very soiled, it can take longer.

Cleaning water-damaged carpet is difficult and expensive. If you’re dealing with water damage and your carpet pad has built-up mold or mildew, you must replace the padding. A professional cleaning crew might be able to save your carpet, depending on the severity.