How much does carpet cleaning cost?
Ashburn, VA

How much does carpet cleaning cost?

Ashburn, VA

How much does carpet cleaning cost?

$40 – $90+average cost per room (basic cleaning)
$0.25 – $0.50average cost per square foot

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$40 – $90+ average cost per room (basic cleaning)

$0.25 – $0.50 average cost per square foot

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
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Tara Farmer
Written by
Tara Farmer
Edited by
Kristen Cramer

Average carpet cleaning cost

Professional carpet cleaning costs $0.25 to $0.50 per square foot on average. The cost to steam clean carpet using hot water extraction ranges from $40 to $90+ per room. Carpet cleaning rates depend on the job size, carpet material and condition, cleaning method, and whether any additional treatments are included.

Average cost of carpet cleaning
Factor Average cost
Per square foot $0.25 – $0.50
Per room $40 – $90+
Average 3-bedroom house (5 rooms) $200 – $500*
Large house (6 to 8+ rooms) $300 – $700+*

*Including hallway or connecting space

  • Most professionals consider one room to be 200 to 250 square feet.

  • Carpet cleaners typically have a $100 to $150+ minimum job fee.

  • Whole-house carpet cleaning is often the most cost-effective option.

Get free estimates from carpet cleaning services near you.

Average cost for carpet cleaning

The table below shows the average cost for professional carpet cleaning service for 1 to 3 rooms. Your total will vary depending on your location, the number of rooms being cleaned, the soil level of the carpet, and whether you opt for additional treatments like odor removal and stain prevention.

Average cost for carpet cleaning (for 1 to 3 rooms) - chart
Average cost for carpet cleaning (for 1 to 3 rooms) - chart
Average cost for carpet cleaning
National Average Cost $190
Minimum Cost $75
Maximum Cost $550
Average Range $125 to $250*

*For 1 to 3 rooms

Carpet cleaning cost per room

The cost per room for carpet cleaning can vary greatly depending on the number of rooms you're cleaning. Many companies charge less per room when you hire them to clean multiple rooms in one visit. Additionally, most cleaners have a 1- or 2-room minimum charge.

Carpet cleaning cost per room
Number of rooms Average price per room*
1 $100 – $150
2 $75 – $100
3 $65 – $75
4 $50 – $65
5 $40 – $50

*Price for basic cleaning only; add-on treatments or services often double the cost.

Carpet cleaning price per square foot

Some carpet cleaners charge per square foot instead of per room. On average, carpet cleaning costs $0.25 to $0.50 per square foot. Many cleaners have a minimum square footage charge, or they charge a flat $100 to $150+ minimum fee for small jobs under a certain square footage.

Carpet cleaning cost by square footage
Area size (square feet) Average cost
250 or less $100 – $150+
500 $125 – $250
1,000 $250 – $500
1,500 $375 – $750
2,000 $500 – $1,000

Get free estimates from carpet cleaning services near you.
A carpet cleaner lifting dirt from the carpeting in a home
A carpet cleaner lifting dirt from the carpeting in a home

Carpet cleaning rates by method

Carpet cleaning companies use several methods, each with pros and cons. Prices vary considerably depending on the soil level and the cleaning method.

Carpet cleaning prices by cleaning method
Cleaning method Average cost
(per room)
Pros Cons
Hot water extraction (HWE) / "steam cleaning" $40 – $90+
  • Deep clean
  • Best for eliminating allergens and odors
  • More expensive
  • Long dry time (6 – 8 hrs)
Shampooing $80 – $150
  • Short dry time
  • DIY-friendly
  • May leave residue
  • Not a deep clean
Bonnet cleaning $30 – $90
  • Affordable
  • Low moisture; fast dry time (1 – 2 hrs)
  • Less thorough
  • Only cleans top fibers
Dry cleaning $70 – $200
  • Fast drying
  • No risk of overwetting
  • May leave residue
  • Not as thorough
Encapsulation $85 – $250
  • Thorough clean
  • Low moisture
  • Slower dry time
  • Not ideal for heavily soiled carpet
Green cleaning $120 – $220
  • Non-toxic cleansing solutions
  • Low waste and eco-friendly
  • More expensive than traditional cleaning
  • May not be as widely available

Cost to steam clean carpet / hot water extraction (HWE)

Most professionals offering "steam cleaning" are referring to hot water extraction (HWE), which uses less water and a different temperature that is more effective than regular steam cleaning. Most carpet manufacturers recommend HWE because it deep cleans and removes stains well without shrinking the carpet fibers.

  • The HWE method costs $40 to $90+ per room and uses a cleaning solution with high-pressure sprayers to agitate and remove 97% of dirt and bacteria. Cleaners then use a heavy-duty, truck-mounted suction wand to extract as much water as possible, reducing the dry time.

  • Traditional steam cleaning kills bacteria and allergens but is not as effective for cleaning. Steam can sometimes set stains into fabric instead of lifting them.

Carpet shampooing prices

Carpet shampooing costs $80 to $150 per room and involves working a cleansing foam into the carpet with rotating brushes and then vacuuming it up. This low-moisture, no-rinse method has a short drying time. However, foam residue can remain sticky and potentially make the carpet hold on to future dirt.

Bonnet carpet cleaning

Bonnet cleaning costs $30 to $90 per room on average. This process involves using a machine with rotating pads to scrub a cleaning solution into the carpet and absorb it back up. Bonnet cleaning only cleans the top third of the carpet, so it's best for low-traffic areas or carpets with only surface dirt.

Dry carpet cleaning

Dry carpet cleaning costs $70 to $200 per room and involves applying a cleaning powder, letting it sit for 15 to 30 minutes to absorb and lift dirt, then vacuuming it up with a pro-level vacuum. This method works well for maintenance between deeper cleanings, but it may leave residue.

Encapsulation carpet cleaning

Encapsulation carpet cleaning costs $85 to $250 per room and involves applying a wet foam detergent by rotary machine, brush applicator, or compression sprayer. The detergent binds and crystalizes or encapsulates the dirt over the course of 20 to 30 minutes before cleaners vacuum it up.

  • The encapsulation method uses less cleaning solution and dries faster than regular carpet shampooing.

  • Encapsulation, or encapping, is considered a very low moisture (VLM) type of cleaning, which is more effective than dry cleaning but not a substitute for deep cleaning.

Carpet cleaning cost calculator

The following factors impact carpet cleaning service prices:

  • Carpet type & condition: Prices are highest for carpets that take longer than average to clean, such as a heavily soiled carpet or one made of delicate fabric. However, some companies offer a discount when deep cleaning an entire home as opposed to just one ro


  • Area size & number of rooms: The higher the square footage, the more it will cost you for carpet cleaning overall, but many companies reduce the cost per room when you hire them to clean multiple rooms in the same visit.

  • Access difficulty: Many carpet cleaning companies use truck-mounted equipment, so costs often increase when cleaning rooms in a multi-story building or high-rise that requires special equipment.

  • Hallways & closets: Expect to pay $20 to $35+ each when including hallways or walk-in closets.

  • Cleaning method: Cleaning costs vary by the method used. Bonnet carpet cleaning typically costs less than other methods, but it only cleans the top fibers of the carpet.

  • Green products: Professionals using eco-friendly, non-toxic cleaning solutions typically charge more per room than those using standard cleaning products.

  • Season: The busiest time for carpet cleaners is usually in the spring when many homeowners want to refresh their space after the winter months of trapsing in dirt and snow.

Carpet cleaning
Carpet cleaning

Stair carpet cleaning

Stair carpet cleaning costs $2 to $5 per step or $45 to $65 on average for a staircase with one landing. Some companies offer stair cleaning as a separate service, while others bundle it with their standard carpet cleaning package.

Carpet material

Some carpet materials are easier to clean than others, and your cost may vary depending on the material and company. Berber carpet is typically the easiest and cheapest to clean, while cotton and wool are some of the most challenging, often costing 30% more.

Carpet cleaning prices by material
Carpet material Price level
Berber $
Cut and level loop $ – $$
Cotton, wool, silk & other natural fibers $$ – $$$

Additional costs

Most companies charge a base price for basic carpet cleaning and offer several add-on services to improve the cleaning and extend the carpet's life.

  • Moving furniture: Some companies will move a few lightweight pieces at no extra cost, but most charge $25 to $75 per room extra if you don't move the furniture off the carpet beforehand.

  • Odor control: Adding treatment to remove pet odors costs $20 to $40+ per room.

  • Stain removal: Removing stains can add $125 to $250, depending on the size and how difficult they are to remove. Some companies include pre-treating minor stains in their base price.

  • Stain prevention: Scotchgard and other protective carpet treatments cost $10 to $40 per room but may allow your carpet to go longer between cleanings.

  • Furniture cleaning: Cleaning furniture fabric is a common add-on service to remove additional dirt and allergens. Upholstery cleaning costs $40 to $400 per item, depending on the size.

  • Repairs: Carpet repair costs $150 to $300 on average, depending on the damage and the repair method used.

  • Carpet re-stretching: Carpet re-stretching costs $0.50 to $1.50 per square foot to remove wrinkles and refresh its appearance.

  • Water damage: Cleaning a water-damaged carpet costs $300 to $2,000, depending on how much water must be extracted and how extensive the damage is. Replacing the carpet padding costs an additional $0.75 to $1.75 per square foot.

  • Total replacement: New carpet costs $2 to $8 per square foot with installation. If cleaning the carpet is not effective, it may be time to replace it. In some cases, you may be able to replace just one section.

Full-service carpet cleaning

Some carpet cleaning companies offer a full-service option averaging $1 to $2 per square foot. Full-service carpet cleaning typically includes:

  • Pre-vacuuming

  • Moving furniture

  • Removing stains

  • HWE deep carpet cleaning

  • Scotchgard or similar protectant

  • Applying deodorizer

  • Using fans for faster dry time

DIY vs. professional carpet cleaning

Cleaning a carpet yourself saves money in the short term. The average cost to rent a carpet cleaner is $30 to $50 per day for a standard cleaner or $70 to $125 per day for a steam cleaner. However, professional carpet cleaning equipment is more effective at lifting stains, dirt, pet hair, and odors than consumer equipment.

Get free estimates from carpet cleaning services near you.
DIY vs. professional carpet cleaning
Factor Professional carpet cleaning DIY carpet cleaning
Average cost $125 – $250 (1 to 3 rooms) $30 – $125 per day rental
Pros More thorough cleaning Cheaper
Cons More expensive Not as effective

Carpet cleaning
Carpet cleaning

How to save on professional carpet cleaning

Professional carpet cleaning is pricier than cleaning the carpet DIY, but the extra cost is often worth it. Here are some ways to potentially reduce your bill:

  • Move furniture yourself before the cleaners arrive.

  • Be flexible with the appointment day and time. Some companies charge less on weekdays or during slow periods.

  • Hire professionals to deep clean only the high-traffic areas of the home. You may pay more per square foot with this approach, but you'll pay less overall.

  • When possible, remove stains yourself before the appointment.

  • Take advantage of any promotions, package deals, or memberships that reduce the cost per cleaning.

  • Maintain your carpets between professional cleanings to avoid extra fees for set-in stains or heavily soiled carpet.

Carpet cleaning FAQs

Is professional carpet cleaning worth it?

Yes, hiring professional carpet cleaners periodically is worthwhile. They use powerful equipment and products you typically can't buy at regular retail stores to deep clean carpets, removing trapped dirt, allergens, and stains for healthier air quality and a refreshed look.

How often should carpets be cleaned professionally?

Experts recommend professional carpet cleaning every 12 to 18 months for moderate traffic areas and every 6 to 12 months for high-traffic areas like entryways and hallways. Follow the same 6-to-12-month cleaning schedule if you have children, pets, family members with allergies, or higher-than-average foot traffic.

Do carpet cleaning services move furniture?

Many carpet cleaning companies will move lighter furniture pieces and rugs as part of their standard service. Fees may apply for moving large or delicate items. Communicate your needs when scheduling the service to prevent unexpected extra fees later.

Do you tip for carpet cleaning service?

Tipping carpet cleaners is not expected but is appreciated. A general guideline is 10% to 20% of the total bill for excellent service.

How long does professional carpet cleaning take?

Professional carpet cleaning takes 20 to 30 minutes per room. The total time varies depending on the amount of furniture that needs moving, the carpet's condition, and whether the cleaners need to pre-treat any areas.

The drying time after cleaning ranges from 6 to 24 hours for the carpet to dry completely, depending on the cleaning method, air circulation, indoor temperature, and humidity. Open the windows, use fans, or turn on the air conditioner to help the carpet dry faster.

Will professional carpet cleaning remove pet odors?

Yes, carpet cleaners use truck-mounted, professional grade equipment and solutions to thoroughly remove embedded urine odors and stains, leaving the carpet looking and smelling fresh. Cleaners may charge extra to pre-treat heavily soiled pet-stained areas.

Do you need to vacuum before professional carpet cleaning?

Yes, most professionals recommend vacuuming thoroughly before having a carpet professionally cleaned, unless the cleaning company includes vacuuming in your service package. Always confirm what is included when you book the appointment so you know exactly how to prepare your home for the cleaning.

Getting estimates from carpet cleaning companies

When choosing a carpet steam cleaner or standard carpet cleaning near you, remember to:

  • Get at least three estimates with similar details to compare.

  • Read carpet cleaner reviews on HomeGuide and Google.

  • Look for carpet cleaning companies that are licensed, insured, and have been in business 5+ years. Verify the company's credentials.

  • Ask about how they train their employees and if they do background checks.

  • Get a detailed quote and warranty in writing before the project begins.

  • Ask for a list of references you can contact.

  • Avoid making upfront payments, and don't pay in full until the work is complete.

  • Do a complete walkthrough inspection after the cleaning.

Questions to ask your carpet cleaning professional

Ask the following questions to help you select a qualified carpet cleaner:

  • How long have you been cleaning carpets professionally?

  • Do you offer free in-home estimates?

  • What cleaning method do you use?

  • Is your carpet cleaning solution safe for children and pets?

  • Are your cleaning systems, solutions, and equipment approved by the Carpet and Rug Institute?

  • Do you move furniture before cleaning?

  • Do you charge extra for hallways, closets, stairs, or other areas?

  • What add-on services do you offer, and how much does each of them cost?

  • How long will the cleaning process take?

  • How long does it take for the carpet to dry?

  • Are you running any deals or specials right now?

  • Is there a discount for multiple rooms?

  • Can you provide me with a list of references I can contact?

  • Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?

  • Do you guarantee your work?