What is the average cost for carpet cleaning?
The cost for an average room can fall somewhere within a range of $25 to $75 per room, bringing a total of Residential carpet cleaning at the high end, larger house of $550.00 pre tax. (average $51/room according to Angie's List)
How do you know if you're being over charged?
Carpet cleaning companies tend to charge in 1 of 2 different methods
1) By the square foot. Often a rep will have to visit your home take measurements, when they have time, sometimes days after 1st contact. Odds are that person will have children, or a pet that depends on being fed, so a charge for the service will be calculated into your quote, directly or hidden. Sometimes they will ask you over the phone, you will have to know exactly how many square feet of carpet are in you house (most people do not actually), and if you are wrong it will be adjusted when the actual appointment is done if you book with them.
2) Based on averages over time companies have found that generally a room in a house is not that much different from one place to another, 9x10 is not much different than 8.5x10, costwise. Due to this experience an average cost is determined that gets applied to most rooms in the house. Therefore it is fairly easy to forecast what a price should be and can be given over the phone based on reasonably accurate info from the potential client. 1 part of the house that does dramatically vary is the basement, it could be 1/4 the basement is carpeted, the whole basement, several rooms, 1 large room etc. For this reason you should reasonably be able to expect to pay based on the average size of rooms on your other floors. ie if the area in your basement is about equal to 2 rooms upstairs then you will likely pay close to the cost of 2 of your rooms upstairs, etc. There can be instances in this method through misunderstandings that a slight conflict in perception can occur, leading to a disagreement of cost at the actual time of cleaning, both parties should be as honest as possible (100%) during negotiations. When a discrepancy does arise its up to both parties to determine if arguing over a couple or few dollars is worth the hard feelings. (Hint it's not.) As a potential customer ask if there can be extra charges for anything, before booking the appointment.
I Want My Carpet Cleaned Inc. has a No Hidden Fee Policy. This is based on our pre conversation with you. If you call and ask about a determined amount of work, but ask for more rooms or other work to be done when we arrive yes we will charge more, however you will never be obligated to, and we do not give Estimates over the phone we give Quotes. NO Dump Fees, Spot Removal charges. 1 fee we do have is if you choose to pay by credit card then the additional fees are added on to your price by the service company not us, it is a percent of your invoice. Our advertised prices are based on our usual service area. "Oddball" requests such as driving to a different location to get keys to enter the address to be cleaned, may incur with extra time fees, if drastically out of the way.
Contact 3 companies to get an idea of pricing, in your area, based on the type of cleaning you want, or that is available.
DIY vs Professional
Although DIY can offer significant cost saving up front, (usually so I am told $100 to $150 if a rental machine in an average sized house), you have to do all the work, moving furniture etc. and drive back and forth to the store if renting a machine. Your carpets so I am told will take up to 24 hours or more to dry. On larger houses I have been told this often takes more than 1 day, a few times I've heard 3 days. Also something that is overlooked and often a significant concern, is the average DIYer does not rinse the carpet enough to remove the detergents or soaps used. ( my opinion, based on literally multiple 1000 +100s of jobs I've seen). This can be dealt with by rinsing all the carpet after the cleaning stage, by simply buying about $50 to $70 worth of vinegar, redoing all the carpets with no soap/detergent. Of course this will lengthen the job by hours/day, and your house will smell of vinegar until it doesn't. On the other hand there is a sense of satisfaction in any DIYer that can only be achieved by DIYing.
Professional Carpet Cleaning (based on THIS company) can, be done within the same price range as DIY. (depending on several factors including total area to be cleaned. ie 4 to 5 rooms) We do pretty much all the work, including the furniture moving. (we do ask small breakable things be moved off of tables, wall units *if to be moved prior to arrival) We do the driving. Your carpets will generally be dry within 6 to 8 hrs, often sooner. Where the majority of rental, and personal carpet cleaning machines recommend to mix soaps/detergents in the water, we prespray.
Prespraying allows for better dwell times, increasing the likelihood of spot removal, as well our hotter water actually activates our cleaners more, as well as far higher percent of rinsing. (our prespray recrystalizes when it dries so your next vacuuming will remove what remains. This is not the case with all cleaners.) If you happen to be the type of person that does not tend to see this as a fun DIY project and would rather see someone else sweat, then you will get this, with us especially when temperature is above 25 Celcius and relative humidity upwards of 70% or more.
Steam Cleaning or Dry Cleaning
There really is no, Steam Cleaning when it comes to carpet and upholstery cleaning. (or if there is it's very rare). It is referred to as Steam Cleaning largely to do with the fact it is easier than saying High Pressure Hot Water Application and Extraction, which really is what is taking place. Our machines do produce water at 230 Degrees when leaving the machine but because laws of Science the water cools quickly because its under pressure, its still much hotter than Tap Hot Water (used with portables), which also cools as its poured into machine, and when under pressure even further. Detergents tend to double in efficiency with each 20 Celcius increase. In our case carpets tend to be dry within 8Hrs. but can expected to take 24 Hrs. for longer pile carpet or very heavily soiled areas. (Opinion) If your carpets have taken longer than 24Hrs. to dry something has gone horribly wrong! in fact if your carpets have been wet for 3 days(which I have been told has happened, by some DIYers, and a couple other companies... you and your family are actually in danger of being exposed to Mold Growth.)
Dry cleaning is actually a group of styles of carpet cleaning. Vacuuming is a type of dry cleaning. What is often referred to as Dry Cleaning as far as the industry is concerned (for carpets) is either
1) An Encapsulation Method where a Chemical Compound is literally spread all over your carpet, then possibly raked for even coverage. After allowing a dwell time the carpets are vacuumed very thoroughly. The compound tends to break down light oils on the carpet as well as various spills, loosening them so the high powered vacuum can dislodge them better than usual vacuuming. The carpets are dry immediately, as there is no water used. This is a surface cleaning it does not typically provide a deep cleaning. (Opinion) I have done this type of cleaning, it works OK for certain situations, however our company only offers it under very rare circumstance. (3x in 11 years)
2) A Dry Foam cleaning which uses a floor scrubbing machine, to agitate a very small amount of water, with a cleaner mixed in. Then the carpet is vacuumed with a shopvac immediately after. Also dries quickly. Cleans a bit deeper than Encapsulation. It has been around a long time, and I know some people are very good at it. I have also heard very wide variety of comments regarding effectiveness. This company does not offer this type of cleaning. I will let you decide on this one if you want it.
2) For upholstery there is also a type of Dry Cleaning. This type there is a chemical compound first sprayed on the upholstery then the steam cleaning process is used as usual. The compound actually minimizes the ability of the water to penetrate the fibres, while still allowing for the cleaning of the fabric. This would only be used in specialized fabrics, or Raw Cotton Fabrics ie Haitian Cotton. This is quite effective, but I would only do this on a last option basis. Generally increases the cost of cleaning up to double normal furniture. Needs major ventilation. I personally have done this type of cleaning, MOST IMPORTANT Do Not try this on your own. The chemicals are harsh on lungs, highly toxic, chances are your furniture does not NEED this type of cleaning. If your furniture does need this type of cleaning you likely paid enough for it that paying someone else a few hundred $$$ to clean it will be more than worth it.