Pros, Cons and Costs: Carpet Cleaning

By HomeAdvisor

Updated October 11, 2017

Carpet Cleaning

Homeowners simply don’t ask professional carpet cleaners to their homes enough, as carpets need to be cleaned on an annual basis. This can feel like a tall order for many, especially homeowners who have been diligent about removing shoes and weekly vacuuming. Is it really worth the time and money to keep carpets in tip-top shape? These pros, cons, and costs will provide you with the many-angled answer to this question.

Carpet Cleaning: The Pros

All research indicates there are some very compelling reasons to drag all your furniture into the kitchen once a year and call in the cleaning professionals:

  • Maintaining Appearances—It’s recommended you clean your carpet every 6 to 12 months before you start to notice the spots and traffic lanes to keep it looking like new and to have it last a long time. Soil left in the carpet for too long can actually work its way into the fibers, making it almost impossible to remove.
  • Health Benefits—Your carpet works very much like the filter in your heating/AC system. It traps all kinds of bacteria, allergens, dust, pollens and other nasty things that are in the air. It gets filled up over time. The best way to keep the air you and your family breathe clean and safe is to clean your carpet regularly.
  • Longevity—Finally, cleaning your carpets regularly is the best way to ensure you’ll face a new carpet installation later rather than sooner. Functionally, your carpet will last 10 to 15 years, whether you clean it or not. Put off cleaning your carpet for 5 years, and the traffic lanes, stains and signs of general wear and tear will have you calling a carpet company for a new rug long before the warranty on your current carpet expires.
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Carpet Cleaning: The Cons

There aren’t a whole lot of reasons to avoid cleaning your carpet, but there are some approaches that can sabotage the health of your carpet and your pocketbook. Here are some of the ways in which unsuspecting homeowners can inadvertently turn their cleaning into a con.

  • Watch Out for Extras—The devil can be in the details when you hire a carpet cleaning service. By the time they charge you $10 extra for each of the stairs, the spot remover and any other extra they can think of, the $50 per room price has escalated to $100. Beware of hidden costs. For some carpet cleaners, these hidden costs are where the money is made.
  • Repair First, Clean Second—If you have older carpets that are showing sings of buckling, looseness, or wrinkling, repair your carpet first, then call in the pros for a cleaning. All of these common carpet problems are signs that your carpet needs to be restretched, and having your carpets cleaned before you take care of the issue is only going to make matters worse.
  • DIY Obstacles—Perhaps the biggest danger in getting carpets cleaned is the notion you can do it yourself. You can, just not nearly as well as the professionals can deliver. Many home improvement stores offer carpet cleaning rental units, but this piece of equipment is substantially inferior to commercial-grade portable steam cleaners and truck-mounted units. All too often, insufficient suction power and poor application will leave carpets damp and, ultimately, do more harm than good.

How much does it cost to rend a carpet cleaner? Consult our True Cost Guide for average prices and considerations.

Carpet Cleaning: Costs

So, just how much should you expect to spend to have your carpets professional cleaned? That depends on what you choose to have done. The average cost for carpet cleaning professionally ranges between $200 and $260 nationally, though it will vary on a local level and by how many rooms you need cleaned.

There’s no doubt that regular carpet cleaning is a good idea. It’s the best way to maintain better looking, healthier, and longer lasting carpets. However, it’s also important that you’re clear with your contractor about what exactly you want done, how much it’s going to cost, and what any additional charges might be, so that you can get the service you deserve without any undue surprises when it’s time to write the check.

Are You a Professional Carpet Cleaner?

Growing professional carpet cleaners are often challenged to scale their business efficiently, which is why you should consider software to help save you time and money. Our partners, Mhelpdesk, have created carpet cleaning software to suit your business needs and offer a free trial to test it out.


  1. Alfred Hurst, May 2:

    I have a 8 by 12 carpet that i want cleaned.It sits on oak floor.What is the best way do clean it without doing damage to the oak floor?

  2. Brandon, December 10:

    Can you also go over what to do with carpet when it gets wet? Especially when the padding gets wet? I’ve never had this happen before until i found it this afternoon…

  3. Joanna, December 11:

    I just had my carpet professionally cleaned by a local service where I live. It doesn’t look a tiny bit cleaner than it was. How do I know they even cleaned it? Should the difference be visible or dry cleaning makes little difference if any at all?
    Thank you.

  4. Andrew, January 1:

    Hi Alfred – a professional cleaner will not leave water residue behind heavily due to the suction power of their truck generator.

  5. Andrew, January 1:

    Hi Joanna – you may not “see” the difference, but the dirt left behind beforehand will have been worth the investment.

  6. Andrew, January 1:

    Hi Brandon – you will need the to find the source of the wetness. Possibly look at using Dri Core if it is in the basement and your floors are sweating. Cleaning can help – but finding the source is your first on the list of to do’s.

  7. Kat, January 30:

    As someone who just started a business for carpet cleaning, I want to stress the importance of not letting people upsell you on things you DON’T need! A good carpet cleaner will make your carpets look beautiful with what they include in their base service. It does make sense that some things are extra – like urine in shag carpets, lol – but for the most part…a good cleaner = good service!!

    Thanks for posting!!

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