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How Much Is Carpet Cleaning

19 July 2023

Carpet manufacturers generally recommend that you have your carpets deep cleaned at least once a year, although some say twice a year, maybe more, depending on your lifestyle.

Despite this fact, only 3% of homeowners hire a professional carpet cleaning company to do this, so what's putting them off? The main factor for most people is the cost, which is understandable - particularly in these times of financial uncertainty for so many of us.

If you're contemplating having your carpets cleaned but need more information before going ahead, you'll want to check out the Carpet Team's honest guide to carpet cleaning prices. We'll give you the facts about getting your carpets cleaned professionally to help you make an informed decision.

How Much Does Professional Carpet Cleaning Cost?

You know what we're going to say - "It depends..."

But that's just how it is, and this applies to most goods and services. So, what should you expect to pay, and which factors affect the cost of carpet cleaning?

Here's a rough breakdown of what that should give you all you need to know.

Average Carpet Cleaning Prices

We'll begin with a rough guide to provide a framework on which to hang all the other information:

The average professional carpet cleaning prices start at around £100 for a one-bedroom flat and will run to about £400 or more for a large detached house with four (or more) bedrooms).

Prices for a thoroughly clean start from around £50 for a small room, although the term small room is open to interpretation! Depending on who you listen to, this could be 4x4 metres or 3x3 metres. The important thing is to go by the dimensions and prices of your chosen cleaning company.

These prices can change drastically according to your specific circumstances.

Factors Affecting Carpet Cleaning Prices

These are important as they'll help you to settle on the price that you can expect to pay, and if you're quoted vastly more, you'll be able to query this or choose another company!

The Size Of The Area To Be Cleaned

Is it just one room or several rooms? How big are the rooms? Do you live in a small flat or a large detached house? Are you having the entire house cleaned, including the stairs and landing? The larger the area is, the higher the costs, which is to be expected. Then again, it depends on whether the carpet cleaning company you use charges by the square metre or an hourly rate.

Typically, hourly rates for professional carpet cleaners in the UK range from about £60 to £120, bearing in mind that it takes around 30 minutes per room, with about the same amount of time for stairs, hallways, and landings, respectively. You can also check out our post "How To Clean Carpet On Stairs" for additional insights.

Is It Domestic Or Commercial?

Commercial premises are likely to be much larger and require more work, manpower, and cleaning materials. As you'd expect, business and commercial cleaning prices will be higher than those for domestic customers. To give you an idea, you might expect to pay around £4 per square metre in an office or commercial setting.

Your Location

As unfair as it seems, your location in the UK can make a huge difference to the price. For example, the Checkatrade website suggests that a carpet cleaning job that costs £40 in Hull might cost almost six times (yes, 6 times!) as much in London.

The Condition Of The Carpets

Heavily soiled carpets with stubborn stains will need extra attention, making the cleaning process longer, which will increase the carpet cleaning cost. However, if you take care of your carpets and only need the occasional deep clean to keep them looking great, the cost will be lower.

Of course, if you inherit filthy carpets when you move house or you have tenants who leave the place in a bad state, you don't have much control over this.

The Cleaning Methods Used

There are several ways of cleaning carpets, and the one you opt for will affect the final cost. We'll check these out in a moment, but make sure you know what you're getting! Some methods involve the use of different equipment or will use extra materials.

Minimum Call-Out Charge

Many carpet cleaning companies set a minimum fee for being called out to make the process worthwhile. It's essential that you establish what this is, as it may cost more than the job you had in mind if you only have a small area to clean. The average call-out charge is around £85, so if your project is likely to come under this, it's worth seeing what else you can get cleaned that will make up the difference.

The Type Of Carpet

While most carpets are made from synthetic materials, others are made from natural substances and may require specialist treatment, which could increase the price of having your carpets professionally cleaned.

This is to be expected; if you have a very high-quality carpet, you'll want to ensure that it is handled correctly to avoid any damage!

The same applies to any rugs you want to be included, as some of these are crafted from delicate fabrics.

For more learnings, you can check out our post "How To Clean Wool Carpet".

Additional Carpet Treatments

Most carpet cleaning companies will usually offer extras that shouldn't add too much to the overall cost and are worth considering:

Stain Protection

It costs something like £15 per room to apply a stain protector, and this could be a Godsend for anyone with a house full of kids, pets, or both!

It will also save you the effort and frustration of having to deal with heavy stains and will even save you money, as your next professional carpet cleaning session won't need to battle high levels of dirt.

Pretreating Stains

You can also opt for pre-treatment, which is excellent for dealing with stubborn stains. The carpet cleaners will apply a powerful cleaning agent before they begin the process, helping to achieve perfect results.

Anti-Insect Treatment

This added extra protect your carpets and your family against unwanted guests (Well, insect pests, that is!) like dust mites, which is great news for allergy sufferers.

Aside from this, many professional carpet cleaners offer an upholstery cleaning service, which can cost between £15 and £100, depending on the size and type of item.

Furniture Removal

A furniture removal isn't typically included in a professional cleaning service, but they do expect the area to be relatively clear of furniture when the cleaners arrive. If you do need assistance with this, you need to arrange it beforehand, and there may be a small extra charge.

Cancellation Fee

If you cancel the appointment at short notice, it's likely that the cleaning company will charge a late cancellation fee as they will have set aside this slot for you. The fees vary by company, so check the terms and conditions when you book your appointment.

What Does The Cleaning Process Involve?

There are several different types of carpet cleaning, so it's incredibly important that you understand what's on offer and what you will be paying for.

There are a few cleaning methods, but each carpet cleaning company will have its own approach and may offer different services. Here are some that you'll come across:

Steam Cleaning

Steam cleaning machines are quick and fairly efficient, but they need careful handling. Although you can buy or hire these, it's rarely worth it unless you plan to use them on your carpets and upholstery regularly. Even so, it's very easy to damage carpets by setting the machine on high heat. And if you use them too frequently, they can wear out the carpet fibres.

Some professional carpet cleaning services will use steam carpet cleaning by default unless you specify otherwise, but it doesn't achieve the same level of cleanliness as the next method.

Carpet Cleaning Machines

A professional carpet cleaning machine is much more powerful than any of those that the public can buy or hire and will deep clean a carpet to a very high standard. If you choose this service, it will most likely cost more than the other methods.

While there are a few different models and types, the best one by a long way is the hot water extraction* method, sometimes known as vapour cleaning. Any stains are pretreated, and then the machine is run over the area. This uses a mix of hot water and strong chemical detergents that get right down into the carpet fibres, dissolving dirt and removing dust mites and pet dander. The dirty water is then extracted by a special suction nozzle, leaving the carpet exceptionally clean.

*Often (mistakenly) referred to as steam cleaning, but there is a difference between the two! Steam cleaning uses steam alone to do the job, while the hot water extraction method adds cleaning agents for an extra deep clean.


This method uses special carpet cleaning equipment and a carpet cleaning solution. While it's very effective and is a quicker process overall, it's not always as thorough as hot water extraction cleaning.

Low Moisture Carpet Cleaning

Also known as VLM (Very Low Moisture), this method uses a machine that cleans with quick-drying high-foam carpet shampoo. Although most carpet cleaning companies use this method in commercial settings at the moment, it's rapidly becoming popular in domestic homes.

Dry Carpet Cleaning

Also called dry compound cleaning, this is a bit misleading as it's often not completely dry. A chemical compound powder is sprinkled over the surface of the carpets, and water is sprayed on to activate them. After a short while, the carpets are vacuumed, which removes the dry cleaning powder and any dirt that it has lifted.

Safety Note: Check with the company about the compounds they use, as some can be toxic, particularly for animals, and damaging to the environment. Non-toxic and biodegradable alternatives are available, and all good carpet cleaners use these.

This list covers a few of the most commonly-used methods of carpet cleaning, and we have tried to break them down into broad categories. However, you will find that some companies use their own terminology, and it can get very confusing! The main thing is to confirm with your chosen professional carpet cleaner which method they are going to use so that everyone is on the same page.

Who Should Use Professional Carpet Cleaning Services?

Just about anyone with wall-to-wall carpets can benefit from using a professional carpet cleaner!

Here are a few examples:

  • Landlords in need of end-of-tenancy cleaning.
  • Homeowners who have just moved in.
  • Anyone selling their home who wants to create a better impression (and boost the selling price).
  • Small or medium-sized businesses with commercial premises (for good public perception).
  • Homeowners who have been flooded (if the carpets aren't replaced - which is likely under many insurance policies!).
  • Homes with pets or where smokers are (or were) present - deep cleaning will get rid of tar/nicotine and pet dander (great for anyone with allergies!).
  • Anyone who wants their carpets refreshed to make them look new!

While there are some specific situations where carpet cleaning is necessary, it's really just a common-sense thing; you will extend the lifespan of your carpets by having them cleaned professionally.

Are Professional Carpet Cleaners Worth It?

At the Carpet Team, we think so! But then you'd expect us to say that, wouldn't you?

So, don't take our word for it; check out reviews from people who have used our service or other trusted professional cleaners, and you'll see for yourself.

On balance, we can say with confidence that having a carpet professionally cleaned is significantly cheaper than replacing it. It will also extend the life of your carpet, saving you even more money in the long term.

One of the greatest pleasures in our line of work is hearing the positive comments and seeing the expressions on customers' faces after a cleaning project is completed. The results are consistently impressive, even when clients don't believe their carpets were that dirty in the first place.

The trick is to find a company that offers an excellent carpet cleaning service at competitive rates.

And on that note, we'll move on to the next topic...

Finding Reputable Carpet Cleaning Companies

When you're parting with cash for any goods or services, you want the best for your money. And when you're inviting workers into your home, this is even more crucial. You deserve a good service performed by people you can trust. You want them to respect your home, not to treat it purely as their place of work.

And above all, you want your carpets to look fantastic when the job's done!

How do you find a reputable carpet cleaning company? There are a number of things you can try, including getting word-of-mouth recommendations. As we already said, you could check the reviews online, or you might want to search sites like Trustatrader, Checkatrade, or Safelocaltrades.

Most carpet cleaning companies will have a list of satisfied customers and will be happy to provide testimonials.

While doing your research, take note of any negative reviews to see if there are any recurring issues. Also, see how any problems were resolved, if at all.

Don't opt for the cheapest, as this doesn't often work out well. You've heard the adage, You get what you pay for, a million times, and for good reason! Only use a carpet cleaning service with experience. Hiring a local handyperson from the classified ads section is likely to end badly. As well-meaning and hard-working as they may be, they won't have the knowledge or experience to do the job justice.

Preparing For A Professional Carpet Clean

Once you have booked your professional carpet cleaners, all you need to do is make sure the place is ready. As already mentioned, professional carpet cleaning costs don't usually include the removal of furniture, so you'll need to discuss this with the company when you arrange the cleaning session.

Ideally, the cleaning area must be as free from obstacles as possible, although very heavy items can be worked around if necessary.

Basically, all you need to do is make sure that there is no clutter in the way and keep any pets or children clear of the site.

To help you further, here are some FAQs about using a professional carpet cleaner:

How Soon Can You Use The Room?

It depends on the method used. With dry carpet cleaning, the area will be dry to the touch within 15 to 30 minutes, and it's fine to walk on them after this. That's why dry cleaning for carpets is popular in commercial settings, as it doesn't interfere with the daily schedule.

As for the other methods, steam-cleaned carpets can take between 3 and 6 hours, while the other methods have a drying time of between 6 and 12 hours. However, all of this depends on the atmospheric conditions at the time. You can help by opening your windows, using a fan, or switching on your central heating.

How Many Passes Does It Take To Get A Thoroughly Clean Carpet?

In most cases, it takes a couple of passes to get the carpet cleaned, but each method varies. It may be necessary to go over the entire carpet again if it is heavily stained, or the cleaners might need to focus on areas with stubborn stains. Anything that prolongs the process may increase the price.

Why Does My Carpet Smell After Cleaning?

This is usually because it is damp, and the smell should soon disappear after a very short while. Wool carpets can have more than a hint of wet dog about them because of the natural fibres, but again, this will dissipate. If it's lingering for too long (after a few days, say), then get in touch with your professional cleaner for advice.

If your carpet feels saturated after cleaning and stays this way for a day or two afterward, then the cleaners did something wrong!

Also, it could be that the cleaning solution is giving off a smell, but these aren't usually unpleasant and will gradually go away.

How Often Should You Book A Professional Carpet Clean?

We broached this subject right back at the beginning of the article, but let's remind ourselves:

Experts and carpet manufacturers recommend a deep clean at least once a year, preferably twice. However, if you own one or more pets (dogs, especially!) or you have kids, this is raised to as much as four times a year. Smokers are also urged to do likewise. While everyone's individual circumstances are different, it's not unreasonable to suggest that the majority of people can afford to invest in professional carpet cleaning once a year. After all, it's cheaper than new carpet installation!

Which Is The Best Method Of Carpet Cleaning?

Carpet cleaning companies offer many different methods, and we covered a few here. Each company will have its own chosen favourites, but in our opinion, hot water extraction cleaning achieves the best results.

However, we will always recommend a method based on the type of carpet and how badly stained or soiled it is.

How Can I Keep The Carpet Cleaning Cost Down?

Go through each room and decide whether it really needs cleaning. A dining room, for example, that gets used a lot may have food or drink stains, so it needs to be included. On the other hand, if you have a spare room that hardly gets used, it's not going to be worth paying for it to be cleaned.

You can also keep costs down by taking care of your carpets. Vacuum them once, maybe twice a week, and mop up spills immediately. Invest in a good quality vacuum cleaner, and if you have pets make sure the hoover can cope with pet hair.

Finally, opt for something like dry carpet cleaning, as this is often a quicker and cheaper process.

The Carpet Team: The Carpet Cleaning Specialists

While getting your carpets professionally cleaned is optional, it makes good sense if you want them to look their best and to last for longer. However, the choice is yours!

At the Carpet Team, we would recommend that you at least consider having your carpets cleaned once a year or even once every couple of years. This is a sensible compromise, helping to extend their life and keep them looking and smelling fresh.

It also means that you are more likely to be able to set aside the funds to get the job done, and that's something that we realise is a consideration for many of our customers.

When you do decide to book a professional carpet cleaner, the Carpet Team is ready and waiting to advise you on any aspect you're unclear about, including any of the points raised here. And we'll get your carpets looking brand new!

While you are here, why not dive into our blog section and read up on our post on how to clean a carpet by hand.



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