By Gene and Katie Hamilton
The Carpet and Rug Institute says that quality carpeting, when properly maintained, should last 10 to 15 years, which makes it a long-term investment. But when that carpeting gets dirty with blotchy stains, it's an eyesore. To solve the problem, you can hire a professional cleaning service or you can rent a carpet-cleaning machine and do it yourself. Either approach should give you fresh, clean carpet fibers.
A carpet cleaning service will charge $177 to clean approximately 300 square feet of carpeting. Before the service arrives, you're usually responsible for removing small furniture and other items; they remove the large pieces. Using a wand and hose, the serviceperson applies a cleaning agent into the carpet pile and water in an extractor to recover the used solution and soil. This is done from a truck-mounted unit outside the home or by a portable system brought into the home.
You can rent a rug-cleaning machine for $30 a hour plus $20 more for the cleaning solution, and do the job yourself, pocketing a hefty 52 percent savings. The machine is easy to use and requires a grounded three-prong, 120-volt outlet to operate. If the machine you use is in good working order and you operate it correctly, you're likely to get good results. If not, you may not be satisfied. To expedite the drying time, use several fans along with a dehumidifier or air conditioner to pull moisture out of the air. Depending on the humidity level, carpeting can take several hours to dry, so don't plan to return furniture to the room on the same day it is cleaned.
Don't want to do the job? Click
Home Advisor, a free referral service that connects homeowners with local prescreened contractors. Type "clean carpeting" in their Find Pros search box.
We've had good results both hiring a pro and doing it ourselves. However, if the carpeting has pet odors or stains, especially in high traffic areas, it's best to hire a professional service.
Here's advice from the Carpet and Rug Institute about Selecting the Right Carpet.
That sums it up. Knowing the average cost to clean carpeting lets you compare doing it yourself with what you can expect to pay a contractor. To customize the cost to where you live add your ZIP Code in the cost box.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2020