cost of carpet cleaning
We explain how much carpet cleaning costs

Carpet Cleaning: How much does it cost?

Carpet cleaning for many of our clients seems like a simple task that, besides a machine and a bit of detergent, doesn't require any significant investment. Our service is often compared to renting a Rug Doctor or buying a Vax. We encounter these statements daily as carpet cleaners. Our colleagues in the electrical or plumbing trades don't face this issue. This lack of understanding stems from a lack of knowledge and comparison between professional and DIY services.

Are you seeking a professional carpet cleaner or someone who owns a cleaning machine?

It's easy to acquire a carpet cleaning machine, even a professional one; all you need is the right amount of money. However, what you cannot quickly gain is knowledge and experience, and these two factors are the most important in our profession. This is the main difference between a true carpet cleaner and someone who just owns a machine. Typically, such an individual lacks knowledge about the type of carpet they are cleaning, uses a single type of cleaning agent, and blindly applies spotters, which can permanently damage your property. Often, you might choose their services, thinking they offer the same quality for less money. This is a mistake that frequently backfires on the client. Such a person is not equipped to handle the many challenges our industry presents, and if something goes wrong, they do not answer the phone or change their number. We have been in the industry for over 18 years and do not need to hide from our clients because we do our job properly.

Beware of low quotes as you might fall victim

The internet is flooded with offers: "We'll clean your living room for £20-£30." Have you ever wondered how these people manage to survive? How many services must they perform daily to make ends meet? What impact does this have on the quality of the service? The queue of willing customers is long, and such a person might handle up to 8-10 jobs a day. Usually choosed by clients with limited knowledge of carpet cleaning who opt for this, unaware of what to expect. No one moves furniture, vacuums, selects chemical solutions appropriate for the type of carpet, or strives to ensure the best possible outcome with the least amount of moisture left in the carpet to speed up drying. Time is of the essence. 30 minutes per living room and onto the next job.
Such an approach won't deliver the results you're looking for because these pseudo-cleaners don't have the full equipment needed to perform the service properly. They can't afford to buy or maintain it. They use the cheapest machines and chemicals, are uninformed about the latest developments in our industry, and have no interest in improving their methods. They're only concerned with the number of rooms they can dampen, as it's hard to even call it cleaning. And all this in the name of saving money on your part, which often results in poor cleaning outcomes, sometimes no results at all, and carpets that are overly wet and take a long time to dry, creating an environment where bacteria and mold can thrive.
To summarise, in our industry, there are many individuals who regard themselves as carpet cleaners but are not. Customers have a very limited understanding of this sector: they do not know what results to expect, often assume it's an easy task they can manage on their own, they cannot differentiate between a properly performed service and a pseudo-service, and they are driven solely by price, mistakenly equating the possession of a machine with its proper use. This leads to many problematic situations, usually ending in the client having to pay twice or needing to accept a very mediocre final result.

Be cautious!

Every week, at least 2-3 of our jobs involve fixing the damage caused by improper cleaning done by those cheap pseudo-cleaners who treat it as a side job and have no idea what they're doing. Our clients always say the same thing: "If I had known, I would have called you right from the start!" So, I'm telling you in advance: Be cautious if you're getting a very good deal! Someone without bookings and offering low prices isn’t cheap without reason. If your carpet issues are serious—urine, heavy soiling, stains—don't trust the cheapest options. They won't be able to help you effectively because they perform the same type of process on every carpet without truly understanding how to deal with more serious problems. These skills are taught in training courses that come at a significant cost.

How much should professional carpet cleaning cost?

cleaning carpets with steam

Understanding the Pricing Factors for Carpet Cleaning

We must consider several factors. Every professional in our industry sets prices based on their own belief in the value of their service, and indeed, these discrepancies can be quite large. However, remember that not all services are equal. Some may include moving furniture or drying carpets as standard, while others may charge extra for these services. Let’s take a closer look at the factors that influence the cost of carpet cleaning.

The cost of professional carpet cleaning can vary widely depending on several factors:

  1. Geographical Location: Costs can be higher in metropolitan areas compared to rural areas.
  2. Type of Cleaning: There are different methods of carpet cleaning, such as steam cleaning (hot water extraction), dry cleaning, or VLM. Each method has different pricing.
  3. Size of the Area: Most companies charge by the square foot or by the room. The larger the area to be cleaned, the higher the cost.
  4. Condition of the Carpet: Heavily soiled or stained carpets may require more intensive and thus more expensive cleaning methods.
  5. Additional Services: Some services like stain protection, odour removal, and eco-friendly cleaning solutions can add to the cost.
  6. Furniture Moving: If the cleaning service needs to move furniture, this could also increase the cost.
  7. Drying: This is a very time consuming service so cost is increased as well. 

Thus, we see that asking the right questions of a potential service provider about what they actually offer can help us select the most advantageous deal. Typically, the service provider endeavours to present themselves in the best light, detailing what their cleaning process involves and what is included in their service, as well as what attracts an additional fee. Often, just like us, they organise their services into packages that are tailored to specific clients and particular situations. Not all cleaning is equal. Carpets with light soiling might be a quick job, but those heavily stained with urine, blood, or paint require more attention and time, and therefore, are more expensive.

Location as a factor impacting the pricing

Location plays a significant role in determining the pricing of carpet cleaning services, and it’s important to consider it from two aspects. First, as a whole region—areas with a higher cost of living typically see higher prices for carpet cleaning. A good example is London, where the price for cleaning a standard room is three times higher than in Yorkshire. Comparing carpet cleaning prices between two different regions is not practical. An interesting factor related to location is competition: in areas where competition among cleaning providers is fierce, prices may be lower to attract more customers.

Location isn’t just about the region—the specific placement of the property itself is also crucial. If it’s a house with straightforward access, the service provider usually adheres to a standard pricing model. However, if it’s a flat on the fourth floor of a building without a lift, this is considered a factor that significantly complicates the delivery of the service and subsequently raises its cost.

Type of cleaning – different methods

Different cleaning techniques can have varying costs. Options include dry cleaning, VLM, or most common hot water extraction. These methods differ in effectiveness, the use of cleaning agents, and the time required to complete the service. 

The most popular method is hot water extraction, which offers the best level of dirt removal from carpets. Most cleaners utilise this technique, though not all execute it correctly. Often, because of the steam produced by the equipment, it is referred to as steam cleaning, but in reality, it is chemical cleaning. The steam is merely a byproduct of the hot water used to rinse the carpet. 

Hot water extraction is quite time-consuming and the equipment is fairly expensive, hence the high cost of the service. Dry cleaning, using micro-sponges soaked in cleaning agents, also has its applications – mainly where water should not be used, such as with sisal, jute, and other natural fibres. This method does not require substantial investment in tools but is time-consuming; it is quite rare and specialists often command significant prices. VLM – Very Low Moisture cleaning is more popular on commercial carpets in offices but is also used as a complement to HWE in residential properties. This method is the cheapest and, when performed correctly, yields noticeable results.

Size and condition of the carpet  

The size of the area and the condition of the carpet significantly influence the cost of carpet cleaning in the UK. Firstly, pricing is often based on the total square footage of the carpeted area, with larger spaces requiring more time, labour, and cleaning products, thus increasing the overall cost. Additionally, the layout of the rooms can also affect the price; for instance, cleaning several small rooms may be costlier than cleaning a single large room due to the extra time needed for setup and movement between rooms. Secondly, the carpet’s condition plays a critical role; heavily soiled carpets need more intensive cleaning, which might involve additional treatments or repeated cleaning passes. Moreover, older carpets or those made from delicate fibres might necessitate gentle handling to avoid damage, potentially increasing the cleaning costs. 

Additional services – stain and odour removal, drying and protectors 

Additional services such as odour removal, stain removal, drying carpets, and moving furniture can significantly increase the quote for carpet cleaning due to several factors. These services are time-consuming and often require different, more advanced methods compared to standard cleaning. For instance, odour removal might involve the use of specific chemicals and techniques to neutralise smells, particularly from pets or mildew. Stain removal demands targeted treatments using special solutions that can tackle tough stains without damaging the carpet. The process of drying carpets may require the use of high-powered fans or dehumidifiers to ensure the area is dry and usable quickly, preventing mould growth. Furthermore, moving furniture not only adds to the labour involved but also necessitates careful handling to avoid damage to the furniture and premises. Each of these services utilises additional chemicals and potentially expensive equipment, reflecting in the higher overall cost of the cleaning service.

Price per standard room – most common way to create quote for customers

In Yorkshire, the price for a standard carpet cleaning service, excluding drying and protector application, is typically £40 to £70 per room, assuming it’s not a single-room service. 

Typically, carpet cleaners have a minimum charge they must receive to even start a service. A single room is a very small job, and the most time-consuming aspects are traveling to the client and setting up equipment—this minimum is intended to compensate the cleaner for the time spent on these two tasks. Usually, once they are at your place and you decide to add another room, you’ll find that it becomes cheaper. At least, that’s the case if they are honest! 🙂 Minimum charge varies from £50 to £120 but I heard about companies with minimum around £200. They simply aim to do only large jobs.


Typically, when the service includes an entire house—several rooms and stairs—and particularly if the furniture is absent, a carpet cleaner is more inclined to offer a discount, as this significantly simplifies their work. Cleaning multiple rooms in one location eliminates the need for packing and traveling, and empty rooms save time on moving furniture and ensuring its safety during the cleaning process.

Stairs – set of stair with ladning or just stair and landing costs extra?

Cleaning stairs involves heavier manual work, often requiring kneeling, which is why it typically costs more than cleaning a standard room, despite the carpet area itself often being considerably smaller. Stairs require additional equipment and usually accumulate the most dirt. Many companies charge per step for stair cleaning, but in the UK, it is more common to encounter a set price for a staircase, typically consisting of 12-14 steps, hence a fixed price predominates in the market. The usual cost ranges from about £30 to £80, depending on whether the service includes cleaning the landing and whether the stairs are part of a larger job or the sole focus of the service. This pricing reflects the additional labour and specialised equipment needed to effectively clean stairs, which is more labour-intensive than other areas.

It’s important for clients to clarify with their cleaner whether the quoted price for stair cleaning also includes the landing, and if so, to what extent. If the landing is considered as a separate area, it might affect the total cost. Clarifying these details ensures there are no surprises when it comes to pricing. In our practice, we quote a price for a set of stairs that includes the landing or hall. We specify the size of the landing, and if it is significantly large, we may add a small fee, but the price quoted over the phone usually reflects what we find on site. This transparency helps in maintaining client satisfaction and avoids any potential misunderstandings about the scope and cost of the job

Additiona Carpet Cleaning Services and avarage costs in Yorkshire area 

In the UK, the costs for additional carpet cleaning services such as odour removal, stain removal, and drying carpets can vary based on several factors including the severity of the problem, the size of the area, and the specific methods used. Here’s a general idea of what you might expect to pay:

  1. Odour Removal:

    • Odour removal can be essential for carpets affected by pet smells, smoke, or mold. This service often involves deep cleaning plus specialised treatments. Prices generally start around £50 and can go up to £200 or more, depending on the size of the carpet and the intensity of the odour.
  2. Stain Removal:

    • Removing specific stains like red wine, coffee, ink, or pet urine typically requires targeted treatments beyond standard cleaning. Costs for stain removal can range from £15 to £150 per stain, depending on the type of stain and the treatment required.
  3. Drying Carpets:

    • After deep cleaning, especially in humid conditions, additional drying might be necessary to prevent moisture-related issues like mould. The use of powerful fans or dehumidifiers might add an additional £20 to £200 to the overall service cost, based on the size of the area and the drying time required.

It’s always best to discuss specific needs and get detailed quotes from local providers to ensure that the services meet your expectations and budget. Additionally, some companies offer packages that include these additional services at a discounted rate if bundled with a standard cleaning service.

Lets summarise the carpet pricing complexity

As we can see, carpet cleaning presents numerous challenges for service providers, requiring us to be prepared for any eventuality. When clients contact us, they expect specific, effective solutions, which necessitates the purchase of proper tools and cleaning agents. Equipped in this manner, we are able to assist our clients in critical situations. Naturally, this comes at a cost and it is unfair to compare us to someone who rents a Rug Doctor from Morrisons in the morning, serves four clients, and then returns it in the evening to go back to their regular 9-5 job. Our commitment to quality and readiness to handle complex cleaning tasks justifies our pricing structure.

Prices for services in our industry vary significantly, and many companies attempt to use tactics that are not entirely fair—they offer an attractive price without specifying what the service includes. Often, when they arrive on site, it turns out additional fees are required for everything. This lack of transparency is, in itself, an abuse for us. We believe in clear and honest communication, ensuring our clients know exactly what they are paying for upfront.

It is therefore worthwhile to check if a company has good reviews, and whether these reviews seem genuine or purchased. It’s also important to verify if the company is insured and whether they show pictures of their employees at work. These factors can increase trust and allow customers to make the right choice. Ensuring that a carpet cleaning service is transparent and reputable can significantly enhance the customer experience and satisfaction.

As the owner of the company, I strive to set our prices in the middle range. I want our services to be accessible to everyone. I understand that some have a different approach, choosing to serve only larger contracts, valuing their specialized knowledge highly, and consequently charging significantly higher prices—which is their right, if they find customers willing to pay these rates. We are a popular and generally accessible company. The prices we provide are an average, derived from collaborations with platforms like Bark, Checkatrade, and our own market research. This approach helps ensure we remain competitive while still offering fair and transparent pricing to our clients.



Our advice for customers is: Ask about everything! Inquire about what is included in the price, whether the company is insured, how long they have been in the market, and whether they work alone. Don’t be tempted by offers that seem too good to be true, as they often come with a catch. The service might be of poor quality, or it turns out that the cleaner adds extra fees for everything. If you are looking for a carpet cleaner, first determine the specifics of the service you need, such as: “I want to clean the carpets in the living room, and I need them to be dry before the children return from school. We have two coffee stains and one from Bolognese sauce and red wine.” Then, call two to three places and present this to their customer service. Make sure by asking additional questions about the reliability and transparency of the company. This approach helps ensure you receive a service that meets your expectations without hidden costs. If you are living in one of our areas please contact us and we are happy to help you. 

T. Gorski

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