Carpet cleaning can be costly, so follow this money-saving advice.
If vacuuming and spot-cleaning your carpet is no longer leaving the carpet as spick-and-span as you would like, it's probably time to call in the professionals. After deciding which professional cleaning method you'd like to use — dry cleaning or steam cleaning — follow these tips to help you determine the carpet cleaning cost.
1. Get an in-home estimate or use an online calculator to compare prices
Many carpet cleaning websites feature quote calculators to help you determine how much it will cost to professionally clean your carpet. The online calculators have preset prices based on square feet or per room, which must meet a minimum square footage and can reach a maximum square foot limit. If you already have some idea about the size of the rooms in your home, you may find these calculators helpful.
If you're not sure how big your rooms are, you should get an in-home estimate to ensure that you know the exact amount you will be spending. This way, you won't get any surprises about the actual amount.
2. Research the average rates in your area.
The national average for professional carpet cleaning runs around $0.30 per square foot. However, carpet cleaning rates vary throughout the country. Professional carpet cleaning may cost more in a metropolitan area than it would in a rural area. You'll want to see what the comparable rates for your area are to ensure you won't be overcharged.
3. Find out what the prices or packages include
Some companies offer packages set at different price points, while others offer an a la carte list of areas to be cleaned. Be sure to find out exactly what each package includes so you won't incur any surprise fees later for a feature you thought the package included.
Remember that some companies require a minimum total amount to provide services. Inquire about extra charges, such as stain removal and deodorizing.
4. Look for coupons and ask about discounts
Check the company's website or ask about coupons, specials and discounts. It might be more cost effective to take advantage of a package deal that includes an extra room than paying for fewer rooms separately.
However, you should be wary of any prices that appear too good to be true. Some companies provide a lower quote to gain your business but then increase the price or throw in unexpected charges once they've cleaned your carpet. Before services start, ask for include a clear breakdown of services and costs.
5. Find out if the company offers a satisfaction policy
A company or product that boasts a "satisfaction guaranteed" policy is confident in its service or product. Find out if the companies you're researching offer a policy that guarantees that you'll be happy, or that you'll get your money back if you aren't.
Editor's note: This is an updated version of an article originally published on Sept. 30, 2012.