Carpet cleaning services can be a great way to get your carpets cleaned without going to the trouble of doing it yourself. This is particularly the case if you want a deep clean after a large party with messy spills.
If you intend to wash your carpets more regularly you might want a carpet cleaner at home. We have tested the best carpet cleaners you can buy for your home, if that's the case.
Professional carpet cleaning services
A thorough cleaning service that offers a wide range of services
COIT, which has been in business since 1950, uses a truck-mounted system that focuses on thorough cleaning that will not only remove dirt, but also clear away allergens and dust mites, and this firm pays close attention to high-traffic areas. Unlike some carpet cleaning services, COIT will move furniture, then inspect it before cleaning and handle any stained areas before starting its general cleaning. You also can get carpet deodorizer, a stain-resistant coating and carpet repair help, and you can choose green cleaning options. COIT also provides an extensive range of other cleaning services including furniture, wood floors, draperies, tile and grout, air ducts, many types of stone surfaces, water damage emergencies, and restoration help for fire and smoke damage, mold and more.
One reason COIT stands out is that it gives you one of the best customer satisfaction guarantees in the business. If any of its cleaning work does not meet your “complete satisfaction,” the company pledges on its website to “re-clean, refund, repair and rectify the problem until you are satisfied.” One weak spot with COIT is its unimpressive number of certifications from the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI). Competitors had more certified branches.
A great carpet cleaning service that offers amazing value
USA Clean Master, which was founded in 2005, is a professional and budget-friendly company that offers clean carpets for less than 25 cents per square foot. This company also requires a very small minimum order, which is a budgetary bonus. USA Clean Master prides itself on using only green cleaning products made in the United States to avoid any harmful materials. This firm also trains its employees at its national headquarters, conducting a two-month training course and full background check. In addition to carpeting, USA Clean Master can help you with such things as mattress cleaning, water and fire damage, mold remediation, polishing marble floors, cleaning, repairing chimneys and other tasks.
This company had fewer branches that were certified by the IICRC and CRI than any other outfit we compared. That is not the only way to evaluate quality, of course, but both of those institutions are committed to quality and it offers some peace of mind to see the certifications. USA Clean Master also is not as widely available. They offer a decent value so if they are in your state, it is worth checking them out.
Best for allergy
Best cleaning service for allergy and asthma
Stanley Steemer, which began in 1947, also employs a truck-mounted cleaning system and states that it removes an average of 94 percent of allergens from carpeting. The company has earned certification by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America in three areas: carpet cleaning, tile and grout cleaning and hardwood cleaning. This company does not clean soiled curtains or window blinds, but can handle numerous other cleaning tasks including upholstery, natural stone, air ducts and more. This company also provides emergency water restoration. You can get green cleaning options with Stanley Steemer, as well as purchase its products like a spray bottle of spot remover, brushes or a broom for cleaning in between professional help.
One drawback with Stanley Steemer is the longer estimated drying times. The website lists double the drying time that other services do. They were also above more expensive when we compared our estimates.
Best for emergency help
Great cleaning service for when disaster strikes your home
If your home is hit by water, fire or storm damage, ServPro is a good option. It offers 24-hour emergency services and can safely remove water. Also, if the situation is bad enough, the service can help you move out temporarily while its representatives work on your house.
ServPro uses special pumps and wet/dry vacuums as well as portable and truck-mounted equipment to clear away water from your home. Its employees also use tools such as moisture detectors (hygrometers), which determine the humidity in a room, and infrared cameras, which locate water that might be difficult to see.
The company can inspect your carpet padding and the rest of the house to determine whether the flooded water was contaminated, fill you in on how much damage occurred, and alert you to any safety concerns. Further, ServPro can help clean, sanitize and deodorize your home afterward as well as get rid of mold. Some franchises can also make repairs.
We were not overly impressed with ServPro customer service during our testing. Also, ServPro doesn’t always offer specialty services like leather cleaning and color restoration, but they offer almost everything else.
Why trust us about carpet cleaning services
We spent more than 200 hours over the years researching, examining and ranking carpet cleaning services. We contacted the companies we were reviewing to gauge their responsiveness and overall courtesy. We also watched instructional videos, read industry blogs, and checked consumer reviews. We created lists of important characteristics to look for in a carpet cleaning service and put this information into a proprietary chart that weighed the features for each company and helped guide our rankings. We also spoke with professionals.
Andrew Pappas, the owner of Carpet Depot in Phoenix, has some practical advice: “A carpet should be vacuumed two to three times a month so the dirt from the outside world doesn’t become embedded in the yarn. A carpet should be steam cleaned one to two times a year, depending upon the amount of traffic that comes through it.”
He recommends steam cleaning to other methods since it is so thorough and carefully extracts moisture and dirt from the fibers. “Steam cleaning is more efficient and gentle to the yarn.”
Do-it-yourselfers can buy home carpet cleaners if they want, but Pappas cautions against using machines with swirling brushes. “Carpet doesn’t need to be scrubbed – it rips the tops of the yarn open.”
Tom Potter, owner of CarpetsPlus COLORTILE in Pocatello, Idaho, is another advocate of truck-mounted steam- or hot-water extraction cleaning, especially since the top manufacturers recommend it. “You get better suction and hotter water.”
Potter also warns that you can unknowingly void your carpet’s warranty if you rent or buy a home cleaning machine, or spray some product on your carpet and just vacuum it up. Good quality carpeting that is well maintained can last 15-20 years, so your warranty is an important consideration. Potter says home cleaning for the occasional spill or spot is fine if you carefully follow the manufacturer’s stain removal chart.
How we evaluated carpet cleaners
In our review of professional carpet cleaning services, we wanted to make a fair comparison involving all the companies we reviewed, and there are a few locations where the service area overlaps nationally for our top 10 choices – and Los Angeles County is one. We called the national headquarters for each company multiple times, but we choose Los Angeles County regarding certain information so we could get answers for the same locale from each firm and compare them. Among the many questions we asked were things like estimated cost and minimum required order, although we acknowledge that prices and some offerings can vary depending on where you live.
While contacting each firm, we paid close attention to the quality of customer service we got with each company, and scored them based on the responsiveness and attentiveness of the employees we talked to. Since a company's employees are potentially going to be coming into your home, you want to feel comfortable with them and feel safe trusting them with your property.
We also calculated cost effectiveness for the same services from each company. We gave higher ratings to the competitors that offer a relatively low cost per square foot. We also looked for those with short estimated drying times and appointment windows so you do not have to take a half-day off work waiting for the technicians to arrive. We did not take into account any specials, coupons or deals offered at the time, instead comparing the unmodified base price offered by each company.
How much does professional carpet cleaning cost?
We got estimates from each service for cleaning three carpeted rooms of average size, approximately 144 square feet each. We also got estimates for cleaning a 3,000-square-foot commercial space. Not surprisingly, the prices varied. There was about a $90 gap between the highest and lowest price for the same residential job and the average price to clean the carpets was $128. Prices for cleaning the commercial space differed far more – with a $1,050 difference between the highest and lowest price for the same job. All these were just estimates, but the difference in pricing highlights the importance of shopping around.
Our top-ranking services use truck-mounted steam- or hot-water extraction, which involves injecting carpet with cleaning solution and hot water and then removing it with powerful suction. Most top carpet manufacturers recommend this approach.
Some homeowners worry about steam cleaning and the potential for mold since it involves moisture. However, the EPA notes that if carpets dry within 24-48 hours, mold is unlikely to grow. The best professional cleaning services use equipment that removes most of the moisture to ensure carpets dry at least this fast, and usually much faster.
Many companies can make your life easier by cleaning other parts of your home, such as window blinds, air ducts, hardwood floors, leather furniture and other items. Depending on your lifestyle, you may also need stain protectant, pet odor removal or dyeing services, at times, to return carpets to near-original condition. Many top-ranked firms have branched out to take on such tasks as cleaning concrete floors, tile and grout, natural stone and other surfaces. In addition, some firms provide additional services such as mold cleaning, document drying and more.