General Carpet Cleaning Costs in the San Francisco Area

Carpet cleaning prices can be based on a per room or total square footage cost structure.

Carpet cleaning prices for a typical three-bedroom house is around $250 while an entire house can cost anywhere from $400 to $700.

It’s common for cleaning companies to tack on additional charges if they have to move furniture, so homeowners should move furniture in advance to keep their spending down.

On a ‘per room’ basis, you might pay around $100 for the first room and then price per room should go down after that, generally speaking.

furniture that been removed from carpet cleaning area

Ideally, carpets should receive a deep cleaning at least twice a year due to the dirt, allergens, and dust that can be trapped within the carpet’s fibers.

It should be done more frequently if you have pets tracking the carpeting or if your space receives a lot of foot traffic.

Vacuuming can keep your carpets looking clean in the short-term, but the professional quality machinery that carpet cleaning companies use delivers much stronger results. This equipment can clean deep within the carpet’s fibers, removing dust, dander, mold, allergens, and other types of debris.

cta button

Per Room Carpet Cleaning Rates

Carpet cleaning prices can cost anywhere from $100 to $150 for one room, on average. Depending on the size and number of rooms, the price per room would vary. The majority of people that pay for these services are normally charged a flat rate of $40 to 60$ for each room. If a room is extremely large, it’s possible that homeowners will be charged for two rooms. Some cleaning companies charge for each square foot cleaned and most charge a minimum of around $200 for a service call in the San Francisco area.


technician measureing carpeted floor for pricing

Square Foot Carpet Cleaning Prices

The average cost for carpet cleaning, per square foot, is around .50 cents. It’s typical for companies to offer a lower rate, .35 cents / sq.ft, for example, if the entire home is being cleaned, particularly if the house is larger.

Other Costs Associated With Carpet Cleaning

You may also have to pay more if your carpets are extremely dirty. But again, if your entire home is being cleaned, you may still receive an overall discount. If you’re having 1,000 sq feet of dirty carpet cleaned, you can expect to pay approximately $450.

Companies may charge you an additional fee for your halls or entryways, even if you’ve already been quoted a per room rate. A company that charges for each square foot may be a better option for you, since you won’t be surprised by hidden costs.

Please note that there will usually be additional charges for stain and spot removal.

puppy sitting on clean carpet

Removing odors and pet stains: If your carpets have odors, you’ll be glad to know that professional carpet cleaning can take care of that, often eliminating the need to replace the carpeting. These areas will be pretreated before the company gets to work on the main cleaning. With that said, if the same area is stained repeatedly, it’s possible that the carpet pads will have to be replaced. This could cost around $300.

Cleaning upholstered furniture: Upholstery cleaning services using hot water extraction. Prices for this service start at around $100. Again, there may be discounts for additional furniture after the initial item.

Cleaning stairs: You may be charged extra for stair cleaning, but rates could be as little as $6 per step/stair.

Water restoration: If you’re dealing with water damage, you’ll want to work with a IICRC certified company. A company with the proper certification will be able to ensure that your furnishings and carpeting are not retaining any water after the cleaning is completed. The faster you take care of water damage, the better. Water can seep into your carpet pad, which means it also might have to be replaced.

Moving and removing furniture: You won’t always have to remove furniture from a room when it’s being cleaned. If the cleaning company is only cleaning the traffic area, you can leave sofas, chairs, and other furniture where it is. However, if some furnishings do need to be moved, you will be charged a minimum of $50 flat rate or per hour fee for this service. If you’re able, it’s best to prepare your home and clear the carpet area to be cleaned, prior to them arriving.

Protective treatments: Scotchgard protective treatments can make carpeting more resistant to water and stains. It makes it far easier to clean carpets after a spill. If something is spilled on your carpeting, you have between 15 and 20 minutes to clean the mess up. There’s no guarantee it won’t stain but it sure helps. This treatment typically costs upwards of $50.

Carpet wicking: If stains have reached your carpet pad, you may experience wicking. You’ll see this approximately a day or two after your carpets dry. You may see a dark spot reappear after the carpets have been cleaned. If this happens, you’ll need the cleaning company to clean your carpets a second time. That’s why it’s important to work with a cleaning company that offers a guarantee on their work.

Guarantees can be anywhere from several days to a full month.

cta button

Methods Of Carpet Cleaning

The cost of carpet cleaning can vary based on the method used. The most popular carpet cleaning method is hot water extraction, which is able to remove most dirt and bacteria within a carpet’s fibers. This cleaning technique has a shorter drying time than steam cleaning, and it uses less water as well. This is because the machine used when cleaning has strong suction power. With that said, if your carpeting is older and has weak backing, or if you have carpeting made from natural yarns, you could experience shrinkage after hot water extraction.

Hot Water Extraction (Steam Cleaning)

hot water extraction method example

This technique uses water at an extremely high temperature, and some sort of cleaning agent may be used as well. Jet nozzles give the carpets a high-pressure cleaning. A grooming tool will scrub the carpet during the process, ensuring that dirt is usually involved. A chemical substance, such as an acidic solution for wool carpets or an ammonia solution for carpets that are synthetic, can clear away dirt and oil. The carpet will be rinsed out with hot water, and then a wand will be used to suction that water away. Because the temperature of the water will be so hot, it could cause damage to carpets that are made from natural fibers. It’s also essential that the carpets have time to properly dry so that mold does not develop.

The cost of this service will vary based on the type of carpet. Berber is the least expensive type of carpeting to clean. You can expect to pay approximately 30% more for carpets made from wool or cotton.

Carpet Shampooing

carpet cleaning shampoo example

This method uses a foam shampoo and rotating brushes to fully clean the carpets. Then, the shampoo is vacuumed away without any rinsing. Some residue will remain, and it could become sticky after drying. This can make it difficult to keep your carpeting clean. Since very little moisture is used, it shouldn’t take too long for your carpets to dry.

Dry Carpet Cleaning

dry carpet cleaning method example

Dry cleaning methods are actually around 10% water-based. A powder that contains cleaning agents and solvents is applied to the carpet. When it dissolves, it will absorb dirt. The carpet is brushed, and then the residue is cleared away with a vacuum. Your carpets will be dry enough to walk on within 20 minutes.

This method doesn’t provide the kind of deep cleaning hot water extraction can offer, but it is a faster and simpler method. Unlike shampooing, the chemicals used won’t damage carpet fibers or attract dirt.

Encapsulation Cleaning Method

encapsulation cleaning method example

This cleaning method has a lot in common with dry cleaning. An applicator applies a wet foam detergent to the carpeting. That detergent will bind to the dirt in the carpet and will dry within 20 minutes. After it’s dry, the residue can be vacuumed away. This doesn’t use as much shampoo as standard carpet shampooing does, and the dry time is shorter. With that said, this method is less than ideal for carpeting that has been soiled heavily.

One perk is that the solution used will continue to gather dirt after the carpets have been cleaned. You can clear away that residue every time you vacuum.

Bonnet Cleaning Method

bonnet carpet cleaning method example

This method requires a cleaning detergent to be sprayed onto carpets. From there, a pad is soaked in a cleaning solution before it is attached to a spinning motor. It moves at speeds between 100 and 300 rpm. The dirt in the carpet is absorbed and cleared away. During this process, the pad will either be rinsed or replaced, as it becomes dirty quickly. It needs to be cleaned so that dirt doesn’t spread across your carpeting.

This type of cleaning is popular for commercial carpeting because it’s fast and dries quickly. However, only the top layer of carpeting will be cleaned. Additionally, it’s possible for the cleaning solution to build up over time. If you do choose this cleaning company, it’s possible that the warranty for your carpeting will be voided.

The Process Of Carpet Cleaning

Before you have your carpets cleaned, a cleaning service will usually ask you some questions. This can be done online, over the phone, or in-person. From there, you’ll be given a cost estimate. You’ll be asked about odors, stains, and the amount of traffic your home receives.

Before the cleaning begins, you’ll want to remove smaller pieces of furniture out of the way, particularly if they’re items that can be knocked over easily. You can keep large furniture like beds or sofas in place, but they’ll need to be covered during cleaning. You won’t want to move any items removed back until after your carpets have had the chance to dry.

Areas that are stained or heavily soiled will receive pre-treating.

The carpeting will be cleaned with care.

In some cases, companies will offer a final brush or grooming.

You can inspect your carpeting after the cleaning is complete.

To cut back on drying time, you could open windows or crank up your routine. Depending on the method used, it can take anywhere from two hours to a full day before your carpets are completely dry. In some cases, companies may have access to equipment like a Studebaker Fan, which can greatly decrease the drying time. This is because these fans take the dry air at the top of a room and move it towards your carpets.

You should make sure you avoid wearing shoes indoors while your carpets are drying.

Removing Stains Via Carpet Cleaning

Many types of stains can be removed by carpet cleaning, including blood, dye, juice, wine, coffee, tea, urine, food, nail polish, and rust stains.

Eco-Friendly Cleaning Methods

eco friendly carpet cleaning logo

In some cases, companies will use non-toxic cleaning methods that are certified green. These methods don’t use harsh chemicals like solvents or detergents. You’ll want to search for products that have either an Environmental Choice Program or Green Seal. To receive this seal, products must meet the following criteria:

Able to properly clean carpets without changing carpeting color

Toxicity limits for solutions and water are low

Does not have a negative impact on the environment

Produces minimal waste


Picking The Right Cleaning Company

It’s smart to ask questions when talking to a cleaning company, such as:

How experienced are you?

What sort of methods do you use?

How long will it be before my carpets are dry?

Do you have insurance?

How do you structure your carpet cleaning prices and what will the costs be?

Will I have to cover any additional fees?

Are you running any promotions?

You’ll want your price quote in writing in advance. You may not be able to do this if you request an estimate over the phone. After they arrive at your property, they should provide you with a written estimate.

cta button