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Cost guide: carpet and upholstery cleaning

We asked an expert carpet and upholstery cleaner for tips on how to make carpet and three-piece suite cleaning more affordable.

Clean an accidental spillage on a carpet

Type of job

Professional stain removal following a spill onto a carpet.

What adds expense?

“Throwing everything you’ve got under the kitchen sink at the spillage can permanently set the stain or damage the carpet,” says Tim Hopkins from Hertfordshire-based carpet and upholstery cleaning business A Brighter Home.

“In this case, complete replacement of the carpet may be the only option.”

How can I make it cheaper?

Ask your carpet cleaner whether the whole room really needs to be cleaned.

“If the carpet is in generally good condition, apart from the spillage, it could be possible to have a professional deal with the stain and blend in the surrounding area,” says Tim.

“This can be undertaken at a much more economical rate than cleaning the whole room.”

When you buy a new carpet or have one professionally cleaned, always ask for a ‘stainguard’ treatment to be applied – it makes removing stains in future far easier.

Carpet cleaning in a new home

Type of job

Having carpets cleaned in a new home you are moving into.

What adds expense?

“If at all possible and logistics allow, don’t move all your furniture in and then arrange your carpet cleaning,” says Tim. “It’s very likely your large items of furniture will end up in different places in the room to the previous occupants.

“Moving furniture around to clean the carpets takes longer and so makes the job more expensive.”

How can I make it cheaper?

“Always try to arrange to clean the carpets before you move in,” recommends Tim. “An empty house is always cheaper to clean because it doesn’t take as long.”

Use carpet offcuts and decorating sheets to protect freshly cleaned carpets on the moving day.

General carpet cleaning

Type of job

Carpet cleaning in several rooms or throughout the whole house.

What adds expense?

Tim says: “The longer a job takes, the more it will cost. Prepare your home before the carpet cleaner arrives by clearing rooms and generally tidying up to avoid a surcharge before work even begins.”

How can I make it cheaper?

At the point of hiring the carpet cleaner, talk to them about what you can do to prepare so that the job will be carried out quickly and efficiently.

“Make sure your chosen carpet cleaner understands that if you commit to carrying out this preparation, you expect the job to be cheaper,” says Tim.

Consider asking your carpet cleaner to just quote for walkways (areas of high use) to be cleaned. This can work well in areas such as bedrooms where the configuration of the room generally remains the same. Cleaning the carpet around items such as large beds without moving them can substantially reduce the cost of the job.

Upholstery cleaning

Type of job

Cleaning a three-piece suite.

What adds expense?

“The longer a sofa takes to clean, the the more it will generally cost,” says Tim.

“Lots of loose, double-sided cushions will take much longer to clean than fixed, single-sided


How can I make it cheaper?

“If your suite has fixed cushions and you’re obtaining quotes by phone, ensure the upholstery cleaner knows this in order to get the best price.”

Don’t sit on your furniture in dirty clothes and vacuum the sofa and chairs regularly. This will better maintain their condition and avoid unnecessary professional upholstery cleaning costs.

Regular carpet cleaning

Type of job

General carpet cleaning and maintenance to achieve economies of scale.

What adds expense?

“Leaving your carpets for many years without professional carpet cleaning can result in them looking soiled,” says Tim. “This also makes it much harder for a cleaner to restore them.

“Also, cleaning a small area or one room will always be proportionately more expensive per square metre than cleaning several rooms.

“Professional carpet cleaners can only attend two to three jobs each day, so a lot of the cost of a job is in the call-out charge,” explains Tim.

How can I make it cheaper?

Many cleaners offer discounts to repeat customers who frequently use their services because the job will often be quicker to carry out if the carpets are less soiled overall,” says Tim.

“Also, adding on second, third and fourth rooms can make it much cheaper per square metre. Most carpets soiling is caused by tiny particles from outside being trodden into the carpet. Don’t wear outside shoes on carpets and vacuum regularly, ideally at least twice a week, to remove this loose soiling. Your carpets will stay cleaner for much longer."

Find carpet and upholstery cleaners in your local area.

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