How much does it cost to clean a rug?
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Rug Cleaning Cost Guide
Updated: August 18, 2022
Rugs add ambiance and warmth to any room by creating style, comfort, and function. However, in time, heavy foot traffic causes a buildup of dirt and debris, and cleaning is required to renew its appearance. When placed in high traffic areas typically cleaning is required at least once a year. Professional services charge by the square foot instead of by the hour.
The national average cost of having an 8’ x 10’ synthetic fiber rug professionally cleaned with stain removal technology and a protective stain-repellent coating ranges from $170 to $530, with most people paying $370. At the low end of the spectrum, for a typical dry cleaning with no stain removal or protective coating, you pay $160. At the high end of the spectrum, for extra rug washing of a heavily soiled rug, stain removal, stain protective coating treatment, and odor removal, you pay up to $900.
Rug Cleaning Price
|Rug Cleaning Cost|
|National average cost||$370|
Rug Cleaning Cost per Square Foot
Professional cleaners charge by the square foot, with prices averaging from $1 to $8 per sq.ft. The price range depends on the method used, such as dry or steam cleaning, or handwashing. Other factors increase the cost per square foot, such as if the item requires stain removal, application of stain preventative treatments, or odor removal treatment.
|Size||Cost (Labor Included)|
|3x3 (9 sq.ft.)||$9 - $72|
|5x8 (40 sq.ft.)||$40 - $320|
|8x12 (96 sq.ft.)||$96 - $768|
|10x12 (120 sq.ft.)||$120 - $960|
|10x14 (140 sq.ft.)||$140 - $1,120|
|12x12 (144 sq.ft.)||$144 - $1,152|
|15x20 (300 sq.ft.)||$300 - $2,400|
Cost to Clean a Rug by Material
Rugs are fashioned from either natural or synthetic materials and the average price of cleaning natural materials is $4 to $8 per sq. ft., while the price to clean synthetic materials averages $2 to $4 per sq. ft. Synthetic fibers are highly resilient and typically stain repellant. The man-made fibers include polypropylene and viscose. They tend to be the least expensive and easiest to clean. Natural fiber options include silk, wool, cotton, jute, and sisal. Wool is usually the most expensive natural fiber to clean. However, wool is naturally very stain-resistant and durable, which makes it a popular upscale decor choice. Usually, washing natural fiber options increases the price of washing by around 20 percent. Older, delicate options can cost as much as 35 percent more to clean.
|Material||Cost per Sq.Ft. (Labor Included)|
|Polypropylene||$2 - $4|
|Viscose||$2 - $4|
|Sisal||$4 - $7|
|Seagrass||$4 - $7|
|Jute||$4 - $7|
|Cotton||$4 - $7|
|Silk||$5 - $8|
|Wool||$5 - $8|
Polypropylene Rug Cleaning
The average price to clean polypropylene fiber is from $2 to $4 per sq. ft., depending on the method used (either dry or steam cleaning), degree of staining, and whether a protective stain repellent is applied following the washing. Polypropylene is a common synthetic material that is popular due to its durability, color-fast performance, and stain repellent characteristics. The fibers are very easy to clean using dry or steam methods. After steaming, the fibers dry quickly.
Viscose Rug Cleaning
Viscose rug fibers are synthetic and average $2 to $4 per sq. ft. to clean depending on the degree of soiling and whether you opt to have a protective stain repellant applied. Although a viscose option has vibrant colors and is somewhat stain-resistant, the fibers can yellow if a steam based method is used. Ideally, the fibers should be cleaned using a dry clean method. The dry clean method also prevents the fading of the colors.
Sisal Rug Cleaning
Sisal rugs are highly absorbent and do not respond well to water or dampness. Sisal options averages $4 to $7 per sq. ft. to clean, depending on the degree of soiling. If you live in a humid climate, you should probably avoid this natural fiber. Sisal options respond to dry methods to remove dirt, debris, and stains. You should avoid steaming these fibers. Exposure to moisture can make the fibers mold and mildew quickly.
Seagrass Rug Cleaning
Seagrass rugs are natural fibers that require the same care as sisal options. The price to clean a seagrass item using a dry clean method ranges from $4 to $7 per sq. ft. depending on the degree of soiling. They are highly absorbent and do not respond well to water. Any spill must be quickly blotted dry. If you plan to have your seagrass professionally cleaned, you’ll want to make sure that they only use a dry cleaning method or the fibers can quickly start to mold, mildew, and break down.
Jute Rug Cleaning
Jute is a natural fiber. The price to clean a jute item runs from $4 to $7 per sq.ft., depending on the degree of soiling. You should avoid getting the jute wet. If a spill occurs, you’ll need to blot it up promptly. When a jute item is professionally cleaned, always opt for a dry clean method. Never steam clean a jute item or use liquid cleansers. If jute is exposed to moisture, it can mold, mildew, and start to fall apart.
Cotton Rug Cleaning
Cotton is a natural fiber, but some rugs are a combination of natural and synthetic materials. The charge to clean a cotton item ranges from $4 to $7 per sq.ft. You’ll want to pay attention to the label to determine if it is pure cotton or a blend. Refreshing a cotton item is typically carried out with dry methods, but some professional cleaners use steam. Do not saturate the item while steam cleaning to avoid the potential for mold and mildew to develop.
Silk Rug Cleaning
Many upscale and antique options are made from silk. The process is extremely complicated and time-consuming, so it is costly at $5 to $8 per sq. ft. Water is extremely harmful to a silk item. Heat and humidity can easily cause fibers to twist and shorten. Colors may fade and start to bleed. A professional cleaner will use either a dry clean method or full submersion handwashing with air bubbles to loosen and remove debris.
Wool Rug Cleaning
High-end wool items naturally repel dirt and look amazing for generations. The complexity of the wool options is why the cleaning prices are high. Cleaning a wool option has an average price of $5 to $8 per sq. ft., depending on the degree of soiling. The wool fibers are all-natural and highly durable. A professional cleaner will evaluate the wool item to determine the best method to undertake. Some cleaners will use a steam method, and others will turn to a dry clean method. Even hand washing is an option in some cases.
Rug Cleaning Prices by Method
There are different methods to clean a rug with a price between $1 and $8 per sq.ft. The most common one is dry cleaning. Sometimes vacuuming is not enough to effectively remove dirt, allergens, and dust. Instead, you’ll need to bring in a professional cleaner to clean the fibers effectively. They will use either a dry clean, steam or washing machine. Usually, the rug can be cleaned in the home, but on rare occasions, the cleaner might have to take it to clean it in a washing machine.
|Method||Cost per Sq.Ft. (Labor Included)|
|Steam Cleaning||$1 - $4|
|Dry Cleaning||$2 - $5|
|Shampooing/Handwashing||$3 - $8|
|Washing Machine||$3 - $8|
Steam Clean a Rug
The price to steam clean your rug averages $1 to $4 per sq. ft. You can use a professional steam service to steam clean synthetic or machine washable items. The steam cleaner uses steam to dissolve and loosen dirt, grime, and grease. Also, the steam clean method kills 99 percent of all bacteria, leaving it exceptionally pristine. However, some fibers cannot withstand the moisture and high heat of a steam cleaner.
Rug Dry Cleaning
The average price to dry clean runs from $2 to $5 per sq. ft. Rug dry cleaning involves using dry chemical compounds and other solvents to clean without water or steam. The chemicals are placed directly on the surface, where they effectively break down dirt and grime. Depending on how stained it appears, the cleaner might use spot solvent to clean certain areas and lift away stains.
The fee for shampooing averages from $3 to $8 per sq.ft. A professional cleaner might use a shampooer to clean an extremely dirty rug effectively. They shampoo and lift away as much dirt as possible with this method and then suck up all the water to leave an almost completely dry item. This method might not be ideal for certain types of fibers. If there are stains on the surface, the cleaner might opt to clean it by hand to focus on the problem area and lift away the dirt. Shampooing does not always refer to cleaning the item “by hand.” Hand cleaning is when a cleaner takes it to a facility to use a specialized washing machine.
Rug Washing Machine
The average price to have the item picked up, cleaned, and returned is $3 to $8 per sq.ft. Industrial washing machines have been used for decades to clean certain types of rugs. The use of a washing machine is often referred to as cleaning the item “by hand.” The professional cleaner will roll up the soiled item and take it to the facility, where it will be professionally washed in a state-of-the-art machine. After it is cleaned and dried, the professional will bring it back to your home.
Rug Cleaning Cost by Style
The most common style is an area rug. They have a $2 to $8 per sq. ft. cost to be cleaned. When exploring the price to clean an area option, you will learn that there is a wide variety of styles with differing prices. Some types have a reputation for being difficult to clean due to the fibers used to make the item. However, others are somewhat easy to clean and not as expensive. Often they are made from certain fibers that require very specific care. Below is a chart that includes the price to clean various materials including the price of labor.
|Style||Cost per Sq.Ft. (Labor Included)|
|Area||$2 - $8|
|Oriental||$3 - $8|
|Persian||$3 - $8|
|Handmade||$3 - $8|
|Indian||$3 - $8|
|Woven||$3 - $8|
|Flat Weave||$3 - $8|
Clean Area Rug
The cost to clean an area rug averages from $2 to $8 per sq. ft. The price depends on many factors, such as the type of material, size, and degree of soiling. An area option can be made of synthetic fibers, wool, sisal, jute, silk, and more. Also, prices depend on the method used, such as dry methods, steam methods, or handwashing. A professional cleaner will evaluate the rug to determine which method is the most effective.
Oriental Rug Cleaning
The price to clean an oriental rug ranges from $3 to $8 per sq. ft. The price varies depending on the item’s age, material, origin, and size. The manufacturing process also impacts how it will be cleaned, such as if it is machine-made, handmade, hooked, or tufted. Oriental items are made from either wool or a wool/synthetic combo. Authentic Oriental options require hand washing, but machine-made Oriental options can often be steam or dry cleaned.
Persian Rug Cleaning
The price to clean a Persian rug averages from $3 to $8 per sq. ft. This type of option is typically made from wool. Some are new, and others might be centuries old. A professional cleaner will need to look at the item to evaluate the best method to effectively remove the soiling. An authentic Persian option is usually made from either silk or wool. It boasts hand knotting with asymmetrical Persian knots. Most Persian options need hand washing, but others might be able to undergo steam or dry methods.
Handmade Rug Cleaning
The price to clean a handmade item ranges from $3 to $8 per sq.ft. A handmade option is a work of art that might be made from a wide array of materials. A professional cleaner will evaluate the fibers to determine what has been used in the rug’s creation. Often handmade options are wool or silk. However, if you purchase an option from Southeast Asia or various islands, it might be woven from sisal, jute, or other material.
Indian Rug Cleaning
Most Indian options average from $3 to $8 per sq.ft. Indian options could be a form of Oriental material or an item woven in the Southwest by Native Americans. The term is used very loosely, so a professional will need to evaluate it to determine its material and the price to clean the soiled item. Most Indian ones are made from all-natural fibers. However, some contain a mixture of natural and synthetic fibers.
Woven Rug Cleaning
Prices to clean a woven option usually range from $3 to $8 per sq.ft. depending on the type of fiber and the methods used to clean it. Woven options are fragile and respond best to dry methods to remove dirt and soiled areas. A cleaner will evaluate the item to determine the best type of chemical to remove the problem areas and return its pristine beauty. Never attempt to use wet methods on woven. Doing so can ruin the item.
Flat Weave Rug Cleaning
The price to clean flat weave options averages from $3 to $8 per sq.ft. depending on the type of fiber. Flatweave rugs are either hand-woven or machine-made. The machine-made options tend to be easier to clean and are often made from a variety of synthetic substances. Handwoven flatweave options may be made from wool, silk, sisal, jute, cotton, and other fibers. Usually, the best way to clean the item is by using a dry clean method.
Rug Cleaning Prices by Treatment
The average price of adding a treatment to your project is $1 to $3 per sq.ft. or $10 to $75 per rug or stain. Additional charges may be incurred during the process, depending on certain problems that can occur. It may be a stain, odor problem, moth issue, or require an antimicrobial disinfectant or wool treatment. Each treatment costs extra and will be added to the overall price to clean. Typically, the professional will discuss the additional treatments with you before undertaking them.
|Treatment||Cost (Materials Only)|
|Stain Protection Sealing||$1 - $2/sq.ft.|
|Moth Prevention||$1 - $2/sq.ft.|
|Wool Treatment||$1 - $2/sq.ft.|
|Antimicrobial Disinfectant||$2 - $3/sq.ft.|
|Stain Removal||$10 - $50/stain|
|Odor Removal||$15 - $75/rug|
Rug Stain Protection Sealing
The price of the treatment ranges from $1 to $2 per sq.ft. After the rug is cleaned, many people add stain protection sealing. In fact, virtually all professionals highly recommend applying the chemicals to protect your item from future stains and help extend its life. It also reduces the time needed between services. Depending on the type, certain chemicals are applied to the newly cleaned item to create a protective seal that repels oily stains. Many professional cleaners automatically include the price of the sealer in the price of the project.
The price of this treatment averages $1 to $2 per sq.ft. In some areas, moth infestations occur frequently. The moths quickly damage the natural fibers, and holes develop. If you plan to roll up your item and store it after it has been cleaned, you will want to have a moth preventative applied to protect the material during storage. Moth prevention usually requires two treatments to be effective against the pests.
The price of wool treatments runs from $1 to $2 per sq.ft. Wool is a natural fiber that is at the mercy of Mother Nature, even in your home. With proper care, wool options last for generations. A wool treatment is applied after the wool is cleaned to extend its life. The treatments focus on preventing dry rot and the buildup of bacteria and fungi. Wool treatments also reduce allergens that can impact humans and pets in the home.
The price of having an antimicrobial disinfectant applied averages an additional $2 to $3 per sq.ft. Disease-causing microbes can infest rugs, textiles, antiques, and beds. When you have your item cleaned, consider paying extra to have an antimicrobial disinfectant applied to sanitize the it and eliminate allergens. If you have small children or pets in the home, verify that the disinfectant is safe for them. Nontoxic products perform just as well as older, toxic products.
Rug Stain Removal
Stain removal costs $10 to $50 depending on the size of the stain, age, and treatment method. A specialist will use UV lights paired with moisture meters to locate stains. They will evaluate the stain to determine the correct chemical or enzyme treatment formula to lift away the stain. Not all stains can be removed. If the stain is deep or old, the cleaner might not completely wipe it away. In some cases, they can reduce its appearance.
Odor removal price averages $15 to $75 per item. If you have pets, children, or smoke in your home, your item can easily have unpleasant odors and require an odor removal process to smell new again. The formula used by most professional cleaners contains bio enzymes that kill off odor-causing bacteria. Antimicrobial treatments further inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi, which can lead to odor development.
Rug Cleaning Cost by Brand
The average price of hiring a well-known company to clean your rug ranges between $65 and $400 per item. Certain professional companies, such as Stanley Steemer, Dalworth, and Chem-dry are available in many locations. The chains have made a name for themselves by offering a variety of professional services at affordable prices. Dalworth is not available in all states, so check your region to determine if they service your area. Below is a table that includes Stanley Steemer prices and two other companies.
|Company||Price per Rug (Labor Included)|
|Chem-dry||$65 - $200|
|Stanley Steemer||$100 - $250|
|Dalworth||$150 - $400|
Chem-dry typically charges from $65 to $200 per item. Chem-dry has been in business for over 40 years. The nationwide chain offers specialized chemical dry cleaning methods. The process removes up to 98 percent of all household allergens such as dust mites and pet dander. The method, although not completely “dry” due to the chemicals, uses 80 percent less water than steaming. Items are completely dry within hours. They do the job on-site.
Stanley Steemer Rug Cleaning
Typically, Stanley Steemer charges $1 to $3 per sq.ft. depending on the type of rug and soil level. They charge either a $100 or $250 minimum fee to come to your home and clean. They offer additional treatments such as deodorizing, which averages from $25 to $75 per item. The Stanley Steemer method uses a combination of steam with hot water extraction. They perform the job in your home or off-site.
Dalworth Rug Cleaning
Dalworth services have a price of $150 to $400 and do not offer on-site services. They pick up the item and take it to their facility. All items go through a complete evaluation and air dusting. They do clear water rinsing and full immersion, it is then air dried. They perform fluffing, brushing, and combing. Rug fringe washing and combing are included. They offer options like insect repellant and fiber protector. Then, it is returned to your home.
Labor Cost to Clean a Rug
From the average price of $370 to clean an 8x10 rug, $200 is labor, and $170 materials, including $30 in stain treatment and $100 in stain protection coat. This type of service is usually charged per sq.ft., if charged per hour the price of the labor is around $50 to $60 per hour. Of those two, labor is the most expensive. However, add-ons services and products can also drive up the price. Note that not all companies include a stain protectant in the price, so you’ll need to verify what’s included.
A professional company will come to your home to either steam clean, shampoo, or dry clean your item. In some cases, the item might need to be removed and taken to a specialized facility for handwashing. Each method carries its own expenses. Handling and/or transport fees may be added in, too, if the company must move things. Many professional cleaners perform repairs when needed.
Rug Cleaning Pickup and Delivery
Pickup and delivery companies that do not regularly offer the service will often charge an additional $25 to $50 per item to pick up it up and return it after it's been cleaned. If the process includes pickup and delivery of the item, most companies include the cost in the price. However, some companies only pick up and deliver items for offsite services under certain circumstances.
How Often Should You Clean Rugs?
As a rule of thumb, you should clean them roughly every 12 to 18 months. However, many factors affect your actual maintenance schedule. The type you own affects how often it should be cleaned. For instance, you should clean hand-woven options infrequently, while mass-produced, machine-woven items can be cleaned more frequently. Of course, you also need to think about the construction material. It also affects how often it should be cleaned. Synthetic fibers can be cleaned more often, while some natural fibers, such as jute, should be cleaned less frequently. Suit your cleaning schedule to the type of rug, or you risk damaging it.
You’ll also want to consider your family. If you have pets and kids, you have lots of footprints, dirt brought in from the outdoors, and pet hair and dander, requiring more frequent maintenance. Depending on the level of soiling, you may need to clean very frequently and/or deep clean your rugs. The location is another factor to take into account. An option in a guest bedroom needs much less frequent maintenance than one in the foyer or a heavily-used office or family room. That is compounded by lifestyle habits. For instance, if you don’t wear shoes in the house, your cleaning requirements will be reduced. Finally, think about the color. It can play a big role in frequency. Both very light and dark colors show dirt, debris, and pet hair more than neutral colors. So, a white item and a black item might need pretty frequent cleaning. Gray and beige options usually need less frequent cleaning.
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
A professional rug maintenance company will often offer repair for any damage. To repair an item, they may charge from $2 to $8 per sq. ft. They average from $200 to $500 to fix fraying or a cigarette burn. Fringe repair, binding, color correction, mold/water damage repair, patching, restoration, smoothing, stretching, shaving, and back repairs are just a few services offered by professionals.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- DIY. The DIY method of renting a cleaner from a store kiosk works in most cases. The average rental cost is $30 to $60 per day.
- In-house jobs. In-house jobs can be slightly more expensive because of travel fees, but it helps you avoid transporting a large rug.
- Off-site jobs. One of the benefits of off-site jobs is that it does not disrupt your home, but the transportation of large or fragile items is difficult. The company must pick up the rug and transport it to the facility for specialized jobs. Once it is clean, they will return it. The process takes time and costs more than on-site work.
- Specialist. Specialists may be needed for fixing burn holes, which could have a price of $150 to $225. Some services repair mold and water damage for an additional fee (around $200 to $300). Others may refer you to a restoration specialist.
- Discounts and coupons. Many companies offer coupons or discounts if you schedule regular maintenance appointments.
- Minimum price. Note that some providers require a minimum price or rug size.
- Specialty rugs. Many options, such as Persians and Orientals, are expensive or are considered to be antiques. They are regularly sold or auctioned, especially if they are antique. Many homeowners ensure these items with their homeowners' insurance policies and need an appraisal performed. Before having any item appraised, it should undergo a thorough cleaning to ensure that it looks its best to appraise for a high dollar amount.
- How much does it cost to clean an 8x10 rug?
It has a price between $170 and $530.
- What is the cheapest way to clean a rug?
The cheapest way to clean a rug is by hand, with a mixture of soap, water, and vinegar. Club soda can help to get out tough stains, like wine. Renting a steam cleaner is the next cheapest option.
- Is it worth it to clean an area rug?
Yes, it’s worth it. Often, stains can be removed with a little elbow grease and the right tools/products, leaving your rug looking new. If the stain does not come out with at-home job, you may need to consider steaming or dry cleaning.
- How much does it cost to clean a rug?
The price averages $1 to $8 per sq.ft. depending on the rug type and the degree of soiling.
- How much does it cost to dry clean a rug?
The price of dry cleaning averages $2 to $5 per sq.ft.
- Can you pressure wash a wool rug?
You should never pressure wash wool. You cannot get the water out of the wool fibers effectively, and it may start to mold.
- Can you steam a rug to remove wrinkles?
Steaming can smooth out wrinkles by rejuvenating and smoothing the fibers.
- Can you steam clean an area rug on the hardwood floor?
Hardwood is susceptible to water damage from steam and moisture. Great care should always be taken when trying to steam clean an area rug on a hardwood floor.