Get Quotes from Top Carpet Cleaning Services in San Francisco, CA

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Carpet Cleaner

Regular vacuuming can be a tiresome chore, yet it is still not enough to properly rid your carpets of dirt, dust mites, debris, pet dander, and other allergens often trapped within. Deep cleaning will eliminate these pollutants and help you, your kids, and your pets avoid the health implications of living with dirty carpets. While some people try to handle deep cleaning by themselves, they often end up with a discolored carpet or a mold-infested one. Handling cleaning chemicals and heavy-duty cleaning tools require some expertise that has already been mastered by carpet cleaning professionals.

However, before you hire anyone claiming to be a carpet cleaning pro in San Francisco, you should ask the following questions to determine their proficiency at completing your job satisfactorily:

How Much Do You Charge Compared to Other Carpet Cleaning Companies in San Francisco?

It is crucial to determine how much a carpet cleaning company charges for its services before signing any agreements with them. This helps you get a clear idea of how much you will have to pay at the end of the day and ensures that disagreements and misunderstandings with your carpet cleaners are avoided. Many carpet cleaning companies in San Francisco typically calculate their charges based on the square footage of the carpet cleaned or the type of cleaning service provided. Nevertheless, the overall cost of getting your carpets professionally cleaned in the city is usually determined by the following factors:

  • The type of carpeting material 
  • Carpet size 
  • The carpet’s current condition
  • The cleaning techniques and supplies used
  • Your location within the city
  • The urgency of the job
  • The labor intensity of the job
  • Additional cleaning services, like water damage restoration, pet odor removal, house cleaning

Many reputable San Francisco-based carpet cleaning companies offer prospective customers free cost estimates during the negotiation process, and it is advisable to get and compare these estimates from at least three different companies before making your ultimate hiring choice. However, be wary if any of these companies request that you sign paperwork before providing you with a cost estimate. This suggests that the company is involved in dishonest and possibly fraudulent business practices.

The list below provides average costs for different kinds of carpet cleaning services offered by professional carpet cleaning companies in San Francisco:

Carpet Cleaning Cost Estimates per Square Foot

250 square feet
$50 - $120
500 square feet
$120 - $235
1,000 square feet
$225 - $450
1,500 square feet
$370 - $540
2,000 square feet
$440 - $850
2,500 square feet
$500 - $1,200

Carpet Cleaning Cost Estimates per Room

1 room
$40 - $90
2 rooms
$50 - $180
3 rooms
$75 - $320
4 rooms
$90 - $320
5 rooms
$140 - $650

Carpet Cleaning Cost Estimates Based on Cleaning Method

Steam/Hot Water Extraction
$100 - $375
Carpet Shampooing
$100 - $265
Dry Cleaning
$65 - $140
$30 - $95
$80 - $200

Carpet Cleaning Cost Estimates Based on Carpet Type

Synthetic fiber carpets
$60 - $300
Natural fiber carpets
$100 - $450

Carpet Cleaning Cost Estimates Based on Type of Service

Green carpet cleaning
$110 - $230
Carpet stain removal
$30 - $450
Upholstery cleaning
$50 - $100
Pet stain and odor cleaning/removal
$30 - $55 per hour
Stair carpet cleaning
$2 - $5 per stair
Water extraction
$400 – $2,000
Furniture moving
$10 - $50
Carpet patch repair
$100 - $250
Carpet re-stretching
$100 - $300
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Do You Conduct Background Checks on Your Carpet Cleaning Technicians?

In addition to proper experience, equipment, and supplies, trustworthiness and reliability are crucial criteria to look out for when hiring carpet cleaners in San Francisco, especially when you consider that these cleaners will have access to your home and valuables. For this reason, you should always find out if your prospective carpet cleaning companies carry out background checks on their cleaners before you sign any service contracts with them. Working with carpet cleaners that have been thoroughly vetted goes a long way in giving you peace of mind that theft, robberies, and other similar offenses will not occur during the provision of your required services. 

To this end, be wary if any carpet cleaning company you are considering for the work cannot guarantee you or show you proof that its employees have been thoroughly vetted. Many professional carpet cleaning companies in the San Francisco area typically peruse the following records when vetting their employees:

  • Court records
  • Credit records
  • Criminal records
  • Driving records
  • Educational and certificate verification
  • Financial records
  • Sex offender lists
  • Social Security number
  • State licensing records
  • Worker’s compensation records

Are Your Carpet Cleaning Technicians Certified By the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC)?

A practical approach to determining if your prospective carpet cleaning company can suitably provide your required services satisfactorily is finding out the training and certification opportunities it offers its employees. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC) is the most recognized professional body in the cleaning industry, and certification with this organization generally translates to professionalism and optimal service delivery. This is because the IICRC upholds globally accepted standards and only issues certifications to cleaning technicians with sufficient work experience who successfully complete written examinations. Note that some carpet cleaners may also obtain certifications from other reputable cleaning-related organizations like ISSA

Finding out if your prospective carpet cleaning company has an IICRC badge is another smart move when searching for professional carpet cleaners in San Francisco. This badge generally indicates that the company has at least one IICRC-certified technician on staff, a current business license, and sufficient insurance coverage.

What Carpet Cleaning Methods Do You Use?

Finding out the types of cleaning techniques that carpet cleaning companies use is essential in determining their suitability for the job. Professional San Francisco-based carpet cleaning companies typically consider several factors when deciding which cleaning techniques and products are best for your carpet. These include the carpeting material, the type of stains and dirt on the carpet, and your personal preference or tolerance for conventional cleaning chemicals or environmentally friendly ones. However, the carpeting material usually has the biggest impact on the type of carpet cleaning technique that will be used. Carpets are generally made from either natural or synthetic fibers and come in several options, like:

  • Nylon: this is a very common carpeting material. Nylon carpets are highly durable and resistant to wear but are also susceptible to stains
  • Polyester: these have similar features as nylon carpets but are not as resilient as them
  • Wool: wool carpets are high-quality natural fiber carpets that are stain-resistant, durable, and eco-friendly but also high-maintenance and prone to fading
  • Acrylic: this is an inexpensive alternative to wool carpeting but is usually not readily available for retail purchase
  • Cotton: this is a popular natural fiber carpeting material that is easy to clean and has an ultra-soft feel but is also prone to fading, high maintenance, and does not do well with stains
  • Olefin: olefin carpets are a popular option for outdoor and basement carpeting due to their high moisture, mold, and mildew resistance, but they can also be uncomfortable to walk on
  • Triexta: this is a synthetic carpeting material that is highly durable, stain and moisture-resistant, and also easy to maintain

Professional carpet cleaners in San Francisco typically use at least one of the following cleaning techniques when providing their services to interested parties in the city: 

  • Carpet shampooing: this technique uses a combination of water and specialty detergents and typically involves the application of the “cleaning shampoo” with a rotating brush. This shampoo is then extracted from the carpet with a machine until it is clean and residue-free
  • Hot water extraction/Steam carpet cleaning: this technique involves the use of superheated pressurized water to remove dirt, dust, mud, particles, and other stains and debris from the carpet
  • Bonnet cleaning: this technique involves using a motorized spinning pad to apply the cleaning product to the carpet and then extract it with trapped dirt and debris
  • Dry carpet cleaning: this technique involves the use of special powders or chemicals to clean the carpet without any, or very little, water or liquids being applied
  • Encapsulation carpet cleaning: this technique involves the use of specialized cleaning products that bubble, expand, and trap dirt and debris when applied to the dirty carpet

The table below lists the pros and cons of each of these carpet cleaning methods:

Method Pros Cons
Carpet Shampooing Separates and removes dirt molecules from carpet fibers
Strips embedded pet hairs from tightly wound carpet fibers
Improperly removed shampoo molecules can end up making your carpet look dingy over time
Excess moisture may soak into your carpet’s foam padding and create mold and moisture-related issues down the line
Steam Carpet Cleaning/Hot Water Extraction Carpet Cleaning Effective for removing dirt and bacteria from carpets
Can help neutralize pollens, dust, and other allergens 
Requires hours of downtime to dry
Retained moisture may cause mold or mildew-related issues
Bonnet Cleaning Effective for light stains 
Not effective for deep cleaning 
Dry Carpet Cleaning No drying downtime
Safe for all types of carpets
Powders and detergents used can be pungent
Not a good option for homeowners with breathing difficulties or allergies
Encapsulation Carpet Cleaning Environmentally friendly
Does not rely on water or electricity 
Only useful for surface cleaning and is usually ineffective for deep stains and odors 

Always find out the types of cleaning techniques your preferred carpet cleaners plan to use on your carpet and confirm that they have the expertise and equipment needed to complete the job efficiently and satisfactorily. Furthermore, always let the carpet cleaners know if you have any allergies or breathing impediments so that they can avoid using cleaning supplies or agents that can trigger or aggravate your condition.

Are Your Cleaning Products Safe for Kids and Pets?

Conventional cleaning products typically contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other potentially harmful pollutants and chemicals like bleach, ammonia, and artificial fragrances that can have adverse health effects, especially on children and pets. Some common hazardous effects that these types of cleaning products have include:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Dizziness
  • Eyes and skin irritation
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Sore throat
  • Increased risk of new on-set asthma 
  • Increased risk of cardiovascular and lung issues

To this end, it is essential to take the types of cleaning products and supplies used on your carpet into account when searching for carpet cleaning services in San Francisco. Note that, while many professional carpet cleaning companies typically use child, pet, and environmentally safe cleaning products for their services, you should get confirmation on this from your intended carpet cleaners. One way you can do this is by asking for a list of the cleaning supplies the cleaners plan to use and checking this on the EPA's Safer Choice platform, which features products that have been certified as safe for use by this organization.

What Other Cleaning Services Do You Provide?

Many professional carpet cleaning companies in San Francisco also offer their clients additional cleaning services. As such, if you plan to do more than just clean your carpet, you should find out if your preferred carpet cleaners also offer any extra services you may require. Some of the common cleaning services that these professional carpet cleaners typically offer interested parties include:

  • House cleaning: this costs an average of $50 - $250 and involves sweeping, mopping, dusting, vacuuming, and polishing surfaces in your home
  • Deep cleaning: this costs an average of $200 - $500 and involves more intensive house cleaning that focuses on hard-to-reach or less-often-used areas in your home
  • Green cleaning: this costs an average of $100 - $275, and it involves the use of organic cleaning products and supplies for the job
  • Window cleaning: this costs an average of $1.50 – $13.50 per window and involves cleaning and washing your windows 
  • Pressure washing: this costs an average of $100 - $750 and is typically done on hard surfaces like roofs, walls, sidewalks, gutters, and driveways 
  • Laundry services: this costs an average of $10 - $25 per load, and it involves washing, folding, and ironing your dirty laundry
  • Upholstery cleaning: this costs an average of $15 - $250 per item and involves cleaning armchairs, sofas, and other similar pieces of furniture that typically require special cleaning supplies and techniques
  • Rug cleaning: this costs an average of $150 - $550, and it involves the cleaning of rugs, which are similar to carpets but are not fixed to the floor
  • Mattress cleaning: this costs an average of $50 - $175 per mattress, and it involves removing stains from these mattresses, airing them out where necessary, and also washing bedding supplies 
  • Pet odor and stain removal: this costs an average of $150 - $850, and it involves getting rid of unpleasant and difficult-to-remove stains and smells that are usually left by pets
  • Disinfection and sanitization services: this costs an average of $200 - $500, and it involves preventing the growth and spread of viruses, bacteria, germs, and other microorganisms in your home
  • Hardwood floor cleaning: this costs an average of $40 - $70 per hour, and it involves cleaning hardwood floors with supplies, equipment, and techniques that do not damage the floors and also ensure that they retain their natural beauty
  • Tile and grout cleaning: this costs an average of $30 - $55 per hour, and it involves cleaning tile flooring, with particular attention being paid to the tile grouts 
  • Pest control cleaning services: this costs an average of $80 - $1,600, and it involves cleaning services aimed at preventing or treating pest and rodent infestations. Keep in mind that offering these services may require a state-issued occupational license

Be sure to confirm that your preferred carpet cleaning company is capable of providing the additional cleaning services you need, and agree on the cost of these services before signing any agreements with them. Additionally, find out if these cleaners offer discounted packages to clients that request more than one type of cleaning service.

How Long Will It Take for My Carpet to Dry?

It typically takes four to ten hours for professionally cleaned carpets to dry completely. Nonetheless, you should always ask your carpet cleaning company for a definitive timeframe on how long it will take your carpet to dry, especially in situations where you have kids or pets that need to be kept away from the wet carpet or are expecting visitors soon. Note that carpet drying times are typically affected by several factors, such as:

  • Carpet material: synthetic fiber carpets generally take a shorter time to dry than natural fiber carpets, which are usually more moisture and liquid-absorbent, and can even take up to 24 hours to dry completely sometimes
  • Cleaning method: cleaning methods and techniques that use little or no water, like dry carpet cleaning and encapsulation, generally result in shorter drying times than ones that use a lot of water, like steam cleaning and carpet shampooing
  • Humidity: carpets generally dry faster in areas with low humidity
  • Temperature and airflow: indoor temperatures and airflow generally affect carpet drying times

The following techniques can be used to reduce the overall drying time of your carpet:

  • Utilizing fans
  • Moving furniture away from the wet carpet 
  • Opening windows and doors to let in more fresh air
  • Turning on air conditioners in situations where you cannot open windows and doors
  • Using dehumidifiers in situations where you live in a high-humidity area
  • Using a wet vacuum cleaner to soak up excess moisture

Are You Insured and Bonded?

There is always the risk of injuries or property damage when hiring workers or service providers. Common work-related risks and hazards that carpet cleaners, in particular, typically face include exposure to potentially harmful chemicals, injuries from specialized tools and equipment, and damages to clients' homes and property. As such, the importance of hiring adequately insured and bonded carpet cleaners must be emphasized. Doing this ensures that you do not bear any legal or financial liabilities if any unforeseen and adverse incidents occur during or as a direct result of your requested carpet cleaning services. 

Note that while insurance and bonding are both financial guarantees put in place to protect business owners and their customers in situations that involve unforeseen and adverse incidents, they are not the same thing. Bonds typically ensure that the customers do not incur losses when the bonded carpet cleaning company fails to provide the services it promised. On the other hand, insurance typically covers both the carpet cleaning company and the customer and guarantees that the latter will not be obliged to pay out-of-pocket costs in the event of unforeseen and adverse incidents. As such, reputable carpet cleaning companies typically carry the following types of insurance coverage: 

  • General liability insurance: this covers personal injury, third-party bodily injuries, and property damage
  • Workers’ compensation insurance: this specifically covers injuries to the carpet cleaning company’s employees. Note that all San Francisco-based carpet cleaners that have employees are statutorily-required to carry this type of insurance 
  • Employee dishonesty insurance: this covers losses brought on by employee theft and other dishonest employee acts 

Always request proof of proper bond and insurance coverage from your prospective carpet cleaners and ensure that you authenticate this proof with the appropriate issuing organizations before you sign any agreements with them.

How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Carpet Cleaning Service in San Francisco

Complaints concerning bad carpet cleaning services in San Francisco can be filed with the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office.

Dishonest cleaners, con artists, and other scammers typically prey on unsuspecting San Franciscans seeking carpet cleaning services and attempt to deceptively obtain money from them through various schemes, such as:

  • Showing up at your home uninvited and offering cheap carpet cleaning services 
  • Claiming you have a particular type of carpeting or difficult stains on your carpet that will require special, and more expensive, cleaning supplies and equipment
  • Demanding full payment upfront
  • Quoting prices that are significantly different from their advertised rates or initial cost estimates 
  • Offering to use special cleaning techniques that will cost you more than the standard rates
  • Cleaning carpets without removing area rugs and other furniture 

You can avoid falling victim to these schemes and ensure that the carpet cleaners you hire in San Francisco provide their services honestly and legitimately by taking the following actions during your search for carpet cleaning services in the city:

  • Never hire any carpet cleaner that shows up at your home uninvited
  • Ask friends and relatives that have successfully cleaned their carpets for recommendations to reputable carpet cleaning companies in the city
  • Always compare cost estimates from up to three different carpet cleaners before making your selection
  • Ensure that your preferred carpet cleaning companies are authorized to conduct business in the city. You can do this by contacting the San Francisco Office of the Treasurer and Tax Collector at (415) 554-6134
  • Look up your preferred carpet cleaners online via websites like the Better Business Bureau, Google Review, Yelp, and other similar trusted platforms that publish third-party reviews and testimonials on businesses in the area
  • Verify your intended carpet cleaners’ bond and insurance status
  • Look out for carpet cleaners that are reluctant to provide any written documentation. Insist on written agreements and make sure that these agreements include the nature, scope, and cost of your requested services, the kinds of cleaning products to be used, and any promises or guarantees the carpet cleaner makes regarding their work. Also, always keep in mind that you have the right to cancel any contracts you sign in your home or away from the carpet cleaner’s place of business within three business days
  • Do not pay the complete cost of your requested services upfront, and never hire any carpet cleaner that asks you to do this

You can file complaints against unscrupulous and dishonest carpet cleaners, or matters involving bad or unsatisfactory carpet cleaning services, with the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office via its online consumer complaint form. You can also file complaints with this office by contacting it at

350 Rhode Island Street
North Building
Suite 400N
San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone: (628) 652-4000
Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Mondays to Fridays