How much should a professional carpet cleaner charge?

Common ways to price the job:

1. Price by the square metre

The most common way carpet cleaners price a job is by the square metre. So, you just work out the area of the carpet to be cleaned and multiply this by your price per metre.

You might make adjustment to the price per metre based on the job difficulty i.e if the carpet’s heavily soiled you would probably want to charge more per metre than if it’s only lightly soiled.

You might also make an adjustment if there’s a lot of furniture to move. For example, you could either raise the price per square metre. Or, you could say to yourself – moving all this furniture’s going to take me an extra 15 minutes. I want to be earning £60 per hour while working on the job, so I’ll add an extra £15.00 to the quote.

measuring carpet

2. Price per hour/day

For some jobs, it can sometimes be easier/fairer to estimate how long the job is going to take and then work out the price based on an hourly rate, or the amount you want to earn in a day.

So, if the job’s going to take you all day, you could just charge the amount you want to earn in a day, which might be £250-£300 (we do have customers who say they turn over £1000+ per day)

It will be difficult for you to estimate how long jobs will take until you have some experience though.


3. Price by the room

Some carpet cleaners charge a set amount per room. You need to be very careful with this! An easy room might take 30 minutes. A difficult room could take you 2.5 hours and be an hour’s drive away. It’s easy to get into disagreements with customers who may have unrealistic expectations as to what is reasonable.

"But your leaflet clearly states £15 per room?!!"

How much should a professional carpet cleaner charge?

As a starting point:

For domestic work, if you’re charging by the square metre (most common), £4.00 per square metre is not a bad starting point, with a minimum charge of around £75. An average 3-piece suite will take you around 3.5 hours and we’d suggest a charge of at least £125 for a basic clean without stain protection.

You should be aiming to earn at least £250-£300 per day. But bear in mind; as a self-employed carpet cleaner you won’t be working all day every day, so this £250-£300 a day needs to pay for the times during the week when you are not getting paid – because you’re doing paperwork/quoting on jobs/marketing etc.

The above are very much starting points, there are carpet cleaners who charge much more and much less.

The are 3 main types of domestic carpet cleaning customer:

1. Price shoppers

Price shoppers are mainly concerned with getting the lowest price possible. They will often choose the cheapest price and worry about the quality of the work later. We recommend you avoid targeting this type of customer. It’s difficult to make money in carpet cleaning by being cheap – there will always be someone cheaper! Plus, there is little loyalty from your customers – who are quite likely to shop around for the best price again next time they need a carpet cleaner.

If you plan to start cheap and put your prices up later, be warned – it can be difficult to put your prices up by much without losing the customers you’ve already worked for. Start as you mean to go on.

2. Value shoppers

Value shoppers are prepared to pay more to have the carpets cleaned, but are more concerned with the job and service they will receive in return. You will need to demonstrate why you are the best choice. This might be because you have the correct training, better equipment, better reviews, a better method of cleaning etc.

Often, customers who have paid for good quality carpets (which are expensive) would rather pay more money for a reputable carpet cleaning company with the right training and equipment, than risk a cheaper carpet cleaner who may not know what they are doing. Customers have often heard about bad experiences with cheap carpet cleaners. Their main concern is getting their carpet cleaned by someone they can trust in their home to do the job properly with the right equipment, training and insurance.

You will actually put some customers off by going in too cheap – many people assume cheap pricing mean poor quality.

3. Premium shoppers

These are the customers who don’t really care what the price is and just want the job doing. Whether you charge £50 or £150 doesn’t really make that much difference to them. If you offer a range of price options they are quite likely to choose the most expensive one. They want the best, whether it’s cars, clothes or home services like carpet cleaning. This type of customer often hires based on a recommendation from someone they trust.

The following method of pricing allows you to appeal to both value and luxury shoppers, while also converting some of the price shoppers into value shoppers by educating them.

How to increase your sales with cleaning packages

When you go to the car wash, you are offered different options to choose from, because different levels of service appeal to different types of customer.

You can do the same thing with carpet cleaning and it works very well indeed. When I started offering different cleaning packages, straight away I started converting more quotes into jobs and my average ticket price also went up considerably.

It’s also a really easy, low pressure way to up-sell your services. Rather than just giving the customer a single price, offering different packages forces you to automatically quote on more expensive options like stain protector. All you need to do is present the customer with the different options, answer any questions and let them choose.

Ideas for packages

Below are examples of different cleaning packages you could offer. You will of course need to come up with packages that suit the system/chemicals you use.

Standard Hot Water Extraction Cleaning

  • Standard cleaning method used by many carpet cleaning companies
  • A powerful detergent cleans away the dirt quickly and thoroughly
  • Good cosmetic cleaning results
  • Includes pre-spotting, fragranced deodoriser, soil-extraction and final groom
  • We only use the more expensive ‘crystallising’ detergents (so that more detergent residues can be removed by vacuuming after drying, which reduces re-soiling)

Few customers went for my ‘budget’ package – and that’s fine because I didn’t want them to!

Because this is your cheapest package, few customers will opt for it – those that do are often landlords or in rented accommodation.

The main purpose of this package is to show customers that some methods of carpet cleaning leave detergent residues in the carpet and that this can cause re-soiling. Most customers don’t want this and will therefore opt for a different (more expensive) package.

I used to price this package at around £3.00 per square metre (possibly a little less on larger areas – and subject to minimum order of £75).

Fibresafe Superior Clean and Rinse

  • Six part clean and rinse system for the most thorough, residue-free cleaning possible (you could detail the cleaning process separately on a sales sheet)
  • Natural rinse system removes cleaning residues – so your furnishings are left healthier and stay cleaner for longer
  • Leaves fibres naturally soft and healthy
  • Pet, child and home friendly
  • Includes pre-conditioner, pre-spotting, deodoriser, machine agitation, high-flow organic rinse extraction and final groom

After reading about the first package, the customer can quickly see that the above is a better cleaning process, and worth spending a little extra on.

I used to price this package at £4.00 – £4.50 per square metre (less on larger areas)

Healthy Home

As above Fibresafe Natural cleaning process, plus application of specialist deodoriser treatment.

This package is useful where there are pets, a general odour problem, or for clients who are concerned about the health of the carpet (often clients with small children).

This may be a service that appeals to the customer that your competitor doesn’t offer.

I price this at least 50p per metre above the ‘Fibresafe Natural’ package, more for particular odour problem/s. As you’ll learn on a training course, some odour problems can be difficult and time consuming to treat, so be careful not to undercharge if there is a difficult odour problem that needs fixing.

Home Protection Gold

  • As above with application of stain protection
  • Helps protect against both water and oil based stains
  • Makes it easier to remove spots and spills
  • Makes vacuuming easier and more effective
  • Helps prevent spills/soils being absorbed and becoming stains/ground-in Helps keep your furnishings in good condition for longer

My second most popular package
I’d also attach an info sheet that explained the benefits of stain protection in more detail.
I price this package at £6.00 – £7.50 per square metre – depending on the job (less for larger areas).

Home Protection Platinum

As above, plus:

  • Included free highlight clean in 6 months time – we call and clean traffic areas and spots 6 monthsafter your cleaning date
  • Keeps your home looking great all through the year
  • Removes spots before they become ground-in
  • Free bottle of professional spot remover included

Few people go for this – so why offer it?

The reason I offered this package is this: Fewer clients will opt for either the cheapest or the most expensive
packages. If you want your clients to go for your Gold package, it’s a good idea to include a package that’s more expensive – so that the Gold isn’t the most expensive on the list.

If the client goes for the Platinum package – that’s great! But the main reason I offered this was to guide clients towards the Gold Package.

I price this at around £2 per square metre more than the Gold Package – less for a larger area.

6 reasons why cleaning packages work

1. Your prices appeal to more people

When you offer different packages, you have a service to suit a wider range of buyers. This means you get fewer price objections, and you convert more surveys into jobs.

Depending on how you package your services, it can also mean that it’s more difficult for prospects to compare your prices to other quotes they may have received.

2. It has a positive psychological impact

If you give your customer one price for cleaning, they only have one decision to make:

Do they hire you, or don’t they hire you?

When you price your services using packages, the customer has to think about which package to choose. Once the customer chooses a package, they may not realise it, but they are already half way to hiring you!

3. It’s a really easy, low pressure way to quote and up-sell

Once you have a quote sheet that explains the different services you offer, this does much of the selling for you. It does this automatically on every single quote you do. It doesn’t have off days. It doesn’t have days when it wants to get the quote done as fast as possible and go home. It delivers the same consistent message every time. And it continues to deliver that message after you have left – when the customer may have to decide between hiring you and another company.

When I changed to offering prospects different packages, many more started opting for stain protection. I was often surprised when particular customers opted for more expensive packages – customers who I might not even have considered trying to sell stain protection to before.

4. You’re usually in the ball park

Many clients have an upper limit to the amount of money they are prepared to spend. Quote much higher and you don’t get the job. Quote much lower, and they may choose another higher quoting company! With this method, you cover most of the bases.

5. It’s easy!

It’s just a simple matter of going through the quote sheet with the client – they ask questions, often ask which package you recommend, then make their choice.

6. It’s a great way to put up your prices

If you’d like to put up your prices, but are worried about losing customers – this can be a great way to do it. You can keep the cheapest package price closer to what you are charging now. But don’t be surprised if many of your existing clients start choosing the more expensive packages!

When I first decided to offer cleaning packages, it took me a couple of hours to put together my packages on a simple A4 sheet of paper. But from that day on, I got paid more for doing the same work every single week for years to come.

So if you don’t offer your clients cleaning ‘packages’, put a couple of hours aside and give it a go. And if you do offer cleaning packages – what tweaks could you make to raise your average order value further?

Try it, it works 🙂

Thinking about starting a new carpet cleaning service?

Here’s how we can help:

  • Get trained up on one of our professional carpet & upholstery cleaning courses
  • We can help you spec a professional carpet cleaning machine to match your budget and business needs
  • We can help you put together a complete start-up equipment package
  • We can provide top notch on-going support and supplies as your business grows