How Long Does Carpet Cleaning Take?

How long does carpet cleaning take? 

It’s one of the most common questions homeowners ask me before booking a carpet cleaning. And I totally get it—having someone in your personal space for an extended period of time can feel like a hassle.

The quick answer is that the duration of carpet cleaning can vary quite a bit depending on several key factors. On average, though, you can expect the full process to take anywhere from 1 to 3 hours for a typical-sized home. 

But there are some important details to keep in mind.

In this post, I’ll walk you through each part of a carpet cleaning job – from prep to final dry time. Breaking it down step-by-step will help you plan properly and avoid any major hiccups in your daily routine. You’ll know exactly what to expect and how to get everything ready in time.

What Influences the Duration of Carpet Cleaning?

  • Area Size: This one’s pretty obvious – the bigger the carpeted space, the longer it’ll take us to get the job done. A small apartment is usually quicker than tackling an entire house. As a rough guide, we can typically clean around 12-15 square metres per 20-30 minutes.
  • Carpet Condition: How soiled or stained your carpet is has a big impact. Light soiling is a breeze compared to heavily matted or grimy carpets that need extra pre-treatment. Those tough jobs, understandably, take more time.
  • Cleaning Method: The technique used also impacts the timeline. Steam cleaning (hot water extraction) requires more setup and drying time than dry cleaning methods, which are generally faster overall.
  • Carpet Type: Different carpet fibres need different approaches. Delicate materials like wool or silk require a gentler, slower clean, while synthetic carpets can handle a more vigorous scrub.
  • Furniture Moving: If we need to shift couches, tables and other items out of the way before starting, that’ll add some extra minutes to the clock. 

Step By Step: How Long Will It Take 

  1. Pre-Cleaning Prep: We prepare everything first. Bringing in all of our equipment and supplies and preparing our work area usually takes about 30 minutes at most.
  2. Pre-Inspection: We’ll do a thorough inspection of your carpets. We will identify the fibre type, locate any potential stains or damage, and address any specific concerns you may have. It should take about 10-15 minutes, depending on the size and condition of the carpet.
  3. Pre-Vacuum: Using commercial-grade vacuums, we’ll deep vacuum your carpets to remove up to 80% of dry soil and debris before starting the cleaning process. The pre-vacuuming usually takes about 30-40 minutes, again varying with the size of the area to be cleaned and the amount of debris present.
  4. Pre-Treatment: Next, we’ll apply a special cleaning solution to your carpets. This helps loosen dirt, grime, and stains so they can be lifted out more easily. We’ll let that solution sit for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Agitation: Then it’s time for the real muscle work! Using our machines, we’ll agitate that pre-treat solution deep into the carpet fibres to release embedded dirt. This scrub process typically takes another 15-20 minutes per room.
  6. Extraction: The final cleaning stage is hot water extraction. This is where we use powerful suction to pull up all the dirt, grime and solution from your carpets. Expect this extraction phase to last around 20-30 minutes per room.
  7. Post-Grooming: We’ll complete the process by grooming the carpet pile with a professional brush so it dries upright and fluffy. Grooming typically takes 5-10 minutes.
  8. Drying: Once the actual cleaning is complete, you’ll need to allow 6-12 hours for the carpets to fully dry. We’ll position air movers to help speed things up, but it’s extremely important not to walk on the carpets until they’re 100% dry.

How to Prepare for Efficient Carpet Cleaning

Having your home prepped and ready to go will help us get in and out as quickly and efficiently as possible. Here are some tips on how to get ready for carpet cleaning day:

  • Identify Tough Stains: When we arrive, point out any particularly stubborn stains or high-traffic areas that need extra attention. Knowing about problem zones allows us to game-plan our approach.
  • Move Furniture (If Possible): Trying to manoeuvre around and under heavy furniture slows everything down. If you can clear it beforehand, it’ll allow us to clean those areas thoroughly. 
  • Clear Pathways: Make sure there’s a clear route for us to bring in our equipment. It should be a straight line from the door to the carpeted rooms.
  • Take Care of Pets: As much as we love our furry friends, keeping them out of the areas we’re cleaning until everything is dried is best. We don’t want little paw prints tracking through!

Post-Cleaning: Proper Drying and Care

Drying is one of the most critical phases after a professional carpet clean. 

Ensuring your carpets dry properly is more than just about avoiding that funky wet carpet smell – it’s absolutely essential for preventing potential issues like mould, mildew or musty odours from taking hold.

On average, you’ll need to allow 6-12 hours of dry time after the cleaning is complete. However, this can vary depending on factors like humidity levels, airflow in the room, and the specific cleaning method used. Steam-cleaned carpets tend to take a bit longer to fully dry than other methods.

We recommend cranking up some fans and opening windows to maximise air circulation and speed up drying. If it’s a particularly humid day, running a dehumidifier or your home’s air conditioning can also expedite the process. 

To prevent dirt and oils from your feet from getting tracked in, just avoid walking on the carpets until they’re 100% dry.

It’s also a good idea to keep kids and pets away from the freshly cleaned areas until they are fully dry. Those little feet and paws can inadvertently transfer soil back onto the damp carpet fibres. 

If you absolutely must put furniture back before the carpets are dry, use plastic or foil barriers under the legs to avoid any potential staining or rust transfers.

Conclusion: How Long Carpet Cleaning Takes

As you can see, professional carpet cleaning is an investment in both the aesthetic appeal and overall health of your home. 

While the actual cleaning process typically takes 1-3 hours, proper drying is critical and can take several hours. By knowing how long carpet cleaning takes, preparing thoroughly, and choosing the right service provider, you can minimise disruptions while maximising the life and fresh look of your carpets. 

If you have any other questions about carpet cleaning or need to schedule an appointment, please contact us

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