If you’ve never had your carpets cleaned before, one of the burning questions you might have is how long the process takes. We can understand why this is such an important consideration for carpet owners, because carpets are one of those things that we need to use a lot.
However, there isn’t just one single answer to this frequently asked question, because there are a lot of different factors to consider which will influence the length of time it takes to get your carpets cleaned. You might even have several carpets that need cleaning in your home or workplace, and each carpet might vary in the length of time that it takes to clean them.
1. Advances in technology
The good news is that, overall, getting your carpets cleaned today is much faster compared to how it used to be. With the advances in cleaning technology, the time it now takes to clean a carpet has been slashed by many hours, so the process is much more convenient, however soon you need to access your carpets again.
It’s not just the cleaning process itself that’s much quicker than ever before, but modern machines are really effective at rinsing and extracting water from carpets, so they dry quickly, too. There are even dryers available that circulate hot air around a room, which can speed up the drying process.
However, just because technology has advanced, doesn’t mean to say all cleaning companies have jumped on board, so it’s worth doing your homework before deciding who to use.
2. Size of carpet
Getting back to the question of how long it takes to clean a carpet, one of the key factors that determines the time length is the size of the carpet. This makes sense – if you’ve got a big carpet with a larger surface area than a small carpet, naturally it will take longer to clean it.
3. Carpet fabrics
Another factor that influences how long cleaning takes is what fabrics the carpet is made from. Sensitive, delicate materials often need cleaning more gently and more carefully than hardwearing, durable fabrics, using methods that might take longer.
4. Carpet soiling
The time it takes to clean a carpet will also depend on how unclean a carpet is. If the carpet is only lightly soiled, it will be faster to clean it compared to a carpet that’s very dirty, with multiple stains, and hasn’t been professionally cleaned for a good while. Some carpets might need specialist treatments such as the removal of insects, or the application of a stain protector, all of which can add time to the cleaning process.
Equally, how much use your carpets get may play a part in the length of time it takes to clean them. If carpets are well-used and situated in high traffic areas, there’ll be a lot more deep-seated and ingrained dirt trodden down into carpet fibres which will need more attention compared to carpets that aren’t used very often.
If you vacuum your carpets regularly, this can prevent small particles of dirt from sinking deep into carpet fabrics, which may, ultimately, have a positive impact on the time it takes to get your carpets professionally cleaned.
Another way you can cut the amount of time it takes to clean your carpets is to act fast when carpet spillages occur. The longer you leave them, the harder it will be to remove them, which may involve more elbow work from a professional cleaner.
5. Cleaning method
Various methods can be used to clean carpets, with each one having differing timescales to complete the cleaning process. For example, methods which involve wetting the carpet, such as steam cleaning, will take longer than methods that don’t involve using water, such as dry cleaning, as it takes more time to extract the water from the carpet and dry it.
However, it’s better to choose the right method that’s needed for your particular carpet rather than focusing on the shortest process. If a carpet is heavily soiled, it will benefit from a more intensive method that takes longer, and involves wetting it, rather than a method that takes less time. If a carpet isn’t cleaned thoroughly, you might end up having to spend more time getting it cleaned properly a little bit further down the line.
6. Who cleans the carpet
The length of time it takes to clean a carpet is also influenced by who’s cleaning it. A professional carpet cleaning technician who is highly skilled and experienced, and uses the latest, high-tech equipment, will be able to clean a carpet much faster compared to an amateur, or someone who uses sub-standard equipment.
Another thing to bear in mind is if you decide to clean a carpet yourself, using a hired machine, expect to add on many extra hours to the process. Even then, you won’t achieve the same level of quality results compared to a professional cleaner.
7. What to expect
So taking all of these factors into account, what can you expect when you get your carpets cleaned? If you use professional carpet cleaning services, you can expect the average carpet to be cleaned in about half an hour.
However, there are other things to consider that can add extra time to the process, such as the preparation beforehand. This usually includes inspecting a carpet by a technician to assess what fabrics it’s made from, and to see if there are any specific stains or dirt that might need special treatments. The technician will also use their professional judgement to decide which is the best course of cleaning method and treatments to use.
Before cleaning can begin, the technician might also need to move furniture out of the way, to give them full access to all areas of the carpet for cleaning.
Taking these extra considerations into account, you could, therefore, be looking at a 500 square foot carpet taking around an hour to an hour-and-a-half to fully clean.
Most expert carpet cleaning companies will happily supply you with information on how long their cleaning process takes, and it’s usually available to find in the FAQs section on a company’s website. Find out beforehand, so you know what to expect and you can plan accordingly.
8. What about drying?
Cleaning a carpet is only part of the story, so what about the drying process? You’ll probably be eager to know how long this takes so you can get back to using your carpets again as quickly as possible.
Again, this can vary, depending on the equipment and methods used, and how much air, heat and humidity there is in a room. It makes sense that on a hot sunny day, a carpet situated in a bright, south-facing room will take less time to dry compared to a carpet that’s been cleaned in a cold, north-facing room in the middle of winter. Thick pile carpets can also take longer to dry than other types, as they hold onto more moisture.
Dry cleaning a carpet tends to take less time than steam cleaning it, because less water is used. However, even with some of the advanced steam cleaners on the market, you could still be looking at drying taking just 2-3 hours on average. Some carpets might take longer than this to dry, but an expert carpet cleaning company will always advise at the start what you can expect in terms of cleaning and drying timescales.
At Carpet Bright UK, we provide really fast cleaning and drying of your carpets, achieving excellent, long-lasting results along the way.