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Home & Garden: How Much Does Upholstery Cleaning Cost?

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Upholstery Cleaning Cost © Provided by Bob Vila Upholstery Cleaning Cost Photo: istockphoto.com

  • Typical Range: $119 to $231
  • National Average: $172

Upholstered furniture is comfortable and brings a cozy, relaxing feel to any space. Over time, however, the upholstery will accumulate dust and dirt and can even be susceptible to larger stains from food, drinks, pets, and kids. Upholstery cleaning removes dirt and stains with either steam or chemical cleaners and makes upholstered furniture feel brand-new again.

According to HomeAdvisor and Angi, upholstery cleaning cost ranges from $119 to $231 with the average cost of upholstery cleaning at $172. The exact cost depends on the type of furniture, the condition and age of the furniture, the upholstery cleaning method, and many other factors. Homeowners can use this guide to help determine whether or not their upholstery needs to be cleaned, how much their upholstery cleaning may cost, and how they can hire the best cleaning company for the job.

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Factors in Calculating Upholstery Cleaning Cost

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There are several factors that determine the cost of cleaning upholstery. The type of furniture is the main factor, along with the material, cleaning method, and more as detailed below.

Furniture Type

Upholstery cleaning costs first and foremost depend on the type of furniture being cleaned. Simple, small furniture pieces are easier and less time-consuming to steam clean than larger furniture pieces with many different parts. For example, the cost of sofa cleaning for a standard-size sofa ranges from $100 to $300. Cleaning a smaller sofa or loveseat costs $60 to $120, while cleaning a larger sectional sofa costs $120 to $400. The cost to clean upholstered dining chairs, armchairs, and office chairs ranges from $10 to $30, $40 to $80, and $20 to $40, respectively.

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Furniture Age and Condition

The age and condition of a furniture piece will play a role in the cost of cleaning the upholstery. If a piece is old, vintage, or antique, the upholstery cleaners will need to use extra care during the cleaning process to avoid causing any damage to the fragile pieces. This extra care can increase the price of upholstery cleaning by as much as 25 percent. Additionally, if there is any existing damage, the cleaning company may offer to make the necessary repairs for an additional fee. Customers can expect to pay around $20 for a small furniture repair completed during the upholstery cleaning process.

Material

Different types of fabric materials require different upholstery cleaning tactics, each at varying price points. The cost of upholstery cleaning for common fabrics like cotton, polyester, and wool is usually around $160. Cleaning leather is more expensive because the material requires special solvents and costs around $180 and $200. Silk upholstery cleaning will also cost a bit more than cleaning common fabrics and can run from $180 to $230. Silk is a very delicate fabric that is easy to damage, so a high level of care is required during the cleaning.

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Cleaning Method

There are a few different methods used to clean upholstery. The two most often used are steam cleaning and chemical cleaning. Steam cleaning costs between $15 and $300 and uses high-temperature and pressurized steam to clean upholstery. Chemical cleaning costs between $15 and $400 and uses upholstery cleaning machines to clean upholstery. Prep work is required before using either these cleaning methods, including removing dirt and dust from the fabric with an upholstery vacuum cleaner.

Company

There are a couple of leading companies in the upholstery cleaning market, and each one charges a similar amount for its services. Stanley Steemer will typically charge anywhere from $15 to $300 per item for upholstery cleaning, and Coit Cleaners will usually charge anywhere from $15 to $400 per item. Stanley Steemer is a household name—its technicians take the time to inspect the upholstery material and use the best cleaning method for that material. Coit Cleaners is well known for its money-back guarantee—if a customer is not 100 percent satisfied with the cleaning, the company will fix the issue or refund the customer’s money.

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Geographic Location

Upholstery cleaner cost varies from region to region. If a customer lives in an area with a high cost of living, they can expect to pay more for upholstery cleaning than those living in areas with a lower cost of living. For example, the average cost of upholstery cleaning for a loveseat is $95 in Sacramento, California, but only $60 in Portland, Oregon. Customers in Philadelphia pay an average of $100 to clean both a standard-size couch and a loveseat. Additionally, there is likely more demand for upholstery cleaning in heavily populated urban areas, which can increase the price further.

Additional Costs and Considerations

In addition to the upholstery cleaning cost factors discussed above, there are a few more that may apply in certain situations. If a piece of furniture has heavy stains, requires upholstery repair, needs a stain-prevention treatment, or has a slipcover that needs cleaning, the customer can expect to incur some of these additional fees.

Heavy Stain Removal

Standard upholstery steam cleaner methods will remove stains from regular furniture use; however, heavier stains could necessitate an additional stain removal fee. Customers can expect to pay an extra $20 or so to have heavy stains removed from upholstered furniture. Stains become more difficult to remove if they’re caused by liquids such as coffee and wine, or if the stain is very deep into the surface of the fabric or has been there for a long time without being treated.

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Stain Prevention

After the furniture has been cleaned, a customer may have the option to add a stain-prevention treatment to protect against future stains. These types of treatments will add $20 to $30 to the professional upholstery cleaning cost. Adding a stain blocker to a piece of furniture can extend the duration between upholstery cleanings.

Upholstery Repair

In some cases, an upholstery cleaning is not enough to restore a piece of furniture back to a usable condition. The upholstery itself may need to be repaired or even replaced. Reupholstering a piece of furniture can cost anywhere from $350 to $3,500. An upholstery repair will cost less than this, but it’s not always possible depending on the size and location of the damage. A repair patch may be noticeable and not the ideal look for a sofa or chair, so reupholstering is usually the better option.

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Dry Cleaning Slipcovers

Slipcovers are removable covers that fit over sofas and chairs. If a furniture piece has a slipcover, the owner can simply remove it and bring it to a dry cleaner for cleaning. Dry cleaning a slipcover costs anywhere from $10 to $15, depending on the size of the material. Some slipcovers are machine-washable and can simply be washed during a regular laundry cycle if the washing machine is large enough.

Minimum Service Fees

Many upholstery cleaning companies charge a minimum service fee. If a customer requests upholstery cleaning that is less than the company’s minimum service fee, the company will increase the charge to the minimum amount, usually between $50 and $100. This ensures the company is still making some profit on the cleaning and not losing money due to overhead costs. If a customer’s requested service will not reach the minimum fee, they may consider getting another piece of furniture cleaned or throwing in some blankets and pillows to the mix to get their money’s worth.

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Upholstery Cleaning Cost © Provided by Bob Vila Upholstery Cleaning Cost Photo: istockphoto.com

Types of Upholstery Cleaning

The cost of cleaning upholstery depends on the type of furniture that will be cleaned. Certain furniture pieces are larger or more complicated than others, requiring a more detailed and longer cleaning process. Below are the costs a customer can expect to have upholstery cleaned on every type of furniture.

Couches and Sofas

The cost to clean a couch or sofa ranges from $100 to $300, depending on the exact size of the furniture piece. If the sofa is made with a specialty fabric, such as leather or wool, customers can expect to pay more than that. Professional couch cleaning cost of a leather sofa can run anywhere from $200 to $500. Cleaning specialty fabrics often requires advanced skills and specific tools to ensure the material remains intact, which is why hiring one of the best couch cleaning services is often recommended.

Sectional Couches

The cost for upholstery cleaning a sectional couch ranges from $120 to $400. Sectionals vary dramatically in size, from simple three-seater sofa chaises all the way up to large eight-seater modular sectionals. Cleaning the upholstery on a sectional couch requires removing all of the cushions and cleaning underneath before any shampooing can begin. This can be a tedious task, and especially large sectionals will increase the overall cost.

Loveseats

As a loveseat is smaller than the size of a standard couch, the upholstery cleaning cost is also a bit smaller at $60 and $120. A loveseat typically seats two people, meaning there are two cushions that must be cleaned as opposed to the standard three cushions on an average couch. The cushions will be removed and the entire furniture piece will be vacuumed and then steam-cleaned.

Recliners

The cost to clean the upholstery of a recliner ranges from $60 to $80. This is slightly more than the cost to clean an armchair, as a recliner has more fabric and crevices due to the reclining function. Depending on the fabric, a recliner can be cleaned with steam or a chemical cleaner.

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Ottomans

Ottoman upholstery cleaning costs between $20 and $50. It is very common for ottomans to need upholstery cleaning, as they are often used as a place to rest tired feet or serve up food. If a customer has an armchair with a matching ottoman, it will cost anywhere from $60 to $130 to have both cleaned.

Armchairs

Professional upholstery cleaning cost of an armchair ranges from $40 to $80. Armchairs do differ in size—there are large ones for the living room and small ones for the dining table—and the cost to clean one depends on the size. Having armchairs professionally cleaned will bring them back to life and give the customer’s dining or living room a refreshed look.

Dining Chairs

The cost to clean dining chair upholstery ranges from $10 to $30 per chair. Upholstered dining chairs can have just an upholstered seat, be completely upholstered, or something in between, hence the difference in pricing. Since dining chairs will see their fair share of food and drink spills, it’s a good idea to clean them often.

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Office Chairs

Cleaning the upholstery of an office chair costs anywhere from $20 to $40. Similar to dining chairs, office chairs can have just a little upholstery or be almost completely upholstered. Office chairs are susceptible to coffee stains, ink blotches, and more that can be cleaned off with steam or chemical treatments.

Mattresses

Upholstery steam cleaning a mattress costs between $50 and $150. Dust, pollen, pet hair, and even dead skin cells build up on a mattress over time. To remove them, a mattress needs to be regularly steam cleaned and cleaned with a sanitizing agent. Keeping up with regular mattress cleanings will prolong the life of a mattress and can help keep a household healthy.

Do I Need Upholstery Cleaning?

Unless a sofa or armchair has a prominent stain, it might not be obvious that the upholstery should be cleaned. Customers will want to consider the following common signs that furniture upholstery needs to be cleaned and whether any of the signs pertain to their situation.

Unpleasant Odors

If a home’s resident notices an unexplained, not-so-pleasant odor while sitting on their upholstered furniture, the upholstery itself could be to blame. The fabric can trap odors, especially if pets are allowed on the furniture. Also, residents will want to keep in mind that the smell may not be as noticeable to them, but it could be rather noticeable to guests entering their home. Residents may want to ask their guests if they notice a smell or place their nose close to the upholstery to determine if there is an unpleasant smell.

Visible Stains

Visually inspect upholstered furniture to look for any noticeable staining. The food and beverages enjoyed while sitting on a couch may spill from time to time and create a stain. Pets and kids are also notorious for creating furniture stains. A professional upholstery cleaning can remove many of these stains and leave a sofa looking brand-new.

Faded or Aging Appearance

If a home’s furniture is looking a little tired and worn out and the owner doesn't want to replace it, an upholstery cleaning could give it a new lease on life. Upholstery cleaning will remove any dirt and can bring back a fresh color to the fabric.

Hard-to-Remove Pet Hairs

Anyone with a pet that sheds knows keeping the hair off the furniture is a daily task. Even those who keep up with regular pet hair removal know there will be some buildup over time. The hairs can get into cracks between cushions or become stuck. Upholstery cleaning will get rid of these hairs and will ideally be done regularly to eliminate the dander.

Smoke or Water Damage

If a home experiences a small fire or a roof leak, any damage could extend to the upholstered furniture. Professional upholstery cleaning companies are experienced with removing smoke or water damage from furniture. Homeowners will want to consider choosing a company trained in smoke and water damage cleanup for this type of upholstery cleaning.

Upholstery Cleaning Cost © Provided by Bob Vila Upholstery Cleaning Cost Photo: istockphoto.com

Upholstery Cleaning: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional

If someone does indeed need upholstery cleaning for their furniture, they will need to decide between hiring a professional or completing the cleaning themselves. There are pros and cons to each route. The pros of DIY upholstery cleaning are that this can save some money—the customer will just need to find the best upholstery cleaner rental—and they can likely finish the cleaning in a quicker time frame than hiring a professional. A savvy customer who knows how to clean upholstery may certainly be able to complete this project themselves.

The cons of DIY and the reasons to hire a professional for upholstery cleaning focus on the quality of the service. A professional upholstery cleaning company will have all the right equipment, such as the best upholstery cleaners, as well as the skills to give upholstered furniture a superior cleaning. They will treat a customer’s furniture with the right care to ensure it is not damaged during the cleaning and will last for many years to come. The cleaning will often be deeper and longer-lasting. Additionally, the customer will not have to dedicate any time to learning how to clean furniture upholstery or figuring it out through trial and error. The expert will get right to the task and finish the cleaning much quicker.

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How to Save Money on Upholstery Cleaning Cost

The cost of upholstery cleaning can add up, especially if a home has multiple furniture pieces that require cleaning. Furniture owners can consider using some of these money-saving tips to save on the cost of their upholstery cleaning.

  • Clean all your upholstery at once. Many companies will offer a discount if you have multiple furniture pieces cleaned at one time. While this initial cost may feel high, you will save money in the long run and can enjoy an entire house of freshly cleaned upholstery.
  • Quickly address spills on upholstery. The longer a liquid remains on your upholstery, the worse the stain will be. As soon as a spill occurs, follow the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning instructions and get your upholstered furniture cleaned as soon as possible to avoid more extensive and costly cleaning procedures.
  • Bundle cleaning services. Certain upholstery cleaning companies offer other household cleaning services. You can often save money by hiring one company to perform multiple services, like carpet cleaning or hardwood floor cleaning.
  • Get multiple quotes. There are likely several different companies that offer upholstery cleaning in your area. Contact a few to request pricing for your cleaning project. Compare the pricing and services to choose the best-value option. Keep in mind, the cheapest is not always the best. Make sure you consider the service experience as a whole.

Questions to Ask About Upholstery Cleaning

On the surface, all upholstery cleaning services may appear the same. It’s important for customers to ask each company a series of questions that will help them make an informed hiring decision. The following list of questions will help you do just that.

  • How long have you been in business?
  • What cleaning services do you offer?
  • What equipment do you use for upholstery cleaning?
  • Will you provide a free quote for services?
  • Are you licensed and insured to complete this type of work?
  • What kind of training do you offer for your employees?
  • Will the work be completed by an employee of your business or by a subcontractor?
  • Can you provide references from similar projects?
  • Do you clean the furniture at my house or at an off-site location?
  • Do you offer pickup and delivery?
  • How soon can you schedule the cleaning?
  • How long will the cleaning process take?
  • Do you have a satisfaction guarantee?

FAQs

Before moving forward with an upholstery cleaning project, customers can take a look at the following frequently asked questions to help them understand more about the process and why hiring a professional upholstery cleaning service might be the best option.

Q. How often should I clean my upholstery?

Upholstery should be cleaned on average every 6 months. The exact timeline, however, depends on the conditions in the home. If just a couple of people are using the furniture and the residents do not have any pets or children, one or two cleanings per year are more than enough. If more people are living in the home, residents will want to increase the duration to three to four times per year, and even as much as four or five times per year in a household with many people, pets, and children.

Q. Is steam cleaning included in an upholstery cleaning service?

Steam cleaning is typically included in an upholstery cleaning service, but it does depend on the company’s procedures and the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning instructions. Some furniture is better off being cleaned with a chemical cleaner rather than steam.

Q. How long does it take to clean upholstery?

It takes anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes to clean upholstery. The timeline ultimately depends on the size of the furniture piece, the type of fabric material, and the level of staining and dirt built up. A large sofa that has incurred lots of staining could take much longer than 1 hour to clean.

Q. Can I remove all types of stains from my furniture?

It is possible to remove almost all types of stains from furniture, such as stains from foods, drinks, and organic materials. Some stains are more difficult to remove than others, however; it can be very difficult to remove stains from wine, blood, and paint. A professional upholstery cleaner is often the best option for removing these types of difficult stains.

Q. Is professional upholstery cleaning better than cleaning on my own?

Professional upholstery cleaning is typically better than cleaning upholstery as a DIY project. A professional will have all the right tools and skills to ensure the furniture piece is cleaned correctly and thoroughly. Hiring a professional is especially important if a customer wants to clean an antique or heirloom piece of furniture that they do not want to damage.

Q. Can I wash my upholstery?

Some upholstery is washable, whether inside a washing machine or with a water-based cleaner. Furniture owners can check the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions and look for a “W” marking. This indicates the fabric can be washed with a water-based cleaner, but it’s important to avoid getting the fabric too saturated. Machine-washable upholstery will be clearly noted on the label.

Sources: Angi, HomeAdvisor, Fixr, Thumbtack

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