How Long Does Professional Carpet Cleaning Take?

Having your carpets professionally cleaned is essential to maintaining a commercial business. Not only does carpet cleaning extend the life of your carpets, but it also has an impact on your business’s appearance.

If you’re interested in carpet cleaning services, commercial cleaners know the best approach for purifying your building’s carpets. But how long does professional carpet cleaning take? And what factors into the time? Our commercial cleaning experts break it down for you.

How Long Does Professional Carpet Cleaning Take?

Professional carpet cleaning takes anywhere from 3-12 hours. This includes setup, cleaning time, and drying. 

The total length of time carpet cleaning takes depends on several factors, including

  • The amount of furniture being moved
  • The condition of the carpet
  • The size of your commercial property
  • The carpet cleaning method being used
  • Floor maintenance and polishing
  • Workstation cleaning

Three Stages of a Professional Carpet Cleaning Job

The carpet cleaning process consists of three parts: setup, cleaning, and drying.

1. Setup

It takes 30 minutes or less for cleaners to set up for carpet cleaning services. However, this depends on the amount and type of furniture that needs to be moved in your building. 

Commercial cleaners are professionally trained to move furniture and will do so as needed. While much isn’t required on your part, some cleaners may ask you to remove items off of the furniture such as plants, lamps, and office items. 

As part of our commercial carpet cleaning services, we'll bring everything needed to ensure a deep clean, including cleaning equipment, hoses, and electrical cables.

Average time it takes: 30 minutes

2. Carpet Cleaning

On average, carpet cleaning takes about 20-30 minutes for a 12’ x 12’ area. The amount of time it takes to professionally clean a carpet also depends on the following:

  • Condition of the carpet - Carpets that haven’t been cleaned in a while take more time and effort than carpets that are cleaned regularly. Worn-in stains need to be pretreated with specialized cleaning products before the carpet is cleaned.
  • Size of carpeted rooms - Large areas will require more work and take longer to clean. If your commercial building has several large, carpeted rooms, expect at least 10-15 minutes to be added to the average cleaning time for each room. Carpeted stairs and narrow hallways may also affect the time it takes to clean your carpets.
  • Cleaning method - The cleaning method has a major impact on how long carpet cleaning takes. Most carpet cleaning methods have varying cleaning times. For example, dry cleaning is better for routine cleaning, while hot water extraction provides a deeper clean.

Average time it takes: 20-30 minutes for each 12' x 12' room or carpeted area.

How Does Professional Carpet Cleaning Work?

  • Carpet shampooing - this involves using a scrubbing machine to work a foaming cleaning solution into the fibers of your carpet. It takes the longest to dry, so it's not always the best choice. Once the carpets are dry, leftover dirt is vacuumed up.
  • Hot water extraction - Hot water extraction, or steam cleaning, is the most popular commercial cleaning method. A combination of hot water and cleaning solution is used to break down particles deep within the carpet. Hot water extraction is a more time-consuming process because it takes the longest to dry. However, because it deep cleans the carpet fibers, it’s considered more effective than dry cleaning.
  • Dry cleaning - Dry cleaning doesn’t use as much water as carpet shampooing or hot water extraction, making it the most efficient option. A cleaning compound is used to bind to dirt and pollutants trapped in the carpet’s fibers. Then, a spinning machine is employed to pick up the dirt. This method is mostly used in high-traffic areas where carpets need to dry fast.

Professional cleaners use a combination of cleaning solutions, scrubbing brushes, and vacuum suction to remove harmful particles from carpets. All cleaning products are applied with modern, effective equipment that pumps water deep within the carpet’s fibers. The water is then extracted, removing carpet dirt in the process. 

Unified Janitorial Services will perform spot cleaning to eliminate dirt and stains from carpets. A protective solution and other industrial-strength products are applied to protect your business’s high-traffic areas.

3. Drying

Drying time is the longest part of the carpet cleaning process. After our professional cleaners are done cleaning, they’ll give you an idea of how long carpets may take to dry. 

If you’ve opted for dry cleaning, furniture can be moved back immediately because the chemical process is complete and there’s nothing to dry. With hot water extraction, you should wait at least six hours before moving furniture back into place. 

Average time it takes: barely any time (with dry cleaning) to six hours or more (with carpet shampooing or hot water extraction)

How Long Does it Take for Carpet to Dry After Professional Cleaning?

In general, it takes commercial carpets about 2-6 hours to dry after being professionally cleaned. 

However, the drying time may take longer depending on the type of carpet and how dirty it was. If a carpet is full of dirt and grime, it could take more water to clean, therefore increasing the time it takes to dry. 

Dry time is also affected by humidity, temperature, and airflow to an area. Using fans and turning on your building’s air conditioning or heating system can help accelerate the drying process.

How Long Should You Stay Off of Carpets After Cleaning?

You should wait at least 30 minutes before walking on wet carpet. Heavy traffic should be avoided for at least six hours after cleaning.

To avoid color transfer, make sure to leave any protective blocks under furniture legs until the carpet is completely dry.

How Often Should Commercial Carpets Be Cleaned?

Professional carpet cleaning should be performed anywhere from twice a month to once every six months. However, how often a commercial carpet needs cleaning depends on the following

  • The traffic in your building
  • The climate in your area
  • The type of carpeting you have

The type of commercial business you run also affects how often carpet cleaning should be performed. For example, a medical facility requires routine carpet cleaning while an office building or bank may go months between cleanings.

Schedule Commercial Carpet Cleaning Services in the Bay Area

There are many benefits of professional carpet cleaning that shouldn't be overlooked. If you want to maintain a professional, healthy environment, your business needs professional carpet cleaning.

From Monterey to Santa Clara, San Benito, and Santa Cruz, we’re proud to be one of the Bay Area’s most reliable commercial cleaning services

At Unified Janitorial Services, we provide the services of a large commercial cleaning company with the attention and personal touch of a small business. We’re available 24/7 and give personal attention to our client’s requests and concerns. 

For more information, call us at 831-229-9120 or contact us today for a FREE quote! 

We will not accept individual carpet cleaning jobs. Commercial carpet cleaning is reserved for our regular janitorial clients.


"I love that I can call them 24/7 to address any needs or last-minute requests."

—Jason Wilson | Broadcom Solutions, Inc. San Jose, CA

"They handle all of our building needs like carpets & floors, as well as doing a great job with the nightly cleaning."

—Yolanda Herrera | All Bay Mechanical
San Jose, CA

3000 Haas Drive Aptos, CA 95003