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How to Estimate a Commercial Carpet Cleaning Job

Jul 25, 2023 | Article, Cleaning Business Tips

Estimating the cost of a carpet cleaning job can be challenging for home cleaning service providers. In this article, we will delve into the process of estimating commercial carpet cleaning projects and provide valuable insights on how to secure those cleaning jobs once your estimate is delivered.

Let’s explore the world of commercial carpet cleaning estimates and discover the key factors to consider.

Factors to Consider in Commercial Carpet Cleaning Estimates

The price estimates for commercial carpet cleaning projects can vary significantly, depending on several factors that must be taken into account by cleaning service providers. Here are four essential criteria that every reputable carpet cleaning company should consider before providing a commercial carpet cleaning estimate:

Determining the Quantity and Type of Cleaning Products Needed

The overall cost of a carpet cleaning project is heavily influenced by the amount of cleaning materials required to complete the job. To provide an accurate cost estimate, assessing how much cleaning solution will be needed to thoroughly clean and protect the carpets in the interior spaces is crucial.

Consider the following questions when estimating costs:

  • What is the total area of the commercial building that needs carpet cleaning?
  • Will multiple cleaning passes be necessary to achieve satisfactory results?
  • Are there specific types of carpets or stains that require specialized cleaning solutions?
  • Does the carpet require any additional treatments or protective coatings?

Addressing Preparatory Tasks and Potential Challenges

Commercial properties often present various imperfections and obstacles that can add time and labor costs to a carpet cleaning project. It is essential to account for these factors during the estimation process.

Most commercial carpet cleaning projects involve significant preparation work, such as:

  • Identifying and addressing carpet imperfections and damages.
  • Protecting furniture and/or moving furniture during the cleaning process.
  • Dealing with textured or heavily soiled carpets that require extra attention.

More extensive preparation work will increase the labor cost and possibly the amount of supplies needed, ultimately impacting the final commercial carpet cleaning estimate.

Effective Negotiation Strategies

Commercial property owners are always looking to save money, and as a professional carpet cleaner, you can offer various strategies to accommodate their budget. Consider the following negotiation techniques:

  • Offer a free estimate regardless of the commercial property size to attract potential clients.
  • Provide options for different grades of cleaning products, including mid and high-quality alternatives.
  • Utilize pricing psychology by quoting three tiers of cleaning services, a basic clean, a more advanced cleaning, and an option with all the bells and whistles.

Calculating the Cost per Square Foot

Determining the amount of cleaning solution and labor required can be simplified by calculating the cost per square foot. The larger the carpeted area, the longer the cleaning process will take, and the more cleaning solution will be needed.

Pro Tip: Remember that commercial carpet cleaning projects usually have a lower cost per square foot than residential spaces, so avoid using the same formula for both types of jobs.

Bidding for Commercial Carpet Cleaning Jobs

Consider the Estimate in Terms of Hours

Estimating the duration of a large commercial carpet cleaning project is not always straightforward, but it is essential to account for it when providing an estimate. Instead of relying solely on the cost per square foot, consider estimating the labor costs per room or section of the building. This approach provides a more accurate estimate of both the cost and the duration of the project, allowing you to better plan and schedule your services.

Pro Tip: To accommodate the business hours of your clients, offer to complete projects during off-hours, which can be a compelling selling point.

Account for Inflated Costs

The cost of carpet cleaning materials has significantly increased due to the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Many costs have soared, and the prices of essential equipment, such as cleaning solutions, brushes, and other supplies, have also risen. As a result, commercial carpet cleaning bids are currently higher than ever before.

It’s important to remember that contractors are adjusting their prices to cover the increased overhead costs. While new carpet cleaning companies may be hesitant to increase their rates, most prospects will understand the need to account for the rising material costs and will look beyond the price tag.

Don’t Hesitate to Decline a Commercial Carpet Cleaning Project

Many cleaning service providers are tempted to accept any offer for commercial carpet cleaning projects simply because they involve a significant amount of square footage and promise a substantial paycheck. However, bidding for projects solely based on their size can sometimes do more harm than good. This is particularly true for new business owners who may not have clear and specific requirements.

If a client’s demands are too demanding or vague, it’s advisable to refrain from taking on the project. This helps avoid potential misunderstandings and ensures that you can focus on delivering high-quality services to clients with clear expectations.

Calculating a Commercial Carpet Cleaning Estimate

Estimating the amount of cleaning solution and materials required for a commercial carpet cleaning job, as well as the associated costs, can be challenging. To simplify the process, break it down into smaller, manageable steps.

Start by determining the cost of your supplies:

  • How much does one gallon of pre-spray and/or cleaning solution cost for this project?

Next, consider the materials you’ll need:

  • How many cleaning supplies, spotters, and other equipment will be required?
  • How long do the brushes, skids, sprayers, and other items typically last during a large carpet cleaning project?

Carpet Coverage Estimates

  • One gallon of pre-spray: Covers approximately 250 to 400 square feet
  • Average coverage: 325 square feet

Carpet Calculation for Interior/Exterior Cleaning

Total square footage of carpeted area / square footage covered per gallon = total gallons of cleaning solution needed

For example: If the carpeted area is 20,000 square feet and the coverage per gallon of pre-spray solution is 325 square feet, the calculation would be as follows:

20,000 sq.ft / 325 sq.ft = 61.54 gallons (round up to 62 gallons for safety)

Total square footage of carpeted area / average square footage per hour your crew cleans = total amount of crew hours needed.  Multiply that by the hourly rate of your crew (and add on 1 to 2 hrs for setup and teardown), and you have your approximate labor costs. For example:

20,000 sq.ft / 1000 sq.ft/hr = 20 hrs X $70/hr (crew of 2 inc. payroll tx) = $1,400

Remember to account for multiple cleaning passes on carpets that have not been maintained on a regular schedule. Depending on the condition, location, and color of the carpets, in heavily soiled or neglected areas it’s advisable to plan for at least 2-3 cleaning passes.

Keep track of your material costs, labor costs, and the size of each project. With sufficient data, you can calculate your estimates by multiplying a fixed percentage by the total job cost.

For example: If your material and labor costs amount to $1,700, divide that by 0.7 to get a rough estimate of $2,500. You can adjust these numbers based on the square footage alone to fine-tune your future estimates.

Closing Your Commercial Carpet Cleaning Leads

Calculating the total square footage, material and labor costs, and estimating the required preparation time are crucial aspects of the carpet cleaning process. However, successfully converting leads into clients requires additional effort.

Demonstrate Your Expertise and Excellence

Most business owners consider multiple carpet cleaning service providers before making a decision. To stand out from the competition, you need to prove that your company is the best choice. During the initial consultation, implement the following strategies:

  • Prequalify your carpet cleaning leads to focus on projects that align with your expertise and capabilities.
  • Make a positive first impression by arriving on time and dressing professionally.
  • Showcase pictures and/or videos of high-quality work in buildings with similar square footage.
  • Provide testimonials from satisfied clients, and consider offering references so prospects can directly inquire about your service quality.

It looks more professional when you use a custom quoting form, you take measurements of the total square footage to be cleaned, you test and rate the spots and traffic lanes (brownie points if you are using your own company-branded spotter and a nice white towel), you note down areas of concerns, wear, and damage – and let the prospect know you will take the information back to your office, crunch the numbers and provide a formal quote package with option in 1 to 2 days.

Provide an Attractive Proposal

After providing the estimate, it’s crucial to follow up with a detailed and attractive proposal. The proposal should outline the scope of work, the timeline, the cost breakdown, and any additional services or benefits you offer.

A well-crafted proposal can help instill confidence in your potential clients and make them more likely to choose your carpet cleaning services over competitors.

Offer Flexible Scheduling

Commercial clients often have specific time constraints and preferences when it comes to scheduling carpet cleaning. To increase your chances of closing the deal, be flexible and accommodating with your scheduling options.

Unless it is a commercial business that regularly takes a specific day of the week off, you will need to offer evening or weekend appointments to minimize disruption to their business operations. Your level of flexibility around the hours you have crews available can make your services more appealing and increase the likelihood of securing the job.

Stay in Touch and Follow Up

Even if you don’t close the deal during the initial estimate or proposal stage, staying in touch with your potential clients is essential. Regularly follow up with them to remind them of your services and maintain a presence in their decision-making process.

Phone calls, text messages, and emails can all be effective ways to stay on their radar. Additionally, following up allows you to address any questions or concerns they may have and provide further information to help them make an informed decision.


Estimating and closing commercial carpet cleaning jobs requires careful consideration of factors such as material costs, labor, square footage, and client preferences. By accurately estimating the scope of work and providing detailed proposals, you can increase your chances of securing commercial carpet cleaning projects.

Additionally, showcasing your expertise, offering flexible scheduling, and maintaining regular communication with potential clients can help you stand out from the competition and win more jobs.

Learn More with Carpet Cleaning Marketing Masters

Carpet Cleaning Marketing Masters is an agency dedicated to helping professional carpet cleaning companies enhance their digital presence, generate quality leads, and close more jobs.

Rather than relying on generalized advice from marketers who may not fully understand the industry, partnering with a specialized agency like Carpet Cleaning Marketing Masters can provide tailored strategies and solutions specific to the carpet cleaning business.

Contact Carpet Cleaning Marketing Masters today to explore how they can assist in generating consistent and high-quality leads for your carpet cleaning company.

About the Author: As a business owner in the carpet cleaning and cleaning service industry for over 30 years as well as a marketing consultant and author, with well-over a decade of lead generation experience managing a results-driven marketing agency for Professional Carpet Cleaning and Residential Cleaning Companies, John Clendenning is wildly known as a leading Marketing Expert within the Professional Cleaning Industry.

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