How much does it cost to rent a carpet cleaner? Experts on whether it's worth it

How much does it cost to rent a carpet cleaner? All you need to know about the cost of a professional carpet cleaning machine

A bright living room with light neutral carpet and houseplants
(Image credit: Carpetright)

Are you asking yourself, 'how much does it cost to rent a carpet cleaner?' Carpet cleaners can give remarkable results on carpets that have seen better days. Whether you have carpet throughout your home and are planning a spring clean or you're a renter about to move out and want to make sure your carpeted floor is as clean as can be to avoid losing your deposit, it's a good idea to budget for a carpet cleaner in advance.

But first, is renting a carpet cleaner worth it? Perhaps you're considering buying the best carpet cleaner and just keeping it in your utility room or cupboard. If you have a lot of carpet to cover, isn't better to just own one? Cleaning experts have all the answers to your questions. 

How much does it cost to rent a carpet cleaner? 

First of all, it's important to understand that there are different types of carpet cleaners out there. As Jessica Samson, a cleaning expert at Maids.com (opens in new tab), explains, 'There are high-end commercial carpet cleaners and there are retail versions that you can rent from your local grocery store. Choosing the type of carpet cleaner you want to rent will change the price of rental significantly.' 

The cheapest carpet cleaners to rent are the retail type. Essentially, you'll be renting the exact same models you could buy from your local grocery store like Walmart (opens in new tab). made by companies like Hoover and Bissell, they can be rented from most grocery stores. The cost?  Leonard Ang, CEO of iPropertyManagement (opens in new tab) Leasing, gives an estimate of $20-40 for a full day. Compared with the full cost of buying a carpet cleaner, which is anywhere in the $80-300 range, this is a good saving. 

A deep blue carpet on stairs in a hallway

(Image credit: Carpetright)

However, if you want to rent a professional carpet cleaner – the type that professional cleaning agencies use for end-of-tenancy cleans, you will need to be prepared to spend quite a bit more. According to Samson, 'assuming you will be renting the carpet cleaner for 24 hours, the cost will vary from $60 - $100 per day.' A high-end, commercial carpet cleaner would cost from $600 and into thousands to buy, so you would still save a significant amount of money by renting it. These machines justify the higher price because they are significantly more powerful and especially well suited to larger homes where you need to cover a lot of square footage of carpet. 

A textured caroet being cleaner with a professional carpet cleaner

(Image credit: Panther Media GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo)

The other option is to rent a carpet cleaner for a week. Rachel Watson from Hillyard Mid-Atlantic (opens in new tab), a cleaning equipment rental company in Lancaster County, gives a weekly rental rate for a standard machine at $180. If you don't have the time to do all your cleaning in one go, then renting the carpet cleaner for a whole week may well make sense, especially if you're doing a big move.

Is renting a carpet cleaner worth it?

Those are the typical costs. Now for the less straightforward bit. Is renting a carpet cleaner worth it? The answer is: it depends on several factors. The first is the size of your home and the amount of carpet you need to clean. A smaller space only really will need a standard carpet cleaner, and if you're only planning on a very occasional or one-off deep clean, then renting a carpet cleaner from your local grocery store is a very good idea. Ang says that 'especially when compared to hiring a cleaning service or taking a hit on your security deposit, renting carpet cleaners is incredibly affordable and easy to do.'

If you anticipate using a carpet cleaner more often than as an end-of-tenancy clean, you might as well buy one. If you spend about $100 and deep clean your carpet several times a year, you will recoup the cost very quickly. Ang points out that 'most modern ones are about as easy to use as any vacuum cleaner', their only real difference is that they are 'definitely heavier.' So, if you don't have lots of stairs to clean and don't mind pulling around a bit of extra weight, they're a good investment.

A cream bedroom with carpet

(Image credit: Elements London)

If you have a larger home with lots of carpet, renting a professional carpet cleaner definitely is the best option. Watson tells us that 'if you only need to use a carpet cleaner every so often in your home or business, spending thousands on a piece of equipment isn't worth it. Also, these cleaning rentals can take up a lot of space, which may not be available in your current business or home. Finally, carpet cleaning rentals are tested regularly so you can have peace of mind knowing they are safe to use and won't break down.'

Commercial carpet cleaners are bulky, heavy machines that need proper maintenance, and most people will find that it's not practical to own one. Samson also reminds anyone thinking of using one that 'it is best to have all your rooms prepared for carpet cleaning prior to renting the equipment so you can get the most of your time.' This will mean moving furniture around and allowing for drying time as you're essentially shampooing your carpet. Be realistic about how often you're prepared to do that – for most people, even once a year will be too big a job. 

To sum up: if you live in a smaller home and do a fair bit of cleaning, consider buying a retail carpet cleaner. If you live in a larger property, rent a professional model for a day or a week.

Anna is Content Editor at Real Homes. She moved to the world of interiors from academic research in the field of English Literature and photography. She is the author of London Writing of the 1930s and has a passion for contemporary home decor and gardening. At Real Homes, she covers a range of topics, from practical advice to interior and garden design. 

SPONSORS