Get under the surface with professional deep cleaning for your home or office. Deep cleaning tackles everything from cobwebbed ceiling fans down to dirty tile grout. An intensive deep cleaning is usually done by a team of cleaners who can fan out to go in-depth on all the problems areas in your home. A single cleaner or traditional maid service can certainly provide deep cleaning services, but the process will take longer than for a team of workers. The time it takes to deep-clean a house or an office will depend on the square feet they have to cover, the total number of rooms, and the number of bathrooms you have. Bathrooms and kitchens typically take longer than other rooms because they are high-use areas and require additional disinfecting to get that deep-down clean. When you have your home or office deep-cleaned, you can expect next-level shine. To get the most for your money, be sure to tidy up your home or office before the cleaners arrive so they don't spend their time picking up clutter. By clearing surfaces, putting away toys and washing dishes you can free the professional cleaners to focus on waxing floors, dusting window blinds, and doing basic cleaning inside the refrigerator.
Deep cleaning may make you picture workers in hazmat suits digging through the wreckage of a burned-out building, but it doesn't have to be so dramatic. Cleaning professionals can certainly handle dirty jobs and transform long-uncleaned homes, but deep cleaning is also a great way to start fresh in a new home and keep your already-clean home running at top performance. Unusually dirty homes and offices will likely cost more to deep-clean because the work will take longer and require more staff effort and cleaning products. You can schedule a deep cleaning for your home or office as a one-time service; for example, in preparation for hosting the entire extended family for the holidays, or after your annual birthday bash when confetti and people get everywhere. You can also schedule deep-cleaning services on a recurring basis to maintain a high level of cleanliness in your home or office. Another option is to schedule a bi-annual makeover or annual spring cleaning to clear away cobwebs, drum out the dust and let in the sun. You may want deep cleaning for a home you just bought or rented to clear away any remnants of the original inhabitants and make room for your own fresh start. When it's time to move on, a deep cleaning by a professional company before you move out is the easiest way to make sure you get back your full rental deposit.
Professional house cleaning can be done on any type of residential dwelling, from a small studio apartment to homes with two or more bedrooms. Small businesses and corporate offices also benefit from deep cleaning services — workers can be happier and more productive in a healthy environment, and cleanliness makes customers happy. Deep cleaning services are also available for commercial spaces and multiunit properties. Most residential and commercial cleaning businesses offer their clients deep cleaning services in addition to standard cleaning services. In fact, cleaning companies may offer their regular clients discounts if those clients incorporate semi-regular deep cleaning services into their rotation. Each cleaning company has their own way of determining their rates. Some charge per hour, others per room, and still others a flat rate once they have done a walk-through. There is no right or wrong way for the pros to price deep cleaning; what is important is that pricing details are transparent and you, as the customer, understand exactly what the service includes for the cost. Your final price will depend on the size of the property, the number of rooms and bathrooms, how detailed you want your cleaners to be, how dirty your place is, your geographic location, and any special requests you have.
If you are ready to turn the dust mask and rubber gloves over to the pros, here are the factors that affect the average cost of deep-cleaning a house or office.
Some home cleaning services calculate the cost of deep cleaning services based on an hourly rate or total cleaning time. Cleaning companies can calculate their hourly rate by determining the costs associated with their employee labor, the cleaning supplies used, the cost of equipment, company vehicle costs, business operating costs (taxes, insurance, etc.) and travel. In one average example, Blondy's Cleaning in Greenwood, Indiana, charges $25 per hour per person for deep cleaning. A 2,000-square-foot house typically takes one worker at Blondy's four to six hours, which costs $100-$150, depending on what is needed. In other parts of the country, a deep cleaning hourly rate might range from under $30 to over $50 on average per worker, with total costs for deep cleaning ranging between $200 and $400 per house. Additional services may cost extra if you have a particularly difficult cleaning job.
Many cleaners calculate deep-cleaning costs based on the total square footage of the home or office. The cost per square foot generally includes the cost for cleaning supplies and any travel associated with arriving at the house. A cleaning company in Keller, Texas, charges 10 cents per square foot for deep-cleaning services. In contrast, the company's rate for standard cleaning services is 5 cents per square foot. In this example, a 3,000-square-foot house would cost $300 and typically take four to four and a half hours for two people to deep-clean.
A third pricing option for deep-cleaning services is a flat rate per job. In general, cleaning companies that charge a flat rate will do a free site visit to assess the area, estimate the size of your space, and determine how long it will take to clean. Many deep cleaning jobs range between $200 and $400, depending on the size of your house and the amount of effort required to clean it.
Deep cleaning takes routine cleaning to the next level, ensuring that every nook and cranny is tended to. Different cleaners may define deep cleaning in different ways, so always ask exactly what's included before hiring a service. Pricing can also reflect how expansive their services are, so if a cleaning company's deep cleaning price quote seems far lower than their competitors, be sure to clarify what is included. One cleaning company in Central Texas says that in addition to standard cleaning, their deep cleaning service includes the following:
- Deep cleaning inside of all the appliances (stove, fridge, etc.), including the range hood
- Cleaning countertops
- Cleaning floors and baseboards
- Wiping down blinds
- Cleaning interior windows
- Cleaning all light fixtures and bulbs
- Dusting ceiling fans
- Cleaning AC/heat vents
- Cleaning the bathroom — all aspects
- Dusting in all areas (living room, bedrooms, common areas)
Many professional cleaning services use checklists, which you can view beforehand to understand what you will be paying for, and compare against afterward to make sure every target area was cleaned. If the company you are working with does not have a pre-made checklist, ask for one in writing.
Deep cleaning in an office will include a similar array of services as deep cleaning for the home. As the office manager or business owner, you may have specific areas you'd like the cleaners to address, with extra attention typical for bathrooms and lounges or eating areas. Consider scheduling a deep cleaning for the office if there has been a flu or cold outbreak among your employees. An annual deep cleaning before or during cold and flu season can help reduce employee sick time and make for happier, healthier workers.
New client deep cleaning
Housecleaning companies often require new clients who want ongoing (standard) housecleaning services to start with a deep cleaning. This allows the company to bring the house up to a standard level of cleanliness, getting out old layers of dust and grime. On subsequent visits, the cleaners can focus on maintaining the same level of cleanliness instead of fighting decades of dirt. Expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $100 more on average than your regular rate for this initial deep-clean visit.
If you become a regular cleaning client, most professional cleaning services offer incentives to build loyalty for their regulars. For example, The Cleaning Crew in Redwood City, California, offers 15 percent off regular rates for weekly customers, 10 percent off regular rates for bi-monthly customers, and 5 percent off for monthly customers. It pays to stay clean!
Many housecleaning services do not include moving furniture in their costs. If a client needs tables, beds, couches or other furniture to be moved, the total cost may increase. If you do want the cleaners to move desks or scrub the floor under the armoire, it's important to communicate this when you are scheduling the appointment. If the company is not alerted to your needs in advance they may not be able to accommodate them, as not all cleaners can safely move heavy furniture. It poses a potential risk to their safety and your belongings if your heavy items are moved improperly. Whether or not you need heavy items moved, it's important to hire a deep cleaning company that has workers' comp and liability insurance to protect both you and the cleaners in case of accidents.
Depending on the services needed, clients may be able to negotiate customized prices for deep cleaning. For example, a company that charges 10 cents per square foot would typically charge a client $300 for deep cleaning their 3,000-square-foot home. However, the client could negotiate a lower rate if they didn't want window cleaning or carpet cleaning and might pay $240 instead of the standard $300.
If you would like to negotiate a custom rate for your deep cleaning, you will likely have to schedule a (free) site visit for the cleaner or a manager to perform a walk-through to learn exactly what your needs are and determine the job scope. This also ensures they can give you an accurate estimate of the cost.
How to hire
Finding a great interior cleaning company can feel overwhelming, especially if you've had bad experiences in the past or have never hired someone to clean for you before and are not sure how to start. Fortunately, finding a great cleaner is easy; just follow these simple steps.
- Read reviews. Before you begin talking with the pros, read their profiles and look at what past (and current) customer experiences have been like. Look for descriptions of the company as responsible, efficient, responsive and thorough. For more, check out our tips for smart hiring.
- Ask how they charge. Learn about their pricing model and whether they charge per hour, per room, or with a flat fee.
- Confirm whether they are bonded and insured with liability insurance if this is important to you. If you are working with a larger cleaning company that has a range of employees, bonding and insurance protect you against theft or accidents that damage your house or belongings while workers are cleaning your space.
- Ask if the company does background checks on their employees, especially if you have children or elderly residents in your home.
- Ask if they have workers' comp. This means that any injuries that occur while the company is working at your house are covered by workers' compensation insurance, not out of your pocket.
- Find out exactly what services are included in a deep clean. Instead of a vague "we clean everything," ask for a checklist that you can compare against results when the job is done. This provides a clear foundation for a work agreement and an easy way to resolve matters. You can also ask if they provide a work guarantee.
- Ask who provides the cleaning products. Most cleaners provide their own supplies, but particular homeowners can provide their own if they have special products they prefer. This can also shave money off your deep cleaning bill.
- Find out how many workers will come to your home, and how long the job will take for a thorough cleaning.
- Ask how to pay: cash, check, credit? Ask upfront so there's no confusion the day of the cleaning.
Signs you need to deep-clean
Deep cleaning does cost more than standard cleaning services, but it's a more thorough cleaning than just a light dusting and vacuum. That's also why deep cleaning is typically reserved for one-time or semi-annual needs such as special occasions or spring cleaning. How can you tell whether your home or office needs a standard clean or a deep clean? If you regularly clean your home yourself or pay someone to do it for you, you may only need a deep cleaning once a year. If you never clean your home and it's been months since your toilet has seen a toilet brush, you should probably start with a deep cleaning to bring your house up to a basic standard of cleanliness. Standard cleaning keeps homes well-maintained, making the need for deep cleaning less frequent. However, if clients have specialty needs, some cleaners can provide weekly deep cleaning. For example, one cleaner's client requested that each book in the home library is dusted weekly and all the rugs are picked up and specially cleaned each week. These requests raise the cost of services from standard to deep-cleaning rates.
Here are some signs that it's time for you to hire someone to deep-clean your home or office:
- Employees or family members are suffering more from their allergies. Dust, mites and other allergens can be reduced with deep cleaning strategies that get dirt out of all the cracks and crevices.
- The walls have dirt marks or excessive fingerprints on them.
- There is a layer of dusty grime on the ceiling fans.
- The light bulbs are dusty.
- Heating and cooling vents need to be removed and cleaned with warm soapy water.
- The inside of the oven is unusually dirty.
- The office refrigerator and freezer are growing plant life.
- You recently completed a remodel or home renovation and have dust everywhere.
- Cabinet interiors need cleaning.
Travel and location
As with all services, transportation is a factor in cost. Some deep cleaning businesses may carry all the necessary equipment and employees to their jobs. The cost of travel to the job site is typically included in the quoted rate for services, as are the costs associated with owning and operating any company vehicles. However, travel fees may apply if your house or office space to be cleaned is outside the normal service range of the business. Your cleaning company should discuss any additional travel costs with you upfront so there are no surprises when you receive your final invoice.
Your geographic location will also affect your deep cleaning costs. The cost of doing business (insurance, taxes, etc.) and employee labor are typically lower in smaller towns and more rural areas, while cities with a high cost of living, such as Manhattan or San Francisco, have a higher cost to do business. These factors, in turn, affect how much you pay to have your home or your office deep-cleaned.
Preparing for a deep cleaning
No one wants to clean before the cleaners come, but doing some decluttering can help you get the most for your money. Whether you are cleaning up after a big family reunion, are in the middle of spring cleaning, want to sanitize after a wave of family illnesses, or just hate cleaning so much that your cupboards have an inch of dust, getting your house ready will make the outcomes that much better. Follow these suggestions for the best deep cleaning possible:
- Pick up clutter. Put shoes away, put throw pillows back, pick up magazines that are tossed on the floor and hang up your jackets. Consider tucking away knickknacks you've been meaning to archive anyway.
- Tidy things up. The deep cleaners are there to scrub down dirt and grime, not to stack up your mail and put your magazines and shoes away.
- Do your laundry. Most standard house cleaners won't do laundry, though some will agree to wash and fold laundry for an extra charge.
- Wash your dishes. Don't leave dirty pots on the counter and old oatmeal bowls in the sink. Load and the dishwasher ahead of time, and empty your sink so the cleaners can scrub it sparkling clean.
- Put your pets in the backyard, or somewhere safe where they won't be underfoot.
- Don't micromanage. No one wants to have a person managing their every move. Talk with the cleaners before they start and do a walk-through afterward to discuss any problem areas or living areas that need special attention. Otherwise, let them do their work.
Move-in and move-out cleaning
If you have recently bought a new place or are moving out of a rental, you may want deep cleaning services to get everything perfect. New place perfection means no traces of the old owners or renters remain, and rental move-out perfection means getting all that deposit money back. With most deep cleaning services ranging from an average of $200 for standard homes to $400 for large residences, paying for professional deep cleaning services can provide you great return on investment. It saves you time you don't have when you're in the middle of the move, and helps you (hopefully!) recoup the entirety of your deposit.
If you are hiring a cleaning company to provide a deep cleaning for move-in or move-out services, be sure to let them know that when you are booking them. Find out whether they have requirements such as having the place empty of furniture, and make sure you and the cleaners know exactly what to expect.
If you have decided you want to expand the healthy choices you make for your family, choosing a deep cleaning company that uses green products can make a big difference. The term "green" means that a cleaning product has reduced harm on human or environmental health. Standard (non-green) cleaning products can really cut through grease and grime, but also include toxic ingredients that can lead to eye, skin or respiratory irritation. In addition, they can trigger allergies and exacerbate illnesses such as asthma. Another concern with chemicals in cleaners specifically made to "kill germs" is that the overuse of disinfectants can lead to lowering a body's natural immune response to illnesses, increasing the risk of greater illness over time. Beyond human health, toxic ingredients in cleaners can pollute the earth's drinking water and harm animals and the natural environment.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) explains that humans and the environment are exposed to the toxic chemicals in cleaning products "through evaporation of volatile components and rinsing down the drain of residual product from cleaned surfaces, sponges, etc." If you opt for a deep cleaning company that uses green cleaning products, your home will still be cleaned, but you can reduce potential harm to you, your children and the environment. The EPA provides suggestions on how to avoid products that use misleading marketing terms and provides a guide from the Federal Trade Commission for what is permissible in environmental marketing claims.
Often "green cleaners" cost the same or only slightly more than other deep cleaning companies, providing you a healthier option for your family without hurting your home budget. The cleaning company provides the green products, so you don't have to find and purchase the sprays and cleaners. Some companies offer a green cleaning option, and some companies are entirely "green."
- Read client reviews and follow up with references to make sure you're choosing the right house cleaner for you. For more, check out our tips for smart hiring.