House cleaning can be a real chore, with so much dust and dirt, all that heavy cleaning equipment, and the time it takes — time you need to spend working, taking care of your kids, traveling or volunteering. It's an additional challenge if you have any kind of mobility issues. And you can't just do it once and be done; your house demands cleaning again and again. Fortunately, regular cleaning services are no longer an unattainable luxury. In fact, budgeting in a weekly cleaning service or maid service on a regular basis can be worth the investment for the additional freedom and time you get back.
Hiring a professional home cleaning service can prevent domestic quarrels, help control allergies caused by indoor irritants and make for a happy home. Whether you need a one-time cleaning service or want to set up a recurring service, professional house cleaning is available for all types of properties. Hire a house cleaner to handle your private homes, rental properties, multi unit buildings, businesses, rental move-ins or move-outs, homes for sale, event and party cleanup, and much more. In fact, the more you have your house cleaned, the lower the cost per cleaning usually is, as it's easier to keep your home clean with regular cleaning visits than with intensive efforts once or twice a year.
The cost to hire cleaning professionals can depend on how large your home is (how many sq ft), how many rooms you have, how thorough a cleaning your house needs, how many bathrooms you have, and how often you want your place cleaned. The number of bathrooms will increase your home cleaning price because bathrooms are dirtier and require more effort to clean than other parts of your home. Home size will always affect cost, but if you make an exceptional mess on a regular basis, your cost may be higher even for a tiny space than for a larger home that's kept cleaner between visits. Geographic location also plays a role in how much you'll pay for house cleaning. Services in cities like San Francisco and Manhattan will be more expensive than services in smaller towns with a lower cost of living. The costs charged by house cleaning companies in high-cost areas account for higher insurance rates, higher costs to operate company vehicles, higher labor rates and more. Many cleaning companies also offer special services such as eco-friendly cleaners, carpet cleaning, and special rates for biweekly cleaning packages or post-construction cleaning. Most cleaners also offer free estimates for a thorough cleaning and itemize their additional service prices.
Here are the factors that affect the average cost of hiring a professional house cleaner.
Cleaning businesses and maid services may charge based on square footage, price per room or price per hour. This allows them to give new customers a general idea of what their services will cost, based on experience and the estimated time and labor required to clean. Because each job is unique, most professionals will only quote a rate after performing a walk-through. For example, Organic Breeze Cleaning East Bay, a home cleaner in Oakland, California, offers average starting rates for three tiers of cleaning services based on level of cleanliness the customer requires:
A housecleaning company may base its rates not on number of rooms or bathrooms but your home's square footage. The more square footage to be cleaned, the higher your overall costs will be. A company may charge different rates per square foot depending on the type of cleaning service they are providing.
For example, a cleaning company in the Dallas-Fort Worth region of Texas charges 10 cents per square foot for their deep-cleaning services. For customers who need only their standard cleaning services, the company charges 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. The company's cost for a standard cleaning of a 3,000-square-foot house would be $150.
The number of bedrooms you have in your house will play a role in determining cleaning costs. If your cleaning company bases their rates on number of rooms, rather than square footage, your room count matters. Even if your place is only 800 square feet, your cleaning costs will vary depending on whether it's a studio apartment or a two-bedroom house.
Number of bedrooms can often indicate how many people live in the home and how relatively clean or dirty it might be. Usually customers want bedding changed and beds made up, which requires extra time and effort the more bedrooms there are, thus driving up your cost. If you have spare bedrooms that are not being used on a regular basis, you can negotiate with your housecleaners to vacuum and dust the rooms on a less frequent basis, thereby saving you money. Keep Cleaning in San Francisco, California, has base starting rates for their cleaning services that increase with each additional bedroom. Here are some examples of Keep Cleaning's prices for their standard cleaning services:
Let's face it: Half the reason you want to hire a housecleaner is so you don't have to scrub the toilet anymore. House cleaners don't hate cleaning bathrooms the way you do, but bathroom cleaning does require more time and effort than cleaning your living room. Bathrooms are typically dirtier than other rooms in the house and require deeper cleaning, scrubbing and disinfecting.
A typical standard bathroom cleaning service will include sweeping, mopping, scrubbing the sink and polishing the faucet, wiping the counters, cleaning the mirror(s), scrubbing the shower or tub and polishing the faucet fixtures, and disinfecting the toilet and toilet bowl. This is why having more bathrooms in your home will usually increase the overall cleaning cost. Some cleaning companies charge more for additional bathrooms than they do for additional bedrooms.
Easy Clean Solutions in Kansas City, Missouri, show how their projected price for a standard cleaning increases based on the number of bathrooms:
Some cleaning companies charge an hourly rate, which means the price you pay for each visit can vary with just how dirty your house is that week. Typically, house cleaning companies that do charge by the hour will provide you a walk-through before you hire them. The walk-through allows them to see the size, layout and general cleanliness of your house, and give you an estimate of what a one-time or first-time cleaning will cost as well rates for ongoing services, whether weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly. Typically their hourly rate stays the same, but the one-time or first-time cleaning will cost more because it takes more time. Your cleaning costs will usually be consistent from week to week or month to month, unless you have a particularly messy part or other unusual situation.
One house cleaning service in San Francisco, California, charges an hourly rate based on the number of cleaners required for your job. For two cleaners on site, they charge $30 per hour. For one cleaner on site, they charge $20 per hour. They charge an additional $15 per room to clean windows and an additional $20 per room to clean sliding doors.
Depending on what's happening in your life, you may need different types of house cleaning services at different times. Deep house cleaning is a good choice for your annual spring cleaning or for post-home remodeling when dust is everywhere. Event cleanup is perfect can help you whip the house into shape before a major event, or get it back into shape after one. Move-in or move-out cleaning wipe your apartment or house back down to a clean slate, and can offer a great return on investment by enabling you to get your deposit back. The less intensive the cleaning work for the pros, the lower the cost to you. In the absence of any special promotions, a standard house cleaning service will always be the least expensive, and deep cleaning or move-out cleaning will usually cost the most. These are the usual levels of house cleaning services:
Cleaning companies may categorize specific services differently, so always go over the specifics of each cleaning job with the cleaning company before work begins, and ask about prices for special requests. Be sure to get a copy of your agreement in writing with an outline of the day and general time of the cleaning and what tasks will be covered.
Many homeowners want their homes cleaned with green cleaning products. In response to customer demand, or as a result of their own company missions, many housecleaning companies provide services using products that are easier on the environment and on humans.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), many cleaning products, especially industrial-strength cleaning products, are known to contain toxic chemicals that are harmful to adults, children, and the environment. In fact, "cleaning products can present several health and environmental concerns. They may contain chemicals associated with eye, skin, or respiratory irritation, or other human health issues," according to the EPA. This makes choosing a green company particularly attractive, especially if you have a young child or someone with a compromised immune system in the house. It's also better for the health of the cleaners who work directly with the products every day. You may pay slightly higher prices if you opt to work with a company that is solely green or that offers green products as an option.
Individual service providers often charge less than house cleaning companies. Larger cleaning companies usually have more standardized business models, are more likely to be bonded and insured, and often perform background checks on their employees. Many larger cleaning companies have uniforms for their staff, company cars, and standard procedures for cleaning a client's home. You are more likely to receive a written contract with a larger company than an individual who may operate more informally. The formal structure and processes of a larger company can result in a higher cost to do business, which can translate to higher prices for customers. However, a larger company may also have more convenient services, such as scheduling via an app, that you may consider worth the additional cost.
Although many individual house cleaners don't have formal systems such as ready-made checklists of what they do at specific price points, don't hesitate to ask for what you want. Most small businesses are happy to work with you in a more structured way if you desire. Even if they don't offer, it's always wise to ask for a written agreement with your individual contractor. This can include the cost for services, what specific cleaning tasks are included for the price, days and times they are scheduled to clean, and other details you find to be important. The best working relationships are always based on clear communication and clearly stated expectations.
You're ready to surrender the dust rag and let somebody help. The Sisters Home Services in Brentwood, California, has a few tips on how to hire a housecleaner you'll be happy with.
If you know you need help keeping the place clean, but want to find ways to reduce costs a bit, Karine Ewbank of H2O Professional Cleaning Services has two recommendations.
Millions of people ask Thumbtack for help with their projects every year. We track the estimates they get from local professionals, then we share those prices with you.
Tell us what you need so we can bring you the right pros.
Receive quotes from pros who meet your needs.
Compare quotes, message pros, and hire when ready.