Start your own business as a cleaning professional and wave goodbye to the daily grind. Discover how much cleaners make, with tips about setting up your business and setting prices.
How Much Do Cleaning Pros Make?
As people's lives seem to get busier and busier, more people are turning to house cleaners to lessen the burden of domestic life. With more people turning to cleaning services, house cleaning is a strong business prospect. You don't need to study, and equipment and overhead costs are low. As such, practically anyone can start a cleaning company, provided they've got a good work ethic and are business-minded.
A cleaning service owner's salary can vary significantly depending on the type of cleaning they perform and the nature of their service. Continue reading to discover the different types of cleaning and the cost of common cleaning services. Plus, you'll learn how to price a job and how to get started in your new career as a cleaning entrepreneur.
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How Much Do Cleaners Make?
As the owner of a cleaning company, you can charge anywhere between $75 and $500 for a job. On average, a job takes between one and six hours to clean, depending on the size and scope of a project.
You might be able to complete six jobs at the lower end of the scale per day or two at the higher end. That puts your gross earnings at between $450 and $2,000 per day. Keep in mind that you'll need to invest a lot more up front to charge higher prices. But you also have the option of doing fewer jobs and working part-time, even as a business owner.
For example, if you performed six small jobs a week as the sole employee, you could earn $450 per week for a few days' work. This is a great option for people with young children, other responsibilities or issues that prevent them from working full-time.
Considering the costs of overhead and equipment are minimal, labor is likely to be your main expense. If labor is priced at between $0 and $600 per day, the average gross annual earnings of a cleaning company owner after labor can be between $21,600 and $300,000 or more.
The higher end of the scale would apply to a well-established company with a huge customer base and a premium service. However, with the globally successful franchise Molly Maid making more than $200 million per year, the sky really is the limit.
How Much Is A House Cleaning Service?
The amount you charge for cleaning jobs depends on the services you offer, in addition to the type of service you provide. Below is a guide to the main types of home cleaning service with approximate prices for each.
Scheduled Cleaning Services
One of the best ways to maximize the profitability of your cleaning company is to offer set cleaning schedules instead of one-off jobs. This is particularly relevant for maid cleaning or housekeeping services. Regularly completing these types of jobs on a one-off basis prevents you from establishing long-term relationships with clients, which is where the majority of potential profits lie.
Plus, when you have regularly scheduled customers, you're in a better position to forecast and manage cash flow. Common schedules include:
- Daily: As a maid, you might live in a person's home or visit them daily. You can charge the most for these services because they limit the number of jobs you're able to complete.
- One a week: Lots of people are too busy to clean their own homes and enjoy the luxury of coming home to a well-kept home without the labor. You can charge a little less for weekly cleaning because of the guaranteed income.
- Every two weeks: A biweekly cleaning involves a little more work than a weekly clean, but you can charge slightly more.
- Once a month: It's a good idea to offer deep cleaning and other, more intensive services once per month. Having lots of minor jobs this infrequently can be harmful to cash flow.
Finding customers who are looking for weekly cleaning services is the holy grail of operating this type of business, especially when you charge less. But remember — just because you find a customer, it doesn't mean they'll automatically stay. You have to deliver exceptional customer service consistently so they remain loyal to your company.
A housekeeping service involves either living in a person's home or spending time there every day to help maintain the property. This is ideal for wealthy clients who travel frequently and don't spend much time at home, but it could also suit elderly clients who need help with daily cleaning tasks and other elements of keeping a home. Additional duties a housekeeper might perform include laundry, shopping and cooking.
If you offer housekeeping service and have one client, we'd recommend establishing an annual salary. Depending on the size of the home and the nature of services you offer, this could be between $30,000 and $50,000 per year.
Maid Cleaning Service
Maid cleaning services are usually the first type of cleaning service people think of. You clean clients' homes according to a regular schedule, usually in the following locations:
- Primary residences
- Rental properties
- Vacation rentals
- Vacation homes
Generally speaking, you're expected to keep the home immaculately clean by performing the following duties:
- Sanitizing surfaces
- Emptying trash
- Straightening furniture
- Fluffing cushions
You can charge between $75 and $300 per project, depending on the size of the home.
It's important that you set clear expectations of the duties you're going to perform for clients. Try not to include "extras" in your standard service, as you can charge extra for these. Offering add-ons is the best way for cleaners to upsell and make more money.
By performing time-consuming cleaning duties, you lessen the burden of moving for your clients. Plus, because you have to go the extra mile to make sure the property meets real estate agents' standards, you can charge a premium. Examples of duties you might perform during move-out cleaning include:
- Sweeping and vacuuming all floors
- Wiping down baseboards
- Scrubbing toilets
- Scrubbing the bathtub and shower
- Cleaning countertops and sinks
- Cleaning kitchen appliances
- Dusting the entire property from top to bottom
Depending on the type of property and location, you might charge between $150 and $400 per move-out service.
Deep House Cleaning Service
Clients might need deep cleaning services for a number of reasons. Some people might opt to hire a cleaner to do a deep clean two or three times per year. Others might like to get it done more or less frequently. Because of the level of detail involved in a deep clean, you can charge more for your services.
- Scrubbing grout
- Disinfecting trash cans
- Removing limescale and soap scum from fixtures
- Cleaning under and behind furniture and appliances
- Cabinet cleaning
- Disinfecting switches and knobs
- Dusting lampshades
- Scrubbing walls
- Cleaning baseboards, door frames and window frames
Even though deep cleaning is comprehensive, there are add-ons you can charge for separately.
Some tasks are more labor-intensive and require that you purchase additional supplies. Having a comprehensive list of add-ons and making thoughtful recommendations to customers is a great way to maximize profits. Some add-ons to consider offering include:
- Refrigerator cleaning
- Oven cleaning
- Furniture cleaning
- Fireplace and chimney cleaning
- Carpet cleaning
- Window cleaning
- Gutter cleaning
- Duct and vent cleaning
- Mold and mildew removal
- Power washing
What Affects The Price Of Cleaning Jobs?
There are a number of factors that determine how much people are willing to pay for cleaning services. As the owner of a cleaning service company, you need to understand them to set your price points competitively. And, of course, so you make a profit. Considerations include:
- The location of the property — for example, you can charge more for a one-bedroom apartment in LA or New York City compared to El Paso or Lexington.
- The condition and size of a home can significantly impact price.
- You can charge extra for people with children and pets due to the inevitable additional mess.
- You can charge more for using eco-friendly or vegan supplies, as this requires additional costs on your part. As a bonus, these are also great ways to give yourself a competitive advantage!
- If your client is willing to sign a long-term contract, you might offer a discount.
Choosing A Pricing Method
There are five main ways cleaning professionals charge for the services they perform:
- An hourly rate, factoring in labor, profit margins and overheads
- Flat fee pricing for daily, weekly, biweekly or monthly cleans, deep cleans and move-out cleans (based on a typical single-family home)
- A room rate based on the number of bedrooms and bathrooms
- A square footage rate for accurate, easy-to-calculate rates
- Add-ons to upsell and boost the spend-per-client
Pricing A Cleaning Job
Every cleaning company owner has their own method and best practices that work for their unique operation. However, when it comes to pricing, it's important to have a well-researched, standardized process. Below is an example of how you could go about pricing a cleaning job.
In most cases, it's vital that you visit a client's home before signing anything or making any commitments. Seeing the property means you won't miss anything and have a clear understanding of the job at hand to price it as accurately as possible.
Next, you'll need to calculate the amount of time you're likely to spend on the cleaning job so you can plan accordingly. Crucially, cleaners must work as quickly as possible while maintaining their standards to make a profit. If you're doing a deep clean, you'll need to factor in extra time and make it clear to the client what they can expect.
Even if you're the only person working for your cleaning business at the moment, you should get into the habit of calculating labor costs. According to the BLS, maids and housekeepers earn $14.22 per hour.
Always include payroll taxes in your estimates if you have staff, as they're a significant cost. Typically, payroll taxes cost 18% of total labor, and it's important to factor this extra into pricing.
Equipment is one of your main expenses as a cleaning company owner. Depending on the type of job, they might be higher or lower. For example, if you're doing a deep clean, you'll need to spend significantly more on equipment than a weekly clean of a one-bedroom apartment.
Marketing, office rent and transport are additional examples of overheads. These costs aren't directly associated with the job but are required to finish the job.
Lastly, you'll need to calculate your mark-up. It's important that you charge more than you spend so you make a profit and maintain healthy cash flow.
How To Start A House Cleaning Business
Now that you know how much money you can earn, you can make a sensible decision about whether becoming a cleaning company owner is for you. If you're ready to get started, you'll need to do the following:
- Make a plan
- Build a brand
- Purchase equipment
- Get licensed and insured
- Master customer service
- Learn to market effectively
Marketing Your Cleaning Business For Success
All business owners should be experts in marketing. When you start out, the entire operation is highly dependent on you and your ability to generate a consistent pipeline of potential customers. Some of the best marketing tools include:
- An SEO optimized website
- An online presence, including online reviews, social media and online directories
- Contacts in similar industries
- Events and conventions
- Cleaning service business cards
- Door hangers
Last but not least, a lead generation site like CraftJack puts you in touch with homeowners looking for cleaning jobs right now. Let us help you grow your customer base, build brand awareness and reach more people.
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