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What Is the Going Rate for House Cleaning?

Bob Vila logo Bob Vila 2/17/2021 Brie Greenhalgh

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  • Typical Range: $116 to $235
  • National Average: $168

Choosing to use a house cleaning service is a decision that carries a lot of weight: You’d be paying someone to come into your home and clean, so being able to trust this person is a key consideration. However, paying someone to clean and tidy up your living space can be a valuable trade-off in time and money. Before you hire, you may ask, “What is the going rate for house cleaning?” There are ways by which you can estimate the total cost: What you pay will depend on factors that include the size of your house or apartment, the frequency and quantity of cleaning, the tasks involved, and much more. On average, a two-bedroom home can cost about $100 to $180 per cleaning and would likely include vacuuming, mopping, cleaning the bathroom and kitchen, and dusting. House cleaning companies may offer additional services like window cleaning or carpet cleaning, which can cost extra.

The decision to let strangers into your home and pay them to perform a service you could technically do yourself isn’t one to take lightly. However, in most cases, the benefits of hiring a house cleaning service far outweigh the concerns. Allowing a service to do your cleaning frees up more of your personal time, alleviates nagging stress, and eases the minds of those who would prefer not to clean.

Types of House Cleaning Services

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Not all house cleaning services are structured the same way, which means that customers can choose a service that best fits their needs. For example, a live-in housekeeper who resides in the home may not be a great choice for a one-bedroom apartment. Alternatively, a professional maid service that sends several cleaners to one location at once may be a great option for a five-bedroom house. There are many cleaning service options to choose from, each with its own benefits.

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Housekeeper Costs

Housekeeper costs range between $75 and $250 on average, and they can include the prices of less common tasks like doing laundry, changing bedding, and cooking. Housekeeping services provide essential assistance for people with busy lives, for example. However, having someone handle overall cooking and cleaning might be more than is needed.

Maid Service Costs

Maid services tend to take care of cleaning all the essential areas of the home, like the bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen. On average, maid services cost $125 to $240 to thoroughly clean common living areas. These professionals often work for companies that typically send one or more maids to a home, depending on the size of the cleaning job.

Live-In Maid Service Costs

While not everyone has the space for a live-in maid or housekeeper, having round-the-clock assistance can be beneficial for some homeowners. Live-in maids are paid $1,200 to $2,500 weekly to handle every household chore including cleaning all surfaces, doing laundry, washing windows, shopping, cooking, and more.

Junk Removal Service Costs

Without a truck or a strong back, hauling away piles of junk can be a daunting chore. Homeowners can leave it to expert junk removal service companies who specialize in taking out piles of trash or junk. The average cost is between $130 to $350, depending on the amount of junk being hauled from the house or yard. These services come in especially handy when selling an old home or during a serious spring cleaning effort, among other situations.

Self-Employed Individuals vs. Companies

The total cost of hiring a house cleaning service can also depend on whether you opt for a self-employed person or a professional cleaning company. The rates for a self-employed cleaner average between $50 and $90 for two hours, and professional services average $100 and $180 for two hours. An individual cleaner may not have insurance, but they get to keep all monies paid to them while earning your trust over time. Professional cleaning companies often have high turnover rates and may rush through a job to move to the next one, but they are more likely to carry insurance.

DIY House Cleaning

Of course, cleaning on your own can be an option. However, for many people, the time spent cleaning is a sacrifice that prevents participation in other activities that may be more exciting and rewarding. With the help of common tools like mops and vacuums, cleaning efficiently is getting easier. There is no labor fee when cleaning one’s own home, but depending on the tasks that need completion, one may incur costs to have the right products and equipment.

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Factors in Calculating the Going Rate for House Cleaning

So, what is the going rate for house cleaning? The average rate of $168 is a good baseline to use, but a better estimate can be made after all cleaning preferences are decided. Some factors that go into calculating the going rate for house cleaning include the size of the home, the type of establishment, and the tasks that will be performed, among others.

Cleaning Area

The size of the area to be cleaned is the biggest factor in determining the overall price. Common cleaning areas include bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, and living areas. If certain rooms are considered off-limits to maids, then cleaning prices may be lower due to the reduced square footage. Conversely, homes with more square footage will likely be more expensive to clean.

Geographic Location

The rate for house cleaning tends to be higher in metropolitan areas than in rural areas. The cost of living is higher in many metropolitan cities, and the cost of housekeeping services is likely to reflect that. Homeowners in suburban areas are likely to pay higher prices than homeowners in rural areas, as many prospective clients commute into metropolitan cities and receive a higher wage than those in smaller towns.

Business vs. Home

Housekeepers generally clean only residences, but businesses can hire professional cleaning services, too. Some primary factors for determining cleaning costs for businesses are the square footage of the area to be cleaned, the type of flooring and whether it requires mopping or vacuuming, and the number of bathrooms. Cleaning services often send a team of professionals to clean large office spaces, whereas for a single-family home, they may send only one cleaning person.

Labor Costs

The average hourly rate for a cleaning service or housekeeper is $25 to $90. A house cleaner will take into consideration the level of the mess that needs attention. Homes full of kids and pets will likely take more time and effort than the home of a bachelor who travels frequently. Floor-to-ceiling cleaning is also more labor intensive and will likely cost more.

Supplies Cost

The cost of supplies can also factor into the total price paid for a house cleaning. Some cleaning products are considered “premium” and are more costly than others, and this can be reflected in total. Providing your own cleaning supplies to the service or individual you hire is one way to reduce the expense of cleaning jobs. This also allows you to have some control over the choices of cleaning supplies used in your home. While there are some products that are preferred by professionals, your choices can be considered, too.

Type of Cleaning

There are several types of cleaning to choose from: Some are more thorough than others, and some pay more attention to certain parts of the house than others. Ultimately, the type of cleaning you choose will also affect the going rate for house cleaning.

  • General cleaning: General cleaning will likely include sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, dusting, sanitizing bathrooms and kitchens, and overall tidying of common living spaces, and often costs $100 to $200.
  • Deep cleaning: A deep cleaning may include more time and effort-intensive tasks like cleaning baseboards, lamps, furniture, carpets, walls, and heavy grime from bathrooms or kitchens. This is considered a “top-to-bottom” or “floor-to-ceiling” clean that addresses almost every part of the home. A deep clean is likely to be booked on a less frequent schedule such as monthly, quarterly, or annually, and often costs $400 or more.
  • Move-in or move-out cleaning: A move-in or move-out cleaning can address window runners, baseboards, cupboards, ovens, bathroom grime, dirty carpets—parts of the home that are often overlooked. The cost of this kind of cleaning can range on average from $200 to $400.
  • After-event cleaning: A professional cleaning service can handle removing trash, cleaning dishes, and overall tidying of the space in which the event took place. The fee incurred often ranges between $100 to $400.

Taxes

Factoring the cost of taxes is another consideration when researching what the going rate for house cleaning is. One advantage of choosing a professional cleaning company is that they take care of deducting their employees' federal and state taxes as well as paying a workers compensation tax that protects their employees in case of accidents on the job. Contractor or individual housekeepers typically don’t carry workers' compensation insurance. If you opt for a self-employed professional, it may be worth discussing with your home insurance agent?.

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Additional Costs and Considerations

Determining the going rate for house cleaning should include the consideration of factors such as extra bathrooms, pets, and other add-on services. Pets generally increase the cost of a cleaning automatically, but add-on services such as gutter cleaning are optional.

Bathroom Count

When a home or office has several bathrooms that need regular cleaning from a maid service, cleaning costs may increase due to the extra attention that bathrooms require to ensure complete sanitization. As the number of bathrooms increases, the more time and effort is generally required to meet hygiene requirements, therefore driving up the total cost of a house cleaning.

Pets

Whether it’s muddy paw prints, dander, furballs, or urine stains, a proper, regular cleaning can help keep pets and their owners living in a healthy environment. However, the extra effort needed to clean up after some pet messes can require extra time and a range of other, more specialized supplies, which can translate to a slightly higher total cost.

Eco-Friendly Products

There are many options for cleaning supplies that meet a range of requirements, whether the products are allergy-friendly, pet safe, and more. Choosing products that work best for your home is important. Eco-friendly cleaning supplies may be safer to use, accommodating both pets and homeowners with allergies while providing an easy way to be more environmentally conscious. However, opting for these products can significantly drive up the total cost of your house cleaning.

Add-On Services

The list of add-on services for house cleaning is lengthy, ranging from window cleaning to mold removal. Certain services should be completed by companies who are certified or equipped to handle the job: The average maid service likely won’t offer gutter cleaning, but vacuuming dusty curtains may be an option. Some professional cleaning companies may also offer full window cleaning even three stories up, whereas an individual housekeeper may not have the safety equipment necessary to do that.

Special Requests

Cleaning after a major remodel may be overwhelming, but searching "construction cleaning company near me" could bring up a list of certified professionals who know how to dispose of construction items and thoroughly clean up potential hazardous materials. It’s advised that mold removal be completed by licensed professionals who can properly eradicate the mold or patch rotten drywall if necessary rather than simply painting over the growth.

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The Going Rates for House Cleaning

While geographic locations can affect the going rates for house cleaning, there are several ways to determine an approximate cleaning cost based on hourly or weekly rates.

Hourly Rate

The hourly rates for a house cleaning can vary from $25 to $90 per hour, per person for a general cleaning. The rate for an individual cleaner will be on the lower end, while a professional service or team of cleaners will likely be on the higher end.

Weekly Rate

Weekly rates can range from $75 to $250 per visit for general cleaning. It’s likely that these rates will be slightly lower than the hourly rate due to the consistent volume of expected work. If weekly cleanings are too frequent, consider working out an arrangement for biweekly cleanings instead.

Monthly Rate

For homeowners who prefer once-a-month visits, it’s still possible to receive a discounted price; however, the overall cleaning time may be longer if there is more to clean between each visit. Flat monthly rates may be a good option for people who hold regular events and prefer not to handle the cleanup themselves.

One-Time Rate

One-time cleaning services may be priced higher than if weekly or biweekly cleanings are scheduled, and they are often higher than regular rates as the overhead costs are not spread out over multiple visits. A first-time visit can also require a deeper clean than a general cleaning, which can also raise the rate. One-time general cleaning appointments can be made, as can appointments for specific issues. Examples of one-time services can include deep cleaning, garage cleaning, exterior cleaning, duct cleaning, or event prep. These services can average between $200 and $3,000 or higher, depending on the extent of the work that needs to be done.

Flat Rate

For homes or offices with a higher square footage, it may be worth establishing a fixed rate for cleaning. Hourly rates work well in smaller spaces, but for extensive areas that need regular cleaning, a set price can be negotiated by the homeowner and the cleaning company. Since large spaces are best cleaned with teams of people, they’ll work quickly and efficiently.

Room Rate

The more bedrooms and bathrooms a home has, the higher the cost. If only certain rooms are selected for cleaning, the rate may be charged accordingly, ranging from $30 to $50 per room. High-use rooms and bathrooms will fall on the higher side of this price range.

Square Foot Rate

The average cost of cleaning per square foot averages $0.05 to $0.10. Remembering the various factors that affect the overall cost of house cleaning—the presence of pets and number of bathrooms, among other factors—can help determine if your home will fall in the lower or upper range of this estimate. Typically, a home with approximately 2,000 square feet could cost between $100 and $200 to clean.

Do I Need a Professional House Cleaning Service?

While many have the ability, time, and resources to clean their homes themselves, others will ultimately opt for a professional cleaning service. Homeowners who travel frequently or who otherwise lack the time to clean their homes thoroughly may benefit from hiring a person or service to perform a house cleaning. Professional house cleaning services are also a great choice in some circumstances, such as for individuals who are recovering from injuries or have reduced mobility.

Lack of Time

Carving out time to do both the big and small cleaning tasks around the house can cause unnecessary stress and a loss of enjoyable time spent with family and friends. Opting to use a professional cleaning service can help gain back some time you may prefer to spend making memories.

Injury Recovery or Reduced Mobility

Persons with differing abilities or those recovering from an injury can benefit from employing an individual or service to complete cleaning tasks around the home. A maid service can handle the everyday cleaning tasks on a weekly basis, and professional services can be called in for the big jobs like cleaning gutters or removing junk.

Cost Efficiency

There is a compelling argument for the cost benefit of hiring a house cleaning service: Considering that your time could be worth $100 per hour, the time spent cleaning all Saturday afternoon could cost double what a cleaning company would charge. On the flip side, if your time is valued below $20 per hour, it may not make sense to hire a regular cleaning service but instead stick to hiring professionals for jobs that require licensed assistance.

Home Selling

Selling a home means that strangers will be coming in and out to view the property. To create a compelling argument for buying as well as a good impression, you may want to pay increased attention to the cleanliness of the space. Dirty, smelly homes can turn away potential buyers. Before moving out, keep in mind that it’s also considered good practice to leave a home clean for the new owners. Not only does it show care for the property, but it’s safer to let other people move into an environment that’s free of germs, debris, and other health hazards. Moving can be an exhausting job, so alleviating some stress is possible by employing a cleaning service that does a full move-out cleaning.

Special Jobs for Licensed Professionals

Some jobs are best suited to professional cleaning services. In some cases, licensed cleaning professionals are necessary for cleaning up after a disaster such as a burst pipe that flooded a basement or for cleaning out all the ductwork in an HVAC system.

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The Going Rate for House Cleaning: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional

Personal cleaning habits vary, as can an individual’s tolerance for messes. Many people find joy in keeping their personal space clean and tidy. Parents may enjoy the opportunity to teach their children responsibility for keeping certain areas of the home clean. In these cases, DIY cleaning costs are kept to a minimum, including only cleaning supplies and time. Cleaning is largely considered as a task doable by many homeowners, and there are few reasons individuals may not want to take on house cleaning duties themselves.

Outside the home, certain jobs may be beyond the capabilities of most homeowners, and it’s important to understand when to hire a professional. Power washing the siding or stucco of a house may seem like an easy task to do with the purchase of a power washer from a local home improvement store. But when done improperly, home exteriors can be damaged with the force of the spray at the wrong angle. Ductwork cleaning or mold removal are also two jobs that are best left to licensed, certified professionals who are equipped and trained to complete the job thoroughly and safely.

Allowing a professional maid service to handle the cleaning of the dirtiest areas in the house may be a great option for people who aren’t aware of cleaning best practices or who want to avoid spending the time to carefully clean a home. Whatever need arises in a home, apartment, or business, a professional cleaning service is not far away and will be happy to help remedy the challenge.

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How to Save Money on the Going Rate for House Cleaning

If you’ve decided that hiring a cleaning company is a good idea but are still considering how to make it more affordable, there are ways to keep costs at a minimum.

  • Opt for a self-employed individual. A local contractor often works for a lower hourly rate than professionals from a cleaning company that covers more overhead, insurance, and taxes.
  • Get multiple quotes. Asking several companies to do a walk-through of their price lists is a great way to ensure a good value for the money.
  • Choose only the high-traffic areas for cleaning. Rather than getting the entire house cleaned, choosing to have just the rooms cleaned that have the most traffic can help reduce the overall rate.
  • Book regular cleanings. Cleaning services typically offer a discounted rate for regularly scheduled appointments, even if they are on a monthly basis.
  • Tidy up before the cleaner arrives. Taking a few minutes to run through each room and tidy up the floor and surfaces can reduce the extra time the cleaner will need to tidy before actually cleaning, therefore reducing the total cost of cleaning.
  • Keep up with cleaning between visits. Cleaning a home that’s already well cared for is a much easier task to complete, so performing small cleaning tasks can greatly reduce the cost of paying for a service later on.
  • Provide your own supplies. It’s likely you already have a preferred mop or cleaning product. Providing what is already in your home and restocking as needed can prevent cleaning supplies costs from being added to your bill.
  • Choose add-on services wisely. Some add-on services won’t be required as frequently as others, so it’s recommended that homeowners judiciously choose the cleaning tasks that need to be done based on needs and circumstances.
  • Inquire about discounts. Some companies may offer discounts for members of the military, first responders, single moms, and others. Similarly, discounts may be offered if you opt for an auto-pay program or for seasonal cleanings.
  • Get quotes from task-specific companies for add-on services. While your regular cleaning company may offer some additional services like window washing or junk removal, it’s always a good idea to get other quotes from professionals who specialize in those tasks.

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Questions to Ask About the Going Rate for House Cleaning

When choosing a house cleaning service, it’s a good idea to ask questions about the services rendered and the costs associated with those services. This can help you truly understand the total cost and help you evaluate the usefulness of a house cleaning service to you. Here are some useful questions to ask about the going rate for house cleaning.

  • Are you insured against workplace accidents or damage to the home or items inside the home?
  • Do you guarantee or warranty your services?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • Do you complete background checks on employees?
  • Do you employ independent contractors or your own employees?
  • Will the same crew be used at each cleaning?
  • How are substitute cleaners arranged in case of illness or time off?
  • What are the cancellation fees?
  • Who supplies the cleaning products?
  • Can pets be present, or should they be outside the home during cleaning?
  • Can a contract be written specifically for this home?

FAQs

Deciding to use a professional cleaning service can be a big decision. Factoring all the pros and cons and the costs and benefits are helpful for making the choice to employ a professional.

Q. How much should I pay for house cleaning?

On average, the cost of house cleaning ranges from $116 to $235. The cost to clean an apartment generally falls in the lower end of this range, while larger homes are more expensive to have cleaned. Individual needs and circumstances can raise the price: If pets live in the house or if additional services like laundry or window washing are needed, the homeowner is likely to incur additional costs.

Q. What is included in a basic house cleaning?

A basic house cleaning is the most common choice for people who hire housekeepers, maids, or cleaning companies. This service typically includes dusting, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, tidying, cleaning kitchen surfaces and faucets, sanitizing bathrooms, and tidying bedrooms.

Q. How do I calculate house cleaning costs?

House cleaning services are calculated based on time or square footage. The smaller the area, the lower the cost, but pets and other factors can automatically increase any cleaning cost. On average, a two-bedroom apartment can cost between $100 and $180.

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