How to Charge For House Cleaning

Here is what you have been waiting for… How do I charge for cleaning houses?

In this article, I will show you how much you can make cleaning houses and how to price your cleanings.

How to Figure Your Pricing and Give Estimates

Determine Your Hourly Rate

If you don’t want to take the time to create your own pricing list, I have created a pricing calculator that you can use to give estimates.
women charging for house cleaning
You need to determine your hourly rate, or how much will you charge per hour. It’s just like when you work for someone else and they pay you by the hour. It is the same thing here.

The average hourly rates for professional house cleaning services in the U.S. is anywhere between $25-$45 an hour. To be competitive with the other cleaning services in your area, you will need to know their prices and how much they charge per hour.

You can do this simply by calling several reputable or franchise cleaning services in your area and asking how much they charge by the hour. If they will not give you that information you can pretend that you are looking to have your home cleaned and ask them to give you an estimate.

After getting the estimate, ask them how long it will take to clean your home. Then, taking the amount that they quoted you for, divide the quote by the hours it will take. For example, $100/4 hours = $25 an hour.

Now that you know how much cleaning services in your area charge, you can average the hourly rates to figure out how much you can charge to stay competitive. Add all the hourly rates and divide by the number of rates you have. For example, if you have ten rates add those up, then divide by 10.

This is the average hourly rate in your area. You want your rate to be somewhere from the middle to the top of those rates.

Figure Out Your Cleaning Times

Now that you know your hourly rate, the next step is to figure out how long it will take to clean each area of a house. Use a stop watch or timer and time yourself in each area of a house.

Areas to time are: bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, bonus room or loft, hallways, stairs, foyer, and living areas (living room, family room, den, study, sunroom, etc.). You can do this timing by cleaning your own home or ask to clean some friends or family members homes if you can.

Other things to consider when figuring out how long it will take to clean a house are: the square footage and what type of cleaning you will be performing such as a first time or one-time, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, spring cleaning, or move in/move out cleaning.

For square footage (sq. ft.), you need to determine the average square footage of homes you will be cleaning in your area. When you have been cleaning for a while you can go back and average all your cleanings to come up with your average square footage. I use 2001-2500 average sq. ft. for my area.

You will want to add or subtract time if a house is larger or smaller that the average sq.ft. on your pricing sheet. I subtract or add 15 minutes for every 500 sq. ft. below or above my average.

For the type of cleaning, you will need to determine how much more or less time it will take depending on the frequency of cleaning.  My normal times on my estimate calculator are based on a bi-weekly cleaning. Then, I add more time for one-time or first time, monthly, spring cleanings, and move in/move out cleanings. Subtract less time for weekly cleanings.

Set Up a Pricing Sheet

Once you know your hourly rate and your cleaning times you will need to set up a pricing sheet.  To give a customer an estimate, add the times for the areas given by the customer, divide those times by 60 to get how long it will take to clean, and multiply it by your hourly rate. For example, 200/60 = 3.33 x $30 = $100. The number you get will be the amount you charge your customer.

I created a house cleaning estimate calculator that I use to give estimates. You can find it here.

I hope this helps you to price your cleanings more effectively and win more customers!

FREE How To Charge for House Cleaning Mini-Course!

In this 5 step mini course you will learn how to start charging your customers. This is the exact way I have been charging my customers for almost 7 years now.

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Comments

  1. LadyK says

    Hello,
    I have been doing house cleaning for 3 years just as a side gig. But now I am trying to expand. I think you have some great tips on here. However I am finding it very difficult to gage the timing of a job. For instance I have a large 2k+ sq.ft. home I clean. It typically takes 2.5hrs if I clean with an assistant and we get roughly $100. I recently did a new job that had ten time less the amount of dirt probably 5-600 sq ft smaller, and it was all one flat story and it took 4hrs! It was a deep clean and detailed job but do you have any tips for detailed jobs t help us move faster.

    • Josh Winningham says

      Hi Ladyk, yeah one-time/first time, spring/deep, amd move-in/move-out cleanings take a lot longer. You will need to determine how long it takes you to clean each type of cleaning. You would charge more for these jobs based on how much longer it takes you to clean than a recurring cleaning. I have created an estimate calculator here that will help you get going in the right direction.

  2. Bethany says

    I am starting a house cleaning business, and I am wondering how to charge different people. I mean the elderly on a fixed income is not the same as a person who has money. I am just confused on how to charge and what percentage should I use for the different people.

    • Josh Winningham says

      Hi Bethany, I would suggest offering different cleaning packages that might suit customers better than others but the profit or percentages you make should be the same. For example offer plans that only include bathrooms and the kitchen or just certain parts of the house. This will allow some of your customers to afford these packages and not have to pay for an entire house cleaning.

  3. says

    I am less than 3 years into the business. Started working for someone else in commercial cleaning then struck out on my own doing residential. As a independent operator that does 1x niche cleanings (to be able to keep a flexible schedule with my son), my maintenance cleaning times are still a little frustratingly slow. There are 2 clients that I like & maintain a flexible bi-weekly cleaning schedule with. Outside of those 2 I don’t have or want super regulars (I found that cleaning the same houses over and over again bores me out of my skull). Anyway, my times run 175-200 sq. ft. per hour depending on the day. If I am not feeling well I run at the 175, but my normal average is 200. I really do more detailed type cleanings and don’t rush like some of the franchises do (per 1 or those clients who got overcharged for crap cleanings). I hold several legit 5 star ratings from clients on Yelp and get tons of calls as a result, in addition to lots of views in general as shown on the back business end of my Yelp page. Now I want to take advantage of those #’s and expand to maintenance cleanings by hiring a few employees to do the work I get bored with to my standard. However, my standard involves zero profit based on my current #’s and the calculations I am using to charge the client (when factoring in expenses, payroll, comp, etc). I want to stick with servicing homes at most & under 1,800 s/f. There are 3 ‘money’ areas that I get a lot of calls from through Yelp (truly my best/least PIA clients are sourced from there) that have tons of those sized homes that I want to target. Can you offer any advice or programs that will allow me to improve my #’s in ALL aspects?

    • Josh Winningham says

      Hi Luna, definitely sounds like you are headed in the right direction. You will need to hire faster cleaners. You will definitely need to speed up the sq. ft. production rates. Average rates for bi-weekly would be between 650-750, monthly 550-600, and one-time/first-time (non spring/deep cleaning) 450-550, and for spring/deep cleaning a lot of companies just charge by the hour since they are so labor intensive. Sq.ft. rates increase and decrease depending on the size, so smaller homes/apartments your production rates will be less and bigger homes your rates will be higher.

      There is a lot of good resources on my resources page that will help you to determine how much profit you will need to make per cleaning in order to cover all of your overhead.

  4. suliman bakri says

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    i want to start a new cleaning business and it is my first time. I will be doing services around Springfield,Va. my comment is what type of equipment for the house cleaning for cleaning the house plus carpets. Also, where can i find the supplies and equipment.

  5. susan fitzgerald says

    hi. ive been doing cleaning for 6yrs now. i have my d.b.a. lisence and just have a hard time getting the jobs i live in altamont ny.. close to albany ny area. do you have any ideas

    • says

      Hi Susan,

      If you are low on funds I would recommend creating a paper flyer in microsoft word and deliver them in the neighborhoods you want to clean in. You can then repeat the process in the same neighborhoods every other month or so. This helps to keep your cleaning business on the minds of homeowners you delivered flyers to. This is probably one of the cheapest ways to get customers. Only costs would be copy paper and printer ink if you already have a computer and printer.

      Another way I recommend is to get a website and create your self a google place page so customers can find you through google. You can also learn seo or have someone do the seo work for you. This helps your website or other online properties to get exposure on the search engines. The first page is best!

  6. says

    I trying to figure out how much to charge hourly I have 3 girls employed with the company and because I am in a small town we just cant seem to make ends meet every month. As of right now I am charging $42.00 for 2 girls and 2 hours. Help!!

    • Josh Winningham says

      Hi Candace, Your basically only charging $10.5 per man hour to your customers. You are charging $21 per hour per person, but since you are paying 2 girls that comes out to $10.50 per hour. You need to at least charge $25-40 per man hour. So for a two hour job with 2 employees you would charge double what you normally charge for 1 hour with 1 employee. Because they can clean in half the time it would take 1 employee to clean. Makes Sense?

      Ex. So say you have a 4 hour job with 1 employee, and you charge $30 per hour the total charge would be $120. Now if you had 2 employees clean the same job it would only take them 2 hours and you would charge $60 per hour. Your still charging the customer the same amount. But the hourly amount changes depending on how many cleaners their are for 1 job.

  7. says

    I clean house for a lady. She pays me $55. she makes sure that I stay there for four hours. She started out wanting me to get on knees and scrub kitchen floor grout. Next time wash window, next time clean garage(the windows and garage she helped) these took all the four hours. Now she wants me to start ironing. I told her I detest ironing, she says I might want to start liking it. AND she calls me the help (which is offensive to me) A lot of this she wants me to do then do the house cleaning.

    • Josh Winningham says

      Hi Sandra, This is a very bad situation. I would cancel this customer immediately. When taking on customers you need to give them a list of cleaning tasks so everybody is on the same page. The easiest way to do is is communicate to the customer what you will clean then when you have completed the cleaning you leave. I would not work by the hour but by what needs to be cleaned. If they would like to add additional items, you decide if you will preform them and if you will charge extra for them.

  8. Deneese says

    I’m concidering starting a house cleaning business. I have been a stay at home Mom for 16 years and the idea of being my own boss and setting my own hours is very apealing to me. I would appreciate any information or tips you have on starting a business.

    • Josh Winningham says

      Hi Deneese, Yeah, it is nice not having a boss and being able to make your own hours. I would just make it simple and not complicate it. To start, I would get the word out to family and friends for word of mouth customers. Looking back the best thing to do is just go after it and not worry that you don’t now everything. You will learn as you grow.

  9. victoria says

    How do I clean windows and floor without a streaks. How can I remove adhesive from glass and tiled floors. Am new to the cleaning business

    • Josh Winningham says

      Hi Victoria, I use a starfiber microfiber mop pad and a spray bottle with a neutral ph cleaner to mop floors. If you still have streaks I would just use water with the microfiber pad. I am not a window cleaning expert but for house cleaning I just use water and a starfiber glass cloth for windows. As far as adhesive on glass and tiled floors I personally do not remove adhesive but I have heard you can use a plastic scraper or razor blade and goo gone. I would be careful though with glass since you might scratch it.

  10. Milinda says

    Hi Josh
    I am just starting out trying to make a go of my own cleaning company I am great cleaner and no what products I want to use but I get so confused about price sheets and estiments . I had seen a book on here not to long ago to purchase of yours and now I cant find it. Do you still have the book ?

    • Josh Winningham says

      Hi Milinda, yeah when your just starting out it takes a bit to learn how to charge and give estimates. I had a spreadsheet that I have since converted into a calculator. You can find it here. I personally use it to give estimates with my customers.

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