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10 Min. Read

How Much to Charge for House Cleaning?

The average cost of house cleaning is $90 to $150 and the average national hourly rate is $25 to $90 per cleaner. A single family home should cost $120 to $150 to clean, according to Home Advisor. This amount may vary from state to state, and doesn’t take into account the additional price of specialty cleaning costs that will need to be taken into consideration when cleaning homes.

Estimating a house cleaning job isn’t as simple as quoting whatever your competitors are charging. Each business has unique costs they should factor into their prices. Establishing this beforehand can give you the best understanding of what you will need to include to calculate the appropriate price ranges for your business.

So, while there is no “one size fits all” answer for how to estimate house cleaning jobs, if you follow the seven easy steps below you should be able to come up with a profitable and reasonable hourly rate.

It might take a new cleaning business a few rounds to get comfortable with the estimating process. That said, it’s important to learn how to do it properly so you can earn a decent living wage. Having a professional cleaning business planner will keep your business operating at the most efficient level, saving time and money down the line.

Need a professional estimate template? FreshBooks’ online estimating software makes generating and sending estimates easy. Plus, you can quickly convert them into invoices when the job’s done. Download one of our cleaning price list templates to find the most accurate and efficient way to estimate your business costs.

In this article, we’ll cover:

1. Visit the House

Before we get into establishing a price guide so that you can accurately charge for cleaning services, you’ll need to understand the location that you’ll be working with.

First tip: don’t give estimates over the phone. You must see the house in question when estimating all private house cleaning jobs, according to Cleaning 4 Profit.

Why? You need to estimate how long it will take your company to clean the house, not how long the customer thinks it’ll take you. As the customer is not in charge of a cleaning company, they won’t have the same level of understanding of what the job requires, compared to you. The customer may try to mislead you to try to get a lower bid. Or they simply don’t know how long a professional cleaning job takes. In order to get paid fairly and accurately, cleaning companies will require the most accurate and up-to-date level of information.

In any case, you must visit the house before you provide an estimate in order to evaluate the task at hand. Otherwise, you’ll end up consistently paying yourself less than you deserve.

While you’re there, measure the space with a laser distance measurer to get an accurate idea of what you’re dealing with or ask the customer what the total square footage is. Or eyeball it, if you’re more experienced.

2. Estimate Time

Now that you’ve seen the house, it’s time to estimate how long you think the job will take. As a general rule, 1,000 square feet of the house should take 1.5 hours to clean, according to Cleaning 4 Profit.

So a 3,000 square feet home should take 3 hours to clean, and so on. Different types of jobs like deep cleaning or vacant house cleaning will obviously take more or less time.

To deep clean a house, you’ll need to factor in additional costs. There can be years of damage that will need specialized products to dispel, as well as extra cleaning time. For the most accurate deep cleaning cost, you’ll need to know the rooms and specific areas they’ll need you to clean, as well as the standards to which they’re after.

You might want to double or triple your rate for first-time cleanings, especially if the space has been neglected and needs some serious TLC. It’s a good idea to establish how much deep cleaning a house costs in advance for the client, to avoid any complications down the road.

Then you can charge your regular rate for subsequent cleanings, since you’ve gotten it back to normal. Cleaning service charges keep everything accurate and efficient, which is the best way to make sure that you get paid accurately.

Whatever the case, get in the habit of keeping a log of how long each type of job takes you so you can adjust your pricing accordingly.

3. Calculate Labor Costs

Calculate labor costs even if you’re the one doing the cleaning. This way, you always pay yourself. You need to establish an hourly rate. Chargers for your time and services are the most efficient way to make sure everyone gets paid correctly and on time. You can have separate sections for other cleaners chargers if that works best for your industry.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that cleaners who service buildings and dwellings make $11.24 per hour on average. Of course, this number is higher in top-paying states like Hawaii, D.C., New York, Massachusetts and Nevada, where the average is between $18.41 and $14.16 per hour.

Now multiply the number of hours you estimated the job will take by the hourly rate to find labor costs.

  • For example, a 3,000 square foot house that takes three hours to clean. You’re in Nevada, so you’re paying one cleaner the average hourly rate of $14.16. 
    • $14.16 x 3 = $42.48

4. Factor in Taxes

Payroll taxes are another consideration if you have a staff. Payroll taxes are officially called FICA taxes. You can estimate that payroll taxes will cost 18 percent of your labor cost, according to Cleaning 4 Profit.

  • Taking the example above, your labor cost is $42.48 
    • $42.48 x 0.18 = $7.65 payroll cost
    • $42.48 + $7.65 = $50.13 total hourly rate so far

5. Factor in Supplies

Supplies like cleaning products are obviously a typical expense in house cleaning jobs. You need to add about six percent to factor in supplies costs.Cleaning supplies can be difficult to calculate, so we’ve estimated a handy example below. They’re a necessary part of cleaning a house, but they don’t have to be a headache to figure out.

  • $50.13 x 0.06 = $3 
    • $50.13 + $3 = $53.13 total hourly rate so far

6. Factor in Overhead

Overhead is any cost not specifically associated with the job at hand, such as office rent, marketing etc. You should add 50 percent to cover these costs.

  • $53.13 x 0.50 = $26.57
  • $53.13 + $26.57 = $79.70 total hourly rate so far

7. Add Your Markup

You want to make a profit on this job, so you need to add a markup. Add 33 percent on top of your cost. Of course, you can reduce this number if you really need the money, want to be competitive or especially want to land this client. But, remember not to undersell yourself.

  • $79.70 x 0.33 = $26.30
  • $79.70 + $26.30 = $103 final hourly rate

Now you have the hourly rate you’ll charge your client: $103 per hour.

If your state requires you to charge sales tax, add that on top in the estimate. Thankfully, in Nevada (our example state) service-based businesses don’t need to charge sales tax. That means your cost guide can represent your cleaning rates as accurately as possible.

TaxJar has a simple sales tax calculator that estimates your tax rate by street address.

People also ask:

What Is the Going Rate for House Cleaning?

Here’s a cleaning services price list: the average cost of hire a cleaning service is $90 to $150 and the average national hourly rate is $25 to $90 per cleaner. Although this may change from place to place and will depend on the area of cleaning required, it’s a good start to establish as price list examples.

Some cleaning agencies may charge more than this, as they’ll need to incorporate other factors into the cleaning house costs.

A single family home should cost $120 to $150 to clean, according to Home Advisor.

This number will depend on your home’s size and condition and frequency of service (weekly cleaning may be discounted, as opposed to monthly or bimonthly cleaning).

Clients are also charged fees for extended travel to the home and special services like cleaning an oven, high shelves or ceilings, fireplaces etc. If there are multiple bathrooms to clean, that may incur extra charges. If there are carpeted bedrooms, there may be extra fees for carpet cleaning services. Depending on what level of cleaning is required, additional factors such as dusting blinds or deep cleaning refrigerators will need to be included. Fees will vary based on the city or state, too.

How Do You Price House Cleaning Jobs?

You can price house cleaning jobs by the hour. The national average hourly rate is $25 to $90 per cleaner. Check your competitions’ prices and base your number off theirs. It’s a good idea to calculate the price per square foot in order to get the most accurate cleaning prices.

Or use our step-by-step guide above to accurately calculate an hourly rate and pricing lists based on overhead costs, profit margin etc.

An easy solution is to use this free house cleaning cost calculator that finds average prices based on factors like frequency, cleaning type and pets. Animals can cause damage and extra work for cleaners, so they’ll need to be included up-front in order to calculate the most accurate pricing list.

How Much Should I Charge for Cleaning per Square Foot?

Typically, you can charge customers about $90 to clean a house that’s less than 1,000 square feet and $250 for a house that’s 3,000 square feet or more, according to Home Advisor.

Residential cleaning is usually charged by the hour. Office, janitorial and commercial cleaning is more frequently charged by the square foot—usually 5 to 55 cents per square foot. Usually larger offices get discounted per square foot rates. Commercial cleaning services often take into consideration the industry involved when they calculate the price per square foot.

  • For example, a 20,000 square foot office in a major city is usually charged 5 to 10 cents per square foot. A 2,000 square foot office outside a major city is usually charged about 10 to 55 cents per square foot. Since the footage charges can fluctuate depending on size and industry, it’s a good idea to establish the cleaning prices per square foot beforehand.

Services like carpet cleaning and cleaning microwaves or fridges are usually charged extra.

How Much Should a Housekeeper Get Paid Hourly?

A housekeeper should be paid minimum wage, at the very least. Here’s a list of 2018 minimum wages by state. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.

Housekeeper cleaners make an average of $11.84 hourly nationwide with a low of $8.52 and a high of $16.87.

The rate also depends on the industry. Housekeepers who work in dwellings make $11.24 per hour on average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Hotel housekeepers make $10.68 per hour on average, according to Indeed.

California employs the most housekeepers, with a $13.88 per hour average. House cleaning costs may be higher, depending on your location.