Hello! We’re back after some time with more cleaning tips! This time, we wanted to discuss a question we get from fellow cleaners all the time: How much should someone pay you to clean their house?
If you look it the other way around, this is also a common question from our customers. They wonder how much should they pay someone to clean their homes. The right price for a service is often debatable, and that’s ok!
In this article, we will discuss how you can figure out a fair price for a cleaning service, and all the factors to consider. This will be useful to both houseowners and professional cleaners, because it is important that everyone makes informed decisions when it’s time to charge and/or pay for a cleaning service.
How Much Should Someone Pay You to Clean Their House?
The central question we get is related to the cost or value of a cleaning service. As a housekeeper, the first question you think of is how much is your service worth.
For cleaning companies and independent house cleaners, time and effort are the main components that help you determine how much should someone pay you to clean their house. You can count time, but effort is not easy to measure.
A good starting point is to do research on the current market rates first. Many cleaning companies have automatic calculators or you can contact them to find out their rates.
However, make no mistake: it’s not enough to simply offer a cheaper service. Because of its nature, with a house cleaning service someone is letting you into their homes, and therefore reliability and quality of service are highly valued by house owners, not just an attractive price.
There are many other factors included in the total cost of a service.
Appointment frequency is one of them. House cleaning services often charge less for a recurring cleaning service, because it is granting them a steady source of money.
Using specialized cleaning products is another factor. Products formulated for specific materials or items (e.g., granite cleaners, oven cleaners) or with certain ingredients (e.g., eco-friendly or fragrance-free) tend to be more expensive than multi-purpose cleaners.
Large distances to the cleaning company or the housekeepers’ area can become an additional cost as well.
Should People Pay a House Cleaning Service By the Hour?
Every house is different, and cleaning a home can take you anywhere between one hour and four hours (or longer!).
Paying a service based on hourly rates can turn sometimes complicated. You don’t exactly know what you are going to find once you have an appointment, and it could take you way longer than you expected.
This can create large price inconsistencies between customers with the same number of rooms, for example.
Furthermore, as a house owner, you might be wary of housekeepers charging you extra hours. And if these are independent housekeepers or if they come from a company you don’t know or trust, you will never know with certainty if those additional hours are fair.
If you are a house cleaner, charging per room is the best route. This makes it easier to calculate the time and energy you are going to spend in each house.
If you are a house owner and your housekeeper wants you to pay them by the hour, make sure you ask them to give you an estimate of hours to clean your home. Don’t forget to mention number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and any specific cleaning instructions or extras (e.g., doing the dishes or deep cleaning your kitchen cabinets).
You can use this as a guide and compare different cleaning services that charge by room or by service.
How Much to Pay a House Cleaning Company vs. An Independent Housekeeper
If you are trying to find a house service in Dallas (or anywhere else) you might notice that a cleaning company has different rates from an independent housekeeper. There are many factors causing this and, as a house owner, you might want to consider them beforehand.
First, a cleaning company has insurance for both the house owner and the housekeeper. This means that the housekeeper is protected against accidents, and the owners are protected against damages to their property and possible theft as well.
Without insurance, independent housekeepers might charge less, but its always best to avoid unpleasant surprises. Even cleaning professionals can have accidents, for example. And we know accidents are always expensive!
Cleaning companies also need to invest on customer service, uniforms and management. This may increase costs but also increase efficiency and satisfaction guarantee, for example.
How Much Should Someone Pay You for House Cleaning Supplies?
Charging for cleaning supplies is often a source of debate as well. Many house owners prefer housekeepers to bring their own cleaning supplies, while others prefer to choose and bring their own cleaning agents.
As a house cleaner, keep in mind you can buy products by bulk and this will decrease the overall costs. You can use this to your advantage and offer a more affordable service, because the cleaning products will already be included. This can be a point in your favor or one of your “features” as a housekeeper.
On the other hand, you can let this up to house owners but this has a bit of a risk: by the time you arrive, they may not have bought the products you need, or the specific brands that you know that work.
However, some house owners prefer you to use their cleaning products because they are eco-friendly, or they are free of certain ingredients, fragrances or other chemicals they might be allergic to.
Sometimes you will be able to use generic, all-purpose cleaners. But certain materials or areas do require specialized cleaning products which are more expensive.
How Much Should Someone Pay You for Additional House Cleaning Tasks?
Many house owners are unaware of exactly what’s included in a cleaning service. They might ask you for additional cleaning tasks or rooms that are not included in the original cleaning list.
What you can do is think of an estimate of the additional time and effort it takes you for each task. For example, deep cleaning the kitchen cabinets might take around 20% additional cleaning time and effort, meaning you should charge 20% more.
Take into consideration additional cleaning supplies as well. For example, if you need to deep clean the oven, you are going to need extra sponges and oven cleaner.
Create a list with the most common “extra” tasks or rooms that you get asked and assign them a standard price to have at hand when a client asks you to.
The level of messiness is also an important factor. You can use pictures from your previous work as a reference for what you accept as standard “messiness”.
In any case, make sure you are clear about the list of tasks and rooms that you will clean for each type of house cleaning service you offer.
Related: How to Find a Good Maid Service
Is a Cleaning Service Worth the Money?
After thinking of all the factors that decide how much should someone pay you to clean their house, many homeowners think if this is worth the money in the first place.
The truth is, cleaning is a chore that takes time, energy, and knowledge.
First of all, time and energy are two important factors. Depending on your job, you can end up tired once you go back home or just with not enough time to clean afterward. Even if you have time, we all know no one likes to spend their weekend mopping floors or cleaning kitchen countertops. By hiring a house cleaning service, you are getting more time and energy to spend on more fulfilling duties.
Knowledge is also important. There are many techniques to help you clean faster and more effectively. Plus, you might damage surfaces by using the wrong cleaning product or cleaning technique.
Furthermore, it can also be dangerous because some cleaning products can be harmful if you use them incorrectly. It’s important to use the right tools and use your time and energy wisely as well. As a homeowner, ultimately it is up to you to decide if it is worth hiring a house cleaning service to do the job, or to do it yourself.
Related: 5 Reason to Fire Your Maid
It’s not easy to decide how much should someone pay you to clean their house. We hope these tips will help you consider everything that forms part of the process to decide the cost of a service.
If you are a housekeeper, do some research on the cost from other companies in the area. Evaluate costs of transport, cleaning supplies and, of course, time and energy. Keep in mind that offering a cheaper service won’t make you keep clients in a long term.
If you are a house owner, we understand that budget is important, but even more so is quality and trust. After all, you are letting someone into your house, and you need to be assured.
Ultimately, cleaning companies and housekeepers are free to set their own price for their services, just as much as clients are free to compare between options and choose the best one.
We’ll be back soon! In the meantime, enjoy other tips from our house cleaning blog!