How Much to Charge for House Cleaning

March 19, 2020

Charging the right amount for your house cleaning services means finding the right balance between making enough money to run a profitable business, while not yourself out of the market.

It can be tough to know exactly what that price is, and it will vary depending on where you live, your target market and how much competition exists.

When it comes to the national hourly rate for house cleaning, this can range anywhere between $25 and $90 per hour. It’s estimated that the average cost to clean a home is between $90 and $150, with the cost to clean a single family home averaging between $140 and $180.

It’s beneficial to start with these average numbers, but then you need to figure out your own pricing based on where you live, your skills and expertise. There are several factors that go into determining how much your time and effort are worth.

Read on for some tips on how to figure out what you should be charging to clean houses.

Figuring Out How Much to Charge for House Cleaning

Cleaning houses can be an incredibly lucrative business.

However, to ensure that you have a steady stream of clients, you need to make sure you’re charging the right prices.

Here are some tips on how to determine how much you should be charging for this service.

1) Walk Through the House

To figure out exactly how much to charge for house cleaning services, it’s recommended that you walk through the house before giving the client a quote. You never know exactly what you’re going to find, so offering to do a free estimate is in your best interest.

During the process, you’ll also be able to talk to the client to figure out exactly what they’re looking for in a house clean.

They might be expecting you to deep clean the entire house, including wiping down walls, cleaning baseboards, scrubbing the grout in the bathroom and removing cobwebs from the ceiling.

There’s nothing wrong with this expectation, but those tasks take time.

You might also be walking into a house that is incredibly dirty or has a pest problem.

If you try to give an estimate over the phone, you may underestimate the hours it will take to clean.

This will benefit the customer, but you won’t make the money you need and deserve.

2) Estimate How Much Time You’ll Need

After you’ve walked through the house and talked to the client about their expectations, you can then estimate how much time the cleaning will take.

On average, for a house that is looking for a regular clean (dusting, vacuuming, sweeping floors, cleaning bathrooms, etc.), it should take about 1.5 hours to clean 1,000 square feet.

Some of the other factors you’ll have to consider include whether the house is empty, which rooms will probably take you less time to clean, and how dirty the space is.

If it’s a first-time clean or if the house is extremely dirty, you may need to add some extra time to the estimate just so you don’t short-change yourself.

3) Don’t Forget About Labor and Supply Costs

Not only should you be figuring out the hourly rate when it comes to cleaning houses, but you need to factor in labor costs.

Even if you are the only employee, you still need to make sure you get paid. Giving yourself an hourly rate can help with this.

To figure this out, do a search to see how much cleaners get paid if they work for a company.

The national average is about $13.76 per hour, but this will vary depending on where you live. It could be higher or lower.

In addition, you’ll also want to consider what cleaning supplies you’ll be using. If the homeowner will supply these products for you, then you don’t have to worry about factoring that cost into your price.

If you are responsible for buying cleaning supplies, then you’ll need to add about six percent to your estimate.

Cleaning businesses use cleaning products regularly and may be able to receive great pricing on supplies due to volume.

Learn more about Quick Job’s True All Purpose Cleaner commercial pricing here.

4) Overhead Plays a Role

In addition to cleaning supplies, you also have other expenses that you need to factor into your house cleaning charges.

In general, you should be adding 50 percent to the estimate to cover your overhead, which might include rent for office space, gas to drive to and from the job, vehicle maintenance and business insurance, among others.

5) You’ll Have to Pay Taxes

When putting together an estimate for a client, don’t forget that you’ll have to pay taxes.

Therefore, you’ll need to add these to your bill. Not only will you have to pay local and state taxes, but you’ll also have to factor in payroll taxes.

On average, payroll taxes are about 18 percent of your labor cost. Again, even if you are the sole employee, you are responsible for taking care of tax payments for your business, so make sure you have the money.

6) Add in a Markup

After figuring out all of these numbers, you’ll then need to include a markup — you want to make sure you make a profit. Up until this point, all of the numbers you’ve been crunching are just to keep your business in operation and pay your bills.

A typical markup percentage is 33. However, you can make this higher or lower depending on where you live, whether you are trying to make yourself competitive or if you are trying to land a certain client.

No matter what you decide when it comes to your markup, make sure you aren’t selling yourself short. It could be the difference between making it on your own or your business failing before you have a chance to get started.

Making a Living Cleaning Houses

Deciding to clean houses for a living can be a great choice if you are looking to become an independent business owner.

To ensure that your business is a success, you have to charge the right amount. This means being competitive with other cleaning businesses in the area, but also charging enough so that you can keep your business afloat.

There are many different factors that go into deciding how much to charge for house cleaning, and you always have the option of giving discounts to people who hire you on a weekly basis. Take the time to research how much others charge in the area, then factor in your skills and time to find the right price for your house cleaning business.