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Determining a Reasonable Cleaning Rate

Category Business
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An important decision you will have to make when starting your own cleaning business is setting a cleaning rate. This is a guide about determining a reasonable cleaning rate.
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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
April 6, 2016

So I decluttered, cleaned, and organized a customer's home while she has been out of town. Since she has been gone I have done 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 2 closets, one of the closets was as big a room pretty much. And I've been doing loads and loads of laundry. I've spent altogether about 16 hours there.

She will be returning tomorrow and told me to tell her how much and she will write me a check. How much should I ask for? I don't know if I should charge by the hour, the room, or what. I have also been taking care of her 3 cats, guinea pig, and bird. I cleaned out the bird cage as well. I'm not a "professional", but I have done a great job because I am great at and love organizing and cleaning. Any comments or advice would be so great! I've included before and after pictures of some of the work. I live in Braselton, GA. It's about an hour from Atlanta. Thanks!

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June 4, 20170 found this helpful

This question was first posted in April, 2016 but continues to receive reply's and I am wondering what the poster actually ask for and what she was actually paid?? She is probably no where around ThriftyFun any longer so we will probably never know the answers.

What I am curious about is how the homeowners would feel/react if they knew that photos of their home (before!!! and after) were posted for anyone to view? And - even their city is listed for even more personal review. Just curious (thats me)..

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By 0 found this helpful
March 15, 2016

I was asked to wash the floors in three bedrooms on my hands and knees. The owner of the house does not want me to use a mop. How much should I charge? Per room, per hour for such hard work? Any advice is welcome.

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Anonymous
January 30, 20170 found this helpful

Cleaning a home is hard work. It depends on you and home owner, what your willing to do it for plus what she is willing to pay. But you know this already.

What kinds of surfaces are the floors and how big are the rooms? Are you expected to use this method every time?

I would charge extra for the time being spent on the floors.

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By 0 found this helpful
October 22, 2015

What is the going rate to do a complete cleanup for a restaurant that hasn't had a cleaning service in 2 years? I need to get cleaning back up to cleaning standards. It's 10,400 sq ft.

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October 22, 20151 found this helpful
Best Answer

Not clear on what you mean by "cleaning standards"? I worked in restaurants as server and manager for 6 years getting through college so have some knowledge of restaurant quality standards.

Ouestions:

Are you experienced in cleaning restaurants?

Has this restaurant received a low hygiene rating by the city and requires specific cleaning?

What has the owner requested for the cleaning? Has the owner provided any information or direction from the city re problems?

Exactly what needs cleaning? If cleaning includes the kitchen, prep areas, dry and cold storage, customer area, etc., this is a tall order. If you will not be cleaning the kitchen, prep, etc. areas, less of a problem.

These questions and more must be considered to even begin to tally a cleaning price for this project. If the owner is not completely open about what they want and why, be careful!

One caveat here-If the owner is required by the city to bring the restaurant up to a required cleanliness level, you as the cleaning company are responsible to meet that quality level. If you clean the place and do not meet city requirements, you may be barred from future cleaning possibilities.

No thorough cleaning in 2 years-why? Does the owner have financial problems now or in the past?

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September 2, 20130 found this helpful

I recently quoted a potential client 125.00 for a 5 bedroom, 3 bath, 3200 sq foot home. She was quick to tell me she had someone clean for considerably less. She also has 3 children, a pet rabbit, and a dog inside. Help?

By Carol R

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November 7, 20150 found this helpful

Wow, I cannot believe how underpaid cleaning people are. 15 years ago my daughter had a cleaning business with a waiting list. She hired other people butoften had to clean behind them because they didn't meet her standards. Her rate, once your house was brought up to snuff was $ 25/hr and again, this was 15 years ago. If houses were not kept to a certain level of cleanliness, she fired the client and would move on to the top person on her waiting list. She helped people organize those boxes not opened for years, but that was pricey and required a stiff down payment. She was even successful in putting together teams to help hoarders who were ready to accept help and at the other end, inventory, pack, and prepare for auction or beneficiary distribution the contents of homes of deceased. Then she would clean the house to a pristine state.

For the work you people do, $35/hr should be your minimum AFTER you have completed the first cleaning. My daughter was the type ofcleaner who used a toothbrush in the corner on her hands and knees if need be. She fluffed pillows, made sure the central air (and other air) filters were clean, had a green thumb, (so she could keep an eye on or maintain the indoor plants), and did not have accounts receivable. She was cash only, and never had a client that didn't tip her. She was also a philanthropist because ifshe heard of elderly or disabled in need of a cleaning, she would go and do it, take a crew if necessary to take care of yards and repais, and then hook them up with local groups or social services for ongoing care.

Unfortunately, In her teen years, a lot of our home and yard care fell to her when I sustained back injuries. I couldn't stand to see her take on so much, but she was a trooper and hardly complained. I knew it bothered her. Three months after she started her business to help with college expenses, she called me. "Mom, I am so happy I had to do all thathousework. I lesrnedso many great tricks for cleaning and learned how to make a home spotless, that I am getting lots of referrals. And thanks for teaching me how to vacuum myself out of a room. People really like the design and the fact there's no footprints. I received a couple big tips just for that. Can you believe it? For vacuuming a certain way?"

ALL OF YOU CLEANING PEOPLE SHOULD ALSO LEARN HOW TO ESTIMATE SQUARE FOOTAGE AND HAVE A RATE FOR IT. Use that for your initial clean. Get to know specialists like window wahers, carpet cleaners, tree trimmers, gardeners .... people that you can all get together and refer each other for jobs.

AND WHENEVER SOMEONE SAYS that they have someone who can do the job for less money.... simply thank them for their time and the opportunity to bid on their job and LEAVE..

IF THEY CALL YOU AGAIN, go out and do a NEW BID with a NEW HOURLY RATE INCREASED BY $5. If they question, PROFESSIONALLY let them know you have had a rate increase since you last met...even if it's the next day.... you may have reviewed your books last night.

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE. So often, you do a thankless job, cleaning up after others. Hopefully if you do feel that way about a client, you dismiss them. It's not worth the stress and there are lots of individuals and companies who need you.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 2, 2017

What do I charge to clean bathrooms and baseboards? I am in Arizona.

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June 6, 20170 found this helpful

Maybe they can send in a photo and you can give them a quote? It would depend from house to house?

Do you receive any flyers to see how much other areas around you are charging?

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By 0 found this helpful
July 5, 2017

I work for a lady who is legally blind. I take her to do errands, cook occasionally, watch her 4 year old at the park /pool, and once a week I do the family laundry and clean the house. Daily I clean the kitchen and pick up the living room. I am paid $9.00 plus $25 a week in gas. Is that the going rate?

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July 7, 20170 found this helpful

You are underpaid-if she is legally blind if you were her onthebooks caregiver you would be getting more per hour. depending howmany hours you work it might be worth going through the system. you can get approved thru charities, etc.

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By 0 found this helpful
February 4, 2017

What should I charge, for a three bedroom, two bathroom home? He only wants it one time and this is what I'm to clean; deep clean 1 bathroom, baseboards, window seals, deep clean laundry room, deep clean kitchen and mop.

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Anonymous
February 6, 20170 found this helpful

You need to first look at the place and see how dirty it is. What is the going rate in your area? How many hours will it take you? Your supplies or his?? What do you want to earn per hour after expenses? I would do it by the hour, in my area, for average cleaning job it would be $15 per hour.

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By 0 found this helpful
March 13, 2017

I'm doing a one time clean on a 2800 sq.ft. home. It has 4 bedrooms and 3 1/2 baths. The home was just recently completely remodeled so it will require everything to be cleaned including baseboards, windows, cabinets, etc. I would like some feed back on what others charge for a onetime clean. I don't want to bid too high or too low.

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May 13, 20170 found this helpful

Bretton woods. Condo rentals

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By 0 found this helpful
October 15, 2016

I am bidding on a 3000 sq ft home. I am doing additional work, doing all woodwork including 19 doors, frames, and baseboards, 26 windows 13 inside/out, 26 blinds that are dark wood, an oven, 10 lights, all the flooring, 4 bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths, entrances outside, and back porch. I just wanted a suggestion on what to charge for additional work. Thank you.

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February 21, 20170 found this helpful

10.00-12.00 per square foot should cover your costs. That's what I charge on homes over the 2000 square foot threshold. Sheets change, stove, windows and blinds are extra. Per item basis. Keeps it real simple! 10% break if they pay cash UPFRONT. Ive been cleaning for years in the Greenville SC area and have no problems getting work, turn it down daily!

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By 0 found this helpful
August 16, 2016

I do contracting work for a real estate agency cleaning vacant houses and apts. I am now wanting to start my own business doing the same thing. However, I do not know how I should charge. I live in Pueblo, Colorado. I have been charging basically by the number of rooms at $20-25 a room, plus extra for appliances $25-$30. I don't know if I am under pricing. Every time I call Merry Maids they seem to be charging up to $100 more. Can you help please?

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August 17, 20160 found this helpful

Thanks for the reply. It's been ok so far but still working at it. It's hard work lol. Thanks so far charging by the room and extra for appliances so far thats working but other companies seem to be charging a way higher rate. I will keep comparing.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 22, 2016

I'm currently in startup mode of a cleaning service in Dade/Broward counties. Should I charge hourly, being that I'm in a high cost area?

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March 1, 20170 found this helpful

Charge by the job. I'm in NY, and that's what they do. Minimum $90 for apartment.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 11, 2016

I have an idea of what I want to earn for an 8-10 hour day cleaning empty apartments and newly built homes in the Greenville/Spartanburg area of South Carolina. I realize that some of these spaces might be more than a day's work to complete, so I believe I need to set a per sq ft cost. However, I have no idea what the current rate is for this type of service in my area here in South Carolina. Can you provide me with the going rate that most cleaning services charge here, so that I can be certain to set a competitive sq ft price? Thank you for any help you can provide!

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June 22, 20160 found this helpful

I charge .50 cents a sq footage on a post construction job. I researched it and that seemed very reasonable. I just did a 3000sq foot post construction job. You can't do it alone it is a lot of work especially with dust becasue you have to come back, usually 48 hours after your first cleaning. Make sure after your first cleaning that you request the filters be changed in the airconditioning and or heating system. This will prevent the dust to accumulate post first clean up. My 48 hour return I check all of top of doors windows and do one last clean up of all floors. Hope that helps.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 9, 2016

Here is my issue, I have been working at a resort cleaning cabins for a year now. I have been getting paid a salary of 686.62 for this year and now they want to change it up and pay me by the cabin. They want me to come up with reasonable prices and I have no idea what to charge. The cabins range from one bedroom, one bath to three bedroom and two baths. There are 14 cabins which are rented out frequently. Any ideas what I should charge?

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February 28, 20170 found this helpful

You need to charge a standard cleaning rate for your area and add $25-$35 because it has to be spotless for the new guests.

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By 0 found this helpful
May 6, 2016

What would I charge to clean a senior citizen high-rise (11 floors) that is 176,580 sqft? I will be doing apartment clean outs (about 250 sqft per apartment, 1 bdrm) and doing common areas which consist of four offices, three restrooms, mailbox center, two multipurpose rooms, a computer room, stairways (monthly), two lobbies (cleaning door glass on each), a copy room, a TV room, a kitchen area, and a conference room. The common areas will need to be cleaned five days a week, which consists of dusting, vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, emptying trash, cleaning window sills and baseboards. All 11 floors hallways have to be swept and mopped everyday. The clean outs will be done when needed.

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May 7, 20160 found this helpful

The location is Atlanta, GA, and yes I have a contract/bid proposal.

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By 0 found this helpful
April 25, 2016

I packed, organized, and cleaned a 4000 sq foot home, what should I charge? I worked more than 75 hours. I worked with very little help. It took 4 weeks. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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April 27, 20160 found this helpful

I charge a minimum rate of $20 per hour unless it is extremely dirty,then it goes up to $30.I live in the south.

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January 6, 20150 found this helpful

I have a request to do a cleaning of a repast (dinner after the funeral). It includes vacuum, cleaning dishes, and removal of trash. I am unsure what to charge for something like this. Please assist.

By LK

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January 7, 20150 found this helpful

I agree with Poor But Proud. Try and find out what the going rate is in your area for house cleaners. Charge that rate for each hour you work. It is nearly impossible to determine in advance what you would need to charge.

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December 9, 20130 found this helpful

How much should I charge for a weekly cleaning of a 2000 - 2500 square foot, 3 bedroom and 3 bath home? She would also like her windows cleaned and her oven and refrigerator cleaned. Thanks for your help.

By Nan

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October 29, 20140 found this helpful

Depends if it's weekly or biweekly $140 is what I charge. Windows are an extra charge.

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July 11, 20130 found this helpful

How much do I charge for the 1st cleaning of a very dirty, very cluttered 1 bedroom apartment? This is for a good male friend of mine. He has asked me to help him. He wants to straighten his place up. It's a total wreck, everything, every room. There are clothes everywhere, scrap electric things, junk kitchen a total mess, bathroom is unreal and the bedroom as well. There is no organization at all, not one room. It will take probably 2 or 3 days at 8 hrs a day, maybe more. Help me!

By Lucy from Elizabethtown, KY

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July 15, 20130 found this helpful

I would search cleaning services to find out what they would charge and share that info with your friend. Then tell him what you will charge (maybe half?). Remember to wear gloves and a face mask in case you uncover "surprises" such as mold, insects, etc. Good luck!

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By 0 found this helpful
June 2, 2016

I live in Pueblo, Colorado. I clean vacant houses and apartments. I am not sure what to charge. Right now I only get paid $10 an hour and it is a lot of work for that amount. I have a house I need to bid on which is 3,201 sq. ft. It is a vacant house which they need cleaned to put on the market for sale. I usually work alone, but if job is too large I have a couple of others who help. I don't want to cheat them either of pay. Is there a price chart I can follow?
Thanks new to all of this.

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June 3, 20160 found this helpful

Cleaning rates vary throughout the country, CJNKD. Why not call others in your area and ask if they might provide you information about their fees? (Up here in Canada $35 / hour is pretty much the going rate.)

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By 0 found this helpful
May 23, 2016

How much should one charge for house cleaning, organizing all rooms, dishes, making beds-4, and laundry at least three loads a day? Of course the organizing is once. The other things are daily. This is a job that I would be doing for a family of six, five days a week.

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May 24, 20160 found this helpful

You need to find out what house cleaners in your area are charging for similar work. Also, decide if it will be simpler for you to charge by the hour, day or week.

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By 0 found this helpful
October 17, 2015

I am just starting my cleaning business. What would I charge for a very neat and clean basement apartment? It has a small bathroom with tub, toilet, and sink, a bedroom/living room, and very small kitchen. She wants someone bi-weekly. I live in Connecticut. It's more an efficiency apartment. TIA

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October 17, 20150 found this helpful

There are many factors that determine how a cleaning company charges for cleaning, type-house, apartment, general or specific, move in or out, etc. You can try researching rates in your area by searching online.

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By 0 found this helpful
September 27, 2015

If you quote 20 per hour and you have a 16 hour job. If 2 people do it in 8, is it right to still charge the 16 hour price?

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September 28, 20151 found this helpful

If one worker cleaned for 16 hours, the charge is 16 hrs = 16 x $20 = $320.

If two workers cleaned for 8 hours, the charge is still 16 hrs or 8 hours each- 2 x 8 x $20 = $320.

Charge by the actual number of hours worked by each worker.

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By 0 found this helpful
August 12, 2015

I received a request to clean a funeral parlor. It includes cleaning the entire place, including bathrooms, vacuuming, windows, gasing up the limos, etc. How much do you think I should charge? By the hour or a bulk rate? Is anyone doing this? If so, can you explain what you do?

Thank you.

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August 13, 20150 found this helpful

Hi, Joy.

What do you think about going to the location and getting more information? Would the (potential) client be willing to pay by the hour for the first few times you clean? Once you have an idea of how long it will take to do the work, you can offer a monthly rate (if you like, pre-supposing they don't throw any surprises into the mix).

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By 0 found this helpful
June 16, 2015

The house is 1250 square feet and there is no furniture or stuff in house. I live 45 minutes from the place, so that's 1 and a half hours round trip! They want light switches and everything sanitized and cleaned. I will supply all cleaning stuff, but I don't know what to charge? We live in Myrtle Beach, SC.

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June 17, 20150 found this helpful

It is hard to know how long it will take to clean an empty house. I would allow 4 hours to clean a 1200 sq ft home that people were living in. If people were living in the empty house it would be a "move out" cleaning. You need to allow double the time for cleaning a house that is empty. That would be 8 hours. It takes a lot of time to clean where the washer and dryer were, inside the cupboards, baseboards, etc. I cleaned house for many years and that was the rule of thumb I used. Since that formula can confuse folks who don't have much exposure to housecleaning, I usually suggest I charge by the hour. Then I charge the going rate for the region. Here in Seattle it is $30 an hour. In the eastern part of our state it is $10 an hour. Hope that gives you some idea.

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September 5, 20120 found this helpful

I am bonded, licensed, and insured with 2 of us cleaning. I charge $40 for an hour, including laundry. Is that a good rate?

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