How Much to Charge for House Cleaning

Published on September 10, 2020

Since every house is different, it’s difficult to determine how much to charge for house cleaning.

After all, factors like these vary from house to house:

  • Square footage
  • Types of flooring
  • Number of stories
  • Cleaning frequency
  • Number of kids and pets

All of these factors contribute to how much to charge for house cleaning because they impact the amount of necessary upkeep.

However, pricing can become second nature to you once you have a process down.

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Main Factors to Consider

Did you know the hourly rate for house cleaning services is $50-$90 per hour?

Take a look at a few of the main factors influencing hourly cleaning rates:

Home Size

Depending on how much you charge, you can determine your rates based on the home’s square footage or number of rooms and bathrooms (though, more on this later).

Cleaning Type

To what extent are you cleaning? For instance, you’ll charge more for a move-in/move-out cleaning than a typical house cleaning due to the effort involved in the deep cleaning process.

Home Condition

What’s the state of the home? In other words, the dirtier the home, the higher the rate.

For example, homes with kids and/or pets typically make more messes and will need higher rates to account for the additional upkeep.

Home Location

Is the home located near any other existing cleaning jobs? The farther the home is from existing cleaning jobs, the more you’ll need to charge.

Local Demand

While you should never solely base your cleaning prices on the competition, it’s important to be aware of local demand.

Look at what other nearby cleaning businesses are charging to get an idea of where your prices stand within the local market.

Cleaning Frequency

Is this a one-time or recurring cleaning job?

While the initial visit may require additional upfront effort, recurring cleaning jobs won’t require as much upkeep during subsequent visits.

Which means, a house being cleaned weekly versus bi-weekly will require even less upkeep during subsequent visits. Which means, they can be charged less.

As a result, many cleaning businesses charge less money on jobs they frequent.

Your Experience

Businesses with strong reputations for high-quality cleaning services will be able to charge more than businesses without such a reputation.

While you should always price for profit, you might not achieve your initial profit goals when first getting started.

Keep these main factors at the forefront of your mind when determining cleaning prices. In turn, you’ll be able to justify pricing in the event of a client questioning your prices.

Choose a Cleaning Pricing Method

Prior to determining how much to charge for house cleaning, you’ll need to choose a pricing method first.

Flat Rate

Many established businesses prefer to charge a flat rate because it’s centered around a value-based pricing concept.

Also, clients typically feel better about paying flat rates because they don’t have to worry about cleaners milking the clock. In addition, they know what price to expect every time.

Even though this is one of the most common pricing methods for established cleaning businesses, it may not be the best option for new ones.

While clients usually prefer this pricing method, you shouldn’t consider using it until you comfortably know your average cleaning times and have routine cleaning processes in place.

Until then, charging a flat rate can actually lose you money if you take longer on a job than you anticipated.

As a result, it’s important to track your time on every job so you can accurately estimate average cleaning times (easily do this using Service Autopilot).

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Hourly Rate

Many new cleaning businesses charge an hourly rate for their services because it ensures they’re making money on every completed job.

When you’re first getting started, hourly rate pricing is ideal because you don’t know your average cleaning times yet.

In turn, many established businesses tend to stay away from hour rate pricing because you get penalized, rather than rewarded, for finishing jobs faster.

Keep in mind, clients are typically afraid of cleaner potentially milking the clock and don’t like the unpredictability of hourly rate pricing.

Room Rate

Some house cleaning businesses choose to charge a room rate.

This is a less common pricing method in which businesses calculate how much to charge per room. Then, they average out their prices between the other rooms.

For example, the kitchen might take longer to clean than the living room.

Which means, you could charge $150 for the kitchen and $100 for the living room – making the average room rate $125.

(Room 1 Rate + Room 2 Rate) / Total Number of Rooms = Average Room Rate

($150 + $100) / 2 = $125

Square Foot Rate

As one of the least common pricing methods, some businesses opt to charge by the square foot. Keep in mind, larger buildings are usually charged less per square foot.

If you choose this method, don’t forget to account for longer cleaning times for specific surfaces.

For example, carpet may take longer to clean if there’s stain treatment or shampooing involved.

Account for Profit Goals in Your House Cleaning Price

Basing pricing on the competition or local pricing averages is one of the biggest mistakes a business can make.

While knowing these numbers are important, it shouldn’t determine your cleaning prices. In an effort to shortcut the pricing process, you’re underselling your services.

Plus, in many instances, the competition isn’t even pricing right.

For these reasons, taking the extra time to calculate prices is the best way to maximize profits and quickly ignite growth in your house cleaning business.

Remember, it’s important to account for your business’ specific overhead and profit goals.

Calculate How Much to Charge for House Cleaning

Even though this guide is intended to help you calculate a flat rate price, you can still use it to determine how much to charge for house cleaning using other pricing methods.

Here’s how to determine how much to charge for house cleaning:

1. Estimate the Time on the Job

If you’re new to the cleaning industry, then you may only have a general guess on job time estimates.

However, with the #1 cleaning cleaning software, you can easily track your average job times.

Here’s how to estimate the time spent on jobs:

Number of Cleaners • Number of Hours = Hours Spent Cleaning

2 • 2 = 4

2. Calculate Hourly Labor Cost

To calculate hourly labor cost, combine your house cleaner’s hourly wage with the percentage of revenue you spend on employee benefits.

Although, depending on your area, this percentage will differ. However, anyone can use this formula to calculate hourly labor cost.

First, don’t forget to round up your employee benefit percentage. In turn, this helps to provide an additional financial cushion for unexpected expenses and potential errors.

Second, consider implementing performance-based compensation to motivate and reward employees for putting forth their best work.

Although, if you choose this form of compensation, be sure you’re complying with your local minimum wage requirements and legal requirements.

Employee Hourly Wage  • (Employee Benefits Percentage + 1) = Hourly Labor Cost

$14  •  (.20 + 1) = $16.80

3. Find the Total Monthly Cost

In the third step, you’ll multiply the calculations from step one and two together. As a result, the outcome provides you with the total monthly cost for each cleaning visit.

Hourly Labor Cost  • Hours Spent Cleaning = Total Monthly Cost

$16.80  • 4 = $67.20

4. Incorporate Overhead into the Total Monthly Cost

Anything you spend to run your business is considered an overhead cost. For example, vehicle cost, gas, drivetime, cleaning equipment, chemicals, cleaning software, etc… 

Since every business is different, all overhead percentages will be different.

However, many field service businesses spend anywhere between 20%-30% of their revenue on monthly overhead.

Take the total monthly cost calculated in step three, and multiply it by the percentage of monthly overhead to calculate your total monthly cost with overhead.

Total Monthly Cost  • (Overhead Percentage + 1) = Total Monthly Cost With Overhead

$67.20 • (.25 + 1) = $84.00

5. Add a Markup Percentage for Profits

Now, you know your hourly break-even point so it’s time to add a markup percentage for profits.

For this, you’ll take the calculation from step four, and multiply it by your markup percentage.

Although every cleaning business is different, many average between 30%-50%.

Total Monthly Cost With Overhead  • (Markup Percentage + 1) = House Cleaning Price

$84.00  • (.40 + 1) = $117.60

In this example, you’d be adding a 40% markup percentage to provide a profit of $33.60 with an approximate 29% profit margin.

In other words, for every $1 spent, a $0.29 profit was made.

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Now You Know How Much to Charge for House Cleaning

One of the fastest ways to increase profits and grow a successful cleaning business is by knowing how much to charge for house cleaning.

Even though all job pricing varies based on the house, you now have all of the necessary guidance into processes that allow you to make the most profit for all of your jobs.

Price your cleaning services right and ignite instant growth in your business today!


Related: How Much to Pay Your Cleaning Employees


Originally published Sept 10, 2020 7:00 AM, June 14, 2022 5:01 PM

Alyssa Sanders

Alyssa is a Content Marketing Specialist II at Service Autopilot. Her bookworming began after she discovered the Harry Potter series. Her love of books evolved into writing and creating content. When she's not writing, you can find her watching a new sci-fi series or shoving her nose into a book.
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