how much to charge for house cleaning
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Determining how much to charge for house cleaning can seem intimidating because every house and cleaning job is different.

Things like… 

  • Square footage
  • Number of kids
  • Number of pets

ALL of these are factors that will help you determine how much to charge for the house cleaning job because they all contribute to the amount of upkeep required on your part.

However, once you know the right pricing process, you can be a pro at it before you know it!

In this house cleaning pricing guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know about pricing your cleaning services for maximum profit—no more settling for break-even prices!

Now, let’s get started.

Factors that Influence Your Charging Rates

Did you know that the average hourly rate for house cleaning services is $50 to $90 an hour?

There are a wide variety of factors that contribute to this wide range in hourly cleaning rates:

  1. Home Size: Depending on how you charge, you can decide your house cleaning prices based on the number of rooms/bathrooms or square-footage (we’ll talk more about this later).
  2. Cleaning Type: To what extent are you cleaning? For instance, you’ll charge a lot more for a move-in or move-out cleaning than a typical house cleaning job because of the deep cleaning process. 
  3. Home Condition: What’s the state of the home? The concept here is quite simple… The dirtier the home, the more you’re going to charge to clean it. For instance, kids or pets (or kids + pets) will make more messes, so you’ll need to charge more for general upkeep.
  4. Home Location: Is the home located near any of your other cleaning jobs? If the home is far away from your other cleaning jobs, then you’ll have to charge more since you’ll be breaking up your route density.
  5. Local Demand: While you should never base your prices on your competition, you also need to be aware of your local demand. Look at what other cleaning businesses are charging in your area to get a general idea of how high or low your prices are.
  6. Cleaning Frequency: Is this a one-time or frequent cleaning? Regular cleanings aren’t going to require as much cleaning on your subsequent visits. For this reason, most cleaning businesses will charge less money when they clean the house more frequently.
  7. Your Experience: Cleaning businesses with strong reputations for their high-quality services will be able to charge more than new businesses. While you should always charge for profit, keep in mind that you might not achieve your initial profit goals when you’re first getting started.

As you’re trying to decide how much to charge for your cleaning services, always keep these factors at top-of-mind. Doing this will help you to justify your prices to any cleaning clients who question your prices.

Decide on a Cleaning Pricing Method

Before we get started on how you should be pricing your cleaning services, you first need to decide which cleaning pricing method you’re going to use.

1. Flat Fee

Many established cleaning business owners prefer to charge a flat fee for their services because it’s centered around value-based pricing.

Typically, clients feel better about paying more for flat fee services because they don’t have to worry about house cleaners milking the clock.

While this is one of the most popular pricing methods for established cleaning businesses, I want to caution new cleaning businesses against using this pricing method.

Even though clients prefer this method, you shouldn’t choose it until you comfortably know how long it’ll take you (or your employees) to clean houses.

Until then, charging a flat fee can actually lose you money if you take longer than you expected on a job because you don’t know what you’re doing.

This is why it’s important for you to track your time on the job so you can know what you’re making per hour (by the way, you can easily do this in Service Autopilot).

Bottom line: If you’re a new cleaning business owner, be really cautious if you choose to use this method.

2. Hourly Rate

Many non-established cleaning business owners charge an hourly rate for their cleaning services, because it ensures you make money on every job you complete.

When you’re first starting out, charging an hourly rate is great because you don’t have to know your average cleaning times.

Established cleaning businesses tend to stay away from this method because you get penalized (rather than rewarded) for completing jobs faster.

A quick word of caution: Clients usually don’t like this pricing method, and if they feel like you’re milking the clock to make more money, then it could cause conflict.

3. Room Rate

Some cleaning business owners choose to charge a cleaning rate per room.

While I don’t necessarily recommend choosing this as your primary pricing method, every cleaning business is different and you might find that it works well for you.

In this pricing method, you’ll calculate how much to charge for each room, and then you’ll average it out between the other rooms.

For example, the kitchen might take longer to clean than the living room, so you’ll charge $150 for the kitchen and $100 for the living room. This means the average per room rate is $125.

(150 + 100) / 2 = 125

4. Square Foot Rate

While not many cleaning business owners use this pricing method, every cleaning business is unique and you might find it works well for you.

For this pricing method, you’ll charge a set price per square foot. Typically, you’ll charge less per square foot for large buildings.

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

Add Profit to Your House Cleaning Price

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard about cleaning businesses basing their prices on their competition or online local averages.

Please, don’t make this mistake.

While knowing these numbers is important to use as a general guide, you shouldn’t be using it to calculate your cleaning prices.

When you try to shortcut the pricing process, you’re underselling your cleaning services.

In many instances, your competitors aren’t even pricing right!

So if you really want to maximize your profits and quickly grow your cleaning business into a success, take the extra time to properly calculate your prices.

When you calculate your own cleaning prices, you allow yourself to account for specific things overhead and profit.

Pro Tip: Did you know that your competitors can be way faster than you and make 2x what you do per hour? If you aren’t quite a speed cleaner yet, you should check out Debbie Sardone’s speed cleaning training to help you out.

speed cleaning

How Much to Charge for House Cleaning

While this guide is intended to help you calculate a flat fee, you can still use it to help you to determine how much you should charge for house cleaning. However, you might have to make a few adjustments to personalize it for your pricing method.

By the end of this pricing guide, you’ll know EXACTLY how much YOU should charge for every house cleaning job to maximize your profits for growth.

Step 1: Determine How Many Hours You’ll Spend Cleaning the House

If you’re new to the cleaning industry, then this step might be a general guess for the first few jobs.

However, if you have an awesome scheduling software for cleaners, like Service Autopilot, then you can easily track your footprints throughout the day to see how long it takes you to complete jobs.

Formula:

Number of Cleaners x Number of Hours = Hours Spent Cleaning

Example:

2 Cleaners x 2 Hours = 4 Hours Spent Cleaning

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Step 2: Calculate Your Hourly Labor Cost

In this step, you’re going to combine your employee hourly wage with the percent of your revenue that you spend on employee benefits.

Depending on your state, this percentage will differ; however, anyone can use this formula to calculate your hourly labor cost.

Pro Tip #1: Don’t forget to round up your employee benefits percentage! This will give you an extra financial cushion for unexpected expenses or potential errors.

Pro Tip #2: Consider using performance-based compensation to motivate your employees to do their best work with the most efficient timing.

Formula:

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

Example:

14 x (.20 + 1) = $16.80 Hourly Labor Cost

Step 3: Find Your Total Monthly Cost

In step 3, we’re going to take the numbers we calculated in step 1 and step 2 and multiply them together to give us the total monthly cost for this cleaning visit.

Formula:

Hourly Labor Cost x Hours Spent Cleaning = Total Monthly Cost

Example:

$16.80 x 4 Hours = $67.20 Total Monthly Cost

Step 4: Find Your Total Monthly Cost With Overhead

Your overhead includes anything you spend on running your business. For instance, vehicle cost, gas, drive time, cleaning equipment, cleaning software, and etc.

Since every cleaning business is different, your overhead percentages will be different. However, on average, I’ve seen most service industry businesses spend somewhere between 20% to 30% of their revenue on monthly overhead.

In this step, we’ll take the total monthly cost we calculated in step 3 and multiply it by the percentage of monthly overhead to find our total monthly cost with overhead.

Formula:

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

Example:

$67.20 (.25 + 1) = $84.00 Total Monthly Cost With Overhead

Step 5: Add Your Markup Percentage for Profits

Now that we’ve calculated your hourly break-even point, we need to add your markup percentage for profits!

In this final step, we’ll take the number we calculated in the previous step 4 and multiply it by our markup percentage.

While every cleaning business is different, I’ve seen businesses with markup percentages between 30% to 50% on average (and in some cases, even higher).

Formula:

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

Example:

$84.00 x (.40 + 1) = $117.60 House Cleaning Price

Looking at this example, we’re adding a 40% markup percentage to give us a profit of $33.60 with a profit margin of about 29%. In other words, for every dollar spent, a $0.29 profit was made.

Maximize Your Profits By Properly Charging for Your House Cleaning Services

When you properly charge for your house cleaning services, you can easily maximize your profits to grow a successful cleaning business - fast.

Now, you have all the guidance you need to ensure you’re making the most profit for every cleaning job you complete.

Use this guide to quickly start growing your cleaning business today!


Related: How Much to Pay Your Cleaning Employees


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