How much does it cost to hire a house cleaner?

Most house cleaners do basic tasks such as vacuuming, dusting, toilet and shower cleaning, general kitchen cleaning and tidying up. (Photo by Elizabeth McQuern)

Most house cleaners do basic tasks such as vacuuming, dusting, toilet and shower cleaning, general kitchen cleaning and tidying up. (Photo by Elizabeth McQuern)

Keeping your house clean can be a monumental task, especially if you work full time, have young children or pets or all of the above. As a result, many busy homeowners are hiring a professional house cleaner to help lower their stress and make their lives easier. But how much should house cleaning services cost, and exactly what are homeowners getting for their money?

How house cleaning services charge

Professional house cleaners typically set house cleaning prices one of two ways: By hour, or by square foot. Hourly costs range from $25 to $35; square foot rates are often used for a "first clean," as a baseline for pros to work from. First cleans are also more expensive, as cleaners need to determine how long they'll spend in a home, and if there are any rooms which require extra work — for example a family bathroom or large play area.

In addition, rates will differ based on how often you want pros to clean. Generally, the more times a cleaner comes in a month, the smaller the cost per visit, though this is often a matter of $5 or $10 per clean. Some cleaners offer a discount if homeowners are willing to pay for multiple visits upfront, or if they sign a long-term contract.

Individual cleaners versus cleaning companies

It's also important to consider the distinction between individual cleaners and companies. Companies offer bonded, licensed employees but charge more for their services. This means, however, that if a cleaning job isn't done to your satisfaction, you can take the issue up with the company, or take them to court. Most companies send out at least two workers on any job and charge a minimum price no matter the size of your home.

Related: House cleaning pros reveal tricks of their trade

Many individuals also run their own cleaning businesses but may not be licensed and often want to be paid in cash or by personal check. Their rates are typically lower and often their ability is equal or superior to large companies, but they are inherently fly-by-night. There is little recourse for a homeowner if a job isn't done completely to your satisfaction, especially if the cleaner chooses to shut down his or her operation. There's also a concern if an individual cleaner gets ill or has a personal emergency. Companies typically have backups available.

What you get for your money

While there's no "standard" set of cleaning services, most house cleaners will include basic tasks such as vacuuming, dusting, toilet and shower cleaning, general kitchen cleaning and tidying up. Once they've run through the list of typical tasks, many will ask for an additional list from homeowners -- for example, cleaning blinds, tackling tough soap scum stains, or dealing with stained carpets.

Related: What to expect from a house cleaning service

Some professional house cleaners bring tools (vacuum, mop, dusters) with them, while others ask homeowners to provide what's necessary. Similarly, some bring their own cleaning products and others want homeowners to provide a set of products for their use.

Extra costs in house cleaning

If you want a particularly deep clean in an area, or require specific products to be used due to allergies or sensitivities, expect to pay more. Some cleaning companies charge you upfront and bring what's required, while others ask you to have anything you want on hand when they arrive. If you want to them to use only eco-friendly cleaners from a specific brand or use a special type of duster, expect your costs to go up.

Hiring a professional house cleaner means you can expect to pay between $80 and $150 for each visit. Your money covers basic services such as vacuuming, dusting, bathroom and kitchen cleaning. Both companies and individual cleaners can offer solid value for your money; which you choose depends largely on your preference and comfort level.

Editor's note: This is an updated version of a story originally posted on April 30, 2013.

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For some reason, I decided to read most of the comments on here. It's almost like watching a MTV show involving people that remind me of an ongoing train wreck. You know - you really want to turn it, but it's just so ridiculous that you keep reading or watching, wondering what will happen. A few things: 1. We are all equal on this board. 2. Whatever your profession - if you are good at your job, charge your worth. People will pay it. 3. Whatever you do, stop taking things so personally. It's not appealing at all and causes many issues in our already messed up society. I have a four year degree in Information Technology (network admin). However, I am a housekeeper and a very successful one. After many years of working in the medical field, I soon realized that I wanted to work for myself and to do something totally different than IT. I love being my own boss. I now work harder than I ever have. I also have employees and those employees are very important to me. My clients are very important as well. The clients that do not appreciate our hard work, our dedication or our dependability - they are professionally dismissed. If you want the luxury of having your home or office cleaned, you're going to pay well for it with our company. We have many clients that can definitely afford this luxury. We also have clients that struggle to pay for our cleaning services, and if they work with us, we will work with them. We typically charge by square foot and if the cleaning is ongoing or a one time deal. However, we also consider the amount of time it will take. After carefully considering all of the facts, we give an estimated price. Estimation is a good term to use. Once you arrive at the home, the cost may change. One of the readers compared housekeepers to nurses. Of course, she wasn't stating that it was just as important, saving lives, etc. It was just a comparison. WE all know that nurses save lives. My immediate family involves doctors, nurses, paramedics, etc. They understand the importance of having a clean home, removing germs, and respect my new profession. I make more money than a couple of them, however that doesn't make me any better than they are, nor are they better than me because of what's behind their name. No matter what profession you choose, do it well. Being a housekeeper and owning a business involves more than just cleaning. Good communication skills is a must. Knowing how to network, and to follow through on questions is very important. Bidding, invoicing, inventory, etc is just a few to follow. The service industry is in need of good people. Believe me - I started out small, and in just a few months, the results were outstanding. Housekeepers - whatever you do, do not sell yourself short and do not feel like you owe anyone an explanation. You will find clients that that truly appreciate you and your hard work. Enough said - I have homes to clean...

I live in oklahoma and I have owned my business for 15 years and I do well but I never charge by the hour I do it only by the job and all the people I have and still work for love that I do that

You people who are bickering have all but completely ruined the validity of this blog. Go fight your stupid battles in the back alley and just stick to the facts without insulting each other. I simply wanted to research what professional house cleaners charge and what they do, not read a ridiculous drama scene. >< As for the rest of you who are giving useful tips and information, thank you! :)

It seems to me that most of the people posting here need to try to step back, take a moment, and put themselves in the shoes of those on the other side of the employment fence. From the point-of-view of the house cleaner, yes it is a demanding job that requires a lot of physical labor. In spite of the fact that it doesn't require an education to do it, it's demanding enough to expect to be paid more than minimum wage. From the point-of-view of the employer--it depends a lot on how much money you make at your own job. If you make $70-200 an hour at your own job, paying someone $35 an hour to clean your house so that you can relax when you get home seems reasonable, however if your job pays less than $30 an hour, it's crazy to think of paying someone more than what you make to clean your house for you. I think what I am hearing here is frustration. People who are traveling long distances, carrying cleaning supplies, and working hard for several hours straight feel that they should be able to earn a decent wage. And those who are working other hard or stressful jobs and are perhaps still going to school or paying back student loans, but need the help on the home front keeping their homes clean and comfortable don't have the money to pay what the cleaning companies expect.

I own a small cleaning business in NY. $25 - $30 per hour is more than fair for cleaning services. Like any job there are expenses. Usually they are absorbed when you receive a paycheck from an employer resulting in your "net pay". I pay for all of my supplies, paper products, accounting software and/or service, insurance for liability, disability, health. I have to consider my own vacation and sick pay and how much to put into my own retirement. Last year my tax rate in NY was 38%! So I paid NY State .38 for every dollar I made. And that's just the you know how many illnesses, diseases and critters I subject myself to everyday? Don't get me wrong, I like what I do. But people need to understand that running a proper business is anything but cheap so please don't cheap out on a quality service.

I am an educated professional who works a very demanding Monday through Friday job in a field I no longer find rewarding. I thoroughly enjoy cleaning and organizing, always have. I have performed and hired both residential and office cleaning in the past. I've been considering starting my own business that offers more than cleaning services focused on saving people time, the most precious commodity we all have. The comments in this string have been interesting. From my perspective as both the provider and consumer, it is a service one is paying for. Personal services are agreements between the consumer and provider, typically market rates for similar services. It is not based on one's perception of the service provider's educational level.

Well, let me make this short. My parent have a cleaning business and have been in the business for over 40 years now. They started with a handful of houses and now have over 250+ and all through word of mouth, incredible right??? I went a few times and I have to say, it wasn't an easy job that's for sure. My parents charged a flat rate which worked for them pretty well, neatless to say no customer ever complained about the price or the job. The groups where 2 women and one man, and has been that way ever since. The customers love my parents and my parents do as well. It's hard to find honest house keepers/cleaners - people leave many valuables around. My parents never had a problem with any of that and they work in great areas in CA ... Calabasas, Thousand Oaks, Missions Hills, Oak Park, Mohalland Drive etc. my parents worked very hard and built a great company from nothing. Funny, my parents don't have to work anymore but they do sometimes.... Because they get bored :) love them!

Ok, so, im a lil out of the loop. About 10-12 years ago I cleaned homes. Then got into medical, now getting back into the cleaning. So a lady contacted me about cleaning her home. I went and checked it out. Its not just your regular cleaning, which doesn't bother me at all. But I want to be fair for the both of us. Its cleaning every room, dusting everything, tops of pics, tops of doors, her crystal, getting finger prints off wall, mirrors, windows, organizing, vacuum, bathrooms, bedrooms change linens, laundry wash, dry and paut away. Its the whole works. Every other week. She doesnt care if its 10 hours. How do I chatge that? I dont know if I should go hourly? I dont want to go too high and not get the job? She will get all supplies, unless I want to use my own doesn't matter she said. Its about 3,000 sq.ft home. Any suggestions?? Please??

I hope i can get there someday....Like your parents, i started to build my company from year later i got 20 houses...., I try to be the most honest person my clients can find besides the attention to details , my clients never complained about anything. I'm glad, if i can keep the good work maybe in 10 years i can reach +100 houses..... I like to read stories like this. Thanks for sharing. Viviane

I've read as many posts here as I can, and frankly, enough to comment. With the things I'm about to say, it would be interesting to see who can guess which I am; The Housekeeper or The Employer. If you are a nurse of any kind and have hired a Housekeeper, stop and think. Is your idea of a Housekeeper merely dusting, vacuuming, doing kitchen duties, bathroom cleaning, etc? Or are they working right along side you in the medical field. If you have a good Housekeeper, they are making sure your toilets don't have any traces of feces for you to sit in. She is making sure you don't get food poisoning from your microwave that you use so much causing you violent emesis and a trip to the ER room for treatment while you wish to God you could either 1., have immediate relief or 2., could die on the spot because you're so ill. If you have a Housekeeper and are a Nurse, she's making sure you can walk barefoot across your floors without the risk of athlete's foot from the dirt, germs, built up grime, and possibly pet urine, vomit, or anything else your imagination can come up with. Let's move on to the "resting place", the room you sleep in. She makes sure your bedding is washed, dried, and back on your bed for you. Bed bugs aren't very likely to come lurking around with your Housekeeper's immaculate skills. Let's take a trip back to your kitchen. I know for a fact the Nurse had extensive training in how filthy your kitchen gets and the high risk of germs accumulating right on your kitchen counter, your faucets, your refrigerator door, and even in your door knobs. In fact the Nurse knows, or BETTER know the life span of Hepatitis and how its transmitted. Your Housekeeper is at a much higher risk of this than you are inside your home. In all actuality, the Nurse comes home day after day after day carrying contamination of every type out there, especially if that Nurse works in a hospital. Your Housekeeper scrubs up all your germs that you drag in just from the bottom of your shoes! Let's not look down or noises at the Housekeepers! How dare we judge the very people who are scraping off our garbage we drag in, or washing uniforms with possibly vomit from a patient on them or blood from another, or AIDS if they happen to work in that specialty! Don't any of you "professionals" DARE to undermine the Housekeepers for not choosing (in some cases) college! We/they are more educated then you can even fathom, and the reason you /we can't fathom it is because by going to college to become a Nurse, plenty of you /us acquired a lethal illness called "Snotty Rhino Syndrome" and can't see beyond the stuck-up-I'm-above" big nose that's gotten in the way. Now, someone needs to eat a slice of humble pie. In fact pack some in your lunch for the rest of the week while we're all at it. Who am I, the Nurse or the Housekeeper?

I believe you are the nurse. From all of us that are housekeepers, we thank you.

I'm a nurse who works very long shifts to provide care to people who are not doing very well. What I mean by saying not doing very is people who can pass away at anytime. We help save lives. We put ourselves at risk everyday not only with highly contagious germs but much more than you can imagine. Most of us understand that by the end of the day our scrubs and shoes are filthy but most of us know how to handle our uniform when we get home. Please don't bring nursing into this as it is offensive to our field. I understand you are trying to defend the housekeepers role but you can't compare apples to oranges. Most people value the service that housekeepers provide but I do have to say that society can survive WITHOUT housekeepers. The service you provide is more like a luxury and convenience to people. It's not a necessity. I hope you understand that their is a difference between the two occupations.

This is pure hilarity! It's so funny how not only do you have such a HUGE chip on your shoulder, that you would actually vent your ignorance in this way on a public forum. LOL!! I'm pretty sure you are not earning anybody ANY respect! You are just making yourself look stupid and uneducated. And I guarantee most housekeepers do NOT have equivelant knowledge of the medical field to nurses. If they did, they would be working as a nurse for $70/hr rather than as a housekeeper for $10/hr. Come on!! Now, that's not to say that housekeepers are not an extremely important and vital part of someone's life, family and functioning. They truly are invaluable. But not in the detailed way you describe. Sorry. It's time to put away your big girl words and calm down.

I am pretty sure everyone knows you are the housekeeper. The reasons being; 1) your writing skills are horrible 2) half of what you wrote made no sense. Sorry, but I don't see a housekeeping job as being equal with other jobs as you were trying to persuade us. There are lower blue collar jobs that I would never look down on someone for having...mail man, trash man, sewage workers, etc. The reason being those are all jobs we NEED to exist to keep society functioning. We don't need housekeeper's, they contribute nothing to society, and we don't have to have them. So I disagree with your comments 100%. Not the smartest idea to compare the nursing field (which requires students to pass difficult educational requirements and who save lives on a daily basis) to the housekeeping comparison whatsoever.

I have cleaned houses before.My mother and her friend both cleaned houses for years. It is very demanding on the body. It's hard work, and I hate to do it. That said, I do believe that housekeeping is unskilled labor. No specialized training or apprenticeship is required to obtain the skill. You just have to be hard working. I value housekeepers and feel that they contribute to the comfort and peace of many people. That said, I have a master's degree. I spent a great amount of time and money on my education. I also work a physically demanding job as a special needs teacher. I make $27.50 an hour. I pay my own travel expenses to work, and I pay for my student loans. I don't feel that cleaning a house warrants a $25/hr fee, especially if I'm providing the cleaning supplies.

Good housekeeping requires more than running a cloth over furniture, running a vacuum and mopping. My husband started an environmentally safe cleaning business seven years ago. He is college educated, and decided he was sick of corporate life. He performed research, bought the best equipment and supplies and quickly began getting new clients (via advertising and word of mouth). To properly perform duties, you have to be aware of what you are doing, and the proper materials or equipment to use for a certain situation. You're right, it is not rocket science, but to do any job properly, you should be informed. You unfortunately chose an area to work in that doesn't pay well, even though it requires a huge amount of training. Just because that is your situation, you shouldn't down play the efforts, knowledge and investment a cleaning business must make to do the work in your home. You would best be served to do your own -- people should not be expected to clean someone else's mess for little to no return on their investment.

Really? Being a teacher is a physically demanding as a maid? You've never cleaned a day in your life really have you? They make your life 1000 times easier. Just because they probably couldn't afford to go to school in the first place because they had families to support does not mean they simply don't deserve to make over minimum wage. It's unfortunate someone with that mentality is a teacher

I put myself through nursing school by house cleaning. I've done more than my fair share of hands-on dirty work, and I can guarantee you that more of it came from house cleaning than being a nurse. I love being an OR nurse and I don't mind the grueling shifts and the long hours because what I make an hour is fair fair for the job I perform and I get overtime. Your $20 an hour for cleaning? HAHAHAHA definitely not a fair rate. I would gladly pay a girl $35 to come into my house and clean it because 1. I am very busy and do not have very much off time and when I do, cleaning is the last thing on my mind 2. it is a TASKING and TRYING job. have some respect. Do not sit there and judge these women on their living because they're not "professionals." I'd like to see you do their job for one month and not break down from it because I simply don't think you could. I do not care if you are a business person in an office or an LPN, the skills that a good cleaner has calls for double what you make every time.

Its laughable! You'd pay $35.00 for someone to clean your house? Well while the crack head you hired, is taking all you precious items out the back door as soon as you blink. I hope you were smart enough to get a real name. I've been housekeeping for 10 + years and I know for a fact that if someone is cleaning your house at a ridiculously Low rate you can expect to get what you pay for. As far as these other comments go. If you think for one moment that a housekeeper does not have to be some what educated to do this type of're kidding yourself. If you dont have accounting skills you can expect to drown out here. Not to mention the peoplee who hire housekeepers then quickly turn them into nannies and CNA's before they can even clean a window! No one knows what we have to deal with until they put themselves in a housekeepers shoes. Most of you wouldn't last a house let alone 3 in a day. You judge our mental capabilities when you'd never be strong enough to survive any form of constructive criticism let alone an over worked mother who's just in need of someone to take life out on. I have no sick days no vacation time and no weekends off! Yes I work 365, unless God blesses me with a snow storm. This year alone I've worked with a broken arm, ribs and a bad knee. No not at the same time. Yet none of the families cared. Why? Because of people like you who pass judgment and think we should be oh so greatful to clean your husbands dirty hanes, you never have time to. For the record we make it possible for you to continue working and bringing home whatever amount it is you do. Without us, most of you would have a child neglect case for uninhabitable conditions. As most of you are so busy chasing money that you've become hoarders! With that being said..I'll take your leave. Have a happy clean day!

Thankyou for your comment ... I have been a cleaner for nearly 20 years and have to say I am one if the best in business... We are worth our wait in gold!

if you are the best, I believe you, because I would think my husband of 54 years always cleaned together, john is 82 and I will be 80 next month, we love to clean, I can't believe we can't do it any more, and I miss it, but we are fine just a little slower. Cleaning is as importing as anything else, have four boys, and they are clean people too.

How much can you charge someone for a 4 floor townhome (city) that includes 4 bedrm 4 and half bathroom 3 living areas huge kitchen, huge stairways? Not by hour just a flat cost? Takes about 6 to 7 hours to clean?

I have read a few of these comments. I am trying to find a housecleaner and I am not having an easy time of it. I would like to pay 20 dollars an hour. I would like to have 4 hours of work. I am being told that 40 dollars an hour is the going rate. I do not live in a city, Iive in a very rural area and a poor state, so that is not the reason for the high amount. My last house cleaner wanted 40.00 per hour and decided to "give me a break because she liked me" and charged me 20.00 for 4 hours but ended up only being here 3 and I still paid her for 4 hours. Half of the time, my floors were not clean when I arrived home. I am a very nice person that works full time and raises a family that is very busy and would like to pay someone so we can have quality time as a family. But people want to be paid more than I get paid and I have a master's degree. I'm not being degrading and I really appreciate the help and the person that cleans for me, but I do not believe someone needs 45.00 an hour for this job. Am I being cheap paying 20.00 an hour? I don't think so.

So sorry!!!! Unfortunately you can not decide how much is fair to pay any job. If you think $30, $40... is too much. Go clean by your self and see what you got.

I found your post and thought I'd give ya a good answer :) I clean for my friends and family. I do a really great job and I charge them 15 a hour which I always get more since I'm fast, good at what I do and always on time. I do charge them so little because they are family and I clean every week for them some times multiple days in a week. Now I charge 25 a hour if it's small jobs and the house has its own products and 35-45 a hour for bigger jobs such as base boards, cabinets any jobs that involve more scrubbing for non family and non close friends. I also would be charging for a deep cleaning that includes carpet cleaning spot cleaning etc. I offer lots more than just cleaning that is weed pulling, lifting organizing etc. that is usually a per day fee which is around 400 for the day which all is super cheap. I had the same rates when I lived in West Virginia and in California. So I personally think you got a great deal with the person that was nice and gave you a break people don't generally do that. I also have three little girls too feed and if I was getting 20 a hour only once a week you still pay taxes to the state and federal and so really your making under 20 if that's your hourly rate. If you don't want to pay much I'd look into a high school student looking for extra cash and pay them 20.00 hr your might get a clean house but at 20 and non family might be left with a half job. It's a job that uses a a lot of energy and time so you might only have two a day which one you feel worked out and I work 8 hours a day cleaning others houses then mine and have a regular job.

YES you are being CHEAP. For one thing by the time the person you are hosing by only paying $20 a hour to scrub your toilets pays the good old IRS, business insurance, gas, and cleaning supplies alone what's left?? Secondly housekeeping is hard work. You ever try it? Maybe don't be so lazy and cheap! Very degrading.


I fully agree. It's degrading. I clean large houses for a living and I hear these people complain about the price all the time. They have forgotten how hard it is to clean their own houses because we are there every single week. It is hard work and my back is paying the price. $25 to $35 an hour per person is a more than fair price.

Is it $25 per person Hourly or just $25 Per hour no matter how many girls go?I want to start my own house cleaning business anybody have any ideas at all or anyone willing to give me any ideas to get me started

Its per person per hour

My mother and I have been a little cleaning team for about 3 years. We have learned many valuable lesson over this time period. If you underbid your jobs, you will hate cleaning for the client. If they are looking for a deal, run for the hills! The work can be grueling at times and if you are doing it while being underpaid and undervalued you it will eventually show in your work. There are plenty of great people to work for who have had house keepers in the past, and are used to paying for quality work. Treat these clients like gold! We go above and beyond without a second thought and there really isn't anything we wouldn't do to keep them happy. Money is great, but much more than that is how they treat us! We have kissed a lot of frogs, just as it sounds like you all have to find these great clients. They are out there mixed in with all the cheap people who expect the world for a pittance. Hopefully, as you meet the better clients in between, you can weed out the bad ones! I never consider any of the potential clients I meet as lazy, frankly, I think they are the smartest people ever! Everyone is so busy these days! Unless you absolutely love to clean, why would you waste your time on that when you could be doing something else! If they are secretly lazy, thank god because then we may have a chance to clean. I think the smartest clients are the one's that have their house cleaned before a party or when having out of town guests. Who wants to scramble around dusting, moping and scanning toilets inbetween frosting a birthday cake or puting a impromptu guest bedroom together? I never have that luxury but if I had the money, I'd be all over it. People worth cleaning for are those that know how hard it is and are willing to pay for good work and good people. You get what you pay for and what most cheapskate's fail to realize is you are paying for much more than just a cleaning...You are paying for security, reliability, flexibility, discretion, honesty and time you would have to give up to clean on your own. If you want to get off cheap, you are not really paying for someone to put your best interests first and giving an underpaid person no holds barred access to all of your most precious things, information, etc. you may be paying much more in the long run. I'm not saying that all those who are making way below what they should have malicious acts in mind, I'm just saying we are in your home and whether you realize it or not there is a level of vulnerability there. Pay your people to keep your best interests in the forefront at all times. You will get your money's worth with a soild house cleaner in ways you never expected and if not, do your homework and look for referrals there are great house cleaners out there!

First, I have to say that I usually just read posts and don't reply, but I feel obligated to say something to the people who are posting here that have no first hand knowledge of this job. If you have never walked a mile in a housekeeper's shoes, then don't you have no right to criticize or put them down for what they do, how much they charge or any other personal attack that has been posted to date. If you have never cleaned houses, then you have no point of reference for a logical and knowledgeable argument or rebuttal to any comment posted here. I have recently started cleaning houses to help make ends meet. This was not something I just decided to without "doing my homework." I "job shadowed" (aka. worked along beside) several different people in the field for several months before I made the choice and decision to enter into the business. I have to say, this is NOT a field for the weak, lazy or unknowledgeable! I have never been afraid of hard work, but honestly, I had NO IDEA how hard this would be. Because I DO have a frame a reference for argument, I will address some of the more uneducated comments posted here. 1. " about getting a real job?" Well, I can't think of a job that is more real than cleaning! (Actually, is there such a thing as a "non-real job?") Definition of the word "JOB:" "a piece of work, esp. a specific task done as part of the routine of one's occupation or for an agreed price; a post of employment; full-time or part-time position; anything a person is expected or obliged to do; a duty; responsibility; an affair, matter, occurrence; the execution or performance of a task..." ( CLEANING is a job and is as "real" as any other job out there. 2. This job is NOT for the "unskilled." Yes, I too, used to think "what is the big deal about dusting, cleaning, vacuuming, etc.?" There is truly an "art" to doing this job and doing it well. The "art" is all about the process. For example: when you dust a table, you just don't take everything off, dust the items, put them somewhere else, dust the table and then put the items back. You have to put everything back exactly where it was originally. It is not your house, so where is everything "supposed" to go? You have to dust an object, pick it up, dust under it and then immediately place it back. Also, the more you handle an object, the more likely you are to bump it or (heaven forbid) break it, so the less you handle it the better. Better to pick it up once and that is it. Also, just like all other businesses, time is money. You have to coordinate all your work so you are not wasting a minute at any time. Some of my homes require linen service, so I am washing and drying bed sheets while I am cleaning. There isn't time to "wait" for the laundry to finish like you can at your own home. Before you strip a bed set off, if it is made already, how do you know if someone has slept in it or not? Well, the "art" of folding the sheets a certain way at the top and the bottom will tell the "skilled" cleaner if someone has been in that bed or not. There is much more to the "art" of cleaning--too much to mention here, but at least you have some idea... 3. Some people have chosen this as a profession while others are in the field because of other circumstances that are not by choice. Obviously, some people have no choice; however, making "sweeping generalizations" about if people want to make more than minimum wage should be getting another job is simply morally wrong. If you are not willing to pay for a housekeeper/cleaner, then that is your choice. If you want a housekeeper/cleaner and can actually find someone of any worth for minimum wage willing to do this for you, then God bless both of you!! You--for trusting someone with ALL of your possessions for $7.25/hr and them--for needing money so desperately that they would put up with you for $7.25/hr! If you do find someone to work that cheaply for you, then you better check and make sure they are not pawning your things off to help make up the difference in wages! 4. You are simple not paying someone to clean for you. How hard have you worked to get where you are? To buy your possessions? Your home? The person that cleans your home has access to ALL, I repeat, ALL your possessions and has the keys to your "castle." Part of what you are paying for is TRUST. Not only are they taking care of EVERYTHING that you have worked so hard for, but they know EVERY ONE of your little dirty secrets that even your best friend probably doesn't even know. The unwitting public has NO IDEA what all the housekeeper/cleaner sees that they NEVER tell outside people about. Your house cleaner would never tell your friends and neighbors that the man in the house never hits the toilet and there is dried pee all around the floor and running down the sides of the toilet bowl. What about the family dog (that is so cute to all your friends) who pees or poops in the corner behind the chair where no one sees? What about the status/cleanliness of the sheets, walls, bed frame every time after you have sex? What about the paperwork/receipts for places, items, services and people that the other spouse/friends/neighbors/loved ones should not know about? (I will leave this up to your imagination and your own thoughts because yes, I've seen it). Not only does the housekeeper not TELL EVERYONE about these dirty secrets, but they ALSO CLEAN UP these messes and more! People who don't clean really have NO IDEA what the cleaner really does see. Trust me, we see and more know more about you than we really care to know, but are willing to come back and clean for you in spite of it. 5. Last but not least (because I could certainly go on and on), ever heard of the "golden rule?" If you don't want, can't afford or simply don't like housekeepers/cleaners, then don't hire us. We do this job because we care, and silly as it might seem, some of us actually enjoy doing it. Yes, it might seem like a job that anyone can do, but so does a great deal of other jobs out there. What is so "big" about running a company? Being a Day Trader? Doctor? Lawyer? Chimney sweep? Candle stick maker? Cashier? Hairdresser? Street sweeper? Well, there is plenty! Some require formal education and other require informal education; yet, NONE are without merit or worth and ALL occupations help to make our society work. Be respectful and remember "judge not, lest ye be judged." There is no job that does not entail some degree of knowledge and yes, there is an "art" to almost every job that there is. Just because the "status" of the job isn't in the upper echelon of society, doesn't mean that it is not worthy of respect and the right to EARN a fair pay for the job. If you have any job, then be thankful because you never know what tomorrow holds (and karma has a really bad way of coming back to bite you)--you might be wishing someone would be nice enough to pay you to clean up after them!

Love your comment...long!...but you covered everything.

wow reading this comments here is a real eye opener I have run my domestic cleaning business now for over 14 years and it is growing to the point i have had to hire up to ten employees, its a skill worth a lot of money and the clients who pay and appreciate coming in to a clean tidy home, I see a lot of people I trial who have experience trained by so called old school cleaners who don't even vacuum or mop half the time because its clean enough so they can run away with the clients money thinking they don't notice well let me tell you they do and these are the people I take work away from, professional cleaners should be asking for minimum $30 per hour and up to 40 dollars an hour the amount of physical work required, the overheads of running a car to and from locations, the equipment maintenance, the amount of washing yes we wash mops and cloths every weekend and vacuum bags we work up to 8 hrs a day equivilent to a desk job would be a 14 hr day this is not a job for lazy people if you love it it is very rewarding and you reap the rewards if your smart, we work smarter now not harder there are a lot of things that make our job easier now days but you still need good old hard labour there are no magic chemicals that make things disappear you have to scrub sometimes, so please respect cleaners its still a job and someone has to do it. and yes we get great presents for our appreciation and bonuses at the end of the year and a holiday during christmas time.

Im currently working a full time job, I'm thinking about starting up a cleaning business with my two daughters,thanks for all the advice &comments in the cleaning world, I had no idea,about start up cost or how much to charge but to also make a profit at the end of the week thanks for all the information

I clean houses and offices and nail salons on the side to better my children's lives. It puts food on the table and a roof over their heads. I also clean for a a cleaning company as well. But, that just doesn't pay all the bills. Don't knock the house cleaners until you've tried it yourself. It's not as easy as you may think. It's a hard physical job. And until I started cleaning for a living I really didn't know what it was to clean until you had to do it professionally. I was doing it for years all wrong. There is a real technique to correctly clean. It is a skill! To all the cleaners, kudos to you and keep up the great work and keep it going. To all the haters, well obviously I don't need to emphasize to you what I think!

For everyone who is crying over how poorly treated housecleaners are, get over yourselves. I can think of hundreds of jobs which pay less than 25-35 an hour and are much more dangerous, skill demanding, and intuitively driven. If you CHOOSE cleaning as your profession, I think you should expect to make the same amount as other unskilled jobs. Minimum wage. "Oh! But I can't live on that little money, I'm entitled to more!" How about maybe getting a real job? I can see paying more for supplies and travel expenses...but that number should never go above $15 an hour. This is like going to Home Depot to pick up some hired hands for yard work....and each one of them expecting $35 an hour. I don't think so.

I like where you are going Kevin. I worked as a brick mason, in the heat and cold for 16 yrs and never made 25-35 per hour. I clean my own house for the own reason, can't pay for someone to clean my house for 35 per hour because they didn't get a education. I have dental techs that work for me now with education and not making that much. So the money will not be going to a housekeeper. KEEP IT CLEAN CHRIS

Funny. I have an associates in accounting, a bachelors in business, and have just decided house cleaning, keeping, and gardening is a very profitable business. I plan to leave my 70k per year desk job and get to it. For quality work and service I would charge nothing less than $40 per hour. If you all can't afford the luxury of a house cleaner it doesn't mean we should not get enough to pay taxes, personal insurance, and our mortgage!

Permalink, you should clean your own dirty house since you are so cheap.

For the inconsiderate person who posted "For everyone who is crying" (Kevin) I want to say that you have a sad outlook on life and people in general. Why is someone who cleans houses less than you? and should make less than you? It takes all jobs and hardworking people to keep a strong economy and the service industry up and running. My wife and I have a combined income of over 220,000.00, live in a 650,000 house that we own, have a good retirement and I would never say that someone doesn't deserve to earn a good wage. Remember, you may be one catastrophic diagnosis away from a terminal medical condition or a devastating blow financially. Get off your high horse and treat people the way the God would, with love, compassion and fairness. Why are they entitled if they are working hard. Entitlement should be a title left for people who are unwilling to work and laying around looking for handouts because they think everyone owes them something. You are right about one thing, people can't live on that little of money. You try it. Oh that's right, You're to good for that. You went to college or come from an affluent family. Me, I worked hard for everything I've ever earned, so I appreciate others who do the same.

Thank you for speaking up. Im about to start housekeeping. I havent read everyones posts or comments but yours was really nice. I think ppl in any field should be paid fairly and what theyre worth. If i were to slack off at a job it will be noticed and it would cost me. I do my best at everything. Thanks again for sticking up for house cleaners.

Quite obviously, you haven't run a business your entire life. In fact, I'd be surprised if you did any honest work at all. Cleaning companies are a business, and EVERY business, whether they dig ditches or work on airplanes, MUST charge a certain amount to remain in business. A business has expenses, like electricity, phone, office rental, office equipment, Internet, cleaning supplies, company cars, fuel to get to your house, car maintenance, licensing costs, employees to pay, bookkeepers, etc. and the average expenses for a cleaning company can easily reach into the 10s of thousands of dollars each month (since they often use top-of-the-line industrial-strength cleaners and cleaning supplies, if their work is worth more than a grain of salt.) If companies don't charge enough, guess what - they don't stay around long because their debts will eventually drive them out of business.

I agree, im a nurse (LPN) and i dont even make $25-$35 pr hour, i only make $23.50, so I agree, it would be kinda silly to pay them more then I make, i think the prices should be more reasonable,

You earn 23.50/h to be a nurse and wouldnt pay more than that for your cleaning lady. What does your dentist, mechanic, hairdresser charge?? Thought so, I guess you are too cheap to use these services as they earn more than you. So narrow minded. I am the owner of a successful cleaning company with 15 staff members, we are committed to providing you , and your family with a clean, safe and sanitized environment. ( Being a nurse, you should understand the monumental importance of a clean living environment.) Which has more germs? Your toilet or your kitchen sink? How often do you wash the inside of your trash cans? Most housekeepers work from left to right then top to bottom. This requires organizational skills, time management, and the ability to work independently. WHIMIS - a required training course for anyone in the hospitality industry eg: housekeeping, food and restoration, hotel, tourism, even construction. It is a set of practiced policies and safety standards. Good luck with your nursing, at some point when you have kids, and have acquired a big and beautiful home, you may put some more thought into how valuable and indispensable housekeeper is - once you find one - and treat her right.

Yes, you get paid $23.50 per hour, but do you know how much is a really cost for your employer? I'm sure you cost your employer no less than $30 per hour. That means your employer pays you at least $30 per hour if not more. And how much your hospital or nursing home charges clients for your work per hour? $35 - $50 per hour. If your were self-employed and provided services to your nursing home or hospital you can easily charge them at least $40 per hour. No one pays a cleaner $23.50 on W-2 wages. They get paid $10-$13.50. So, be proud of you that you have a degree and you get paid $10 more than a cleaner.

I'm sure you sweat all day and never take breaks and rarely talk to your coworkers and never sit down too right? Also you pay for all your supplies while nursing and use your own car for work too right? Listen im not a house cleaner but I hired one and gladly pay her 25 an hour. I keep telling her she should raise her prices, 30-35 an hour is fair for a self employed cleaner. Let's not forget that a cleaner is also a business owner and has additional expenses associated to running a business Insurance, advertising, office supplies etc. I'm not attacking nurses or anyone else who decides to follow the 9 to 5 grind I did it for ten years before launching my own business and now make double to triple what I used to make and get more time off. I say take a chance and follow the american dream of business ownership you will never look back.

A few response to your comment here. First of all, nurses often work 8, 12, 16 hr shifts without breaks. Amusing that in almost the same breath that you basically say nurses sit around and talk to their coworkers all day, you ALSO say no disrespect to nurses. Umm. Ok? Also, nurses ABSOLUTELY pay for their own supplies, uniforms, continuing education, certifications and licensing fees every 2 years. Plus, how do you figure nurses don't use their own cars? How do you think they get to work every day? And what about hospice or home health nurses, or other traveling nurses? I'm pretty sure they have to drive to their patients homes. Oh, in their own cars. And finally, and this one is pretty WHAT UNIVERSE do you think nursing is a 9-5 gig?? Haha!! While the housekeepers are at home on Christmas morning with their kids, opening presents, nurses are hard at work, saving lives......possibly even yours one day. ;) But yes, ultimately nurses CHOOSE that profession and the negatives that come with it. Just as housekeepers choose their profession. It doesn't mean one is better than the other. I'm just not exactly sure why everyone is comparing these 2 professions. They are nothing alike. Either way, please recheck your facts before posting false satire. It makes you look silly.

I could not believe what Kevin said about house cleaners. How arrogant! Believe it or not I have a Bachelors degree in education but also have the gift of organization. Choosing to have a cleaning business and be more available as a mother to my 5 children was a logical choice. I left for a little while and my customers said they would pay whatever to keep me. I work hard at blessing them so after they get out of work they can come home to a clean, organized and restful place and know they don't have to fit in cleaning their homes, nights or weekends but can enjoy their families. Any one that works hard deserves your respect.

I can not believe the response off Kevin. Housekeeping is bloody hard and not everyone can do it. (hence hiring in help) It is hard physical work I hate changing my bed sheets every week I get flustered especially after doing the bunk beds. Its a job were it is low paid and will never get much better but do you know what they are working and paying tax so that is a 'real' job. Make them feel appreciated by leaving a chocolate bar for them or a tip every once in a while and I know that will boost them by giving them much needed sugar and a thank you gift. I'm a private nanny and believe me it is hard work too yet people think how is that hard work??? Also look further that your nose have you seen what colleges charge for courses these days. People may not have the confidence to enrol back to a college due to issues that happened whilst at school. Or maybe just maybe they enjoy house keeping tasks. As a nanny I see ironing and tidying up as a break. Do not KNOCK people who work no matter what their profession. Everyone would like to/feel they deserve more money. Have you never asked your manager for a pay rise?


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