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Find Out How Much You Should Be Paying for Housekeeping

Arm yourself with this knowledge when determining the cost of housekeeping.

Image via Getty Images/CasaraGuru

How Much Should Housekeeping Cost?

National Average

$160

Typical Range

$115 - $227

Low-End Cost

$60

High-End Cost

$340

The average cost to hire a house cleaner or housekeeper in the United States is about $160. While the amount will vary depending on where you reside and the size of your living space, among other factors, the typical U.S. homeowner can expect to pay somewhere between $115 and $227 for general housekeeping services.

In addition to your zip code and home size, a number of other aspects will contribute to the overall cost of hiring a housekeeper. Whether you’re hiring a cleaning company or a private individual, rates will fluctuate. The high-end price for housekeeping can be as expensive as $340. On the low end, you can expect to pay as little as $60.

  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that housekeepers, depending on the area, charge between $8 to $17 an hour. For instance, a housekeeper in the New York-New Jersey area may charge more than $17 an hour, whereas a housekeeper in a small metropolitan area, like Texas or Georgia, may charge around $9 an hour.

  • If you choose a professional cleaning agency, expect to pay more per hour. The average hourly rate for a maid service company ranges from $25 to $35.

  • For a two-bedroom, 900 square-foot apartment, the average biweekly housekeeper cost ranges from $60 to $120.

  • For a single-story, 1,300 square-foot home, expect to pay anywhere from $80 to $150 every two weeks.

  • For a two-story, 2,200 square-foot home, housekeepers typically charge anywhere from $100 to $180 twice a month.

  • Keep in mind that many housekeepers and agencies charge extra for cleaning windows, refrigerators, ovens and during moves. You’ll want to check with your housekeeper or cleaning agency about specific add-on costs.

We’ve provided a comprehensive list of determining factors that will help you better estimate what it will cost to employ a housekeeper.

 

1. Decide Whether You’d Like Private Help, a Small Business, or a Large Professional Company.

First, determine what type of housekeeping help you would like. A private housekeeper will commonly offer basic cleaning services, such as dusting, vacuuming and mopping, wiping down services, making beds, laundry, and keeping the main living areas tidy. While this type of service will cost less than hiring a professional company, a private housekeeper may not be bonded and insured and offers fewer services than that of a small business or professional company.

A small housekeeping business, such as one that’s locally owned, will likely offer a more extensive list of cleaning services than a private housekeeper, but it won’t be as robust as that of a large, nationwide professional cleaning company that employs a larger staff. A small business is usually bonded and insured, covering any accidents on the job, but be sure to verify this information before hiring. Both of these factors will contribute to the overall rate, which will cost more than a private housekeeper but less than a large professional cleaning company.

If you’re looking for a deep clean, a large, professional company may be the way to go. Different from most housekeepers, whose responsibilities are typically to keep homes neat and tidy, a professional company offers services like professional floor cleaning, upholstery cleaning, flipping mattresses, vacuuming underneath furniture and hard-to-reach spaces, wiping baseboards, dusting all surfaces, sanitizing bathrooms, removing all grime and grease from the inside of an oven, and more.

 

2. Know That Prices Will Vary by Skill and Experience Level.

The rate a housekeeper charges will depend on their skill and experience level. If the housekeeper is just starting out and trying to build up her roster of clients, expect to pay less. But if the housekeeper comes highly recommended with years of cleaning experience under her belt, expect to pay for that.

There are pros and cons to both. For example, someone with less than five years of housekeeping experience will likely charge a rate of about $18 per hour. If you don’t mind working with the housekeeper as they develop their skills, this can be a great way to save a few bucks, especially if your home only requires light cleaning.

If you have a house full of kids and dogs, it’s likely worth the extra money to hire a housekeeper that has at least several years of experience to ensure a thorough cleaning. A typical hourly rate for a housekeeper with six to 10 years of experience is about $22 per hour. Someone who has made a career as a housekeeper with more than 10 years’ experience will cost about $30 or more per hour. Reviewing your housekeeper’s resume will help you gain a better understanding of their skill and experience level, as well as rates.

For big jobs, a professional company typically sends out a team of two or more to clean the home at an hourly rate of $25 to $45 per person. Again, these rates will also be calculated based on where you live. A housekeeper or service in a major city like New York or Los Angeles will charge a higher hourly rate than smaller, less-populated areas.

 

3. Consider Your Type and Size of Residence.

The size of your living space will dictate the cost of cleaning services. From apartments to single-family homes, make sure you know the exact square footage of your residence, as well as the number of rooms, when hiring a housekeeper. Most housekeepers can get the job done in a couple of hours, but knowing the size and type of home will help them provide you with a more accurate estimate.

Do you have a 1,600-square-foot home with three bedrooms and two bathrooms? You can expect to pay more for a housekeeper than someone residing in a 500-square-foot, one-bedroom/one-bathroom apartment. On average, expect to pay between $15 and $25 per 100 square feet for a single-family home or apartment.

It could also help to make a list of the rooms in your home you’d like cleaned. You may not require every single room to be cleaned, and you may prefer the housekeeper stay out of a particular area. Consider how long it takes you to clean those rooms yourself. This might not be a factor in determining the final cost of service, but it will help give you an estimate up front on what you can expect a housekeeper to charge. Also, think about rotating the rooms that are cleaned each time your housekeeper comes. If your home doesn’t get dirty too quickly, this could help you cut costs.

 

4. Determine How Often You’d Like Your Home Cleaned.

Typically, housekeepers will come on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis, depending on the needs of the client. Knowing the frequency with with you’d like your home cleaned will help set the price.

Contrary to what you may be thinking, it could be most cost-effective to have a housekeeper or cleaning service come to your home on a recurring basis. If you’re giving them consistent work, they will most likely be willing to work with you on one overall price that could be cheaper than their hourly rate. Typical savings are between $5 to $10 each time, but add that up and you’ve got yourself some substantial savings of nearly $200!

If you’re looking for a one-time cleaning rate, whether from an individual or business, the rate will be higher than what you would pay for routine cleaning. This will vary, based on the factors listed above, but it should run between $200 to $300, depending on the time of cleaning needed, zip code, and size of the space.

One more thing to keep in mind: If this is your first time using a specific housekeeper or cleaning service, there may be an introductory fee for the initial cleaning. Talk to your housekeeper or service about different pricing options, but remember not to overpay just because it’s a better deal. Select the service that best meets the needs of your household.

 

5. Disclose Up Front Whether You’ll Provide Cleaning Supplies or Need Any Speciality Services.

Will you provide the cleaning supplies, or do you expect the housekeeper to use her own products? This will also be used to calculate the housekeeper's hourly rate. This only applies when hiring a private individual, as large companies provide their own products. A housekeeper will typically expect you to pay for their cleaning products for an average hourly rate of $29, or provide your own for an average hourly rate starting at $16.

Small cleaning businesses and professional companies will provide their own cleaning supplies. These establishments will offer basic products, as well as eco-friendly items that are becoming an increasingly popular option for many homes but may cost more.  

The cost of hiring a housekeeper will also be affected by any specialty services you’ll need. This could include cleaning that accommodates pets, elderly individuals, allergies to certain cleaners, or the handling of valuables like antiques and other prized possessions that may need special attention. There may also be additional charges for any equipment rentals needed to complete a difficult cleaning task, like clearing cobwebs from a vaulted ceiling.
 

There’s no easy formula for determining the exact price a housekeeper will charge. Rates will vary from city to city and home to home, but the five factors we’ve identified should leave you with a comprehensive overview of what goes into the cost of hiring help, and more importantly, it should give you a clearer idea of what you can expect to pay. Look at the rates being charged by other housekeepers and housecleaning services in your area by using the Housecleaning Rates Calculator on Care.com.

 

Rachel Murphy contributed to this article. 

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