The Housekeeping Guide: Housekeeper Cost

Find out about pay rates for housekeepers

The cost of housekeeping services can be based on many factors and varies from one area to another.

It is usually necessary to have an in-home consultation with your prospective housekeeper/agency, so they can get a better understanding of your home, its cleaning requirements, and your cleaning specifications, in order to determine a price.

Factors that impact cost:

  • Size of your home (number of bedrooms/bathrooms)
  • Frequency of cleaning (weekly, bimonthly) and housekeeping
  • Number of people and pets in your household
  • Level of clutter (can your housekeeper access the areas to be cleaned?)
  • Amount of different surfaces to be cleaned
  • Special requirements, such as cleaning windows
  • Level of experience of the housekeeper
  • Number of people cleaning your home (an individual or team from an agency)
  • Paying by the job or paying by the hour

Cost estimates:

  • In a larger metropolitan area, for a medium-sized apartment or house, plan on paying at least $100 for cleaning twice a month.
  • In less populated cities or towns, for an average-sized house (2500 square feet), around $75 is a typical fee.
  • For a large national chain, monthly cleaning service in a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home, runs around $175 per cleaning.

Definitely ask your neighbors and friends how much they pay for cleaning services to get an idea of the going rates in your area. You may need to negotiate with the prospective housekeeper in order to arrive at a fair price, especially as your needs are specific to your home and lifestyle.

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Comments (162)
Photo of Erma M.
Erma M.
When I started cleaning houses back in the late 1980s, the going price was $10 an hour and I did deep cleaning as I rotated one special item such as the stove, fridge per week and this was in a smaller town. The houses need baseboards, ceiling fans, sheets changed etc...if you want quality work it is only fair to 20 - 25 dollars an hour. There is so much you can do in an hour. This is in answer to the lady that wants to raise her rates. I won't do it for less than 20 in the metro area, traffic, gas, and its hard labor with no benefits...
Posted: June 13, 2015 at 10:38 PM
Photo of Ana S.
Ana S.
we all the have the option to hire any type of cleaner lady either is from a company or independent contractor also experienced or not as a cleaner we all have the right to put price to our work, you will decide if u keep having our services none has the right to criticize or judge our rates because we all now how value is our work , hope you all find the right person and be thankful this is the job we decide to do and as other jobs is an honest job and that is what we do so please respect!! because at the end we do what some people don't want to do .
Posted: June 10, 2015 at 8:34 PM
Photo of Barbara B.
Barbara B.
Hi I have been cleaning homes for over 25 years.I started at the age of 11.I am 48 now .I am very good at what I do and I have no complaints from noone.I am getting paid 16 dollars an hour but I want to raise the pay to 25 or 30 an hour because of my work experience. How should I go about doing this.This is how I support my family.
Posted: June 01, 2015 at 7:29 PM
Susan G.
Hi, I medically retired due to a wiped out back. I posted an ad for a house cleaner to come 1 - 2 times a month. I have a 2,300 sq ft house, 3 bathrooms that need to be fully cleaned, entire house vacuumed, kitchen floors & counters cleaned, light dusting, & finer prints removed from walls & sliding glass doors. I was honest that I can't afford top dollar, but I'm completely flexible on days & times, & I'm perfectly ok with the housecleaner's child(ren) coming along, as long as they are old enough to be entertained by TV or whatever electronic device they may have. I know how expensive child care is, & with summer coming, I'm hoping for a break on cost in exchange for flexibility & allowing their kids to come along. Just wondering if that would appeal to you, & what price I should expect? I live in Silicon Valley in CA where all the money is made, but I list 2/3 of my salary, so I define try dint have it! Just wondering your opinions on this type of offer, thanks!
Posted: May 27, 2015 at 7:36 PM
Barbara S.
Carol R. That woman was C H E A P. You and your hard work would never, ever be appreciated. She does not want a professional, but a slave. And she would probably continually be adding on things she wants done, but not pay extra. There are many fine homes in the Charlotte area AND businesses where you would be valued and paid. For that size house you were under-charging.
Posted: May 19, 2015 at 11:46 PM
Barbara S.
D.W. When I became disabled I had to get on Medicaid. No help and not mobile! So I called VNS (Visiting Nurse Services) and they came and got me every service I needed. Medicaid sent their supervisor who came with their contractor (Board of Health nurse) who then approved VNS services AND homecare (cleaning thru a local agency) as well. Physical Therapy, social worker (depression), weekly nurse, 7 specialists in all. DAILY, except weekends, all paid for by Medicaid. Until the Lord touched (healed) me and I cancelled it all (Joyfully). Something for you to consider.
Posted: May 19, 2015 at 11:05 PM
Shawna P.
just because people think they can clean, does not mean they really know how to clean. I have worked with several individuals that have had many years of cleaning experience and still did not meet my standard of professional cleaning. If cleaners want to charge top dollar ($20.00 + an hour) then please do the home owner a favor and learn how to clean correctly. It is my business to train individuals to become professionals in this industry and it really upsets me when someone with only 2yrs experience wants to charge $15-$20 hourly. Charge what you are worth, or get certified so that you can make the top paying wages you seem to think you deserve.
Posted: May 16, 2015 at 11:17 AM
Judith....all I can say is YIKES!! I can't imagine cleaning that many rooms! Take care of yourself. You only have one body, and when it starts hurting that's when you slow down.

Posted: May 13, 2015 at 5:44 PM
Judith L.
Margie,I worked as a housekeeper for 25 years in a very beautiful 21 room mansion.Then the home was sold and I found another full time housekeeping job.What a shock.They told me it was a 6 hr.a day job,but I never got out in 6 hrs.All summer they left their 7and 9 year old boys with me,saying they didn't need a babysitter(so therefore I wasn't babysitting).They continually added jobs into my schedule so it delayed my regular cleaning(like "just cook this brisket"),and I was doing at least 6 loads of laundry a day.Their sheets had to be ironed and they never used a towel twice.There are just some people who will treat you badly and have no concept of how long it takes to clean their dirty house.Do not doubt your ablilities or your speed.If they can convince you that you are slow and not very good at your job,then they can pay you less.These are the people who are always complaining that they can't keep help!Find nice people to work for!They also need their houses cleaned.
Posted: May 11, 2015 at 7:02 PM
I started cleaning last year using all natural cleaning products and I charge $75 flat for 2 or 3 bedroom and $50 for 1 bedroom and for larger homes I charge $25 more per bedroom. I clean vacation rentals and in peoples homes that are regular clients. I prefer vacation rentals.. no pets etc but I am grateful for the work I have and the families I help. I will do laundry while there what I can get to but I do not stay just to finish laundry if I am done with cleaning. I was a counselor/social worker for 20 years and worked with the public in many forms and know that it is about how you treat people as well as doing a good job. My clients have become good friends and recommend me. I never had to advertise after the first client. Best of luck to you and don't settle for less than you are worth. Cleaning is hard work...
Posted: April 16, 2015 at 3:05 PM

Don't know if you have a large house like the surgeon in your neighborhood, but I hope you are young! You did not mention if he has a family which makes a difference, or only him. I just turned 55 on April 10th, and I know I'm slowing down. Not because of cleaning homes, but what I do when I'm not cleaning homes. I have gardened and landscaped all my life, and I have been typing (writing novels) all my life. Those activities wears the ol' body out. So if you think you can get his 6000 square foot house done along with some laundry, do it. If you land the job, ask if you can split his house between 2 days, like I have been able to do with my biggest and busiest house.

About how much to charge: I don't know what state you live in, but if you're working for a surgeon living in a 6000 sq ft home, I would go with a minimum of $30 an hour, and do not bust your butt at going super fast. That is a lot of repetitive motion for the shoulders and believe me, bursitis will kick in. You only have ONE body. Take care of it.

Best Wishes on getting the job,
Posted: April 13, 2015 at 5:05 PM

First I want to say how sorry I am that life has taken its toll on you and for having MS. Not nice.
I also cleaned homes back in the 80's when I was in my early 20's for five years. I think I made about $5 an hour. But to see EVERYTHING that you did for 6 hours and only for $40...I'd say that was being underpaid--even for the 80's. I've been cleaning homes again for almost three years, and my minimum is $25, and $30 an hour as an average. One large house I used to clean in the 80's had burnt orange colored carpet throughout the whole house with 3 German Shepherd dogs. Now that was a lot of hair to vacuum up with a ShopVac! I was probably there about 6 hours. She would write me out a check for $30 every other week. Boy, hasn't times changed...
Posted: April 11, 2015 at 12:26 AM
Hello all! Please help! I will be starting to clean a very well known surgeons home in my neighborhood. He owns a 6000sq ft home. 5 bedroom 3 full bathroom. I know there is a debate on flat rate vs hourly, but what would be an OK rate to request? I am very efficient and move quickly. He also mentioned wanting laundry done And letting his dog out since I'll be there. Please, someone who has experience please respond!! Thank you!
Posted: April 10, 2015 at 11:09 PM
D W.
As I sit here reading all of these articles trying to figure out what I am in for as I look for a new housecleaner, I can't but sit back and smile. I cleaned houses in the 1980's. I was a single parent and was working my way through college in my 30's. I had a few steady homes over the years. They were large homes that had been built over 100 years ago (at that time) for top executives of a large company. I don't quite know the square footage but trust me when I tell you they were large, elegant and had carved woodwork throughout. I put my daughter on the bus at 7:45 and I caught the bus to get there by 8:30. My start time was 8:45 so I always had 15 minutes to sip a cup of tea to warm up or drink ice water to cool down. For the next 6 straight hours I cleaned. First took a laundry basket around the house and anything that was out of place - went in. I started in the kitchen. Wiped down cupboards, appliances, empty and fill dishwasher, wiped down counters and washed everything on them. Scrubbed (hands & knees) and waxed the floor. Every other month I traded the counter deep clean for the fridge. Then I cleaned the family room which was dust furniture, wipe down windows, scrub and wax the tile floor. Clean the half bath and then off to the dining/living room. Damp washed all the woodwork and then Jubilee waxed all the furniture. I was very happy though as they had an internal vacuuming system so I didn't have anything to lug around. Then it was time to hit the stairs and the upper floor. Up there was the bathroom and another TV sitting room. I was grateful I didn't have anything to do with the bedrooms. For all that I was done by 2:45 and was home in time to get my daughter's bus. They left an envelope on their kitchen tables for me with 2 crisp $20.00 bills. I thought I had the best job in the world! I saw my work as I went. It gave me a feeling of accomplishment to turn around and know it was a job well done. In all my years, with all my homes, I never received one complaint or bad word. I was tipped generously on my birthday, the anniversary date I started with them and at Christmastime.
LOL Now I see that times have changed. I'm not sure I would charge someone $50.00 an hour to clean their home though, nor would I pay it. I never went to trade school to learn the trade, I just watched Granny. I guess at your prices here you are way out of my league. After years of work, school and work I ended up on full disability with limited income and limited physical ability to do it on my own. I guess I have to face the fasct thatbit is just time to hire a young girl and teach her the ropes. Give her a trade to help her in the future to maybe work her way through college.
Thanks for nthe eye opener.
Posted: April 09, 2015 at 8:45 PM
D W.
As I sit here in 2015 reading all your comments I sit back and smile. I was a house cleaner back in the 1980's. I don't know what the square footage of the 2 homes were but they had been built by CEO executives to a very large company in my city. I took a laundry basket and walked the downstairs and anything out of place went into it. I then vacuumed and dusted up and down (which included all woodwork - and the whole downstairs was wood.) C.leaned lower bath, scrubbed and waxed the sunroom tiled floor and kitchen. Emptied and filled dishwasher, cleaned refrigerator, wiped down outside of cupboards and sometimes started dinner in crock pot. LOL And back then I took a bus, carried most of my supplies. I got there at 9:00 am and left at 3:00. I worked right through and never took a break. At the end of my shifts when I left there was an envelope waiting for me. Inside (wait for it....) There were 2 $20.00 bills! I had 2 houses like that on the same block, plus a couple more. My Mom was also a real estate agent and I would go and scrub out homes that were left like pig pens by old owners. I cleaned for years as a sin Now I am 57, disabled with MS, desperately need help and couldn't afford to have anybody come in to even give me an estimate.
Posted: April 09, 2015 at 10:08 AM
I recently had to go back to work. Finding no one to hire a 55 year old with two degrees was rather disappointing so I miraculous, found a house to clean, that person introduced me to a second person. One home is 5300 sq ft the other about 3500. Both take me all day. 9-4 or 5 with minimum breaks. The smaller one has 3 dogs, the larger one, the couple live most of the time in another state so it is just dusting, once over the toilets due to hard water in the area and wiping everything down (new construction in the area causes dust). Changing sheets and towels if someone has stayed there and washing them/ putting them away. I seem to never be able to do everything I want to do in that time frame. It bothers me to feel so slow but I may just be over challenging myself. The homes are nice and well taken care of. I just don't know what to expect. I charge $150 for the larger one. The smaller one was supposed to be a 4 hour job - haha! She offered $100. I thought $100 for 4 hours, yowsa! But it wasn't a 4 hour job...Takes me at least 7. All bedrooms have bathrooms in both houses plus an extra 1/2 bath. Where do I find books on how to do a great job and quicker. I would hate to loose these jobs for taking to long... I may have undersold the larger house but charged that amount based on the smaller first one and but now she is paying me about $140 (without me asking) because of the extra time it is taking. Help! What is fair - How do I get more done in less time. These are million $ homes so you can guess about the furniture and etc..

Also, how to get black mold in shower off of the grout? Bleach doesn't work, scrubbing with cleanser doesn't work, peroxide doesn't work... What else???? Thanks!!
Posted: April 04, 2015 at 10:09 AM
Thank you CleanMachine!

Ever since I read "that" post I wanted to reply to it, but held back for I did not think I could word it so eloquently as you have. So many people regard housecleaners as lowly beings that should be paid minimum wage. It always amazes me, that potential clients who think I'm expensive at my flat fee which usually works out to be about $30 an hour, thinks that I'm the only housecleaner in the area. In my area there are hundreds. Many of them are in this line of work because they do not like cleaning but cannot find any other work. Meet your $10 an hour cleaners. The clients I do have love me. I not only clean their castle, but I sew stuffed animals that have a rip, gone to the store to buy toilet paper when they were at the danger point, and fixed a toilet paper holder just today. I am a proud cleaning lady!
Posted: April 02, 2015 at 12:57 AM
Having someone clean your home is a luxury, not a necessity. It is irrelevant that it does not require a college degree to clean you home. If you cannot afford to pay a cleaning lady $50/hr, then look for someone within your budget. But also expect to get what you pay for. Running a legitimate cleaning business costs money. Paying to bond, license and insure a business isn't cheap. Additionally, there's the cost of purchasing and maintaining supplies and equipment. Being self-employed means that I get to name my own price. If you don't like it, leave it.

For your information, everyone who works long hours wants to be able to have their free time be theirs. What sort of point is this? Those who clean homes for a living are no different. They tax their entire bodies to take care of your house, enduring repetetive stress injuries and exposure to toxic chemicals and bodily fluids so you can continue to â do work that has taken years of training and education to be able to do.â That, my entitled friend, is a luxury. There is a price for that luxury.

Of course, you simply can't stand the thought of paying someone more per hour than you make. What an inflated sense of self-worth you have. Have you never spent $100 for a meal that lasted one hour? I'd say you're a wee bit jealous that others can have a career making $100,000/year without having wasted time and money pursuing a college degree. If you have to work 60 hours a week and still cannot afford a few hundred dollars a month to have someone clean your home, then the problem is yours. Since "we all know anyone can do it" then just go ahead and do it yourself.
Posted: March 29, 2015 at 11:04 PM

So if you went into clients homes and cleaned for the 1st time, and NO one has ever asked you, "how much do you figure this is going to cost...even a ballpark guess," you could, at the end of the day charge a whopping amount.
There is no way in heaven that a client of mine would even let me start up my vacuum, if I didn't even give a ballpark guesstament. I'm sorry, but that would be like taking your car to a shop for repairs, and not even asking what they are going to charge.
Sorry Susan, but I would not hire someone without A quote of ANY kind.
Posted: March 22, 2015 at 1:37 AM
Jennifer D.
When calculating what to charge a client break the home down into rooms/areas to clean. Make sure you don't forget anything, like foyer or laundry room. Think about what is a reasonable amount of time per room in minutes, like 30-45 minutes for a full bathroom with Jaccuzzi Tub and shower enclosure. Take into account if you've been asked to deep clean, how dirty it is, do they have a lot of clutter to clean around or a lot of furniture and items to dust, do they have pets? Then add up the minutes to estimate the time it will take. Figure out what you want to make per hour and you have your price. Most of the listings I see on this site are unrealistic in their time allotment and frankly, prices are ridiculously low for what they are asking to be done. If you are you are only getting 5 minutes to clean a room, is it really going to be up to anyone's standards?
Posted: March 20, 2015 at 11:20 PM
Photo of Susan H.
Susan H.
I've noticed there are quite a few home cleaners wondering how to charge for a house initially. I have never, in 23 years of cleaning, gave a quote by walking through. This may really help you: I let the prospective customer know (and if I am serious about starting the house) that I need to work the house in order to see what it takes. I have never had someone turn me down on this proposal. In other words, I have to work it in order to know what it is going to take. Some homes are smaller, but may take longer due to the condition, layout and nick-nacs/clutter, pets etc. So you never know til you work it. I always charged around $25.00 an hour this first cleaning. I'd then let them know how much the job will be ongoing, therefore it is considered charging by the job, not hourly thereafter. I hope this helps.. I never had anyone turn me down. I don't mention the amount I'm using for the initial cleaning unless they ask... Then I would tell them an amount. And Usually it was at least $25.00 on average per hour
Posted: March 18, 2015 at 11:45 PM
Hi. I will be cleaning a house that is probably about 2400 square feet but only dusting sweeping and cleaning the cob webs off the windows. How much should I charge for this? I don't want to be unreasonable but also don't want to be ripped off. Thanks!
Posted: March 18, 2015 at 9:28 PM
Rae Rae
I clean a farm house with 3 bedrooms and two baths. The bad thing, there is 14 dogs. The house is a mess always with pet urine and feces all over all the time. I clean once a week and I am paid 50.00 per cleaning. It takes me nearly 6 hours now. I am cleaning urine and feces and everything going else all around 14 dogs. Can someone help me with what a decent rate should be? I feel I am getting ripped off.
Posted: March 17, 2015 at 11:45 PM
I am appalled at people wanting to charge $50/hour to clean. That is over a $100,000/yr salary with no education, little skill, and minimal responsibility. I certainly hope if someone charges that much, if they break something they replace it. If they come late or leave early, I hope they are not charging for that. There is always more work to do in any house.

Also, if someone is paying that much, they must be making a fortune to be able to afford it otherwise I think you are pricing yourself out of a job.

I work more than 60 hours/week and I want to be able to have my free time be mine. I want someone to come and take care of my house so I can continue to do work that has taken years of training and education to be able to do. I do not think that I should pay someone to come and clean my house for more than what I make because though cleaning can be hard work... we all know anyone can do it. (Taxes. If someone is not reporting what they are making from cleaning to the IRS and they are making $50/hour... that is the same as making $135,000/year)

What would a fair price be? Should we compare it to a baby sitter, they have a lot of responsibility, or to someone who works in a factory who works hard? In any occupation, there are those who take pride in their work, who work hard and do an excellent job. For those people, they should receive raises based on their performance. There are also people who do the minimum and I would think we can all agree, they should make less.

My question is.. where should the starting point be?
Posted: March 15, 2015 at 2:13 PM
Client keeps canceling last minute
I need advice! I have a client who has canceled last minute (the morning of) three times now. They canceled last week and now again this week. At $210 per cleaning, this has hit me hard and I have to take money out of savings when I saw my checking balance was $0. I really like this client and it's such uncomfortable thing to address. We had no contract or any upfront discussion about last minute cancels when I first started cleaning for them. How do I respectfully tell them they are killing me financially? Personally, I think they should still pay me my day's rate of $210. I am one of the best house keepers out there (direct quotes from my clients) and they are very, very happy and impressed with my quality of work and attention to detail. I've seen some articles that say a housekeeper should be paid for the day, that they should be charged a cancellation fee of anywhere from $25-$100, and some that say the housekeeper shouldn't be paid. How do I adress this delicate matter?
Posted: March 10, 2015 at 12:32 PM

I had your 1500 square foot home priced around $100ish. Then I went back and read that you also wanted blinds cleaned. That job is very time consuming and as a cleaner I do not do that. When a clients asks if I do windows or blinds, I typically say that I do not. Reaching to do windows and blinds reek havoc on the shoulders and I get bursitis after I do that. I know that window cleaning experts charge a lot, but then they are good and have all the right equipment. So when a client asks if I could clean "a window" I'll say that I'll do it for $10 each and then their eyes open big 'cause they don't want to hire a window washing crew that would make her windows sparkle because they are cheap. My expertise is in normal cleaning--no window or blinds. So Nancy, I don't know how many blinds you have, but I would offer to pay more to have those done. If she doesn't want to, please don't hold it against her. There are lots of window washing professionals out there.
Posted: March 09, 2015 at 2:14 PM
Nancy B.
I have a 1500 ft house. You would only clean 1 bedroom every other week and once a month the guest room would be dusted nd vacumn end. Two bathrooms that have just been remodeled so no mold or extra scrubbing. Kitchen newly remodeled stainless steel appliances new , no dishes to do, no beds to make, no laundry. Just want simple vacuum, mop, clean bathrooms, empty and wipe trash cans dust blinds and ceiling fans. No cell phones while working bad experience which I will be glad to explain. Just hubby and me. House doesn't need "deep cleaning" because it's been cleaned every two weeks for over two years. What should I pay?
Posted: March 05, 2015 at 11:47 PM
Hi I'm a house cleaner. I've been one for a couple years. I currently only have two clients. They are both women and retired state workers. I started out charging $10 an hour and I would stay about 4-5 hours. I usually would leave with $40-$50 each time. I would go to each of their houses twice a month. After a while one of my clients changed my pay to a set rate of $60 each time no matter how long I stayed. The other client is still paying $45 each time. I brought it up to her how her house is larger and more difficult to clean, further from my house, etc, I told her I was changing my rates to $60 each time and at first she agreed. She later called me saying that $60 is too much. I feel insulted by this because I've worked for her for so long and she doesn't think I'm worth $120 a month. :(
Posted: March 05, 2015 at 8:57 PM

Thank you SO much posting your comment! Amen! You are the first homeowner who has "hit the nail on the head."
Unless your housecleaner is doing an awful job because she is fast, than that is another story. But for us cleaners who are excellent, efficient, and fast, why expect us to work by the hour? Maybe if more clients read your post Debi they might have an "ah ha!" moment.

Thank you!
Posted: March 04, 2015 at 6:42 PM
Debi P.
Hi, I just read through a few of the comments and I'd like to give a homeowner's perspective. I had the same lady who cleaned my house for 9 years and I wouldnt have let her go except that my husband lost his job and I couldnt afford the luxury of having her on my salary alone. Our arrangement was that I paid her for the job. When she was done, she left. It didnt matter how long she was at my house, as long as the house was cleaned. Sometimes she was here for 6 hours and sometimes a lot less. And if there were additional things I needed (such as window cleaning) I paid extra for that. I think that arrangement worked well for both of us. Over time, she had her routine down and was able to clean my 2700 sq.ft. house in about 3 hours, which gave her more time with her family and if you looked at it from an hourly rate perspective, she was making about $35/hr. Just something to consider - do you want someone at your house puttering along so they get paid more, or someone working efficiently to get the job done right and then they can be on their way?
Posted: March 02, 2015 at 9:46 AM

Just curious...does it matter to you if the person you hire charges by the hour or a flat rate, if in the end, when she/he is finished, it comes out about the same. I'm going to use the following example because I am faced with this quite often.

A per hour cleaner may charge you let's say $15 and stays 6 hours to milk the hours along for $90. On the other hand, you may get a quote for $90 and the gal/guy is excellent, fast, and gets the job done without wasting anyones time.

So to answer your question Jim--yes, there are lots of cleaners who do charge by the hour, but don't forget, you get what you pay for. Why would a cleaner get a lot of work done in an hours' time for a measly $10 an hour?
Posted: March 01, 2015 at 7:17 PM
Can I just get a per hour, per person rate for doing standard house cleaning?
Posted: February 27, 2015 at 4:05 AM

I was curious how many housecleaners would show up on this site if I put in my zip code and wanted to do a search within a 10 miles radius. Up poped 261 independent housecleaners! Granted, a few independent cleaners from Seattle showed up which is like 25ish miles from where I live in Auburn, WA. That is a lot. So I would say that most of us are doing nothing wrong--it's a matter of losing out to cheap mediocre gals who putter around the room taking all day, charging the homeowner the same as what I could of done in half the time. And I would have actually cleaned! It really burns my hide when retired folks decline to hire me, then ask if I know anyone cheaper. I tell them of a friend who has a cheap gal. "Oh, is she as good as you?" they ask. Really??
And one last thing. I noticed that there are only a few gals on who do respond 100% of the time. Everyone else has not logged in for months, and their selfie picture looks more like a police mug shot. One gal has responded only 34% of the time. And she wants to clean houses? Yeah...
Posted: February 24, 2015 at 11:56 AM

Assuming you are the cleaner, I always give a ballpark quote for the first few cleanings after the walk through, and before I leave the home.

Margie B.
Posted: February 24, 2015 at 10:53 AM
Photo of Shajuan M.
Shajuan M.
After assessing each home for a quote, how soon should I make a decision on a price?
Posted: February 23, 2015 at 7:04 PM
Emmah M.
Hey everybody I just started cleaning businesses and would need some help please how do people get contracts to clean dealerships,apartment and building...tried lookin with no luck
Posted: February 19, 2015 at 6:37 PM
Photo of Melinda S.
Melinda S.
Hello ladies, I noticed that a few of you asked several times on some advise on how to advertise your looking for new clients. One wrote after trying many different methods such as flyers,on line ads and even posting on they are not getting any new leads.I do see that the competition is fierce these days and I can see why a lot of ladies would choose this path to provide for their family's.It is an opportunity that allows you to personally customize a schedule that fits the needs of your world.But as some have stated it can also be a path that will lead you to feeling desperate,disappointed and overwhelmed at the end of the day with this deep feeling of what am I doing wrong that no one is noticing me?? If you have spent money on flyers and busted your butt passing them out or have advertised on so many free ad sites over and over again and still no leads what else is there to do????????
Posted: February 19, 2015 at 3:47 PM

In my housecleaning business, CleanerByTheMinute, I try to take into consideration the square footage, how much work needs to be done in bathrooms, and in your case you mentioned "dishes". Loading & unloading, a sink full, a whole counter full? After 7 years at this, I'm still not good when it comes to giving a quote/estimating a home while seeing it for the first time. I start out at $30 an hour which may sound like a lot. I have seen firsthand the work and slowness that gals do for $15 and less. What is the incentive for anyone to work fast and efficient for $15 and under? I'm almost 55 and I can run circles around them. I believe in giving customers more than their money's worth by doing little extras that they wouldn't have thought of (e.g. vacuuming ceiling fans and air ducts, filling t.p. holders, filling liquid soap dispensers, ect.).

So to answer your question Danielle, I would try out a few gals and have them come 2 or 3 times (if they are good), and do tell them that this is a TRIAL period. Nothing is set in stone. If they really want the job I hope they impress your socks off! IF the cleaner exceeds all your expectations, does excellent, fast, and efficient work, has own cleaning supplies, is prompt, and leaves you saying "How did I ever get along without her?! " I wouldn't bat an eyelash at $25-$30 an hour.

Side note: I do charge $10 extra for doing a load of laundry (wash, dry, fold & put away)
Posted: February 19, 2015 at 12:06 PM
Hey there was wondering what would be reasonable to pay a house keeper to clean my 1700 sqft two story three bed two bath home. They would vaccuum sweep mop dishes dust polish furniture make beds. They wouldn't do laundry. Also I live in southern Missouri. Me and my husband disagree on what to pay some one.
Posted: February 16, 2015 at 4:59 PM

How many hours are you at the 1st dealership "doing your cleaning thing?" If it's cleaning the showroom of a car dealership and cleaning the men's and ladies bathroom, that type of cleaning is not as physical as cleaning a house. A similar job would be cleaning a bank after-hours. A nephew of mine did that for a year until he found a better paying job. In the mean time he was making $12 or more an hour. Not great pay but he wasn't sitting on his butt collecting unemployment.
Posted: February 04, 2015 at 5:43 PM
Hi my name is mayra. I've recently started doing this cleaning thing. The only thing is I think I'm getting paid wayyyyy to low. I clean a whole dealership and i get $30 a day I go clean 3 times a week I only get 105 because I also do a little bit of another dealership. Am I getting ripped off??? Someone help please!!!!!
Posted: February 04, 2015 at 12:28 PM
hello everyone,just reaching out to you guys to see if you can hand me down some info on this independent contractor housekeeping business,ive been working as a housekeeper in a residential bldng in chicago,my dutties there are cleaning all common areas and vaccuming hallways,pool deck,clean bbq grillswindow washing and the most important question for you is that here in this bldng we are being forced to clean all apartment move outs as part of the contract and this gets really out of hand and we clean literally around 100 units per year plus routine and not to mention that they also have 2 suits that are rented to any tenant in the building for $200 per day,would really appreciate if someone can give any kind of info and by the way i want to thank you for taking the time and reading my comment
Posted: January 25, 2015 at 9:32 PM
Dear NTM:

Where do you live?
I also clean part-time for a "four generation" family, and another gal in our neighborhood. The first three generation ladies are the ones who write the checks :). The great-grandparents and I live in the same neighborhood, and I charge them $25 an hour. I tried to go to a 'flat fee' with her but she would rather have me raise my price per hour. As she was the one who recommended me to her daughter and granddaughter, I didn't make a fuss. I work slower and the husband loves to chit-chat with me. We are members of our HOA board so there is always something to talk about. The wife did tell me that talking IS allowed. For the other customers, I do charge them by a flat fee. I wish I was as good of an estimator as I am a cleaner. I don't think it's easy. The first two cleans always take me around two or three hours longer. After I get the routine going it's shorter. There is a website called where you put in the zip code of where the potential customer lives, the homes square footage, # of bedrooms, # of bathrooms, ect. It will give you an idea of what to charge. Very valuable. I average about $30 an hour for the rest of my customers and I work my hinny off!
Posted: January 23, 2015 at 12:54 PM
I am a part time house cleaner. I don't charge by the hour -- when I bid a job I estimate how long it should take me to do it well, based on what they want cleaned and how often. I estimate $25 per hour if it's every week or every two weeks, $35 if it's once per month (dirtier). I then determine a job should take me X number of hours, and that's the flat rate I charge. If there are more than 3 bathrooms I add an extra $5 per hour. I do the basics - vacuum, steam clean floors, scrub bathrooms, wipe exterior of kitchen cabinets, appliances, dust all horizontal surfaces and trim, empty trash, clean mirrors, change sheets, make beds. There are times when a client wants something special (scrub cabinets, clean out fridge or oven); if that's the case I can do it in addition to regular duties for an hourly rate, or I can do it in place of normal duties and if time left, I can do whatever normal cleaning I can get done in that amount of time. I've had the same clients for about 6 years now, and I really want to keep only just this number. It started with 1 client, who then recommended me, and that's how I've gotten all of my regulars. Sometimes prospective clients think the rate is too high, but they can shop around and hire someone else, since I'm honestly fine with just the jobs I have now. I do a quality job because that's how I am, plus I have to go back the next time and face them! I feel they trust me, as I have keys to their homes. If you are looking to hire someone keep in mind that if you pay them a reasonable rate they will usually want very badly to keep your business, so they will do a good job and be trustworthy!
Posted: January 22, 2015 at 4:22 PM
I live in a 2468 sf home (2 story). I advertised for a house cleaner in Craig's List and received over 75 responses. 25 of them I eliminated for various reasons, but the remaining 50 were qualified enough to go on the interview list.
After going through 1 who wasn't quite what we were looking for we found a wonderful, energetic woman who cleans like a souped-up machine. Fast and quality. She even cleans my BBQ grill, my patio, sweeps my outside entry, does and folds laundry, changes out the beds, etc. My add was for $15.00 per hour and you'd be surprised at how many people want to clean for that pay! Amazing. My advice: run your ad, resume screen, phone screen, interview at least 5, and pick the best. Have them sign a release of liability and and independent contractor's agreement and you've got a great house cleaner at a great price.
Good luck to all.
Posted: January 20, 2015 at 2:19 PM
I need your opinions. My husband and I (no children, 1 pet) have a 2200 square ft home (Illinois town) and recently hired a cleaning lady. My house is very neatly kept so much so that I do not have her clean the office and two other bedrooms. I can handle that. She has requested $65 ($130 monthly)to clean masterbedroom/2 baths up... then just the main floor, LR/FR/KI/DI/Laundry. She doesn't do windows nor does she have to clean around clutter or toys. Everything is picked up and supplies-my own are out ready to go. The most important thing is we are older and can no long do the floors. That's why we have her. Last week she was only here two hours and I wasn't quite satisfied with the cleaning. Years ago we had a service and there were two women here for two - three hours cleaning both floors. I feel like I'm getting taken advantage of. Who makes $32 an hour cleaning a well kept, uncluttered house! If I had kids, toys, collectibles, and the like she would have to move or clean around, I could understand where the time would go.
I'm not confrontational.... so how should I handle this.... and should she be here three hours to do a thorough job for the money I'm paying?
Posted: January 20, 2015 at 12:29 PM

May I ask what the square footage is on these homes that you can clean in 3 hours or less?
I clean for a wonderful family with 2 little girls, parents work full-time. Over 2200 square foot home, I clean the whole house, strip beds, wash sheets, and make beds again. I charge $140, but if they are behind on the laundry, I throw in a load of towels, fold and put them away for an extra $10. Depending upon how fast I want to go, and how many loads of laundry I want to help them out with, I could be there from 4 to 5 hours. It usually averages $30 an hour. I consider that pretty good.

Posted: January 19, 2015 at 3:00 PM
Hi everyone! I live in seattle and have been cleaning for the last 10 years. I no longer charge by the hour because I want to get the job done as quickly as possible and make the most per job that I can. I charge a flat rate of $150 and only take jobs that I can get done in 3 hours max. It works out to be pretty decent money!
Posted: January 19, 2015 at 4:41 AM
Photo of Susan P.
Susan P.
Hi ladies.
I've owned a cleaning business awhile.
And have always s got nothing but praise.
But I have never charged by the hour .only by job size and xtras.interested in prices for and what people would consider extras any one help
Posted: January 03, 2015 at 2:48 AM
To Eamy:

Ah, deep-cleaning. I cannot do those jobs anymore and I do decline those jobs now. When you read the last paragraph you'll see why.

The folks who create the mess, are sometimes, the very ones who want someone else to clean up after them for $10 an hour. I see it all the time online. The old saying, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," can be applied to general housekeeping. I do understand that some people let cleaning get away from them, either from total hatred of the job, or just too busy, but, to answer your question Eamy, on how much to charge, I do think it depends upon just how dirty, gross and involved the kitchen and 3 bedrooms are.

As for the kitchen, you have not shared the gory details with your fellow housecleaning counterparts. Do the cupboards have so much gunk on them that it's hard tell if the wood is maple or oak? And then there's the dreaded almighty oven. Is it going to require so much elbow grease that you tear your shoulder's rotator cuff?

As for the the bedrooms, do they only require doors and floor molding to be wiped down, or is there serious dirt on the walls from kids planting dirty feet on them while lounging on their beds? Are the window sills and walls in good shape, or has black mold taken over due to neglect and dampness?

I would take a real GOOD look at the situation. If this potential job is one that produces nightmares after you have seen it, please do not take it for less than $50 an hour. I'll be 55 in April, and I've put my body through the wringer. I'm healthy as a horse, but have had some very physically challenging jobs in my working career. Those jobs have produced sciatica which requires a heating pad and ice cubes on the backside after cleaning houses over 3000 sq. ft. Doing daily exercises for sciatica helps. I have bursitis in both shoulders which cry for bags of ice after I clean. And, to finish it off, I've carpal tunnel which typing is largely to blame since I've been at the keys since age 14.

So Eamy, if you do take on deep-cleaning jobs, at least demand a good wage for the work you will be putting body through.

Take care,
Posted: December 05, 2014 at 9:18 PM
how much should i charge for a deep clean in the kitchen and 3 bedrooms?
Posted: December 04, 2014 at 6:33 PM
I'm in the Baltimore Md area. I charge $50/hr.
Posted: December 01, 2014 at 5:09 AM
Photo of Luciana N.
Luciana N.
Rachel S, I couldn't agree with you more! I've been a member since 2012 and out of 2 years, applying and applying and applying and applying, I have only had 2 replies back!!!
What do you think is wrong with this? I'd surely like to know WHY I don't get any replies back. If a person isn't inrested, they should at least have the common courtesy to reply back!!!!!
Posted: November 28, 2014 at 11:53 PM
Photo of Laura S.
Laura S.
hello ladies i have a small cleaning business, and i never charge by the hour,reason number #1 is because i have one girl working with me and to cleaning a 4bed 3bath only takes us like 3 hours, so i pay her $10 an hour, we work fast and my clients are very satisfied, we clean to homes at day. we are from illinois.
Posted: November 20, 2014 at 7:45 PM
It would be nice if everyone who posts a comment would say what State they live in. Would be interesting to see.

How much you can charge REALLY depends upon your area. I live just south of Seattle, Washington, and most of my customers work for well-known companies, and I'd imagine they pay very well. Some employees are willing to pay what an excellent housecleaner is worth. Others won't. Over a year ago, when I started my business back up again, one of my first houses was a small rambler that took 3 hours to clean, on an every-other week schedule. I charged $75. It was somewhere between yucky and gross. I honestly don't think anyone cleaned ANYTHING in the between time. Grease, dog hair, the smell of wet dogs hung in the air, menstrual cycle drops on the bathroom floor, ect., ect. When I came home I'd throw everything I was wearing in the washing machine and run to the shower. I stuck with it because I needed the job. She didn't need me during the summer, but when this school year began, she gave me a call. I purposely raised my rate to $100 in hopes of being turned down. It worked. She originally had an issue with $75, but she'd hired me because she knew me, and didn't want anyone else in her home.

If anyone has read my previous comments below, you'll find out that I've tried different types of pricing. Most of my clients have had me for their housecleaner for over a year now, and when I decided to approach them with wanting to do a flat rate, doing the "same job" except not being under the "eye" of a clock, I was met with opposition. Not so much criticism, but they expressed a preference of me raising my hourly rate. So I'm charging somewhere between $25 to $30. Week after week, 24 times a year, it is the same routine. I don't get it. I just don't get it.

Now, that being said, just last Monday I did a walk through in a 3,700 sq. ft. home. Brand-spank-me-new-two-month-old-house. Retired couple, no kids living at home, no pets. Just moved to the area, after downsizing from a 4,500 sq. ft. house. While visiting with the couple in the kitchen, my eye see's a few little things on the floor. I pick them up and ask where I may dispose of them. I find dust behind places that she hadn't seen. (There's a lot of new homes being built around them. Hence the dust.) She has had a housekeeper all her life, and wanted me to use a glass cleaner product on a huge dining room table that was just shipped over from Italy. I respectfully suggested other cleaning options as to not ruin the table. When came time for the $$ chat, I asked for a certain amount, which I explained was a "fair price for an excellent housecleaner." she countered on the price a smidge, and in the end we settled on a fixed rate. I start next week.

P.S. Patti, I hope everything works out for you and your family, and that you can find a good housekeeper to help with your situation.

God Bless
Posted: November 13, 2014 at 9:11 PM
Photo of Francesca S.
Francesca S.
patti to clean a house that size, it should cost 50-75 per vieit or you can charge 15-30 dollars per hour
Posted: November 11, 2014 at 4:37 PM
Hello to all out there.
I have a situation here, I live here for now because I
am disabled. My brother has 3 kids that come home on the weekends.
Their mother passed away 4 yrs ago. Every weekend they make a mess in the house.
And the laundry. I like to have a clean house for my brother. He works very hard for all of us. I am curious to know how much aprox. does it cost to hire a housekeeper for a 2000 sq foot houe? I am sick and tired cleaning their stuff. Its impossible to speak to them because my brother says " Patti, I'll clean it up" HELP ME.
The maid!
Posted: November 06, 2014 at 2:56 PM
Photo of Rachel S.
Rachel S.
i have been a adved user of CARE>COM and i apply apply apply my self.i find that the potential clients do not respond,not even a im not intrested or they have filled the position,when i signed up i promised to respond to potential clients within a resonable time fram,but i do not see that with them.Another thing is some potential clients ask for like everything including child care,meal prep,laundry and want to only pay 10.00 a hour and i find that a complete insult on top of a slap in the face.HOUSECLEANING is 1 job,CHILD CARE is another and MEAL PREP is another.There all a different fee and as i know being a HOUSECLEANER a 10/hr is NOT FAIR.. i have had alot of interviews for a housecleaner then when i actualky meet them its a whole nother story,the childcare and meal prep,pic up and drop off kids,shopping and other things are now part of the job and thats not anything close to what that potential client posts in there job..I really wish they would be more honest and say exactlly what there looking for so I DONT WASTE MY TIME.There is all these tips for us cleaners but what about giving the potential clients some.Between the terrible pay and the bogus adds its really dissapointing.Im a hard working honest and reliable housecleaner and thats what they look for but they are not being honest to us....we DO ALOY IN JUST THE CLEANING AND IM SURE THEY KNOW THIS CAUSE THEY DONT WANT TO DO THE WORK.MAYBE ITS TIME TO LOOK ELSE WHERE FOR WORK.
Posted: November 05, 2014 at 5:41 PM
Photo of Sava D.
Sava D.
I love your coment Charlot! That true!
Posted: November 02, 2014 at 11:36 AM
I am thinking of running my own cleaning business. How much would I charge to clean a 4 bedroom house if I was to do a spring clean or deep clean?
Posted: October 14, 2014 at 2:20 PM
a cleaning service usually charges per hour weekly/by weekly or monthly per hour will be $25.00 to $26.00 per hour but the first time cleaning a home which will be the hardest it's always a set rate per job which will be double the hour then there after its half weekly 20 less by weekly and once a month back to double! Cleaning inside of friehgerator and inside of oven is a extra small fee of 10 to 15 dollars cleaning window in the inside will be 3.00 inside and out is 5.00 per window all those things are extra
Posted: October 08, 2014 at 7:47 PM
Photo of Charlotte C.
Charlotte C.
I read a lot of these Housekeepers comments, and working for people, cleaning for them is a lot of work, but you have to consider the area when you give a price and you cannot come from other states and cities expecting to get the same pay! I charge by the area and I give military discounts, since I live in a military town and I appreciate their service. I do not reply to these people who low-ball on prices. I think $10 per hour for a housekeeper is an insult in any state. So me of theses clients want you not only clean, but to babysit, cook, all kinds of things and want to pay $10 per hour, that's ridiculous! Charge according to the circumstance. I say : )
Posted: October 01, 2014 at 4:35 PM
Margie B.
Figuring out how much to charge and how to go about it is probably the trickiest part of running a housecleaning business. And yes, there are many things to take into consideration, but a few of the most important are; Being exceptional at what you do, giving quality service with a personal touch, having your own cleaning supplies, and be very knowledgeable about products and surfaces they will be used on.

Earlier in the year I did make some phone calls to housecleaning companies and was surprised how much they would charge for the square footage of my home.
**I better mention that franchise cleaning companies do charge more in order to cover the cost of their staff to be bonded and insured. Though, I have learned, that the workers are not paid that much, and I would guess the rest goes to the franchise owners.)

Ok, back to my home. I told the gal, who was from a well-known company in this area that our home is 2000 square feet, 2 story, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths. She gave me a quote of $140. We do not have pets, don't wear shoes past the front door, and the house is very well maintained. Nothing out of the ordinary. Also, the 2 (teenager's) rooms just needed vacuuming. No un-dusting or moving items. So I took that price and mentally broke it down room by room until I was satisfied with my figures and put it on an Excel spreadsheet. The prices reflect a regularly maintained home, no deep cleaning, and not the first initial cleaning. So far I have been able to use my services price list once, on my 5th client, which I wish I would of had for the first 4. What I charge for the first 4 homes is between OK and decent. I know now, that if I would have had my pricing sheet with me, as I did the initial walk-through, I would have charged more.

So, life goes on, and while I'm cleaning my 3rd toilet for the day, I think of how to do things more efficiently on the next visit there. But, when I lock that front door at the end of a tiring and sweaty day, I envision that family returning to their CLEAN home and know that the parents/adults are HAPPY!
Posted: September 24, 2014 at 7:44 PM
Member Care Representative
Hi Chris,

We understand there are numerous factors to consider when starting a housecleaning business, especially figuring out what to charge clients. I found an article that can best answer your questions, I hope it proves helpful and best of luck to your business!
Posted: September 23, 2014 at 12:53 PM
Margie B.
Lois A.

First of all, I want to say "more power to you" if you can fill in that niche. I for one would not want to be doing that kind of work, but like the saying goes, "one person's junk is another person's treasure." Not to say that that kind of work is junk, but it's very hard work and undesirable to say the least.
Secondly, I would strongly caution you against wanting to be paid AFTER the house sells. Don't do that! You minus well work you fanny off for nothing and not get paid. Do you really think that after months go by, if and when the house sells, that someone is going to get back to you and nicely give you the money for what you did? Don't think so...

Margie B.
Posted: September 11, 2014 at 11:53 AM

I have been gathering information about starting a cleaning service in a niche that I have not seen discussed.

My experience is as a cleaner for low-income properties that have had the residents evicted and are looking to be "flipped".

I have cleaned residences that were covered in fleas, tics, and other buggy type creatures.

Often homes that have had the occupants evicted have been deliberately trashed. I have found bathrooms coated in feces, refrigerators that have been pried open and stuffed with rotting meat, cabinets coated with sugar, honey, flour and unidentifiable material and the rest poured on the floor.

With rare exceptions I have been able to leave the units in sparkling clean condition after one single day of work. I have also, on occasion, walked into my shower at home fully clothed, bagged up my clothes, and burned them.

I am considering charging $250.00 for a two bedroom house, and adding $50.00 for each additional bedroom. My "hook" is that the payment would be due when the house is sold.

Has anyone else specialized in this kind of cleaning, and what kind of insurance would I need?

Thank you for your help,

Posted: September 10, 2014 at 11:11 AM
Chris Robidas
I am starting a cleaning business in the greater Hartford area, my biggest challenge is trying to determine what to charge, by the hour? footage? does any one have any financial structure for a cleaning service that will point me in the right direction?
Posted: August 28, 2014 at 7:44 PM
Noname N.
I am looking to hire household help in the greater Boston area. We need basic housekeeping, cooking for a family, driving the kids to/from school. I don't know if this is a full time job, but I would think it is at least 3/4 of a full time job. This is a long term arrangement. What would be the price for such help? It would be good to have an idea about the pricing. Thank you!
Posted: August 27, 2014 at 2:19 PM
Magnolia Maid Service
Hello. I just started my cleaning business and I am ting everything to get my business with steady work. Does anyone know anything about bidding. If so please reply. Need work badly. I quit my daytime job to focus all my time to cleaning. Any pointers?
Posted: August 20, 2014 at 1:31 AM
Photo of Karen S.
Karen S.
I used to have a cleaning business, for 10 years. I charged by the size of the house. I placed a bid on the house after seeing it first. I didn't supply the cleaning supplies because each client had a preference,and especially I didn't supply the vacuum cleaner(the danger of bringing pests or strange bugs from house to house is a chance I don't want to take!) Also communicate to the client by leaving notes. Be confidential,dependable and follow through.
Posted: August 15, 2014 at 1:04 AM
Margie B.

Thank you for mentioning that you are from California. All one has to do is look at the price of homes being sold in California compared to the Seattle area to see the difference. I live in Auburn, Washington, which is about 25 miles from Seattle. There is Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon, the University of Washington, and Weyerhaueser which tops the list of major employers in this state. This is a good area to work as a housecleaner, but that doesn't mean folks are willing to pay housecleaners top dollar. Your minimum wage of $25 an hour for a very good housecleaner here, is good pay but probably wouldn't go very far in CA. And yes, we too have a lot of folks in this area wanting a "professional, hard working, make my house sparkle" all for $10 an hour.
Posted: August 12, 2014 at 9:28 PM
Photo of Jaleisa W.
Jaleisa W.
I am currently trying to start my own housekeeping business in easthampton ma. I have two years of experience with two different companies but it have found that I either work by the hour and make nothing or I work for a percentage no pay for mileage and one check a month goes straight to gas. With that being said that is why I am starting my own bussi was but am having a hard time figuring out how to charge someone for the service. I am not looking to be a small business forever I am looking to grow over time. Any business in easthampton, Northampton, Hadley, Florence, willing to help me better understand pricing or what they charge to find a median would be lovely. I have always dreamed of owning my own business and cleaning is my strength and I absolutely love to do.
Posted: August 12, 2014 at 8:46 PM
Photo of Zeli B.
Zeli B.
Hi my name is Zeli. I'm from California and in California I charge $25-$50 minimum. I've one client on the Silicon Valley and they pay me $850 a week to work 20 hours at their (4,000-5,000 sf )home . However, some people in California want to pay $10-$15/hr which is ridiculous!

I would
Posted: August 12, 2014 at 1:57 PM
Margie B.

Please don't get me wrong, but I'm a little confused as to why you feel insulted. I don't know how many square feet the 3 floor condo was, but it sounds like you did agree to the $80 flat charge.

Let's break this down:

1. Upon the initial walk through, what did you see? I assume you did an initial walk through? Was your gut instinct telling you that two hours could easily have been spent on each floor?

2. Did you have an interview with the lady of the house (condo) after that to see what each of you expects from the other?

3. Cluttered rooms are part of the reason why folks hire us. Yes, it does take time to put rooms back in order, but that is one of the crucial points that needs to be brought up during the interview. I tell my to-be clients that a "busy" room will take longer to make it look nice, thus it will cost more. I have yet to have encountered an argument over that issue. If I had, I'd cut the visit shorter and politely explain that I don't think we would be a good fit as we disagree about xxx. But since homeowner's are paying you $40 to $50 an hour, I sincerely hope that you go far and beyond their expectations without a complaint. IF you cannot manage a cluttered room at $50 an hour, please give the job to someone else and find another line of work.

4. Every home that I have cleaned on the 1st visit always took longer. That's the way it is. The home might be a little dirtier and/or the cleaner needs to familiarize herself/himself to the routine. After that, put your mind on auto-pilot and away you go. One house (2,400 sq. ft.) in particular took me 7.5 hours to clean the first time. A flat fee is charged at that home. I have my routine down so pat that I'm done in 4 hours.

5. I think what you are trying to ask the rest of the housecleaning populous is, who's fault is it that you were paid $7.00, I mean $11.42 an hour? (please redo the math). Do not accuse the woman for underpaying YOU. She offered you a wage, a ridiculously low wage for the number of floors I'll admit, but unless I'm mistaken, in our line of work, we can either accept or decline a job and the wage being offered. So, without much speculation, I believe you are suffering from a case of being mad at yourself for having agreed to work for paltry wages. Surely, a person who "know's who they are", would indeed be insulted if they accepted less than $35 an hour. For the sake of interest, let's take a look at one occupation in Waltham, Massachusetts to compare its wages to that of a residential housecleaner. In Waltham, the average hourly wage for a construction worker is $31.75. I would like to see a housecleaner argue with a construction worker on the merit of equality there. Yes, cleaning homes is a very physical job but pales in comparison to construction and other work.

6. Finally, you may be an excellent cleaner, but your unprofessional attitude is probably what earned you the two stars. If you expressed your feelings in the same manner to the condo owner, as you did here, I would have done the same. As much as we dislike ourselves for mistakes we make, learn from them and move on.

Best wishes,
Margie B.
Posted: August 05, 2014 at 11:39 PM
Photo of Victoriana M.
Victoriana M.
I was working for a family in Waltham, MA and only paid me $80.00 flat rate. She said her house cleaner went out of the country and did not come back. I accepted the job. It is a three floor condo. There are several furnitures that were so close together and very hard to clean when it is clutered. It took me 7 hours to do the job and I am very fast. That means she paid me a little over $7.00 per hour. House cleaning job is a physical job and although I am highly energetic and without any problem I can do the job. The problem I am having is that they insult me with the good work I performed. If these people reverse it, are they happy to be paid $7.00 per hour? I did not go back the next time they ask me to clean. Since I knoiw I am an excellent house cleaner, I charge $40.00 to $50.00 per hour for thorough cleaning since I work very fast, I multitask and get a lot of things done by the hour. I know who I am and I am not insulting myself accepting less than $35.00 an hour. I clean very thoroughly. I even noticed someone put two stars and I know I deserved 5 STARS! I do not know what benefit does she gets by doing this. Is it a mistake that she gave me two stars? When others gives me 5 stars for the work I have done. I do not think it is fair to receive two stars. I realy feel very insulted. It is a very busy place and there is always heavy traffic going in and out of the building and these buildings do not stay clean. It is a residential/ commercial building. I just want to express my feelings that I was not awarded the 5 STARS I DESERVED. I have been cleaning just like how the military train someone cleans in the AIR BASE. It means thoroughly cleaned when I clean houses and that is how I clean all my life!
Victoriana M from MA
Posted: August 04, 2014 at 8:33 PM
Photo of Christina O.
Christina O.
I would give the client a bid depending on size of home but I end up finding people who want me to clean less than $10 hr. They want for less time but more to be finished which is hard me because I usually being taken advantage because of my sacrifice of doing risk of not benefitting. I would usually under classified worker of house cleaning.
Posted: July 24, 2014 at 3:27 PM
Ann B.
OMG- I love reading all this and boy do I wish you guys were near me!!! I live on Long Island in a very small modest house- it is actually 4 bedroom 3 bath but seriously- the bedrooms are 10x10 and 2 of them are storage. Anyway, we agreed to get a housekeeper to stop fighting and so I can volunteer one day a week doing something I love. I got a second job to pay for it. We had a couple that were meticulous and soooo sweet, if a picture was crooked, they fixed it if my bedspread wasn't perfect they fixed it. Boy were they awesome and we paid them 120 for 2 hours bi weekly 5 ears ago then upped it to 150. They moved and we got another group and they charge 150 and don't do half of the work they do, I am soo upset they didnt even was the floors last visit. No kids, 2 caged birds( they dont have to touch anything there), and we are neat!! They dont polish, they supposedly dust (didnt on last visit) and they broke something the last 3 times. I am not used to this, so upsetting I am afraid to find someone and have to keep going through this. They were a reputable company. What advice for finding someone who actually understands what clean means? I wouldn't be so upset if i didn't live paycheck to paycheck to pay for this.
Posted: July 18, 2014 at 3:54 PM
Margie B.
Is this house around 6,000 sq ft or what? I cleaned a 3,000 sq ft home with 4 beds 2.5 baths and had 3 dogs and 3 very messy females living there. It took forever to clean it.
I live about 30 miles outside of Seattle, WA. Just for a point of reference or something in the ballpark, make a few phone calls to local companies in the pretext of wanting to know what they would charge for x# of bedrooms, x# of bathrooms, ect. Keep in mind that those companies do charge more because they are bonded and insured. I'm finding myself doing A la Carte cleaning along with "entire home" cleaning clients. A few clients don't mind doing the vacuuming, or they will have their kids clean their own bedroom and bathroom. Imagine that! So with one client, I started out cleaning her whole house, then after a few cleaning, she discovered that her budget was a little tight, and having me was a luxury. So I went from charging her $25 an hour, to charging her by the room/job. This entails cleaning a 4 piece master bath (scrubbing the shower-not spraying and wiping clean), dusting vanity doors and main door, dusting floor molding, shark-steam & spray cleaning solution on vinyl floor, dust master bedroom, vacuum stairway and dust railing and moldings, dust hallway pictures, clean downstairs powder room, dust family room, vacuum area carpets and move them, vacuum laminate floor and spray clean them, and shark-steam & spray cleaning solution on foyer & powder room tile. Although I'm not working on the clock, it takes me 2 to 2.25 hours to do and I charge her a flat fee of $65. Breakdown: $25 for 4 piece master bath, $20 for living room/kitchen (dusting and cleaning laminate floors only) $10 powder room, $5 vacuuming stairway and dust railing, pictures, trim, and $5 to steam clean foyer. For a shorter amount of time compared to when I worked by the hour and cleaning more of the house, this ends up costing her $2 more. I am learning the hard way, that when I charged $25 an hour, which sounds pricy to many homeowners, being a fast and meticulous worker, I could get her 4 piece bathroom done in 35 minutes which was around $12ish an hour, compared to a flat fee of $25 which I charge now. I have made a worksheet for A la Carte bathroom cleaning for future clients who do not want the whole house cleaned. It is cleaning by the minute. Time yourself, and then multiply your minutes by .75. So a 35-minute bathroom at 75 cents a minute would be $26.25. As for the rest of the house, depending on the room and effort to bring it up to snuff, I would charge 25 or 50 cents a minute. I bring my own vacuum and supplies, so the next client would be charged that if I charge by the minute. This is very hard work on the body, especially bathrooms, which I'm sure you are aware of, so personally I would walk away from that 5 bedroom, 4 bathroom home for only $125. As a professional housecleaner, that is an insult.
Margie B.
Posted: June 26, 2014 at 1:16 PM
Celeste M
I have a small cleaning business that I have started.but I have been cleaning for the past 15 years I have been ask if I would do a detailed cleaning on a five bedroom four baths, living room, dining room, kitchen and clean the hardwood floors clean windows and kitchen for 125.00 is that a insult or thing is where does these people come up with these prices or what do you think a fair price would be
Posted: June 17, 2014 at 10:07 AM
Hi.this is my 2Nd go at my own cleaning business....i started about 6months ago &getting really busy...i had business cards made but found word of mouth is the best....i charge $25 hr in south fla...and after my customers see how i clean..they feel like there getting there moneys can make good money...but most important tips are...clean a good job..not just surfaces..look up, down&underneath. .pull out honest&trustworthy...and be reliable...if you know what your doing,people will talk&tell friends...good luck&happy housekeeping :)
Posted: June 13, 2014 at 10:33 PM
Photo of Yolette B.
Yolette B.
I'm in Orlando FL ( Altamonte Springs)area and I'm having difficult time finding works on, I mean I don't charge much about $15-20 per hr depending If I have to provide my own supplies, hopefully I get some work soon.
Posted: June 11, 2014 at 12:50 AM
Enid W.
This is E.Roxanne once again I live in Brooklyn.n.y.i can work in Manhattan not a problem, the Bronx, and Brooklyn.i do not work in Queens so I wont be available for no job in Queens so please remember.i do not work on Saturday's nor Friday's.i go to please understand my situation.thanks bye.
Posted: May 09, 2014 at 5:50 PM
Tammy C.
How much do you charge for your housekeeping? and How reliable are your housekeepers?
Posted: May 09, 2014 at 1:26 PM
Photo of Karen N.
Karen N.
I have been cleaning 27 years. Started out doing new construction homes working for contractors which I liked more than cleaning residents. Its not dirty dirt on the new, but it is hard work. I done that for 23 years til the economy got bad then switched to offices. To get those you have to know the right person always helps. Now Im much older and have done some residents...but even though I do a good job cleaning is first to go when other things are their priority. Now Im called for special occasions, or a one time clean, cant hardly get weekly cleanings anymore. If anyone knows anyone looking for a weekly cleaning person I'd be interested. Hard to make any decent money when ur on your own and have once a month cleanings.
Posted: May 06, 2014 at 11:01 AM
Margie B.
To Deborah W. and all the ladies & gents who charge by the job/flat rate vs. hourly.
I read an online article where a husband and wife cleaning team said that they basically charged about $20 per room. That probably was not taking into consideration, the first initial cleaning. Most of the bathrooms I clean for the first time take me 1 1/2 hours. We are talking about wiping down light fixtures, all that white moulding, all of those white six panel doors, dusting off vanity doors, shower doors, ect., ect. It would be really hard for me to take a guess-estimate of some of these bathrooms. I pace myself the first visit so I don't kill myself. My most recent client texted me when she returned home from work and said that their Master bathroom hadn't looked that good in 8 years!
So my question is, for future clients, how is the best way to charge by the job? And, for my existing clients, 6 months the oldest and 2 months the newest, is it advisable to approach the client/homeowner about changing from hourly to a flat rate, or am I kind of stuck? Very soon I am going to start funding my Social Security, so I'll have to raise my rates a little for that. I have one home where the family thought they could only afford to have me come for 4 hours every other week. Home is 3000 sq. ft. Guess where they want me? Bathrooms of course! That is a lot of scrubbing and cleaning for 2.5 bathrooms, and some dusting too. The Mrs. originally said that her wish list was bigger than her wallet. Then I get an email asking if I had any openings in my schedule for another cleaning before the next visit. I truly believe that if you exceed a clients expectations, the work will come and they will tell others about you. My week is about 80 % filled with clients after starting 6 months ago. The only advertising I've done is hand out business cards to people I know, or those who happen upon me as I see the door of opportunity opening. In my immediate neighborhood, three homeowners hire me here and there when they have family parties, ect. They know me and trust me. A few wanted a cleaning person for a long time but did not want just anyone in their home. Make yourself known to your neighbors and start handing out your business cards.
Posted: May 03, 2014 at 2:05 AM
Margie B.
It is interesting to see what everyone charges. I quit my job as an Assistant Cook with our school district 6 months ago. Kitchen managers were not retiring so I was in a 3 hour spot for 4 1/2 years. For the second time in my working career I'm cleaning again and I really enjoy it. This time I know a whole lot more than I did the first time! But that said, there is ALWAYS something to learn. I test all products out on my home first and am constantly reading up on cleaning advice on the Internet. Some things work, others don't. If a client has surfaces, floors, ect, that I do not have in my own home, and I'm not sure how to safely and properly care for them, after the interview when I'm back home, I'm checking on it. I'll even email the company of said product/appliance. As for my rate, well, I'm charging by the hour which I'm still debating over. My first 3 clients happen to be three generations of ladies. I asked $20 an hour which was $5.50 more an hour than I was making with the School District, I use their vacuums and they put out their cleaning supplies if I need them. One is in my neighborhood, another 1 mile away, and other 6 miles away. After a few months I have been able to shave off an hour or more when I really focus and put my mind on auto-pilot. I am very fast and efficient, working smarter, instead of 100% harder. At the moment I am making $24 to $27 an hour. One lady gives me a blank check, another gives me a big tip, another, after seeing my detailed list of what I do every visit and how many hours, now leaves me a check for that. I'm there for less hours, same hard work, more sweat, just working faster, smarter & more efficient.
My next 3 clients were handled differently. Although I could still work myself out of cleaning job (underpaying myself for the amount of work I can accomplish in an hour) I currently charge $25 an hour. For our area, for a "very good cleaning person" that is about average. A few clients who were somewhat taken back by my fee, found out after the first visit that I value them as a client and leave their homes immaculate. I do things that they usually do not do themselves, and they appreciate it!
So now that I've been doing this for 6 months, I want to start funding my Social Security, which I believe, if I tax myself, that is 20% less of my wages. The one thing I hate is bringing up money--especially "after" being hired. All the families I work for are dual income, middl'ish working class, no sports cars in the garage. I know they are saving for their kids college, paying off their own college degrees, car and house payments. I provide a service which gives them peace of mind and less stress in their lives. So, does anyone have a suggestion of a good way of approaching a client with the topic of needing to raise rates in order to fund Social Security? This would mainly be for my $20 an hour clients. For the homes that are routine every visit, I could say that (1) I need to start funding my S S, and (2) a Flat fee will be used from now on. I do not want my clients to feel that I am cheating them, but I also feel very strongly that a fast efficient worker should not be penalized for getting the work done sooner. Cleaning homes is very hard work, hard on the body, unglamorous to say the least, but rewarding!
Posted: May 01, 2014 at 1:04 AM Member Care
Hi Phyllis! Great question! Here's a great article that can help you out and hopefully put you in the right direction to get started!
I hope this helps!
Posted: April 10, 2014 at 12:56 PM
Photo of Eva C.
Eva C.
well, to all of you that are asking how much would you charge for cleaning a house, first you need to see how the house looks like (clean, dirty, or regular and how many people live in it) how many rooms, bathrooms, living rooms, or play rooms have (including the kitchen, office (s), or any additional room. Then, you need to ask the owner what are his/hers expectations (clean the whole house including windows, swimming pool, inside and outside, dust the blinds etc. etc.) light or dip cleaning, everything has their own price I clean a house (four rooms, three bathrooms,the kitchen (light work), one office,and one play room at first they asked me to clean the windows and the ceiling fans but it took me a lot of time so I talked to them about it and told them that I wouldn't do it next time they agreed with me because they saw me doing a lot of work, the first time took me 11 hours to clean their house but they pay me $350 then we make an agreement on cleaning twice a month for $160 per day ($320 twice a month)Since then takes me four hours to clean their house ( $40 an hour) I work for the best people ever) good luck!
Posted: April 01, 2014 at 4:14 PM
Photo of Cristina P.
Cristina P.
I just moved to the WAtchung Nj area, and i need to know what is the fair price to ask to clean someones house? It seems no one wants to pay more than 10 to 12$ an hour.. I charge by the house !! I cleaned a one bedroom one bath today for 50$ and he thought that was too much, asked me if i could make it 40$ If i was to clean every week instead of every other week..
Posted: March 27, 2014 at 5:34 PM
Hello everyone... I'm trying to get my own house cleaning business going so I can fix my own hours considering I'm a single mom of four and have school hours to think about. What would be a good rate to start out at to get clients so I can build my income. Also what would be a catchy phrase for business cards to get people to try me out. For basic cleaning like mopping and dusting and vacuum once of twice month is it better to charge by hour or a flat rate? Can some of u post some typical prices for average cleaning
Posted: March 25, 2014 at 4:49 PM
Phyllis W.
Hello everyone, my name is Phyllis, for the past 3 months I've thinking of starting my own cleaning service,and I don't know where to begin. I live in Kentucky, and I have over 10 years of housekeeping and office cleaning experience.Can someone please steer me in the right direction as where/how to go about getting clients
Posted: March 24, 2014 at 1:31 AM
Miss Annie
How much would be charge for just finished brand new 3000 sq.ft. construction house. It needs to clean the whole house including the windows and yards. The area is 15 miles away from my house. I live in Virginia Beach, Virginia. This will be my first time to clean the house. And I would like to start a cleaning business.
Posted: March 19, 2014 at 6:35 AM
Maggie R.
How can I find more houses to clean?
Posted: February 26, 2014 at 6:49 PM
Hi I have some one who want me to work for her but the job include,do grocery,cook,cleaning and organized the house and she want to pay $15 for hour is that okay of how much I can charg for the all job?
Posted: February 26, 2014 at 3:31 PM
Photo of Deborah W.
Deborah W.
this is a interesting forum I like, I have had my cleaning business for 25 yrs and I never charged by the hr, always by the job, basically I look at how many bedrooms are in the home and base my charge from those rooms, housekeepers are already under paid my wish is that all housekeepers would charge by the job, when you charge by the hr you are getting short changed!!!!
Posted: February 17, 2014 at 11:46 AM
Photo of Stephanie N.
Stephanie N.
So I have this potential weekly client who owns a 12,000 sf home. 5 bedroom, 8 bathrooms. No indoor pets. They ask I do everything except animal care. What is a fair price to ask?
Posted: January 30, 2014 at 1:53 AM
Photo of Cynthia M.
Cynthia M.
please somebody in florida(boynton beach), how much is the cost for cleaning a house of 3000 sq ft., 6 bedrooms,

urgent. I need a weekly clean.


Posted: January 29, 2014 at 1:05 PM
Member Care
Hi H.M. so sorry about this experience! If you had hired this person through, we would definitely recommend writing a review on their profile about the experience. You can always speak to a housekeeper before hand to get an estimate of how long she thought everything would take. Here's a great article too with some advice on How to Interview a Housekeeper!
Posted: January 17, 2014 at 2:21 PM
I live in Tomball, TX. I had this Homejoy cleaning service charging by the $20/hr. I usually do the house cleaning on the weekend by myself. I booked four hours thinking that if I could alone get my house clean one floor, includes: living room, polish furniture, clean entire kitchen clean, fridge, microwave, dust, one bath room, cooking, clean mirrors, mop the entire first floor twice in four hours, and get laundry running, and empty trash from first floor. Four hours will be enough to for someone to mop once, 3 bath rooms, clean entire kitchen, simple dusting down both floor, clean carpet upstairs, change bedding. But this woman was like turtle. She only did one room down stairs, mopped,kitchen, 3 bath room briefly, laundry room, . I am not sure if that was honestly or what....My home is not that bad nor we have any pet. basically she worked supper slow and left my house half clean.
Posted: January 14, 2014 at 6:03 PM
Tocarra M.
I want to know how much should i charge for 24hrs housekeeping
Posted: January 11, 2014 at 6:28 PM
Photo of Elizabeth T.
Elizabeth T.
This comment is for Denise N. who was discussing the Oreck and Dyson vacuum cleaners. My husband and I own a mid size flooring business in Phoenix and you ladies and gentlemen that use a Dyson vacuum cleaner in your own home or in business had better be careful vacuuming newer carpets.

Due to the Dyson's terrific suction power, some carpet manufacturers are stipulating that using a Dyson vac will void some carpet's warranty. We've been selling carpet that isn't quite a shag, but it's close and if you or your client has a carpet with a longer yarn, the Dyson's suction power has been known to damage the yarn's twist. Food for thought and it may save you an expensive lesson.
Posted: January 09, 2014 at 11:50 AM
Hi all. I'm considering hiring a lady to come 2 times a week to clean our home (4 bedroom, 4 bath). I live in the Maryland area. Any suggestions on price range I should be looking at paying her? Thanks
Posted: January 05, 2014 at 9:11 AM
Photo of Farah H.
Farah H.
Hi I have been in the business for 15 years. I find that professional clientele are far more likely to be reliable; that being said I had had a few that were any thing but reliable, calling to cancel at the last minute or not calling at all. I am blessed to have one client that though they travel extensively have me come every single week whether they are in or out of town. WONDERFUL PEOPLE. I charge by the job a bid. I go in and assess the home first. I usually charge a first time start up and then
the regular fee after that. My Mom has been in the Bus for 25 years and I started as her helper. to bid a job It is usually 20.00 per room, 15.00 bathroom. I am very specific as to what the job entails; after that it is extra. To make top dollar you have to be very thorough every time. You also need to put it in writing what you do and what you expect from your client as well. I have one client that was originally my Moms while there house is worth about 125.00 because of their reliability and generosity I have never increased their price. These are the type of people that send you more clients... I now hae a helper and I pay them 10.00 per hour. This one home used to take me 5 hours and now we have it down to such a routine it takes 2. so if I were charging by the hour I would be hurting myself.. So keep that in mind. But I can't stress enough be up front and remember this is a business,conduct it as such... If you have a client that keeps breaking your contract DROP THEM!
Posted: January 02, 2014 at 2:38 PM
Tammy K.
Hi There ! My name is Tammy, I own and operate a very lucrative house cleaning service in Portland Oregon. I have had my business for 32 years now, And have been steadily employed the entire 32 years, I think after reading several post, I feel a lot of you ladies are underpaid. Especially Shirley G, When I started my business in 1981, I was making $5.00 per hour. And working for regular folks. Now of course I have all professionals, Doctors Lawyers Architects Judges, Millionaires and Billionaires. So I find theses folks are so much more willing to pay the going rate, Although you better be ready to perform great quality work in huge homes, The going rate in Portland and suburbs is between 20-40 dollars per hour. And a lot of housekeepers here usually work by a bid not hourly. I also think with professionals as clients, I feel more confident in long time job security. Kind Regards To All ! Tammy
Posted: December 07, 2013 at 11:26 PM
Photo of Patricia M.
Patricia M.
I just want to say: THANK YOU I really love this site!!!!
Posted: November 19, 2013 at 9:36 PM
Snow white
My question & problem I run into is I work in rich areas where the houses are big.. There is no such thing as a a tub they have showers so big u could have a party in them. I have a 3 bedroom 2 1/2 bath home but it's all tile & wood floring throughout the house. I want to charge 100 upstairs 100 down stairs per cleaning because it is more time consuming to clean is that too much?
Posted: November 14, 2013 at 6:41 PM
Denise N.
I read the comment saying buy adyson not an Oreck. Neither of these vacuums work great. The Dyson is cumpersum and heavy and the Oreck just garbage. Meile is the way to go german built, with suction to last and adjustable for different surfaces. Its expensive but it does the work for you.
Posted: November 07, 2013 at 4:05 PM
Amy H.
elizabeth, id say from without looking it. then busting out tears??? no it wouldn't but i feel graduating lo
Posted: November 03, 2013 at 10:25 PM
Photo of Crystal W.
Crystal W.
I generally charge by the hour. I don't have a set rate simply because some households might have the same set up but the homeowners may be a lot messier or cleaner. my average rate is 20 an hour for a 3 hour job. 3 bedrooms, 2 bath home and the homeowner supplies all cleaning supplies. however I'm sure prices vary due to your location. I'd suggest looking up cleaning jobs on the site for your area to see what others are charging it should give you a pretty general idea.
Posted: November 03, 2013 at 10:38 AM
Photo of Michelle M.
Michelle M.
I am a Housecleaner in the Seattle area, and I typically get paid anywhere from $25-$35/hour. This is reasonable to me, as we all need to make a living, and factor in traffic time (gas!) and cost of cleaning supplies. I have only had one client shop me out to pay $20/hour, and she doesn't know the team that will be coming through her home at any given time. I believe that discretion and confidentiality are important to most families, and most are willing to pay for that trust that comes with my service.
Posted: November 02, 2013 at 11:27 PM
Elizabeth T.
Hi Ladies my name is Elizabeth, I need to know what would you charge for a home with four bedrooms,four bathrooms living rooms, diningroom,familyroom,basement, and a classroom this is a very large home and I bring my own supplys. everytime I go to this home I always do a good job. what should my price be I feel that I'm being under paid please help.
Posted: October 28, 2013 at 11:22 AM
Photo of Dawn E.
Dawn E.
I am in California and since I am building up my clientele I have been charging 20 an hour, but in order to be able to pay taxes and cover my expenses I am going to have to start charging 25-30 an hour. I have a friend that charges 25 an hour plus a 10 dollar charge per visit for expenses. If you are going to report the income, which I suggest you do (one day you will probably need to tap into the social security benefits you pay into)you cannot work for less than 20 an hour. I am trying to target the areas that I know will pay those rates. So far I have got 2 awesome clients from THANKS!!
Posted: October 18, 2013 at 7:47 PM
Fabienne P.
Hi! my name is Fabienne , i have a cleaning business and i live in West Palm Beach,Fl.I would say between $75 to $85
Posted: October 06, 2013 at 12:48 AM
Photo of Sherry S.
Sherry S.
I have a three Bedroom (strip remake beds, vac no dusting), 1 1/2 bath (thuroly clean both), Kitchen and Dinning area (mop, disinfect counters, dishes, oven, fridge in and out), Fam room (dust, vac), Florida room (sweep, mop, cob webs), just vac the Living room. How much per visit?????????????
Posted: September 30, 2013 at 6:51 PM
Photo of Jolie J.
Jolie J.
I just want to know some answer my question ! Do you think it fair to work at someone house and theen they throw a trick in it and want you to work at another house for less then 400 dollar a week(both houses for that amount and these are not small place inside?
Posted: September 26, 2013 at 2:39 PM
Photo of Jolie J.
Jolie J.
I agree with all of you because some people get housekeepers and don't appreciate the excellent of someone willing to come and clean for them. We as housekeepers have bills that we need to paid just like them and some of us have kids to. I have clean for military houses,paid family member,friends too and I made very good for 1-2 day compare(2001-2003) then a week time here. You know it nice to be able to come on this website to look for job. my problems is people keep there files on here know they found someone. I don't think that right. Love you all. no body want to pay the right pay.
Posted: September 26, 2013 at 2:34 PM
Photo of Robin L.
Robin L.
I have cleaned homes for many years, I started out 20 years ago, at 10 per hour, as I worked hourly cleaning residential, models and new construction, back then for what I did was about average, now I charge no less then 20-25 per hour, as was stated before cleaning supplies, gas and depending on what kinds of mess you must clean, I'm am thinking no less then in the 20 range. And that's not for a 5 bedroom 5 bathroom, I would consider depending on if its once. Or a monthly thing some jobs if it is once may be better to bid by the job, just look at what needs to be cleaned and how dirty it is to start with, but to do someones house for the very first time, I always charge more as that. Is when the house is the dirtiest, ya know before you began your routine, but bidding correctly may get customer on a regular basis
Posted: September 17, 2013 at 4:10 PM
Mary C.
I also was shocked at the price quoted in the article. For a 4br, 4bath in Denver, CO I charge $100/week for five hours or $20/hr in general.
Posted: September 09, 2013 at 7:57 PM
Photo of Lorena T.
Lorena T.
I have to agree with some housekeepers here. With inflation,prices on cleaning had to go up too. Having housekeeping service in the U.S. is not cheap anymore. No one makes a living with the prices stated on the article,at least not in Florida.
Posted: September 08, 2013 at 11:31 PM
Photo of Fiqirete R.
Fiqirete R.
Thank you
Posted: September 07, 2013 at 8:15 PM
Member Care
Hi Teresa,

We're so glad to hear that you are considering starting your own Housekeeping business! We actually have an article geared specifically toward this topic, with many helpful tips you may want to consider:

It's great that you are doing research and I encourage your to keep learning more to best educate yourself. I hope this helps!

Best of luck with your new endeavors!
Posted: September 05, 2013 at 11:47 AM
Hi-6 yrs in the cleaning business based in central NJ. What ever works for you, however, $10 per room is a good start on what you charge each customer and this is someone in TX who gave me this tip with a million dollar cleaning business. Some of my customers do exclude rooms so I adjust the cost.
Carol R.- If people don't like your rate, they are not worth cleaning so move on. Network at community events, socialize at spaghetti dinners, pancake breakfasts, these really work, other organizations and friends will refer you.
Some people who own 3,000-5,000 sq ft homes do not want to always pay top $ and will pay less. $10-15 per room who will always chose someone how is lower than you, then they add to their list and pay the same. Never think you are always high, it may be the potential customer who set a price lower than your to clean your home.
For you and others: you do not need to be part of a chamber of commerce to attend some events to network and build your business. The best ads are the diner placemat ads, really. Some of my long time customers are from these ads. good luck to all
Posted: September 04, 2013 at 8:51 PM
Photo of Teresa M.
Teresa M.
I live in the Dothan Al area and i to am trying to start my own buisness after working for someone for the past 10 years in housekeeping,i thought it was time to do something own my own(past time really).Any tips or advice?
Posted: September 04, 2013 at 9:23 AM
Carol R.
I live in the Charlotte-Lake Norman NC area and I am trying to get my cleaning service started. I quoted 125.00 for a 5 bedroom,3 bath, 3200 square foot house and was told by the owner she had found someone to clean it for considerably less. What should I have quoted? Everyone I have talked to said they thought that was really cheap for that size house.
Posted: September 02, 2013 at 1:45 PM
Nikolett M.
Hi guys!

My name is Niki and I am really new in the business.I have a question.I have a family who has 5 kids and one dog.I saw their home it was really really dirty.Everywhere is the dog hair.They have 4 bedrooms, 2and half bathrooms, 1 kitchen, 1 dining room and 1 living room.What do you think ,how much can I ask for the house cleaning?Thank you!
Posted: August 22, 2013 at 7:41 PM
Photo of Shirley G.
Shirley G.
I hear you, Debbie....I also started my own housecleaning biz about 2 years ago. I have trouble with quoting prices when I go look at a home and feel I've underquoted several houses that I clean but not sure how to approach them about this.

I have one house that is a 4bdrm, 4bath, living room, great room, den, kitchen and dining area...not sure how many square feet but it is big and it takes me 4-5 hrs with a helper, to get it done. I am wondering what others would charge them?

They have carpet in all 4 bdrms and great room, granite floors in the kitchen/dining area and in all baths and wood floor in den and living room. I dust every room, vacuum, mop, make beds, pick up toys and clothes, clean 4 showers, toilets, a jacuzzi tub and empty trash, etc. I bring all my own supplies and they live within 5 miles of me. Also, my helper is quitting soon...going back to school so I will be alone unless I hire someone else to help me. I am currently paid $125 every other week by the client and worried about how I could keep it up if I tried to do it on my own...
Posted: August 21, 2013 at 9:55 AM
I recently started cleaning after retiring from my past career job. It is rewarding for me to help others, but I am wondering if I am not charging enough. I live in central Ohio and travel usually 45 to 60 miles and don't get a surcharge for travel. I carry my own cleaning products, so if they don't have the needed cleaners, I use my own. At $10 per hour, I am making about minimum wage. At what point should I negotiate pay raises with clients? I have 4 customers that I clean for once per week for avg. 10 hr day (3 story homes, several bathrooms and/or 2 kitchens). As I was building my service, I wasn't working as hard, but since I have the last job (as of June and it is 2 days per week) I am tired at end of week.
Posted: August 19, 2013 at 5:01 AM
Hyronda L.
My name is Hyronda and I reside in the Burlington, NJ area. I had a strict upbringing as a child, not that my mother was mean ,but a neat freak so to say. So yes we had all white living room furniture and carpet which stayed white. Even when I was between jobs, I still clean my home everyday just cause I feel that certain things should be done everyday such as bathrooms, kitchens, dusting and vacuuming, if you have pets 2 times a day maybe. My only disappointment recently was that someone was selling their cleaning company / client list of 8 people that generated $3000 a month which was only 3 days a week to work 4 days off. Well $9000 for the business was a bit pricy specially at a 1.5 months notice because the person selling was moving out of state. Well being it was in my area and I had the experience and everything was perfect, I tried my best to get the money together, and even offered the seller a financing contract with excellent terms to not only benefit her, but continue to keep her clients continued service. Instead she just let the business go and moved out of state at the end of July this year... Being that moving day was getting closer, she did lower her price to $7000, which I offered her $1000 a month for 7 months and an extra $500 in interest for the business payable via money order, direct deposit , or cashiers check... I charge a flat rate of $20-45 an hour depending on the job and house size which includes any service the customer wants. My customers have the option to use either my supplies or their own.
Posted: August 12, 2013 at 2:01 PM
Photo of Deb C.
Deb C.
hi my name is Debbie I live in the boston mass area , My prices depend on a few thing well the first cleasning if its going to continue once or twice a week I usually charge a flat rate It all depends on how big the job is, How well the house is kept up . If it is in real bad shape then it might even take more than one day. .The price really depends on how much work there is to do. there could be a 10 room house that is really nice and well maintained that would cost less than a four to five room house. I cleaned and organized a cellar with a laundry room . It took me over 5 days to finish I charged $100. a day because she paid for everything . Ill tell you when I got through it was like a new home down in the basement they could never use it before I cleaned it then it opened up the basement for an office a room for the teenagers to have there friends over instead of upstairs making a mess and a nice laundry room with a folding table it came out beautiful needed some rugs and a lil paint and that was that. The entire family was happy with the job I did.
Posted: August 10, 2013 at 8:41 AM
I cleaned professionally for over 19 years. you usually get what you pay for. I charged $30 an hour. I also used my cleaners because I tested cleaners at home to find the ones that worked the best, which I still use. I used the owners vacuum unless it was inferior. I cleaned all of the home thoroughly, not spot cleaning. I did laundry if asked. I was never let go and always complimented. the reason; I love cleaning and did an excellent job, I was told. my advice is; ask why they are a housekeeper,(shouldn't be because they can't do anything else) I have a good education and have done lots of things, but love cleaning. pay hourly, because most housekeepers will rush through it if they get the same amount for less hours. and unless they have very good, not cheap, cleaners, buy your own. get a good vacuum, Dyson if you can, not Oreck. check on their work, i.e.. fans,& hard to reach places, check for marks on baseboards and furniture. if you have pets, be SURE they really like pets or don't hire them. don't leave valuables out until you Know you can trust them, though most are honest. remember to give them a nice tip for Christmas and they will be happy to do the extra holiday cleaning. and one more thing; if you like their work tell them, and if you don't, then tell them....... once.
Posted: August 09, 2013 at 2:09 AM
Fabienne P.
Hi carol , I really like your post it makes sense to me but for some people it doesn't. How much you think in your experience I should charge for a 4 bedroom ,living room ,dining room, 2 bathrooms, car garage, 2 kids 3 dogs, 2 cats and a sitting area.
Posted: August 07, 2013 at 10:27 AM
Carole H.
Let's face it folks. We have only one body, two hands, two legs that can only bend, stoop, wipe, rinse, carry items, walk upstairs, stretch, and stand within limits over a given period of time. Cost/charge issues should include room size, the degree of clutter, and how well a home has been pre-maintained/cleaned over a period of time prior to our venture there. A filthy 1500ft2 house may take longer to clean/organize than a 3000ft2 well kept home. Seems to me that a good home maintenace manager must be able to calculate the time and bodily impact a home contract might require and charge accordingly with an additional fee for supplies and equipment usage. For example,if you are confronted with a room that is clearly filthy you need to be able to calculate the number of hours and the degree of your energy that it will take to bring it back again. Of course you must be sure that you cover all details really well in that time. I've been on both ends of the spectrum...both client and home manager. It never failed. When I did a good job after honestly telling the client the time it would take..they were satisfied with the results and I wasn't completely worn out..It helped me finish school.
Posted: August 05, 2013 at 3:11 AM
Fabienne P.
Hi Maanasi B.I live in the West Palm Beach area,it depends on where you live.
Posted: July 30, 2013 at 1:26 PM
Maanasi B.
I am looking for someone to come Monday to Friday to clean house (different rooms on different days), do dishes and laundry. 2-3 hours a day. How much should I pay?
Posted: July 24, 2013 at 4:04 PM
I have a housecleaning business in Missouri. i have been doing it for 18 years. it is hard to build up your business and dont expect it to happen overnight. however if you stick with it and do a good job word ydownoyr business will grow. i am now turning down business and its all been by word of mouth. i charge by the job it ussually averages out to be 25./hour. i love my job and would not do anything else.
Posted: July 17, 2013 at 9:13 PM
Fabienne P.
Ladies I need advice, I don't know what else to do , i think I tried everything I could to make that business work, I even go to angie's list still nothing, what would you ladies suggest. Please I need your opinions . Thank You Fabienne
Posted: July 17, 2013 at 3:41 PM
Rhea A.
Patti, I know that pricing varies in different areas, but your pay would be considered very reasonable for this area. However, if you've been working for this family for a long period without a pay increase you may want to discuss that with them. Good people who help a family with housekeeping and childcare are not easy to find. You could discuss this with your employer. You now have a relationship with the family, and a working knowledge of their needs and preferences, which is very valuable in an employee. Best wishes to you!
Posted: July 17, 2013 at 10:19 AM
Photo of Carmen D.
Carmen D.
Hi my name is Carmen, I started doing housekeeping back in January 2013. I charge in the New York area $15- 20 an hour, to others probably they feel its not a lot. The way I look at it, I try to build a relationship with the client. For the first time cleaning, it's a deep cleaning. Or depends if it's an apartment or a home. If it's an apartment and depending how much there is to clean, it usually takes me 4 to 5 hours. If the client sees that I have done a great job, he/she texts me back to finish the other rooms. It all depends the condition of the home. I prefer to build clients first at the rate I give them. In New York the price range are higher demand.
Posted: July 15, 2013 at 5:25 PM
Carol L.
Depends on where you clean 25 to 30 and hour is way off on a lot
Posted: July 15, 2013 at 9:52 AM
need to know if im not getting paid enough!Im a mother or three grown kids with 6 grandkids, i have a husband and 2 dogs myself. i work 5 days a week, no week ends. i start my day by cleaning the kitchen. then i gather all the trash(on mon and thurs) i take trash to the road. then i gather all 2 adults and 3 girls dirty clothes and get started washing them. then i feed the 2 dogs.walk then so i dont have to clean up there mistakes. then i dust every in the whole house, its 3 story. i vaccum , mop.make beds( after everyone is up)
I love the family very much, at $15 an hour, 5 days a week without any health ins(that once was provided).dont seem worth it, but its a job. my summer hours are 10 to 3. school starts back it 8 to 3. at that time i drive kids to school, and pick them up(if they have app i take them there) sometimes not leaving at 3. i work to live , not live to work. just need to know if im not getting paid for the job ive been doing for years now.
Posted: July 15, 2013 at 7:14 AM
Fabienne P.
hi everyone, I own a small cleaning business I've done everything I could to advertise it ,like flyers, business card, mouth to mouth ,classified ads ,go local max.I don't know what else to do ,I am not giving up ,can someone give me some advise I would appreciate it . Thank You very much!
Fabienne from West Palm Beach.
Posted: July 12, 2013 at 12:53 AM
Professional house cleaners are independent contractors. Those individuals' hourly rates DO NOT COMPARE to a wage earner's hourly pay.

Perhaps, a cleaning company would pay an individual $12/hour for the work day. They clean a few houses per 8 hour day, they get breaks and downtime between jobs.

A professional house cleaner has expenses related to their business. They are a sole proprietor. For instance: transportation between house jobs, work clothing, self-employment taxes, social security contributions, health care, worker's compensation insurance. (House cleaning is physical labor.) Not to mention, cleaning supplies, necessary appliances, appliance maintenance, etc. if not provided on site. And, these expenses are all regular costs of doing business.
Posted: July 05, 2013 at 9:52 PM
Hi! Just found your website,actually by accident. Am so glad I found it.. lots
of cleaning tips and valuable information... Am meeting with potential employer who needs a housekeeper.. Spoke briefly by phone and meeting her in next couple days to discuss fees and references... She does have a large colonial 4BR,3Bath.,living room, dining room, kitchen, and basement (office). Wants to begin with a deep spring cleaning: then, biweekly cleanings. Also, has wood floors and marble countertops. Thought I should do spring cleaning as hourly to familiarize myself w/ house and her expectations. Then charge by job biweekly... ideas re: price range per job for house this size? Also, should this spring cleaning be by hour or by the room since don't know what to expect. I appreciate any suggestions... Thanks...
Posted: June 03, 2013 at 6:12 PM
Photo of Virginia R.
Virginia R.
My husband and I owned and opperated a cleaning service once, but because of the bad economical recession things went down the drain very badly, but now I am thinking to re-establish my buisness. I currentely work with some clients in the Winter Park area. It is very important to let the client know that the first innetial cleaning is expencive then if this is a by weekely or every week job then you set your own price range especially if the clients have pets. If i have to suppily my own cleaning product this might be very expensive as wel, it is less expensive if the clients buy,s their own cleaning product, every clients who needs their place to be properley cleaned, they should expect to pay, a four hour cleaning company cannot and I will peoudely say do the job that I will do, if clients needs theit homes to be properley cleaned, then they should expect to pay their house keeper because cost of living is very expensive.
Posted: June 02, 2013 at 8:53 AM
Photo of Pamela G.
Pamela G.
I am on medicare and live in a small town in Arkansas. I pay $12.00 an hour, provide all cleaning supplies and equipment. My condo is about 3,400 sq. ft. I usually have 3 bathrooms cleaned,2 bedrooms, a small kitchen, small dining room, and 2 bedrooms that are not used. They just use a swiffer to clean those 2 bedrooms. I do give bonuses, gifts on holidays and special occasions. That is a good rate for this area.
Posted: May 31, 2013 at 2:33 PM
Photo of Jodi P.
Jodi P.
I cleans homes and I get paid 25 an hour or by job...
Posted: May 27, 2013 at 9:59 PM
Photo of Roxanne J.
Roxanne J.
Yes I agree that clients need to pay more if cleaners have to have supply, and these homes are large and many bedrooms and bathrooms ,if we do upstairs one day and down stairs another day this will be fair to all, I believe cleaning a home is just as important to ones health as well as appearance to the invisible ,this kind of job is a task and it has many different kinds of areas to deal with. such as bedrooms living rooms bathroom mopping dusting swepting and dishes sometimes . I feel that cleaning homes condo apartment etc. take a very special person who is willing to put in hours and hard work should get paid for what they are doing and not by what people used to get years and years ago for doing so much for little pay.The cost of living has gone up gas has to and these new homes are getting bigger and bigger and the paid is still for some people is only $30 dollars a day or some time people tell me that they do not have enough money to pay cleaner to clean 3 bedroom and 3 bathroom house. and this is when I tell them I can not work for them until they want to pay a fair price.
Posted: May 23, 2013 at 2:16 PM
Photo of Fiqirete R.
Fiqirete R.
Thank you
Posted: May 18, 2013 at 10:34 PM
Mary Ellen B.
I think that the hourly rate is ridiculous for cleaning and the client does not provide the cleaning products. In today's market, they are very expensive and so are vacuums.
Posted: May 11, 2013 at 11:45 PM
Photo of Christina C.
Christina C.
I had a question I have a friend of mine she got a house of 3 bathroom n two bed rooms she wants
To have dusting done and polish all the furniture n mop n sweep all the floors
How much will I charge her for all that...
Posted: May 08, 2013 at 1:59 PM
Ma Cherry Residential Commercial Cleaning
I typical charge based on the size of the house and whether the client is supplying supplies or if I am. Also during my initial assessment the client and I discuss what areas are to be cleaned and I don't deviate from that assessment. I have a biweekly client where I charge $100 to vac, mop, disinfect counter area, clean two small bathrooms, a dining and family area. Then I have a client with a 3 bedroom home for which I do basic cleaning throughout. This particular client is weekly and very basic and I charge $125 per cleaning. I try to be reasonable and fair with my clients because they provide me with referrals that helps grow my business. I also do commercial cleaning as well and one client owns a restaurant which I clean and have now started cleaning his residence on a weekly basis...
Posted: April 29, 2013 at 10:46 PM
Photo of Louise M.
Louise M.
i charge by the house! usually the first time is the hardest( and i don't charge extra either,) i'm getting my routine down pat and getting to know the house! doing all the woodwork around the house, looking for cobwebs, i clean like i clean my own house! plus i like to stay local too. (so i go by that too)! charging for a houseclean goes by how many rooms you have throughout the house! i think i'm very fair!
Posted: April 29, 2013 at 5:49 AM
Photo of Susanne P.
Susanne P.
Another thing to consider is not drive time but in the Buffalo, NY are our gas is $4/gal and I only expect it to go up during summer travel season.

Here's a tip, supply and demand. If I was low on jobs I was more flexible with prices. So you might be able to pick up someone willing to do it for $15/hr. Post something at the college with what you want to pay. More than likely if you really pushed the envelope and low balled them, then you might be told there is a price increase and if you don't accept they aren't too worried. So you might be able to catch a deal til business picks up?
Posted: April 20, 2013 at 7:14 PM
Photo of Susanne P.
Susanne P.
I started cleaning in college and later opened my own Residential Cleaning Business. Back then in 1991-1999 I was making anywhere from $13-$25 hour. However I only cleaned the first time at an hourly rate to establish how long the job took and priced my jobs on a flat rate. The range in my prices varied according to things like I brought my own supplies/equipment, customer provided supplies/equipment, corporate housing cleaning service paid considerably more (650 sq ft furnished apartment w/gally kitchen, 1B/1B including changing bedding and laundering towels and bedding for $75).

I am now re-establishing my cleaning business since my unemployment ran out and I can't find work as a Director. Whatever it takes. Point being, if I made $15 hour in 1999, $20/$25 an hour in 2013 is not unreasonable. I have injured my back several times cleaning and we have to pay for our own health insurance at a much higher rate than when I was in Corp World.
Posted: April 20, 2013 at 6:57 PM
Hazira C.
@ Diane O it depends where you live...
@ Stacy I work for less than $25/hour, even $20 is ... I don't know
If someone live in area for about 10/18 miles far from me, I will came for $20/hour, but if that persons have kids, they need to know that I have kid too, and I drop her un school around 7:15, and pick her up in 2:45,so that means,
from 8 am till 1:45, and after 3 pm I am available, on weekends all day...
Even who live close to me, can pay less ...
Posted: April 07, 2013 at 11:40 PM
Photo of Alicia M.
Alicia M.
I have a small cleaning business that I have started a few months ago.But I have been cleaning for over 25 years.I will say that some of these prices that other cleaning services charge are the top.I am very if right on it.
Posted: April 06, 2013 at 6:36 PM
Maine Y.
@ Claudia in your opinion what would be a fair living wage for a Live in housekeeper working 8 hours a day... weekends off.... food & shelter provided...her duties would Range from not just cleaning the home but Home manager Cooking Cleaning and running errands
Posted: March 17, 2013 at 1:45 PM
Hello,I am a professional housekeeping and I believe you have to actualize this page and salaries or probably get in touch with real private agencies,I also think no one can make a decent living in the united states with those salaries!!!!!
Posted: February 21, 2013 at 10:10 AM
Stacy W.
I am not sure where is coming up with these numbers. I live in a rural/medium income area and I do not know of any housekeeper who will clean for less than $25/hour. I currently pay $200/month for biweekly cleaning of a 2900sqft house.
Posted: February 14, 2013 at 2:31 PM
Diane O.
i have 2 br 2 bath 1,200 square foot apartment. I need once a month house cleaning. I do not need any cleaning in either of the bedrooms and do not need laundry done. I need both bathrooms cleaned completely, including tubs, sinks, floors, tiles, and toilet, each bathroom is small/medium size. I need a full kitchen cleaning and mopping of the floor, our kitchen is medium size. I need stove and refrigerator cleaned inside & out as needed. I need vacuuming, dusting, Windex on windows and general tidying up of living room area.
I also prefer someone who brings their own cleaning products. I can provide my vacuum.

How much should i pay?
Posted: October 01, 2012 at 11:18 PM
Arthur C.
Having the King of Klean come in once a month is the biggest help for a working professional. He gets the biggest part of the work done and makes in between cleaning a breeze for me. He's a nice man and he listens!
Posted: April 14, 2012 at 11:08 AM
Leslie - Gals Dig It
I live in the country now, so I no longer have a housekeeper, but I can tell you that while I had one, it cut down on a lot of frustration with my family and freed me up to do the things I never got around to doing or ran myself into the ground trying to accomplish. A worthwhile investment.
Posted: December 12, 2011 at 2:30 PM
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