Base rate or charge more for a deep clean? It’s a fair question if you’re new to house cleaning. Deep cleaning takes far longer than a maintenance clean. And how much to charge depends on your ability to assess the job and your skills as a maid.
How to bid a deep clean is agreeing on the client’s priorities and then giving fair job estimates at a rate you both can live with. Prices for house cleaning vary as do the cleaning tasks a client is willing to pay for
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Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer. You can find this and 400 other answered questions in this series on our YouTube channel.
Should You Charge More for a Deep Clean
Base rate or should I charge more for a deep clean? There is a cleaner who is starting her own house cleaning business and she asks this question.
“I started my own cleaning business and I’m starting out at $25 an hour like you had mentioned, but I’m wondering how much the initial clean should cost. Should that cost a little bit extra per hour or should I start my base rate at $25 an hour?”
When we start people out in the house cleaning business, we usually start them out at $25 an hour. The reason is this. Across the US, the going rate for house cleaning is between 25 and $45 per person per hour.
Your Base Price Can Change
Now, what your price depends on is your skill. Are you insured and bonded, do you have training experience? Are you certified, do you have a team of people, do you use your own chemicals?
There are a whole bunch of different variables that determine where you are in that price scale. So we encourage people starting out in the business to start out at the bottom of this scale for this reason.
House Cleaning Base Pay Can be a Lot
For most people that are jumping into the house cleaning business that are doing this as a side job. $25 per hour might be the most amount of money they’ve ever made in their entire life.
And so to start from making $8 an hour to making $25 an hour, there’s actually a mental gap that says, “I’m not worthy of this money.”
So we want you to start out with success by starting out at $25 an hour, which is the highest amount of money it’s possible you’ve ever earned. So if that is the case, that is a great starting price because that is the going rate in America. So, that’s a great place to start.
Starting a Business Comes with Many Variables
The second thing is there are a lot of other variables that have to come along with starting a business.
For example, you need to learn how to bid for a job. There’s actually a process and a system and word tracks that you use when you get to a customer’s house.
There’s a certain level of things you need to know about the job. The surfaces, the chemicals, the cleaning stuff you’re going to need to use, the supplies. You need to know what it’s going to take to get this job done, how long it’s going to take to get this job done.
There’s a whole bunch of stuff that if you’re starting out, you don’t know yet. There’s no shame in not knowing, but you’re not going to be able to justify a higher price coming in.
Don’t Charge More for a Deep Clean
So, the question was do you start out at the $25 an hour for the base pay or do you charge more for a deep clean? So here’s the simple answer because there are so many variables that we’re going to assume you don’t know yet.
Without knowing all the variables, you’re going to charge the same price for the deep clean that you are the regular maintenance clean.
Your First Deep Clean Will Take You Longer
Here’s the caveat. It’s going to take you longer. So let’s say that a regular clean based on everything that you have decided will take you three hours for a regular house.
So for that regular house, you’re going to go in for the first time. It might take you six or eight or nine hours to do that deep clean. And what you might say is the first three cleanings are going to be a deep clean.
So instead of cleaning your entire house, what I’m going to do is I’m going to focus on the kitchen the first time I come. Next time I’m going to focus on all the middle rooms.
It’s going to be the living room and the entryway. Then it’s going to be the stairway and the hallways. It’s going to be dusting all the six-panel doors. It’s going to be cleaning out the closets and all those things. And I say cleaning out the closets, meaning vacuuming them. I don’t mean organizing them.
There are Different Ways to Break Up a Deep Cleaning
So there are different ways you can divide and conquer the home. Or you might say on the first cleaning, I will do part of the kitchen and I will do regular maintenance clean on the rest of the house.
And you might break it up over several cleanings so that each time you come you do a deep clean on a room. And so it’s going to be the same exact price because you only have a certain amount of time. Nobody expects you to come in for eight hours and spend a full eight hours cleaning their house one time. That’s kind of crazy.
And so, you might do four hours and then four hours the next time. Then you get them on a regular schedule at a regular price, but it’s still going to be your $25 an hour because you don’t know how long it’s going to take.
Startup Cleaners Don’t Know What is Involved
And that’s the big concern that we have with startup house cleaners is they don’t know exactly what’s involved. And so they get in the middle of a kitchen and it’s going to take them 15 hours to clean a kitchen that hasn’t been cleaned in a couple of years.
And they have no idea because they don’t know what they’re looking for. And so if you walk in and you’ve been doing this for years, you’re going to walk in and say, “All right, here’s the deal. Here’s how much we’re going to charge for the kitchen,” or, “here’s how much it’s going to charge for the whole house.” A
and you can start bidding by the house, but we’re not there yet.
Charge Base Pay But Give Yourself Extra Time for a Deep Clean
So, my recommendation is still charging the $25, but give yourself a lot more time to get through the deep cleaning. And like I said, break it up into several cleanings so that the homeowners are not surprised.
Because if you come in and you clean a kitchen that hasn’t been cleaned in a couple of years. Then they can’t expect that you’re going to clean the whole entire house during that same three or four-hour window.
Because right now you don’t have that skillset yet. And that comes with experience and systems. And so you’re going to charge the same price, but it’s going to take you a lot longer to do.
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