How much do you spend annually on cleaning supplies? How much can a cleaning business owner expect to spend in a year on cleaning chemicals?
The answer depends on the cleaning products you use and the number of houses you clean. Are you buying concentrates or ready to use products?
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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.
How Much Do You Spend Annually on Cleaning Supplies?
How much do you spend annually on cleaning supplies? This is a trick question because it depends on what size of houses you’re cleaning. It depends on how many chemicals you’re using and what kinds of personal protective equipment you’re using.
So, it comes down to, you have to keep good records. QuickBooks online is ideal because it’s going to allow you to keep track of what you buy so that you then can figure out your pricing.
Don’t Buy Supplies When You Buy Groceries
So first, when you go to the store, lots of start-up house cleaners do this and they make a mistake. They go to Walmart on their way home from work and they run in and they go, “Oh, I’m out of some supplies.”
So, they hurry and they throw a few supplies in with their groceries. Then when they go check out, it’s all lumped together in one great big bundle and it came out of whatever money they paid. So, we don’t know, did they buy Windex? Did they buy some furniture polish? Did they buy a mop head? A scrub brush? We have no idea.
So, do this. Make two purchases. One for your groceries and your household and the other one for your business. Because you’re going to start tracking all your business expenses so that you then can figure out how much it costs on an annual basis.
Figure Out How You Spend and How to Stretch That Out
Now, in the average household, it’s usually the mom that runs the household. Not the cleaning business owner, but the average household, spends $180 a year on their own cleaning supplies. Even if they have a professional house cleaner. That’s just the average household. So, you have to figure out how much you’re spending and how far you can stretch that.
So first, ask yourself what are you using? Now when you go to customers’ houses, you wear personal protective equipment. One of them is your gloves. Now a box of gloves has a hundred gloves in it. That’s 50 sets, one for each hand and it averages about $10. Now, this is not during the COVID-19. They’re all super expensive, but on average pricing, it’s about $10 a box.
So how many gloves are you going to use? Well, are your customers weekly or biweekly. You got to ask the question. If it’s a biweekly customer, you’re going to go back to that customer’s house for 26 visits in one year. So, 26 visits in a year. So you have to ask yourself how many gloves are you going to use in one year?
You Need Multiple Sets of Gloves Per House Per Visit
Now at Savvy Cleaner, we use three sets of gloves per house, per visit. So, there’s one set for the kitchen. There’s one set for the bathrooms and there’s one set for the common areas. So that is three sets of gloves to prevent cross-contamination and that is on average at 26 houses, 26 visits per year, that is going to be 78 sets of gloves.
Now 78 sets of gloves divided by two, which is going to be roughly 150, which is going to be a box and a half of gloves. Every house gets a box and a half of gloves per year. At $10 a box, that’s $15 a year per house. Per house, $15 a year, for gloves. That’s not including any other cleaning supplies.
Now, if we have 30 accounts, you have to do this, figure out how many accounts you have. If you have 30 accounts, times 1.5 boxes. Then that’s going to be 45 boxes a year that your company is going to buy. At $10 a box, that’s roughly $450 bucks a year you’re going to spend on gloves alone.
How Much Do You Spend on a Swiffer Duster Annually
Then you have to look at something like the Swiffer duster. Swiffer dusters are great because it prevents cross-contamination. When you get to a customer’s house, you use it on the entire house, cleaning the cleanest areas first and the dirtiest areas last.
When you’re done, you dispose of the head. These are not cheap, and you can buy them in a box. You can buy them at Walmart or you can buy them on Amazon. It’s about 11 in a box and they’re like 14 bucks. So, on average, they’re about $1.35 to $1.40 per head. You’re not going to pay for that out of your pocket. You’re going to build that into the cost of your cleaning.
So, if you are using a $1.35 per 26 visits, for the Swiffer dusters alone. So, we have 26 visits at $1.35. That’s going to be $35 a year, for the Swiffer duster heads for one customer. Now, if you multiply that by the 30 houses that we have, that’s $1,053 just for Swiffer duster heads. You’re going to spend a thousand dollars this year, just on the Swiffer duster heads.
Start By Asking What Supplies are You Using
So, you have to start asking yourself what cleaning supplies are you using, and are you using concentrates? Now you can go cheap. You can go to the dollar store and you can buy. It’s 16 ounces and it costs a dollar. But how much of this do you use at a customer’s home and are you using this much at a customer’s home?
Or are you using 32 ounces of something at a customer’s home? The reason you need to ask is that at a dollar apiece, that seems like that’s super cheap because other products that you buy in the market are three to $5 apiece. There are lots of house cleaners that will spend their entire career buying their cleaning supplies from supermarkets.
But you can buy a gallon of cleaning supplies. This is $17 and makes 32 gallons of disinfectant. So, what you’re talking about is around 13 cents per container, and you can dilute this into 32 gallons. So, we can pay it for a dollar at the dollar store, or we can do 13 cents by buying the concentrates and diluting them.
Think About How You’re Going to Run Your Business
So how are you going to run your business? Also start thinking about the supplies that you’re using. Are there supplies that will cross over so that you can use one bottle of spray instead of two? Because there are lots of house cleaners that are carrying 10, 12, 14 bottles of cleaning supplies to a customer’s house. When you might only need four or five on average.
So, what are you doing and how is your business set up? Fortunately, there is an easy answer but it depends on how many houses you have. It depends on the types of chemicals that you’re using. Are you using concentrates or are you using ready-to-use products? What kind of supplies are you providing? What are the parameters and how has your business set up?
So, it’s important you to start tracking every single business expense, because until you actually know what you are spending, you cannot break it down on a per house level. Then as you scale and you grow your business, now you have to start figuring out and calculating those costs. So, figure out what your costs are, and how much you can save and where you can cut back. Also, where you can build in the costs so that it’s part of the job and it’s not coming out of your grocery budget.
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