Is House Cleaning Expensive?

For many people the idea of hiring a house cleaner seems like one of the ultimate luxuries in life. Paying someone to come to your home and keep it tidy for you while giving you the opportunity to just relax and be stress-free. It brings to mind images of old TV shows like The Brady Bunch with housekeepers helping out with the day to day tasks.

Modern-day house cleaning isn’t so much like the idealized version you see on TV shows where the families all have larger-than-average incomes and plenty of leisure time. So if it’s not just for idealized families on TV, just how expensive is house cleaning anyway?

To properly answer the question, you really have to delve into just what you expect from someone who comes to clean your home, not to mention what you feel like your own time is worth. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of your options when it comes to house cleaning services and some of the rates that you can expect to pay for them.

Basic House Cleaning Services

There are no hard-and-fast rules for exactly what home cleaning entails. It could be different from one house cleaning service to the next. That said, when you go looking for a house cleaning service there is a general understanding of what any cleaner is going to do at the very least when they come to your home. So, even though you should make sure you clearly understand what they’re going to do before agreeing to hire anyone to clean your home, in general you can expect the following services when you hire a home cleaner:

This kind of general cleaning can average around $100 to $150 for a single-family home. It’s a bit tough to put a precise price on the level of service however because there are a number of factors to take into account.

For instance, if you have a larger home and you have two bathrooms that need to be cleaned, that will affect the price. Also, the house cleaner that you end up hiring will charge you more or less depending on the way they conduct their business.

When you use a service like Angie’s List or Taskrabbit, for instance, you may find a house cleaner in your area who is willing to work for $15 per hour. An average, basic house clean may take 2 hours so this whole job could just cost you $30.

It’s more than likely that your house cleaner will have an hourly rate in the neighborhood of $30 to $40 per hour, depending on where you live. So that would mean you’re spending around $60 to $80 for a basic home cleaning. But there are some cleaners who charge as much as $80 to $100 per hour. So, it really depends on what your budget is and who you choose to hire.

In-Depth House Cleaning Services

As you might imagine, an in-depth cleaning is going to cost more than a basic cleaning. In-depth cleaning, sometimes referred to as deep cleaning, will probably run you closer to $200 to $400 (again this depends on rates in your area). Keep in mind this is not the sort of cleaning you would have a house cleaner do on a weekly basis. Typically a deep cleaning is more the sort of thing you would pay a house cleaner to do the very first time they come to your home, or if you’re about to move out and want to get the place cleaned before you go. Some homeowners choose to do a really deep cleaning if they’re planning on hosting a big party with lots of guests coming over, or when family is coming to visit for the holidays.

Deep cleaning is a good way to establish a foundation if you’re hiring a cleaner for regular visits so that they can create a level of cleanliness in your home and then maintain it on subsequent visits with just the basic cleaning.
When you pay for a deep cleaning, you’re going to get all of the basic cleaning done plus you can expect much of the following as well:

Scheduling Your House Cleaning

Part of determining whether or not house cleaning is a service that’s right for you is determining what kind of schedule you might require for house cleaning. As we’ve seen, the average for a basic house cleaning can range from $100 to $150. But if you want your home cleaned once per week, that could potentially become a pricey endeavour. That would be nearly $600 per month at the high end of things.

Most house cleaners are more than happy to work with you on arranging a cleaning schedule that works for both of you. Cleaning can often be broken down as a weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly service.

If you opt for a bi-weekly cleaning and you find a cleaner who works for perhaps $30 an hour, then you’re only looking at maybe $120 every month which is certainly more manageable. And you could still find house cleaners who charge a lower hourly rate as well, plus you could switch to a monthly cleaning schedule to further work within your budget if need be.

House cleaning doesn’t need to be strictly a luxury service. And there are other considerations that you need to keep in mind as well.

Added Value

So far, we’ve only discussed the actual service a housecleaner will provide and some of the average numbers for what those services cost. But there is more to the value of house cleaning than simply these two factors. For instance, what is the value of your own time?

You may hear the term lost opportunity cost in relation to house cleaning. This refers not to what house cleaning costs in terms of dollars and cents, but in terms of what you could have been doing instead of cleaning your home.

Part of the value in hiring a house cleaner is that you free up those hours to do other things with your time. Whether that’s actually work that earns you money, or whether it’s just reading a book, that time has value to you and you could put a dollar amount on that value if you wanted to. So, while a house cleaner may charge you $30 an hour to clean your home, if you’re finding more value in the time you get free then house cleaning really can’t be considered all that expensive. In fact, it may make better financial sense for you to hire a house cleaner than to do the cleaning yourself.

Additionally, there is some material cost you can consider when it comes to house cleaning. When you handle your own cleaning, you need to have supplies on hand to do that job. That means you’re going to need to head to the store and pick up things like bleach, glass cleaner, disinfectant, sponges, paper towels and so on. That is not always the case with a house cleaner.

Although this is not true of every house cleaner, many cleaning services will be able to bring their own supplies with them. Depending on the schedule that you work out with your cleaner that could mean you won’t need to worry about having any of those products on hand in your own home. That means you’re saving money because you don’t have to invest in purchasing these on a regular basis to manage the cleaning in your home.

Taken all together, when you factor in the money you can save by not having to buy cleaning supplies, the value of the time you free up by not having to clean the house yourself, and the fee that a cleaner will charge you to get the job done, a house cleaner could end up saving you money in the long run.

The Bottom Line

On paper it may seem like getting your house professionally cleaned is too expensive. With the flexibility that many different house cleaning services will provide in terms of rates that they charge, when they’re able to clean your home, and supplies they’re able to bring with them, you may be surprised to find out that house cleaning can be extremely affordable.

You can free up your time, not have to stress about how your home is going to get cleaned, and focus on doing what you want to do with those few hours every week or two. That definitely makes hiring a home cleaner worth it.