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Is a Cleaning Business Profitable?

April 17, 2024 9 min. read
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Do you have an entrepreneurial spirit? Do you enjoy performing work that makes a difference in the lives of others? If so, launching your own cleaning business could be a great option.

The good news is that starting your own cleaning company can be very profitable. In fact, data from ZipRecruiter shows that the national income for cleaning business owners is more than $120,000 annually

In this guide, we’ll explore the benefits of starting a profitable cleaning business from scratch. You’ll also get an idea of profit potential in both residential and commercial cleaning businesses.

How much money can a house cleaner make?

In the United States, the median hourly rate for a house cleaner is $16.08. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the highest earning house cleaners make $45,680 annually. Salary ranges vary by state and by years of experience. 

Many cleaners have the potential to earn higher than the average hourly rate, especially when they own their own businesses and complete more than one job per day.

The average cleaning business income is just under $56,000 (USD) per year for a one-person company. That amount can vary depending on:

  • Whether you provide residential cleaning, commercial, or industrial cleaning services
  • How much you charge for your services and what your profit margins look like
  • If you’re working on your own or employing other people on your team
  • If you offer specialty services, like green cleaning or carpet cleaning

Revenue vs. profit—what do you actually bring home?

Revenue is the total money a customer pays you for completing the cleaning service. While profit is what your business actually gets to keep after subtracting expenses, such as:

How much revenue does a cleaning company make?

The total amount of revenue you make in your cleaning company depends on several factors, including:

  • The amount of money you charge clients per job, or per service
  • How many jobs you’re comfortable booking per day, or within a week
  • How many new and existing clients you have on your books
  • How quickly you’re able to generate new leads and business

If you’re charging $220 to clean a house, that’s your revenue amount for a single job. If you complete four more similar jobs in a week’s time, you’ll earn $1,100 in revenue per week.

“I actually didn’t know I could make so much money cleaning. I made over a thousand dollars in one day. That was amazing. I was doing cartwheels.

Clover Hubbard Love Green Clean

How much profit does a cleaning company make?

As the business owner, your take-home pay or profit comes after other expenses and labor are covered. National data from ZipRecruiter shows that cleaning business owner’s salary can range from $25,000 to over $120,000 a year.

Starting a cleaning business is inexpensive and you can easily have clients within hours of launching.

It’s also fantastic for cash flow because you get paid at each cleaning or even in advance of the appointments.

Katie Pearse Glisten Academy

How much can residential cleaning companies make?

The amount of money your residential cleaning company makes will depend on how much you charge customers (your revenue) and how much you take home at the end of the day (your profit). 

With that in mind, let’s look at a few profit scenarios to help you visualize the possibilities.

  • If you clean five homes each week for one calendar year, charging a flat rate of $120–150 per home, your residential cleaning business could earn $31,200–39,000 a year. This total is before you factor in taxes, insurance, and other expenses.
  • When you book two cleaning jobs per day at a rate of $175 per home, your residential cleaning business could earn $1,750 per week. If you work (or have employees work) every week of the year, that raises your revenue total to $91,000 annually. 

That total can increase when you charge by the hour at a higher pay rate. You might also offer special services or add-ons, fit more jobs into a day, or add more house cleaners to your team. 

Plus, as you gain experience and perform premium work, you can charge more for your cleaning services.

READ MORE: How much to charge for house cleaning: prices, rates, and examples

How much do commercial cleaning companies make?

In general, commercial cleaning companies have the potential to make a bit more income than residential cleaners. That’s because the jobs are often larger and more labor intensive.

The total income potential depends on your set rate and how many commercial contracts you sign. Commercial cleaning prices are often based on square footage, with 11¢ per square foot being the average rate.

For example, cleaning a 10,000-square-foot facility (at 11¢ per square foot) could earn $1,100 per visit for your commercial cleaning business.

Pro Tip: Use commercial cleaning software to manage your business income and expenses in one place. You’ll free up time to grow your business and earn even more money.

GET STARTED: Check out our free commercial cleaning resources

Should I start a cleaning business? 5 reasons to go for it

It’s always smart to do your research when starting any new business. But having the courage to begin is the only way to achieve your biggest dreams. Cleaning companies are a great business venture for many reasons.

1. Startup costs are low

If you’re wondering how to start a cleaning business with no money, you’re in luck. Getting your new cleaning company started is usually straightforward and inexpensive.

If you start from home and use your personal vehicle, startup costs will be minimal. You just need to create a basic business plan, purchase a few cleaning supplies, and bring a positive work ethic.

I started my cleaning business because I was tired of putting up with jobs that didn’t care about me.

It seemed like a fairly easy market to get into with many avenues and plenty of money to be made. It is hard just like anything else in life but I can see so much potential.

Alicia Nicole Oconnell Publicly Clean LLC

You can then reach potential customers in person, on social media like Facebook and Instagram, through Google ads, or on websites like Craigslist and Angi.

READ MORE: Get clients for your cleaning business

You also don’t need any education or previous experience. That said, the proper training can help you offer a “white glove” experience and run your business more effectively.

When you work to build strong client relationships, you’ll keep those clients happy. This recurring work gives you time to iron out your processes and bring on more opportunities.

I started Revive Washing to create freedom and impact by washing homes locally to help bring clean water globally.

I’d recommend starting a cleaning business if you are prepared to work super hard and want to be rewarded from your hard work.

David Moerman Revive Washing

2. You can be your own boss

You can start your cleaning business with just one person—you! You get to run the day-to-day on your own terms and make the decisions that move your business forward.

Here are just a few of the choices you’ll oversee:

I needed a change that met the needs of our growing family. Now, I couldn’t be happier with the move.

I would recommend it for anyone looking for that bit of freedom—but only if you’re a self starter and motivated. It’s hard work, every day!

Paula Schneider Cornell Paula’s Housekeeping

If you want to grow your small business, you can scale up and start hiring cleaners. You should also plan on training cleaners to follow your existing processes and quality standards.

As your business grows, you can decide if you still want to be out in the field, or if you’d rather run operations from an office or home base. Your business can be as big or small as you want it to be, and the same is true for your profits.

It was challenging at the beginning but you learn as you grow.

I have grown into a company with well over 100 recurring residential clients and some office accounts and have a superb GM who handles a lot of the day to day.

Karen Conchie The Cleaning Ladies

3. Set your own quality standards

If you’ve had past experience with local cleaning businesses, you might have been frustrated by the poor service you received—or maybe you were inspired to reach the same high level.

Running your own cleaning business allows you to set your own standards for service. Identify gaps where your competitors don’t quite get it right, and focus on those areas first.

When you use cleaning business software, you can offer an even better experience for your clients. This choice also saves you time every day, since you’ll eliminate plenty of manual paperwork.

I love that feeling when you stand at the door and you look back and think, Man, I worked hard. This house looks amazing. Some happy customers will come home tonight and can enjoy their evening.’

Judith Virag Clean Club Calgary

4. High demand for cleaning services

Cleaning is a job that will always be needed. As long as we have homes, offices, and other buildings where we spend our time, there will always be a demand for cleaners.

Many people will always be willing to pay someone else to clean for them—even when the economy is unpredictable, or the homeowner has to cut costs in other areas.

Although you might be entering a competitive market, there’s room for you, too. Don’t get too intimidated before you even begin. Carve out your ideal market, and start booking new jobs.

READ MORE: How to promote your cleaning business

For years, professional cleaning companies have misunderstood the trade and skill of professional cleaning as a ‘luxury service.’

Cleaning is not a luxury—cleaning is a necessity and an essential service.

Kevin and Grace Reynolds American House Cleaners Association

5. Do work that makes a difference

A cleaning business gives you meaningful work and transforms the lives of your clients. By providing an essential service, you’ll give clients back their time and reduce the number of tasks they worry about.

But your cleaning services don’t simply benefit your clients—they can actually benefit your community, too.

When you generate work for yourself (and perhaps several other team members), you’re redistributing money back into the community where you all live. At the end of the day, this can generate more opportunities for everyone.

I started my cleaning business to grow beyond what I could do working for someone else.

I have big ideas and dreams to create a great workplace where my team can help make lives better for our clients and people in our community.

Jeannie Homrich Henderson Jeannie Cleaning

Tips to increase your cleaning business profit

Whether you’ve been in business for a while or want to prepare before you launch, it’s always helpful to think ahead. 

There are a few sure-fire ways to improve your profit margin at any point in your business:

  • As a business owner, you can decide to increase prices for services. Prepare your customers with a price increase letter to alleviate concerns.
  • Offer higher-tier, premium cleaning services. You can upsell clients with add-ons like carpet cleaning or green cleaning services).
  • To maximize profits, take steps to reduce overhead costs and become more efficient with the supplies and resources you use regularly.
  • Use house cleaning checklists to keep track of work hours and requirements per job. Plus, get more repeatable business with predictable systems.
  • Test new marketing methods to promote your cleaning business so you can reach more of your ideal clients. Use special sign-on discounts to incentivize more contracts.

Owning a cleaning business can be incredibly rewarding. When it comes to the money you earn, the relationships you form, and the lives you change—you’re truly in the driver’s seat. With a little preparation and experience, get ready to watch your profit grow.

Originally published June 2016. Last updated on April 17th, 2024.

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