How clean is your house? Room to room, which is the cleanest? Where is all the dirt? Houses get dirty over time no matter where you live. Dust accumulates, carpet compacts, scuffs and skids appear on tiles, little marks can stain walls, tiny spills cause stains, hidden food causes smells; there’s no limit to what can make a house dirty, but there is a limit to how long you can spend cleaning it.
Cleaning a house is part of keeping a house. Many people didn’t realize just how much dirt can accumulated passively and naturally until they were forced to stay home during quarantine. That was a wake up call for many, and a lot of people may be realizing that they, alone, don’t have the power to keep everything clean and orderly. And they may have tried only to be faced with the reality of how complicated a clean house is to maintain.
Thankfully, with restrictions receding for now, there are opportunities for many to turn to professional services once again. Cleaning takes a range of skills, physical prowess and attention to detail that is mastered naturally over a long time. If it was easy to keep a house clean then professional cleaners wouldn’t exist. But they do, and they’re here to help.
Professional vs Amateur Cleaning
It’s easy, right? Just wet a paper towel and wipe it on stuff until it’s the right color. That’s what most people consider cleaning to be, a simple chore that’s tedious at best and useless at worst because not all stains can come out with hard work and a bit of moisture. Once a regular person is faced with a real problem, with a ground in stain or dirt-stained carpet, they may try to solve it using whatever methods come to mind. Vacuuming over a spot over and over that remains dirty just means the spot was meant to be dirty. If it can’t scrub out then it settles.
Cleaning is a chore, but a useful one to do. The cleaner a home is, the less distractions there are. You wouldn’t be at that stain on the carpet if it didn’t bother you. A clean house provides a calm state of mind throughout the day. A distraction-less space in general does that, which is where organization can also be useful. So can a regular homeowner do all of that? Yes. And it will take all day. The main exchange someone goes through when it comes to cleaning is time.
Having cleaning supplies at home is useful, if you know which ones to use and where. Dish soap is not the same as carpet cleaner, or wall cleaner, or upholstery cleaner. Not all soaps do the same thing. There’s a reason other cleaning materials exist, it’s because they work in a way the generic or undefined stuff doesn’t. Learning the difference is time out of a busy person’s day and eventually the costs saved by having a full complement of cleaners for every occasion will not pay off in continuous use.
Professionals have everything they need and know what it all does. With modern day scheduling, you can even explain the exact nature of the cleaning required and the cleaners will prepare the necessary materials without bringing extra baggage or spending extra time. Hiring a professional cleaner saves time and creates a calming, distraction-free home. And they can do that every week, two weeks, every few days or once in a long while. It’ll all get dirty again later, which is why it’s so important to keep up to the task.
Another group to consider are independent contractors, or gig economy cleaners who are self-employed, self-funded and self-motivated. If someone has made their own business as a cleaner you can know two things about them up front: they enjoy what they’re doing enough to commit to it as a job and they will be willing to work with you. Professional services and company cleaners have more than just their job to consider when working. There are insurance forms, conditions, rules and regulations. Independent contractors have to take care of everything themselves including safety. They will certainly be cheaper, usually around $20 to $40 an hour. Even if they’re great, they’re independent. The pros will charge $30 to $60 an hour, but they have experience to back them up.
The Cost Factors
Every home is a little bit different. Even prefabricated homes will have different layouts for furniture and more importantly different levels of dirt. If a homeowner looks at the whole of their house and tries to consider how much it would cost for them to do it they’ll get a mix of answers. The real answer can be found in a few simple ways.
First, there’s size. This one is pretty basic. The number of rooms and square footage of each should be available somehow. Even if a homeowner doesn’t have the schematics, room sizes can be broken down into more vague estimates based on the type of room they are. A living room is usually bigger than a bedroom for example. The estimate based on square footage comes to about $150 for every 1,000 square feet.
Second is the condition. A house that needs cleaning after months of neglect will take a lot more power and commitment, maybe even multiple days, to clean than a house that is currently occupied, has minimal occupants and is routinely spot-cleaned for major messes only. Incredibly messy or dirty homes will take more product to go through which will be considered in the cost, as well as specialty services that may have flat rates attached. Expect to see steady climb in prices when getting a quote for an old, dirty home.
Third is the background. This is related to who currently uses the house and the condition they leave it in. Kids and pets are messy, and having them in a home is wonderful and joyful until they have an accident and stain the carpet. There are also potential allergen concerns with pet dander as well as a need for special cleaning products that won’t provoke a negative reaction in them. This is usually a flat increase based on guidelines.
Fourth is the type of cleaning requested. These can vary based on the above factors. There can be a generally clean home that just needs a routine touchup with many kids and dogs and visitors, and there can be a thoroughly messy studio owned by someone who needs serious help. Either way, the deeper the clean the higher the average. Going from a standard clean to a deep, hard-stain-removal clean can jump the price up by $50 or more.
Additionally there are different occupational cleaning services that assist with move-in and move-out services for apartments or real estate sales. When an apartment or lot goes on the market it needs to be made as good as new, like the previous occupant was never even there. Every trace of them from the ceiling to the carpets has to be wiped away or the new owner will start noticing the problems that they’ll have to pay for. To avoid that, estate cleaning is usually a much deeper clean, but is also easier because there’s no one to work around and no furniture to manage.
A rarer type of cleaning with a lot more work and expertise involved is Post-Construction and Post-Renovation cleaning. These involve cleaning up all the debris and dust that gets created during construction projects, like extensions on houses or rebuilding new commercial spaces. Homeowners that take on their own home improvement projects can make use of these services, but they are far more costly and not as available. It can be between $350 and $750 for renovation cleanup.
The last cost factor is frequency. Many professional cleaners function as a sort of subscription, because everything gets dirty with time. Their services will offer discounts based on increased frequency, some even going up to 20% for customers who have their cleaners come in one a week. This is especially helpful for the very big homes and for the people that can afford them. Bigger homes means more places for dirt to gather. Customers can make a schedule that works best for them so the most amount of dirt gets cleaned in the most efficient amount of time.
What is the default type work a cleaning service will provide? Where is their focus when there are no specific instructions? If a maid comes in to clean a house, and there aren’t any obvious stains, will she still clean? Yes, of course they will. Vacuuming, wiping windows, wiping dust and reflective surfaces down to shine again are the basics of cleaning. But that’s not all that can happen. There’s just as many kinds of dirt as there are places inside a house. Professional cleaners will know how to tackle all of them. So if there is one specific thing that needs cleaning, check to see if they will offer that kind of service before bringing them in.
The kitchen is a special place in the home. It’s where all the food is cooked, and where all the mess is kept after the cooking is done. Professional cleaners will either do what they can on sight or will offer extra work targeting specific areas of the house. In the kitchen they can clean a bad smell out of a refrigerator, and organize it while they’re there. They can clean inside an oven to get rid of the charcoal smelling droplets of food and grease splashes along the range. They can even clean the dishes, bright as new.
If laundry is a problem, professional cleaners can offer that service too. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a washer and dryer indoors, and they may not have time to use a laundromat. With advanced notice, professional cleaners can take a load of laundry, mixed or ordered, and bring it back within at most a day, cleaned and dried and ready to wear again. For more extreme articles like mud-caked sports jerseys or reusable diapers….yes, they will still do it, but expect the cost to be more than a few quarters.
Cleaning doesn’t just occur along horizontal surfaces. A house is three dimensions. It’s width is flat but its height is vertical. Walls can carry unseen or hard to notice filth because we don’t usually use them to store things. But a dirty wall can be just as distracting as a stained carpet. What’s even more distracting is a dirty window. All it takes is a fingertip to turn a window from crystal clear to instantly dirty. Professional cleaners can take care of windows from the inside and outside. Even second story or higher windows – for a moderate price – can be made like new.
All of these extras range from $15 to $50 on average but can vary from company to company.
Time to Clean
Even if you’re working from home you know that most of your time of the day can either be spent relaxing when the job is over, or working on improving your home image bit by bit. It is a tough decision. Cleaning is not the most relaxing thing to do. It takes effort, it can be considered exercise, there’s no real beneficial way to stand or move that won’t make you sore. Cleaning is a profession, and if you’re good enough at it you may as well not do it for free. Or, if you want your time to be better spent on things you care about.
You can see an example of how quoting works here: https://nwmaids.com/booking
Going by simple bedroom/bathroom they offer fully adjustable extras and scheduling options. Take a look and you’re likely to find at least one professional cleaning service that can reach your area. Or you can contact an independent contractor to work with you and use the professionals’ pricing to negotiate a fair rate of pay for the services you request.
It takes Time to Clean, so Clean up your Time by bringing someone in to do the cleaning for you, while you save your time for something else.
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