How to Make Money as a House Cleaner

By Ibrahim Okunade

Published:

Side Hustles

Ibrahim Okunade

Ibrahim Okunade

Writer & Career Coach

Are you a person who enjoys keeping spaces spotless, finding satisfaction in the gleam of a freshly cleaned surface? Do you often receive compliments on your cleaning skills and attention to detail? If so, then you might be sitting on a golden opportunity to turn your knack for tidiness into a lucrative side hustle. You can clean houses for money, and we are here to show you how.


How to Start Cleaning Houses for Money


Whether you’re looking to boost your income or seeking a flexible way to earn money on your own terms, the cleaning side hustle offers several possibilities. First, let’s run through the skills and requirements for success.

Skills and Requirements

Skills

  • Attention to Detail: Cleaning houses for money often involves intricate tasks, such as dusting small nooks and crannies or removing stubborn stains. A keen eye for detail is essential to ensure a thorough and spotless job.
  • Physical Stamina: Cleaning houses for money can be physically demanding, involving bending, lifting, and standing for extended periods. Maintaining good physical health and stamina is essential to tackle various cleaning tasks.
  • Time Management and Organizational Skills: Efficiently managing your time is crucial, especially if you’re cleaning multiple houses in a day. Create a schedule that allows you to complete tasks within the allocated time frame. Keeping track of cleaning supplies, schedules, and client preferences requires good organizational skills.
  • Safety Awareness: Familiarize yourself with different cleaning products, their uses, and any potential safety concerns. Knowing which products to use for specific surfaces or stains is vital. Prioritize safety for both yourself and your clients. Be aware of potential hazards and follow safety protocols when handling cleaning chemicals and equipment.
  • Effective Communication: Clear communication with clients is essential to understand their expectations, preferences, and any specific requirements. It also helps in addressing concerns or issues professionally. In addition, excellent communication is the foundation of good customer service.
  • Trustworthiness: As you’ll be entering clients’ homes and personal spaces, trustworthiness, and reliability are non-negotiable qualities. Building trust with your clients can lead to repeat business and referrals.
  • Flexibility: Be prepared for a flexible schedule, as clients may request cleaning services on different days and times. Adaptability is key to accommodating their needs.
  • Self-Promotion: To attract clients, you’ll need some marketing skills. This includes creating a professional online presence, advertising your services, and networking within your community.

Equipment

While you may want to start small and expand as time goes on, here is a comprehensive list of equipment you need. You can get the most essential ones first till you are fully stacked.

Cleaning Supplies

  • All-Purpose Cleaner
  • Glass Cleaner
  • Disinfectant
  • Bathroom Cleaner
  • Floor Cleaner
  • Oven Cleaner (if offering deep cleaning services)
  • Stainless Steel Cleaner (if needed)
  • Wood or Furniture Polish (if needed)

Cleaning Tools

  • Microfiber Cloths
  • Sponges and Scrub Brushes
  • Mop and Bucket
  • Broom and Dustpan
  • Vacuum Cleaner with Attachments (for carpets, upholstery, and hard floors)
  • Dusting Tools (feather duster, microfiber duster, or dusting wand)
  • Window Squeegee (for streak-free glass cleaning)
  • Trash Bags and Liners

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Disposable Gloves
  • Face Mask (if necessary)
  • Safety Goggles (for handling chemicals)

Cleaning Accessories

  • Cleaning Caddy or Bucket with Compartments (to carry supplies)
  • Extension Cords (for vacuuming or using electric cleaning tools)
  • Spray Bottles (for mixing and dispensing cleaning solutions)
  • Plastic or Silicone Spatula (for scraping off stubborn dirt or spills)

Equipment for Specialized Cleaning Services

  • Carpet Cleaner or Steam Cleaner (for carpet cleaning services)
  • Pressure Washer (for exterior cleaning)
  • Grout Brush (for tile and grout cleaning)
  • Upholstery Cleaner (if offering upholstery cleaning)
  • Commercial Floor Buffer (for large floor cleaning projects)

Transportation

  • Depending on the size of your equipment and the distance between cleaning jobs, you may need reliable transportation, such as a car or van, to carry your supplies and equipment.

Cleaning Apron or Uniform

  • Wearing a cleaning apron or a uniform can give a professional appearance and keep your clothes clean.

Business Supplies

  • Receipt Book or Invoicing Software
  • Business Cards
  • Cleaning Service Agreements or Contracts (if needed)
  • Appointment Book or Scheduling Software
  • Cleaning Checklists (for consistency)

License

Starting a cleaning business requires compliance with specific licensing requirements. Two primary licenses to consider are the vendor’s license and the Doing Business As (DBA) license. A vendor’s license, akin to a basic business license, enables you to operate legally while allowing you to collect sales tax on cleaning supplies if mandated by your state. If you charge clients separately for cleaning products, this license ensures you adhere to tax regulations.

A DBA license becomes essential if your cleaning business operates under a name different from your legal name. It not only facilitates branding but also upholds transparency and business accountability. Both vendor’s and DBA licenses may have renewal stipulations, often requiring annual or biennial renewals, with associated fees. Operating without the necessary licenses can result in legal penalties, including fines, business suspension, and even jail time, in addition to the potential loss of clientele who may verify your licensing status before hiring. The specific licensing requirements vary from state to state. Thus, you must find out the specific requirements of your state and local county.

Pricing Strategies to Make Money Cleaning Houses

Pricing your cleaning services effectively is crucial to the success of your cleaning side hustle. Before going deeper into these strategies, let’s get a clearer picture of how much you can earn doing cleaning side jobs.

How Much Can You Make as a House Cleaner?

The average hourly pay for a house cleaner in the United States is $16.37 per hour. This figure could be higher or lower depending on the specifics of the job, the location, and how well you market your services.

Pricing Strategies

Setting the right prices for your cleaning services involves a careful analysis of various factors to ensure they reflect the market, your costs, and the unique value you offer. Here are some insights to help.

  • Market Research: If you want to make money cleaning houses, setting competitive prices is important. Begin by conducting thorough market research. Investigate the pricing structures of competitors in your area. This information can provide valuable insights into what clients are willing to pay and what the local market can bear.
  • Calculate Your Costs Accurately. Consider expenses such as cleaning supplies, equipment maintenance, transportation, insurance, marketing, and overhead. Understanding your costs is essential to setting prices that ensure profitability.
  • Profit Margin: Determine the profit margin you aim to achieve. While competitive pricing is important, your rates should also allow for a reasonable profit to sustain and grow your business.
  • Service Differentiation: Highlight what makes your cleaning service unique. Whether it’s eco-friendly cleaning products, attention to detail, or specialized skills, emphasize the value you offer to justify pricing above competitors.
  • Location-Based Pricing: Consider the location of your clients. Urban areas and affluent neighborhoods may support higher pricing than rural or lower-income areas. Adjust your rates accordingly to align with the local economic landscape.
  • Service Type: Different cleaning services have different price points. Regular maintenance cleaning typically costs less than deep cleaning or specialized services like post-construction cleanup. Tailor your pricing to the type of service you’re providing.
  • Pricing Tiers: Offer different pricing tiers or packages. For instance, you can have basic, standard, and premium packages with varying levels of service and corresponding prices. This allows clients to choose the level of cleaning that best fits their needs and budget.
  • Hourly vs. Flat-Rate Pricing: Decide whether to charge by the hour or offer flat-rate pricing. Hourly rates provide transparency, while flat rates offer predictability for clients. Consider which approach aligns better with your business model and clientele.

How to Find Clients

You may be the best house cleaner around, but the clients won’t simply fall into your lap. You’ve got to put in the work to build a thriving cleaning business. This work involves honing your cleaning skills, effective marketing, excellent customer service, and strategic business management.

Online Presence

Start by creating a strong online presence to attract potential clients. Utilize social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to showcase your cleaning services, share before-and-after photos of your work, and engage with your audience. Create a professional website that highlights your services and pricing and includes client testimonials and a contact form for inquiries.

In addition to social media and your website, consider listing your services on relevant online platforms and directories such as Google My Business, Yelp, and local classified ads websites. These listings can increase your visibility in online search results, making it easier for potential clients to find you.

Customer Reviews and Referrals

Customer reviews and referrals are potent tools for securing cleaning side jobs. Positive reviews and referrals enhance your credibility and trustworthiness in the eyes of potential clients, making them more likely to choose your services. These recommendations serve as word-of-mouth marketing, expanding your client base as satisfied customers recommend your services to others.

Furthermore, they improve your online visibility, with higher ratings and favorable comments boosting your presence in local search results. This competitive advantage is reinforced as clients tend to prefer businesses with a proven track record of customer satisfaction. Positive reviews instill trust, reassure potential clients about the quality of your services, and encourage repeat business. Thus, you should encourage satisfied clients to leave reviews as they can boost the success of your cleaning side hustle.

Best Apps to Find Cleaning Side Jobs

Finding cleaning side jobs can be made easier with the help of various mobile apps and platforms. Here are some of the best apps and platforms to consider:

  • Thumbtack: Thumbtack connects service providers, including house cleaners, with potential clients. You can create a profile, list your services, and receive job requests from local customers.
  • TaskRabbit: TaskRabbit allows you to offer your cleaning services on-demand. Clients post tasks they need assistance with, and you can bid on them. It’s a great platform for finding short-term cleaning gigs.
  • Care.com: While known for childcare services, Care.com also offers a platform for house cleaning services. You can create a profile, apply for jobs, and communicate with potential clients.
  • Craigslist: Craigslist’s “Gigs” section often features cleaning and housekeeping opportunities. Keep an eye on your local Craigslist listings and respond to relevant ads.
  • Nextdoor: Nextdoor is a neighborhood-based social network that can be useful for finding local side jobs. You can join your neighborhood’s Nextdoor community and offer your cleaning services to nearby residents.
  • HomeAdvisor: HomeAdvisor connects service professionals with homeowners looking for various home services, including cleaning. You can sign up as a pro and receive job leads in your area.

Maximizing Profit and Growth of Your Cleaning Side Hustle


Maximizing profit and growth in a house cleaning side hustle requires a combination of networking, efficient operations, and upselling. This means you should take advantage of every opportunity to deliver quality services to your clients.

Operational Efficiency

Efficiency is the linchpin of profitability. Streamline your cleaning processes by establishing standardized procedures and checklists. This ensures a consistent, high-quality service while minimizing time wastage. Optimize your scheduling to reduce travel between jobs, strategically group appointments geographically, and make the most of your productive hours in a day. Efficient operations are a direct conduit to reducing overhead costs and boosting productivity, thereby contributing significantly to your financial success.

Upselling and Cross-Selling

When you clean houses for money, you can also upsell and cross-sell additional services. By offering supplementary services like deep cleaning, eco-friendly cleaning, window cleaning, or organization services, you can elevate the average transaction value. When clients perceive the added value of these enhancements, they are more inclined to invest in these extras, resulting in a bolstered bottom line.

Networking

Build relationships with local real estate agents, property managers, and other professionals who can refer clients to you. Networking within these circles can open doors to a consistent stream of job opportunities. Real estate agents, for example, often require cleaning services for homes before open houses or after moves, making them valuable sources of referrals. Property managers may have ongoing cleaning needs for rental properties, creating a reliable source of recurring work. By nurturing these professional connections and demonstrating your reliability and quality of service, you can become the go-to cleaning provider in your local real estate and property management communities, ensuring a steady flow of side jobs and potential long-term partnerships.


Conclusion


Turning your cleaning skills into a profitable side hustle is achievable and rewarding. We’ve explored essential strategies for success, from establishing a solid pricing strategy to leveraging upselling and cross-selling opportunities and ensuring efficient operations. Along the way, we’ve highlighted the significance of customer reviews, referrals, and networking to attract clients and foster growth.

Overall, cleaning houses for money requires dedication and effort, but it’s a journey well worth embarking on. The satisfaction of building a thriving business that provides extra income and establishes you as a trusted service provider is immeasurable. With each satisfied client and every job well done, you’ll not only see your profits grow but also experience the pride that comes with running a successful cleaning side hustle. So, seize the opportunity, put in the work, and watch your cleaning skills transform into a flourishing and fulfilling business venture.

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Ibrahim Okunade

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