Cleaning can be a great side hustle or part-time job, and you can realistically expect to make $20-$50/hour as an independent contractor. But first, you need to know where to find house cleaning jobs.
About 10 years ago I started cleaning houses to make extra money while I was in college. I started off charging $20/hour, earning $75-$100/hour three years later. Part of that was knowing how much to charge and where to look for house cleaning jobs.
To help you get started as a house cleaner, I’m going to share the best places to find cleaning jobs near you, what kind of services to offer, and how to determine your rates.
Where to find the best house cleaning jobs
TaskRabbit is for more than just house cleaning jobs — it’s a platform where people can find someone to help with practically any kind of odd job. There are housecleaners, handymen, personal assistants, and more.
Since we’re talking about house cleaning, here’s how that works on TaskRabbit:
- You create a profile on TaskRabbit. Next, you’ll need to list the kind of cleaning services you offer – can be basic cleaning, deep cleaning, some organizational help, and so on.
- Set your availability and rates. This helps you get jobs when people are searching for housecleaners near them
- Start getting jobs. House cleaning jobs are scheduled through TaskRabbit, and they also process your payments.
There is a one-time, non-refundable $25 registration fee to list your house cleaning services on TaskRabbit, and it takes about 4 business days to complete your registration.
Most of the house cleaning jobs you’ll find on TaskRabbit will be one-time gigs only, so it’s better for people who aren’t expecting a steady stream of income. However, you may find clients who want to establish a long-term relationship, and you can set up a schedule where you have cleaning jobs week after week.
Most people think of Care.com as a platform for childcare providers, but they’ve actually expanded their platform to include housekeeping services. I did a quick local search, and here are a few of the dozens of people in my area looking for help:
To find house cleaning jobs on this site, go to Care.com and click on “Find Jobs.” You’ll be asked what kind of services you want to provide.
There aren’t specific requirements to post on the site, but you’ll be asked some basic questions and about your experience. Their team will review your answers and get back to you in a few days. Then, you can set your rates and availability on Care.com.
You’ll be able to apply for private house cleaning jobs (like the ones in the screenshot), or you can wait for people to find you. I highly recommend reaching out to potential clients!
It’s free to create an account on Care.com, but you’ll need to upgrade to a paid membership if you want to reach out to people. The pay-to-play aspect is a bit of a bummer. Premium memberships range from $13-$39/month based on your billing frequency.
Handy is a platform that connects people with pre-screened independent house cleaners, handymen, people to help with lawn care and yard work, and so on. Basically, you can find any kind of household-related work on Handy.
The difference with Handy vs. TaskRabbit or Care is that you need previous paid experience in the service you want to offer on Handy. So this is a great place if you already have some house cleaning jobs under your belt, but it means this site isn’t the best if you’re just getting started.
Here are some benefits of listing your services on Handy:
- Handy lets you claim recurring bookings with your favorite clients
- You can bring an assistant with your client’s approval
- House cleaners can expect to earn around $22/hour
Clients mostly sign up for basic house cleaning services, and the time and payment is based on the size of the house — the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. But, clients can also add extras like cleaning the inside and outside of cabinets, cleaning windows, laundry, and even extra cleaning help to prepare for a move. Of course, it goes without saying that you make more money for those extras.
Thumbtack says they are “the technology leader building the modern home management platform.” In clear terms, that means Thumbtack is a website where homeowners can connect with people who can help them fix, maintain, and improve their homes.
If you use Thumbtack, you’re an independent contractor, and you must sign a formal contract. While it’s probably not applicable for housecleaners, some workers may need to provide formal certifications.
To find house cleaning jobs near you, you’ll need to register for the site, which is free. You create a profile and are matched with leads.
You pay a small referral fee for each lead, and Thumbtack’s goal is to provide you with qualified leads only, and they work hard to meet that goal.
The name says it all – this site is specifically for housecleaners. You can browse proving house cleaning jobs near you, or you can also find jobs working with cleaning agencies.
The way Housekeeper.com works is that you create a profile and then start searching for jobs near you. Your profile should include any experience and a short bio that makes you stand out from other housekeepers on the platform. Maybe that’s how you approach each cleaning job, what locations you’re willing to travel to, your experience, etc.
Yep, you can still use Craigslist to find legit jobs. I just checked my local Craigslist, and this is the first listing I saw:
House cleaning jobs on Craigslist will be listed under “Domestic” in the “Gigs” section. Most of the jobs you’ll find are one-time gigs, but there’s always the chance that they’ll be impressed with your services and ask you to come back or refer you to a friend.
When I was cleaning house (which was 10+ years ago), I regularly posted my services on Craigslist and responded to requests. Every job I took was completely legit, and it led to some quality clients.
If you’re looking for house cleaning jobs near you, sign up for NextDoor ASAP. NextDoor is a free app that connects you with your neighbors, so everything is hyper-local.
Once you’ve signed up and created a profile, you can share your services. Your post will show up to anyone in your area.
Another option is to use the search “house cleaning” in the search bar. You’ll find other people who have listed their services, but you’ll also find people who need help. Keep in mind that building trust is key on this app, and you can do that by interacting with posts from your neighbors.
What does a typical house cleaning job look like?
Every job is a little different, but basic house cleaning services will include:
- Spraying and wiping down kitchen surfaces
- Spraying and wiping down bathroom surfaces
- Light tidying up (like straightening up couch cushions or throwing dirty clothes in the hamper)
- Take out trash and recycling
Some people want you to unload the dishwasher and fill it with what’s in the sink, do a load of laundry, put fresh sheets on the beds, and put out fresh towels.
You can charge more for extras like:
- Cleaning windows
- Shampooing carpets
- Cleaning grout
- Dusting the tops of fans
- Cleaning out the fridge
- Cleaning blinds
- Sanitizing trash cans
- Cleaning under or behind large furniture
- Spraying and wiping down baseboards, doors, doorframes, and window frames
Make sure you and your client are clear on what their house cleaning job entails so you can charge what you’re worth.
How much to charge for house cleaning jobs
According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost of house cleaning is $90 to $150, and a single-family home costs $120 to $150 to clean. But how do you figure out where your services fit into that range?
Every job is different, and every house cleaning service is different — so a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t apply here.
I will walk you through the steps of estimating how much you should charge for your cleaning services.
Step 1: Visit the house
Visiting prospective homes is a must — never give estimates over the phone! You will get a much better idea of how much work it will take to clean someone’s house when you see it in person.
Pay attention to how many bedrooms and bathrooms, look at the size of the kitchen, dining room, and shared living areas. Pay attention to whether or not they have pets, if they have carpet or hardwood floors, and so on.
While you’re there, ask your client about the scope of the job, making sure they point out any areas of concern.
Step 2: Estimate cleaning time
You can start with the general rule that it takes about 1.5 hours to clean a 1,000 square foot house. Adding bedrooms, bathrooms, extra living spaces, and larger kitchens only adds time.
The other part of this is that some spaces require more work. Kitchens and bathrooms naturally take longer than guest bedrooms. Houses with lots of pictures and knick-knacks take longer to dust. Having kids and pets can make a job last longer too.
I once cleaned for a single guy who lived in an 800 sq. ft. apartment, but he was a mess. It took me 3 hours on average to clean (I did extras like laundry and dishes while I was there). I was also cleaning for a couple who lived in a 2,500 square foot house, and I cleaned their place in 2.5 hours.
Step 3: Calculate labor costs
According to the BLS, the median per hour wage for house cleaners is $12.61/hour. That number reflects a high concentration of housecleaners working for cleaning services. Independent housecleaners can charge $20-$50/hour on average.
If you’re cleaning houses as an independent contractor and just starting out, you would probably start on the lower end. Take your time estimate and multiply that by your hourly cost.
For example, a 2,500 square foot house that takes 2.5 hours x $25/hour = $62.50.
It’s tempting to undercut yourself when you start out, but ask for what you’re worth. Independent contractors are also responsible for their own taxes, so keep that in mind when you’re determining your per-hour fees.
Step 4: Factor in supplies
If you need to bring your own cleaning supplies or equipment, you need to add this to your cost. Most sources recommend that you add 6% to account for supplies. That means $62.50 + $3.75 = $66.25.
Another option is to do a flat rate supplies and equipment fee of $5 to $10.
Some people are picky about the supplies, like scents, and whether you’re using natural products or not. Make sure you bring this up in advance.
Step 5: Add in extras
You need to be upfront about the types of services included in your fees. Basic cleaning — includes dusting, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, dusting, wiping down kitchen surfaces, wiping down bathroom surfaces — can be your baseline.
If a customer wants you to dust the fans, clean windows, shampoo carpets, clean grout, do laundry, etc., then you need to charge more. My approach was to charge a higher hourly fee, but some house cleaners will add extra charges for each extra.
The final word on where to find house cleaning jobs and how much to charge
Cleaning houses can be a great gig. I did it for 3 years, starting at $25/hour, and I made upwards of $75-$100/hour in the end. I was able to significantly grow my business by:
- Always providing high-quality services
- Being trustworthy — this is so important when you’re in someone’s home
I networked hard. In the end, I was cleaning for half a dozen professional football players who paid me extra to go grocery shopping for them, take in their mail when they were out of town, meet maintenance specialists at their house, etc.
My point is that if you put quality and trust at the center of your cleaning business, it will flourish.
You can get started on a platform like TaskRabbit, but start to network as you gain experience. Of course, networking is more work, but your clients will happily pass along your name if they know they can trust you.
Cleaning isn’t for everyone, and there are lots of other great side hustles where you can make $1,000+ each month.
House cleaners earn anywhere from $12-$75/hour. Cleaners who work for cleaning services typically earn less than independent contractors. Your experience and location will also be a factor in your pay.
You can list your services on TaskRabbit, NextDoor, or advertise via word of mouth. Ask your clients to pass along your name, and start building your experience from there.
TaskRabbit, NextDoor, Craigslist, Care.com are all great places to find local cleaning jobs.
You can find maid services by browsing services on TaskRabbit, Care.com, or by asking your neighbors for references.