Why is There So Much Variation in the Cost of House Cleaning Services?

House cleaning prices vary widely across the U.S., ranging from $90 to $250 per cleaning visit and much higher in certain metropolitan areas. If you’ve ever shopped around for cleaning services, you’ve probably noticed there’s a lot of variation right in your own town.

So why do different house cleaners charge such different rates for their services? To answer this question, we looked at multiple sources that track house cleaning prices, including Home Advisor, Fixr, Thumbtack, and cleaning services right here in Edmonds, Washington.

There are a number of reasons why house cleaning prices vary so much. Here’s a closer look.

Home Location & Size

Your home’s location is an indisputable factor in the cost of house cleaning services. An apartment cleaning in New York City, despite the home’s small size, will cost much more than a comparable cleaning for an entire suburban home in Edmonds, Washington. 

The cost difference comes from variation in the overall cost of living and other economic factors. Everything is more expensive in NYC, and house cleaning is no exception.

Plus, size matters. Your home’s square footage is a big deal because it affects the time frame involved. Most cleaning companies have home size thresholds that allow them to quote house cleaning prices before the first cleaning, even if they’ve never seen your home.

An 800-square-foot 1-story home is going to be much less expensive to clean than a 3,000-square foot multi-story home. The average nationwide price for a 2,000-square-foot home is $75 to $125 for a single basic cleaning visit.

Fee/Contract Schedule

Another consideration is the fee structure of the cleaning company, including whether you have signed up for an ongoing contract or just an individual cleaning. Some companies charge a flat fee for a defined set of services. Others do everything on an hourly basis. 

Many companies have a blended structure, with a flat fee for certain services, plus an hourly rate or extra charge for additional services. Because there are so many types of fee schedules, it can be hard to make an apples-to-apples comparison among companies.

The cleaning schedule has a lot to do with how much you’ll pay, further muddying the waters, in terms of making comparisons. If you sign up for a weekly or bi-weekly cleaning, it’s common to pay around $25 to 25% less per visit. Some companies run specials, like getting a discount if you sign up for 6-month or 12-month recurring services.

So if you call around, one company might quote you $150 total for a single cleaning visit. Another company might quote you $35 an hour for a basic cleaning, plus $45 an hour for additional services. Another might quote $175 per visit, but with a 25% discount for a multi-cleaning contract. How do you compare these companies?  

The answer lies in examining the lineup of services they’re offering at each price point. So let’s take a closer look at the types of services a cleaning company typically provides.

Service Lineup

For a basic cleaning, here is a list of house cleaning services any cleaning company should be able to provide:

• Vacuuming


• Dusting


• Tidying


• Cleaning bathroom fixtures, including toilet and tub


• Cleaning kitchen fixtures, including sink and countertops

The following tasks are usually considered to be more labor-intensive and are likely to come in at a higher tier in terms of cost:

– Cleaning windows


– Scrubbing/mopping soiled floors


– Scrubbing and cleaning out the kitchen sink and oven


– Deep cleaning the bathroom


– Cleaning the refrigerator

Finally, there is a list of very labor-intensive cleaning tasks that may require special equipment, additional training and staffing. These will always come with additional fees.

– Carpet cleaning and carpet spotting


– Hard floor care such as machine scrubbing ceramic tile floors or polishing wood floors


– Granite countertop cleaning and polishing


– Power washing outside areas


– Deep cleaning grimy and cluttered spaces


– Move-in/move-out services


– Event cleanup services

Your Unique Home

Don’t be surprised if you receive a higher cleaning quote than a neighbor, friend, or family member. The quirks of your individual home are also factored into house cleaning quotes. 

Maybe you have a 100-year-old historic home with lots of nooks and crannies to clean. Maybe you have a large family, and there’s lots of clutter to dust. Or perhaps you have floors with ground-in dirt left by a previous homeowner who recently vacated the premises. 

A cleaning company will take all of these things into account when giving you a quote. They’ll also be able to provide advice about how to get your home ready for the next cleaning, in order to possibly save money in the future.

Extras & Special Requests

Many homeowners have a few extra cleaning tasks and special requests for the house cleaning crew. Do you have pets that leave hair around the house? A cleaning company will likely charge extra to remove hair from the surfaces of floors, curtains, furniture, and more.

Is your garage a mess? A housecleaning crew can’t organize it for you, but they could help you give it a facelift by applying a special cleaning solvent to the floor that removes oil, gasoline, and grime. They could also vacuum out the dust bunnies and cobwebs and make your garage door windows sparkle.

One area of cleaning where the cost may surprise you is window cleaning. This time-intensive task costs an average of $225 to $300 alone, outside of regular cleaning services. Even if you just want 4 or 5 of your home’s most visible windows cleaned, expect to pay $75 to $100 for this service. It takes time and skill to get windows crystal clean.

To clean window treatments, you’ll likely pay about $100 to $200. Furniture and upholstery cleaning fees usually come in at about $100 to $150, and cleaning a home’s walls and ceilings costs about $150 to $300 on average.

Professionalism & Reputation

The final factor in home cleaning costs is the professional reputation of the company involved. You might get a bottom-dollar quote from a certain company, but what if their reputation is terrible? Will they really do a thorough job?

Always check out a company’s online reviews and ratings from sites like Yelp and Google Reviews. Request a written estimate and don’t be surprised if the company wants to send a representative out to take a look at your house before providing a quote. That’s a good thing for both you and the cleaning company because the quote will be more accurate.

If you need cleaning services in Edmonds, Washington or throughout Lynnwood and Snohomish Counties, turn to Clean and Simple Cleaning. We have been serving these areas with professionalism and pride since 1991. Request a quote today.