Home Cleaning Services: Here Are Your Options
Think you need a home cleaning service for moving day? Not sure if it’s in your budget? Preparing for a move includes a lot of small tasks you might not immediately think of. Read up on your options for home cleaning services (and some DIY tips and hacks) so you’re not stuck unpacking boxes in a dusty home.
Home Cleaning Options
From hiring professionals to doing the cleaning yourself, you have a few different home cleaning options. Take a look at your choices and decide what works best for you.
Professional home cleaning services
If you’re busy working full-time or are simply too overwhelmed to clean an entire home yourself, don’t stress. There are tons of traditional home cleaning services that will do the job for you. In fact, cleaning franchises are among the fastest-growing businesses in the U.S., providing no shortage of choices for your cleaning needs. When hiring a traditional home cleaning service, you can choose from hourly cleaning, weekly or monthly services, or move in/move out cleaning.
Instead of letting cleaning tasks pile up, it’s best to deal with them right away. While hiring a home cleaning service is an added expense, it could be worth it if you’re unable to do the job yourself. For pricing reference, the average national hourly rate for house cleaning services is $25 to $90 per individual — or $50 to $90 per hour. Still, payment varies depending on the condition and size of your home.
Home cleaning apps
If you’re looking for a home cleaning service but don’t want to book one online or over the phone, take a look at the app store. Simply search “home cleaners” or “home cleaning services” and get to booking! Many top cleaning service apps offer background-checked professionals who are available 7 days a week. In a matter of minutes, you can book a home cleaning service. Just be sure to read up on pricing before booking!
DIY home cleaning
If both a traditional home cleaning service and a cleaning app are too pricey for your wallet, sometimes you just need to take matters into your own hands. If you have the time, a DIY home clean is low-budget and allows you to clean your home exactly how you like. With the right amount of effort, this method will leave your home clean and ready for move-in.
To help determine the best home cleaning option for you, we’ve broken down these different options below. Read on to learn more!
Option 1: Professional Home Cleaning Services
If you have too much on your plate to take on a DIY home cleaning, there are plenty of home cleaning services out there. The trick, however, is finding the right service for you. To get started, here are some questions to ask when hiring:
Before hiring a home cleaning service, you’ll want to find out how much they’re charging. House cleaners in the U.S. earn an average hourly rate of $16.27, but this varies based on the location, size, and condition of the home. Different services also affect the cost of home cleaning services. For instance, a move-in or move-out clean is often more extensive than a generic weekly or monthly cleaning. Thus, these cleaning services tend to cost more.
Most home cleaning services perform background checks on their employees, but it’s still good to ask. When booking routine cleanings, it also doesn’t hurt to ask a cleaning company if the same house cleaners are sent to your home each time.
It’s important to understand what to expect from a home cleaning service prior to hiring them. If you have particular home cleaning requests that aren’t part of routine cleaning, bring them up immediately. You may also want to ask if you’re responsible for providing cleaning supplies.
People often struggle with how much prep to do before a home cleaning service arrives. If you have yet to move into your new home, there might be little prep work to do. Still, getting ready for a home cleaner also includes effective communication.
Don’t forget to ask how the home cleaning service will gain access to your home. Do you want to be there to let them in or are you comfortable providing a key or door code? Make sure you and your home cleaner discuss this in advance and come to a decision that works for both of you. Some home cleaning services may also require you to be there at the time of their arrival.
While you certainly don’t have to clean prior to the arrival of a home cleaning service, you shouldn’t leave your house in a state of chaos. If you’ve started the move-in process before calling a home cleaning service, be sure to straighten up a bit before the hired cleaner arrives.
You should let a home cleaning service know about pets prior to their arrival at your home. Even if your pet is particularly well-behaved, a heads-up is always appreciated. Some home cleaning services may ask that you find a place for your pet(s) while they clean. Other services may not be pet-friendly, so it’s important to address this ahead of time.
To tip or not to tip? Though there’s no standard rule of thumb, this tipping advice may help sway you in one direction or another.
When to tip
While tipping home cleaners isn’t as obligatory as tipping your restaurant server, it’s still recommended. Many people in the business may rely on tips as part of their income. If a home cleaning service did an exceptional job or dealt with a particularly difficult situation, tipping is a nice way to show your appreciation for a job well done.
How much to tip
Unlike a check at a restaurant, there’s no standard percentage to tip a house cleaner. An extra $10 or $20 per person should be sufficient if you choose to tip. If you hire a home cleaning service around the holidays, it’s always nice to throw in some additional money as a thank you gift.
Other ways to show appreciation
Money isn’t the only way for you to show your gratitude. If you’re on a budget, there are several alternatives to tipping. A simple note, baked goods or leftover bottle of wine is always appreciated.
Option 2: Home Cleaning Apps
A popular alternative to traditional cleaning services are home cleaning apps. There are several apps that can help connect you with cleaning service professionals. Curious what the difference is? Let’s explore.
Home cleaning apps make it easy to book a cleaner. These apps enable you to book certified, background-checked cleaners at the press of a button. Literally, at the press of a button. Other features of these apps usually include the ability to view ratings, message cleaners, and even see the real-time location of your cleaning professional. You may also be able to browse cleaners based on skills and pricing.
Before booking a cleaning professional, take a look at the services provided to make sure they’re the right fit for you. Once you book through a cleaning app, they will come to your home and complete the tasks that you specified upon booking. A few upsides to home cleaning apps are their availability and competitive pricing. But let’s take a closer look.
Most home cleaning apps are free to download. The price of the services provided will often depend on the size and current state of your home. To get a specific estimate, you can input details about your desired cleaning. These may include the tasks you want completed, the date and time you want them done, the location of your home, and the size of your home (often measured by the number of bedrooms and bathrooms).
Cleaning services typically average around $16 per hour. Still, some services may cost as low as $12.50 an hour, while others might be twice that. This variance in pricing is often influenced by the location of your home. When paying for your hired cleaner, the home cleaning app that you book your cleaner through will take a percentage of your payment, often around 15%. As for tipping, 100% of your tip should go to the hired cleaner. If you want to know more about how your payment is allocated, check the home cleaning service’s website for details.
Option 3: DIY Home Cleaning
Don’t want to shell out the cash for a professional cleaning service but still need help? We’ve got your back! There are a number of organizational apps you can download to help you maintain a clean home. From general housekeeping checklists to laundry assistance, these apps are bound to make your life easier.
Many home cleaning apps allow you to select the specific tasks that you need to complete, compiling them into a to-do list. While some apps simply present your tasks in a checklist format, others include calendars, deadlines, and budget features. If you’re looking to divide and conquer, some apps also allow you to split cleaning tasks between the whole family.
Pricing on cleaning apps vary, but are fairly reasonable. Some apps are completely free, while others cost about $6 or $7 in the app store. The most complex cleaning apps have a monthly fee of around $5. While you may be compelled to download the first free cleaning app you find, the apps with the best features tend to cost a small price. Spending a bit of cash will be worth it to avoid ads and create a more customized cleaning schedule.
Home cleaning checklist
Moving into a clean home helps reduce stress by lessening the chaos of the moving process. With these tips and tricks, you’ll have a clean home in no time.
Sanitize the bathrooms
The bathrooms in your new home are a good place to start. Particularly if people have lived in the space before you, you’ll want to sanitize your tubs, showers, toilets, and sinks. Even if the bathroom is brand new, it’s likely that some dust has accumulated since the last time you checked it out. So grab some rubber gloves and cleaning products and get started!
Clean the kitchen
Kitchens are another crucial spot to hit during your home cleaning endeavors. Start by wiping down the cabinets and counters — you don’t want to unpack all your clean dishes onto dirty surfaces! Next, take a look at your fridge, dishwasher, sink, oven, and any other kitchen appliances. Deep cleaning your kitchen before moving in will pay off later on.
Dust ledges and lighting fixtures
Dust accumulates quickly — even in a new home. Get a microfiber cloth, vacuum, and step ladder and get to dusting. You’ll want to detail lighting fixtures, windowsills, ceiling fans, and crown molding. For a successful home cleaning, use a soft microfiber cloth or the nozzle attachment on your vacuum.
Freshen up your floors
Floors of previously-owned homes may have sustained some damage or grime. Check hardwood floors for scratches and clean carpeted floors thoroughly.
Tend to your laundry room
If you’re inheriting your washer and dryer from the previous renters or homeowners, clean them thoroughly to eliminate bad odors and bacteria.
Home cleaning hacks
Once you’ve checked off the major boxes on your home cleaning list, there are still several hacks to leave your home looking spotless. Here are a few of our favorite hacks to maintain a clean home.
Clean your baseboards
The thought of cleaning your baseboards probably seems painful — nobody wants to crouch down and dust them. Luckily, there’s an easier way. Simply attach a dryer sheet to a Swiffer and sweep away!
Soak your stove burners
If your new home has a stove that isn’t brand new, there’s likely leftover grease from whoever used it last. To start, wash any removable parts of the burners with soap and water — or a paste of water and baking soda. If the grease and grime are particularly tough, soak the burners overnight in water and ammonia.
Polish your sink
After cleaning your sink with a kitchen cleaner of your choice, polish your faucets and tap handles with wax paper. This trick removes water spots and helps prevent future stains from developing.
Sanitize your showerhead
Showerheads are dirtier than you think. Thankfully, there’s an easy fix to clean them. All you have to do is fill a sandwich bag with white vinegar and attach it to your showerhead with rubber bands, leaving it to soak overnight. The acidity of the vinegar will break down bacteria, loosen mineral deposits, and dissolve soap scum.
Finally ready to settle into your clean home? Read up on how to make unpacking easy after a move. Once everything is in place, toast to all of your hard work with a housewarming party. Your friends, family, and neighbors should celebrate your new place and the effort you put into it (even if you hired a home cleaning service to help you out)!