Keeping a house clean and tidy is a constant struggle, especially in homes with children and pets where vacuuming can be a daily chore to get rid of the hair, the dirt, and the crumbs. Even in child- and pet-free homes, rooms like the bathroom and kitchen can quickly turn into a germ-infested space if left uncleaned. The best cleaning services can handle small tasks or full-service deep cleaning to get rid of grime that’s built up over the years. But perhaps most importantly, hiring a cleaning service gives customers a chance to spend more time on things that matter most to them.
There are plenty of local options in most areas, but for the most reliable experience, customers may want to opt for a more nationally recognized cleaning service. We reviewed some of the top cleaning companies based on their services, pricing, cleaning methods, contract requirements, and more. Customers can use the information in this article to make an informed decision about hiring a house cleaning service.
- BEST OVERALL: The Maids
- RUNNER-UP: Merry Maids
- BEST FOR HOUSEKEEPING: Maid Brigade
- BEST GREEN CLEANING: MaidPro
- BEST ONLINE BOOKING: Handy
What to Consider When Choosing One of the Best Cleaning Services
There is a surprising amount of complexity regarding cleaning services, their costs, and all the options available. It’s important for customers to consider exactly what kind of house cleaning they need, how often they need it, the company’s available pricing and payment plans, the cleaning supplies they use, and the number of cleaners required to complete the job. These and other key considerations for choosing the best cleaning service are described in greater detail below.
House Cleaner vs. Housekeeper
Before signing a house-cleaning contract, customers will want to make sure they understand the distinction between a house cleaner and a housekeeper. A house cleaner handles most cleaning tasks, from scrubbing toilets to mopping floors. Their goal is to keep the house clean from top to bottom, which may occasionally include deep cleaning. House cleaners often come on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis and will only complete the tasks in the contract in the time allotted for cleaning.
A housekeeper is much more involved in daily family life as they spend a portion of each day (or a few days each week) at the house. However, they typically only do light cleaning and laundry tasks in addition to other duties. Housekeeper services don’t typically include things like cleaning toilets or baseboards unless it’s negotiated into the contract before hiring. They don’t bring their own cleaning products, so customers will need to provide those. Some people also have their housekeepers do the weekly shopping, so housekeepers might pick up cleaning supplies at the same time.
Cleaning Services and Packages Offered
House cleaning services are on a spectrum. Landlords, homeowners, and renters alike often hire a cleaning company for thorough top-to-bottom move-in and move-out services. Other one-time services could include cleaning before or after the holiday season, a general deep clean, or cleaning the property of a recently deceased family member. However, many prefer to have a maid service come regularly.
The amount of cleaning required will determine the cleaning package. Most home cleaning services can bundle almost any combination of cleaning services so that each customer has a customized cleaning plan. Services could be limited to dusting, vacuuming, and wiping down the kitchen or include cleaning the bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchen. Deep-cleaning services like cleaning baseboards, windows, lamps, and walls can be scheduled semi-regularly throughout the year depending on how quickly the home becomes dirty.
Before hiring a cleaning service, customers will want to ensure that their short-listed cleaning companies have an adequate service area. Larger companies can usually be found in most areas, but local companies might not be able to service more rural areas without higher demand. In addition, it’s also important for customers to check for any trip fees, as this can add to the overall cost of house cleaning.
Scheduling and Frequency
Cleaning services have become so convenient that many clients opt to have them come weekly. This helps the customer stay on top of dirt and germs in their home. However, it’s also common to schedule biweekly visits, and the customer can take care of a few simple tasks like vacuuming in between services. Many companies also offer monthly services. A one-time cleaning can be scheduled if needed, but regular visits are usually encouraged. A large cleaning company will likely be able to accommodate the customer’s preferred time and day for cleaning.
Quotes, Pricing, and Payment
Ideally, a cleaning service will send a consultant for a walk-through to evaluate the scope of work and estimate room sizes. This consultant might provide a quote at that time or soon after. Cleaning quotes are not contracts, so that price is not guaranteed.
There are several ways that house cleaners charge for their services: hourly, weekly, monthly, flat rate, room rate, or a square-foot rate. Some of this will depend on exactly what cleaning they’ll be doing, so customers will want to read the quote carefully to understand the charges. The quote will also likely include how and when the cleaner expects payment.
Many cleaning companies require contracts of varying lengths of time, from 3 months to 1 year. While this has the benefit of locking in a price for a certain amount of time, this can be frustrating if the quality of service doesn’t meet the customer’s expectations. Many companies do not require contracts and rely on their reputation to keep clients long term. Customers will want to think about whether or not they are OK with a contract and ask their shortlisted companies for more details before making a decision.
Cleaning Methods and Supplies
Generally, a home cleaning company brings its own cleaning supplies, which are including the cost in the overall price. However, it’s a good idea for customers to ask to make sure products are included. When asked, most cleaning services also provide green or eco-friendly products, and they often have solutions for people who suffer from allergies or fragrance sensitivities. Customers will also want to take these factors into consideration ahead of time and make sure any of their preferences are included in the quote.
Cleaning Team Size
Depending on the amount of cleaning and the size of the house, cleaning companies will send a team of cleaners to get the job done. Often, it’s at least two to four cleaners, but clients can also request a certain number. If the customer has a preference to have a specific cleaner come each time, many companies can accommodate this request, though others may be unable to guarantee a specific cleaner for every visit.
As with any company doing work in or on a house, it’s wise for customers to ensure that the company is properly licensed, insured, and bonded. This protects house cleaning businesses in the event of any injuries or accidental damage, and protects homeowners and renters in case there is an incident at their home when the cleaner is present.
Guarantees are often hard to come by, but many of the best cleaning services offer some guarantee. If a customer is dissatisfied with the level of cleaning that occurred, they can speak with an account representative to have the matter resolved. This resolution usually consists of a recleaning, but customers may be able to negotiate for a discounted future service if they prefer.
Customers will also want to look for companies with reliable customer support that’s easy to reach and makes them feel valued. If a problem arises, it’s important that the customer be able to reach someone and get the situation resolved. Checking customer reviews ahead of time is a good way to determine the level of customer care other customers’ experience.
Our Top Picks
During our evaluation of the best cleaning services, we considered parameters such as the variety of services offered, quality of cleaning, and level of customer support. Our list includes companies that met or exceeded expectations for those criteria.
Why It Made the Cut: With a certified Mr. Clean partnership, The Maids is an established company with high cleaning standards, a wide range of services, and a 22-step cleaning process.
The Maids offers some of the most comprehensive cleaning options, from one-time cleanings to small-business services and seasonal cleaning, which means customers are likely to find the right kind of service at one company. The company also offers carpet cleaning, and many appreciate being able to book this through the same company from which they receive other services. The Maids’ 22-step cleaning process ranges from vacuuming to cleaning inside the microwave, and the standards are high enough that the company is a certified partner of Mr. Clean. Customers can feel confident that the home cleaning is completed to high satisfaction. The Maids uses teams of three or four cleaners for a more efficient process, meaning clients can get back to enjoying their spaces faster.
There is no rescheduling fee, though clients are strongly encouraged to provide 24-hour notice. There have been reports from previous customers that the actual costs are sometimes higher than the quote; however, this is not uncommon for home services where the scope of work is sometimes more than initially estimated. Plus, it’s beneficial that The Maids does not require a contract, so customers can cancel the service at any time.
- Cleaning services offered: General house cleaning, move in/out, carpets, holiday, disinfection
- Service area: 40 states; Washington, D.C.; and Canada
- Scheduling: Phone
- Bonded and insured: Yes
- Customer support: Email, phone
- Thorough 22-step cleaning process
- Set teams of three or four employees for faster, more efficient cleaning
- No fee for rescheduling appointments
- Carpet cleaning service available
- Exclusive brand partnership with Mr. Clean
- Reports of quotes being significantly lower than actual cost incurred
Why It Made the Cut: Merry Maids has over 40 years of experience and offers exceptional cleaning procedures, flexible services, and even home organization services.
Merry Maids is one of the only cleaning services that also offers home organization services, which is an excellent option for many clients who are unsure where to start after a deep clean. Merry Maids focuses on creating spaces where customers can truly relax and enjoy a clean home without dirt or clutter. That means the company also offers several services that can be tailored to a customer’s needs, whether it’s mopping floors or cleaning drapes. On the Merry Maids’ website, cleaning tasks are designated as “Every Time” and “Special Attention” procedures to convey how detailed and thorough the cleaning process is.
Customer support hours can be somewhat limited, with many locations only open until 4 or 5 p.m., but Merry Maids is the nine-time Women’s Choice Award Winner for America’s Most Recommended Cleaning, so any issues should be resolved satisfactorily. This goes along with the “Worry-Free Guarantee” that ensures Merry Maids will correct any issues at no additional cost if notified within 24 hours of the service. Customers will appreciate Merry Maids’ broad coverage area of 45 states; Washington D.C.; and Canada.
- Cleaning services offered: General house cleaning, move in/out, disinfection, organization
- Service area: 45 states; Washington, D.C.; and Canada
- Scheduling: Phone
- Bonded and insured: Yes
- Customer support: Phone, live chat
- Cleaning process includes excellent “Every Time” and “Special Attention” procedures
- Standout additional services include housekeeping and home organization
- Nine-time Women’s Choice Award Winner for America’s Most Recommended Cleaning Service
- Customer support hours may be limited
Why It Made the Cut: Maid Brigade has a proprietary cleaning process and a focus on nontoxic cleaners. The company also offers housekeeping services and options for commercial cleaning services.
For those who prefer a company that boasts the use of nontoxic cleaners, the Maid Brigade is a solid choice. Cleaners use a proprietary PUREcleaning system, a Green Clean-certified process that uses made-on-site electrolyzed water for sanitization. In addition, cleaners also offer hospital-grade disinfection services as needed. Maid Brigade provides housekeeping services as well, which is helpful for customers who need more regular help with cleaning and home tasks. The exact tasks can be customized for each customer. Any of the cleaning methods can be applied to homes or commercial buildings, though some services may vary by location. On top of its standout services, Maid Brigade offers the usual cleaning services and several deep-cleaning options, including polishing silver and vacuuming mattresses.
- Cleaning services offered: General house cleaning, housekeeping, disinfection
- Service area: 32 states; Washington, D.C.; and Canada
- Scheduling: Phone
- Bonded and insured: Yes
- Customer support: Phone, email
- General house cleaning and housekeeping services offered
- Cleaning products are Green Seal certified
- Hospital-grade disinfection services offered
- Services may vary by location
Why It Made the Cut: MaidPro has an easy setup process for new customers, a 49-point cleaning checklist, and a focus on eco-friendly products and practices.
MaidPro uses eco-friendly cleaning products that the company has tested and compared to other products to ensure high quality. It also focuses on other strategies to limit carbon emissions, reduce paper waste, and avoid using disposable paper towels, which will strongly appeal to customers with a sustainable mindset.
MaidPro’s 49-point checklist covers everything from removing fingerprints and emptying trash to cleaning windowsills and disinfecting tile. These tasks can easily be customized during the setup process for new customers. And to reduce extra trips, a quote can be provided over the phone. The website can be hard to read and navigate, so customers may want to take their time when researching MaidPro. But customers will appreciate that MaidPro always has a backup cleaner on call in case the primary cleaner has to call out. This means that a customer’s preferred schedule should stay consistent.
- Cleaning services offered: General house cleaning
- Service area: 40 states; Washington, D.C; and Canada
- Scheduling: Phone
- Bonded and insured: Yes
- Customer support: Phone
- Comprehensive 49-point cleaning checklist
- Eco-friendly cleaning products and practices
- On-call backup cleaner
- Website is somewhat user-unfriendly
Why It Made the Cut: Handy offers clients transparency and convenience with its app, flexible bookings, and an instant quote process that connects customers to top-rated professionals.
Customers who love the convenience of technology will appreciate the Handy app. It gives customers in select major cities full access to the quote, booking, and cleaning process to immediately book a service. Customers can add extra services with a simple click, like cleaning inside the fridge or doing laundry. The app makes the process helpful and convenient, so customers don’t have to reach customer support to update their cleaning checklist or change cleaners.
Handy does require a 3-month minimum contract once the service is booked, and information on cleaners’ insurance status isn’t readily available. But for customers who prioritize convenience, Handy is a solid choice. A customer can also track the cleaners’ progress via the Handy app to know when it’s safe to come back to their home.
- Cleaning services offered: General house cleaning
- Service area: Select cities across the U.S., Canada, and U.K.
- Scheduling: Online
- Bonded and insured: Not specified
- Customer support: Email
- Convenient booking available via the Handy app
- Discounts available when booking 6- and 12-month packages
- Customers can track cleaning progress via app
- Cleaning plans require a minimum contract term of 3 months
- Information on cleaners’ insurance status not readily available
Excellent cleaning processes, a range of cleaning services, high-quality service, and a reputable brand are all important factors when choosing a reliable cleaning service. That’s why we selected The Maids as our top cleaning company since it also boasts a trusted partnership with the well-known Mr. Clean brand. However, for a company with a broad service area and a long history in the cleaning industry, Merry Maids is another solid choice.
How We Chose the Best Cleaning Services
Our process for selecting the best cleaning services involved researching some of the top brands with a wide service area and satisfied customer reviews. Though local franchises might be individually owned, they should still meet the company’s overall standards for thorough and efficient cleaning processes. We also evaluated the services offered to include a range of popular or essential services. This included reviewing an app-based company that connects customers to cleaners in major cities. In addition, we reviewed websites for ease of use and compared pricing, quote processes, and whether contracts were required or not.
Before You Hire One of the Best Cleaning Services
Customers will want to first decide whether they prefer to have a housekeeper or a house cleaner, as they offer different services. If a customer prefers personal connection and a regular presence around the house, a housekeeper may be the better option. In this case, the customer could see if the housekeeper would be willing to take on some additional cleaning duties.
It’s also important to make sure the cost of house cleaning really fits within the budget since the service is only beneficial if it’s not causing financial hardship. This also means customers will need to know exactly which tasks they’re willing to hand over to a house cleaner and which ones they prefer to handle themselves. There should also be an agreement about any areas or tasks that are strictly off-limits. Knowing these things ahead of time can help prevent issues down the road.
It’s normal for customers to feel a little nervous about having a stranger come in and take care of tasks that are often rather personal sometimes. To alleviate the worry, it’s advised for customers to read reviews and even interview the candidates before hiring a house cleaner or housekeeper. And most importantly, customers will want to make sure they work with a person or company that meets any local licensing or certification requirements.
Cost of Hiring One of the Best Cleaning Services
There is a wide range of costs for cleaning services since each house is different and each customer bundles the tasks to suit their preferences. A typical range is between $116 to $235, with an average cost of $168. This usually includes at least one bedroom, a bathroom, a kitchen, and general vacuuming. However, this rate definitely varies based on the customer’s location too, so it’s advised to search for “cleaning services near me” to obtain quotes from local companies in addition to national ones.
The Advantages of Using One of the Best Cleaning Services
There’s certainly no shame in feeling overwhelmed with all the cleaning to be done around the house. The simple solution that many thousands of people take advantage of is using a house cleaner. Hiring a cleaning service has a lot of benefits when it fits a customer’s budget.
- Gain back your own time. When you’re juggling work, family, and the daily stressors of life, cleaning is often the last thing you want to spend your time on. Whether you’re out of time for cleaning, or you just don’t want to spend the time on it, house cleaners give you that valuable time back.
- Cleaner environment. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the everyday dirt and germs of life—especially with kids and pets in the house. A cleaning service can keep dander, dirt, crumbs, and germs to a minimum with regular cleanings.
- Cleaner air. With regular cleanings, a home’s air quality will improve without dust flying around every time someone sits on the couch.
- Better cleaning supplies. House cleaners know how to get stains out of the carpet and marker off the walls. Plus, they keep fresh supplies so old bacteria-filled sponges and mops aren’t kept around too long.
- Save money in the long run. Time is a valuable commodity that can’t be retrieved once it’s gone. Clients often find it’s more worth their money to pay for an occasional cleaning service than spending hours doing it themselves when they could be with friends or family.
- Alleviates stress. The dread of coming home to a dirty house has plagued many clients until they hired a cleaning service. Without having to worry about a dirty bathroom or a pile of dishes, customers can look forward to coming home.
- Fully customizable. Clients can try out a few services if they want to see how well it works, then add more as needed. It makes the experience flexible to truly meet the needs of customers in any situation.
- Makes a hard job easier. Sometimes house cleaners are needed when a person is not able to take care of difficult tasks on their own. Having a reliable professional keep the house clean and sanitary is helpful and offers peace of mind.
When it’s time to hire one of the best cleaning services, clients need to feel confident that they understand the process and any nuances to this helpful home service. The following answers to the most frequently asked questions are designed to help customers feel more confident before hiring the best cleaning service for their needs.
Q. What is the average cost of cleaning services?
Cleaning service costs have an average price range of $116 to $235, with an hourly rate of $25 to $90 per cleaner. This depends on the amount of cleaning, the frequency, and the location.
Q. Should I tip a house cleaner?
It depends on how frequently they clean a customer’s house. A house cleaner who comes on a regular basis each month will not need a tip (though they might appreciate it when they do a spectacular job), but if a customer hires a one-time or seasonal cleaning service, then tipping $10 to $20 per cleaning is recommended.
Q. Do cleaning services offer a trial period?
Usually, house cleaning services do not offer a trial period as their established reputation speaks for itself. However, individuals who offer house cleaning might offer a trial period.
Q. Do I pay for a cleaning service in advance or after the cleaning is done?
Most larger cleaning companies will charge on a regular basis—usually monthly. If a customer cancels an appointment, they may or may not be charged for it depending on the terms of the contract. On the other hand, individual cleaners will often charge up front until a relationship is established.
Q. Do cleaning services make you sign a contract?
It depends on the company. Some companies can offer more competitive rates or discounts if customers agree to a contract. However, other companies rely on their reputation for quality and don’t require any contracts.
Q. Will I always get the same cleaner if I hire a regular cleaning service?
This also depends on the company. There is often turnover at cleaning companies; however, if a particular cleaner or team of cleaners impresses a customer, they shouldn’t hesitate to ask the company if that cleaner or team can be assigned to their house on a regular basis.
Q. Can I cancel my cleaning service contract any time?
In most cases, contracts cannot be canceled before they end.
Q. How often should I have my house cleaned?
This depends on a customer’s needs. If they’re unable to complete most cleaning tasks themselves, they may consider having a cleaning service come once a week to stay on top of the cleaning. If a customer mostly needs help with the bigger or more intensive tasks like cleaning the bathroom or monthly deep cleaning, they may prefer to schedule a cleaning service once or twice a month. Cleaning companies understand that no two clients are alike, so it’s easy to customize the cleaning service to meet each customer’s individual needs.
Q. What if I’m not satisfied with the cleaning service I’ve picked?
Some companies offer a 24-hour guarantee on their cleaning. If a customer reaches out to them with a complaint within 24 hours of the cleaning, they will send a team to solve the issue for free. While this is not a standard practice, many companies will try to rectify the situation by offering free cleanings or sending a new team the next time. It really depends on the company and its policies, so customers will want to make sure they ask that question as they vet the best cleaning services.
Q. Can I get a refund from a cleaning service?
Each company handles refunds differently, so it’s best for customers to read the policies in the quote or ask this question specifically when they speak with a representative.