How Much Does Deep Cleaning a House Cost?
Deep cleaning is hard work, and many homeowners simply don’t have time. Hiring a professional to perform a deep clean can be surprisingly affordable, with the average cost of a house deep clean coming in at $200 to $400.
- The average cost to deep clean a home ranges from $200 to $400.
- Some of the factors that affect the exact cost include the size and type of home, the number of rooms to be cleaned, and the extent of cleaning required.
- A deep clean can help remove excessive dust, eradicate unpleasant odors, remove leftover germs from a recent illness, and remove mold from a home.
- While some residents may choose to do their own deep cleaning, a professional can save time and stress by providing fast, efficient, and effective cleaning services.
Cleaning can often fall by the wayside thanks to work, school, and the various other activities that keep most households busy. Homeowners and renters might feel that if they could just catch up, it would be easy to maintain a clean home, but the task of “catching up” can seem insurmountable. Professional cleaners can help. A single visit by a small team of cleaners can right the ship and reset a home, cleaning, disinfecting, and shining it up so its residents can start fresh and either maintain the cleaning on their own or hire regular standard house cleaning services every few weeks. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost to deep clean a house falls between $200 and $400 depending on the types of services chosen.
What’s involved in a deep clean house service? While regular house cleaning consists of dusting and wiping surfaces, vacuuming and mopping, and cleaning the surfaces in the bathroom and kitchen, deep cleaning goes several steps further. Customers can expect dusting and cobweb removal from surfaces, walls, corners, and cabinets along with baseboards and behind appliances. Trim, doors, and walls will be wiped down. Floors and carpets will be vacuumed and mopped, and the house cleaners will make every effort to remove dirt spots and stains from walls, carpets, and upholstery. The bathrooms will be cleaned and sanitized, as will the kitchen surfaces. Not included in the base price of a deep cleaning are carpet cleaning, scrubbing of whole wall surfaces, window and grout cleaning, and interior appliance cleaning, though those services can often be added on at an additional cost.
Deep cleaning is most often accomplished by a team of cleaners, as this level of cleaning would take a single worker much too long to be practical. Most cleaning services assess deep cleaning costs per hour of work per cleaner—so a team of four will be more expensive per hour than a team of two, but the team of four will complete the work faster and make the job easier to schedule into the resident’s day. The total cost is established based on some fixed considerations, like the size and design of the house, and some variables, such as add-on services and the condition of the home when the cleaners arrive. Understanding how these elements affect the cost will make budgeting this job more straightforward for homeowners and renters.
Factors in Calculating Deep Cleaning House Cost
Every home is different. Size, layout, and the unique needs of the residents make the cleaning challenges different in each situation, so the question “How much does a deep clean of a house cost?” has many answers. That said, most professional cleaners have seen it all, from homes that barely need a touch-up to homes that require a tremendous amount of work just to clear away the surface debris. Deep cleaning prices vary for this reason.
The size of the home correlates to the length of time it takes to deep clean it at a rate ranging from $25 to $50 per hour, so smaller houses will cost less to clean than larger ones. Many companies do have a minimum charge, however, to ensure that their cleaners make enough money cleaning a very small house or apartment to make it worth their time. Typically, a home less than 1,000 square feet will cost between $100 and $200 to meet the minimum cost, while a home larger than 3,000 square feet can cost anywhere from $300 to $1,500 simply based on the size.
While home size certainly affects the cost of a deep cleaning, the style and layout do as well. Condos are generally the least expensive type of home to clean because of their simple layout and smaller size. Tiny houses and cottages, along with some duplexes, make up the next average price point because of their slightly more complex layouts (more walls equal more rooms to work through) and compact spaces, which can limit the cleaning appliances that will fit inside and may require more hand cleaning. Apartments vary widely in terms of size and layout, so while some may be at the lower end of the cost spectrum if they have just one bedroom and one bathroom, others may have four bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a luxury kitchen, which would cost more to clean than in other houses. Town houses are deceptive; while their footprint and square footage may be small, they’re often spread out over three floors, and stairs add time and labor. Chalets and lofts add high ceilings, which can be difficult to clean and require extension poles on cleaning tools, bumping the cost higher. Traditional houses are built in so many configurations and varieties that they can be quite simple or very complex to clean, so the cost will vary accordingly.
Room Type and Number
Each room requires a cleaning team member to work through it, so the more rooms a home has, the longer the cleaning will take and the more the job will cost. In addition, some rooms take longer than others because they require a different level of cleaning.
- Laundry rooms are quick and easy: A thorough dust, wipe-down of surfaces, and mop will get the job done.
- Home offices are pretty straightforward: Dusting, emptying the trash, vacuuming, and wiping down the trim and walls are simple and don’t require much in the way of scrubbing.
- Bedrooms are a little more complex, as they may involve moving furniture to clean behind as well as vacuuming and cleaning the mattress, which can be heavy work depending on the size of the bed.
- Living rooms and dining rooms also require extended vacuuming and upholstery spot cleaning, along with some furniture movement to access the walls and baseboards behind them.
- Kitchens and bathrooms are the most labor-intensive rooms to clean because of the variety of surfaces and angles and the likelihood that vertical surfaces need more attention.
- Basements and attics may or may not be part of the base deep cleaning package; instead, they may be listed as add-on services, because the time and effort components depend so much on how crowded the spaces are and whether or not they’re primarily storage or finished living areas. As a result, these spaces tend to cost the most.
Is the house empty and ready for sale, or is it full of furniture and belongings? Professionals can work effectively in either case, but a home that is empty is a lot faster to clean—there’s no need to move furniture or possessions out of the way, and no furniture or mattresses to vacuum. Because of this, empty houses are less expensive to clean.
Houses that are full of belongings may require an estimate or quote before a deep cleaning is scheduled. Why? If a house is reasonably tidy, the cleaners have faster access to the surfaces that need to be cleaned; on the other hand, if the cleaners arrive and the floor is full of toys and stacked books and papers, and the counters are cluttered with dishes in the kitchen and makeup in the bathroom, extra charges may be applied because the cleaners have to tidy before they can clean (this is a different standard than what regular weekly cleaners use, which may include general tidying as part of the job). Also, the degree of dirt and buildup that needs to be scrubbed off will affect the cost: Walls that need a quick dusting and wipe down will likely be included in the cost of a deep cleaning, but walls that are stained and need significant scrubbing and other attention may be charged as a separate service. Carpets that need spot cleaning may be included, but whole-carpet shampooing is not. An estimate can help determine the cost if it’s been a long time since any cleaning was done.
Type of Cleaning Task
Every cleaning service has its own schedule or checklist of what is included in its base rate for a deep clean. Other services that may not be on this list are available for a separate cost. With this itemization, customers can choose the higher-ticket tasks that they want to have completed and avoid paying for those they don’t. These tasks can add up quickly, but it’s because they’re time-consuming that many customers choose to hire professionals in the first place, so choosing the ones that are necessary is a good idea for customers even if doing so increases the overall house deep cleaning service cost.
- Grout and tile cleaning is a frequently selected option by customers who hire deep-cleaning professionals. This service adds between $290 and $660.
- Inside appliance cleaning is included by some companies in their service; others will charge between $10 and $50 to clean the interior of a fridge or oven.
- Carpetingdeep clean price per square foot is between $1.25 and $5, with the exception of delicate rugs that need to be hand-washed. Those can run up to $8 per square foot.
- Drape and shutter cleaning averages between $150 and $360, depending on type, size, and weight.
- Walls and baseboard cleaning (beyond a dust and wipe down) averages between $170 and $480.
- Upholstery cleaning costs range from $119 to $231, although large sectionals can cost more.
- General disinfection, to clean after an illness or to remove bacteria or allergens, can add between $15 and $400 to the total cost.
Because full-house deep cleaning services are based at least partly on time, the local cost of labor can have a significant impact on the cost of cleaning services. This isn’t something that the customer has any real control over, but it’s worth noting that it’s part of the budgeting. Most cleaning services will offer different packages based on the number of cleaners on the team, balanced against how long they’ll need to work to complete the job. Additional cleaners add more hourly fees but will likely complete the job much faster.
Metropolitan and suburban areas generally have quite a few cleaning services (both chain and independent) to choose from. Outlying and rural areas may have fewer options, which can lead to higher prices, or the cleaners may have to travel significant distances to reach the job site. This can add extra transportation costs to the package.
Additional Costs and Considerations
Beyond the physical basics of the home to be cleaned, there are some other considerations when homeowners or renters are pricing the cost of a deep cleaning service and budgeting for extras. They’re important costs to factor in so the budget is reasonable and the customer can get the services done that are most important to them.
Independent Cleaner vs. Cleaning Company
For some people, inviting strangers into their home and paying them to clean the living space is a deeply personal choice. For others, it’s less so—it’s simply hiring a contractor. Either way, it’s important for the customer to be comfortable with the people who will be working in the home, just as it is with any contractor, and most especially if the cleaning will be done while the residents aren’t home. An independent cleaner will usually be less expensive and more flexible than a larger cleaning company, and many people develop long-term relationships with independent cleaning contractors. They’ll set their own rates, and their fees will go toward their own income and their own insurance, not toward a company’s overhead or group insurance. As a result, customers can often negotiate a lower rate and a schedule that works for both themselves and the cleaner. When homeowners or renters are hiring an individual, it’s important for customers to ask if they’re insured and to check references and perhaps request a background check, as the cleaner won’t have a company guaranteeing their work.
Cleaning companies, whether local or national, provide guarantees, backing, and support, along with set routines and teams. They are efficient and usually require a signed contract before they’ll begin working at a home. Because the rates cover the administration of the company and the overhead as well as the cleaners’ paychecks, the rates are usually higher than those of an independent cleaner. And because there is a central schedule that’s fixed in place, these companies may or may not be able to accommodate last-minute changes or requests. However, many established companies have great reputations for a reason: They handle the vetting of the individual cleaners so customers don’t have to, and they get the job done and done well to protect their reputation.
Onetime Cleaning vs. Recurring Cleaning
For customers who choose to schedule regular cleaning with a professional service weekly, biweekly, or monthly, that company will often offer a discount on the annual or semiannual deep cleaning. Even if deals aren’t available, a home that is professionally cleaned regularly will have less dirt buildup and thus will take less effort to deep clean, so the job will cost less.
On the other hand, for customers who have never had their home deep cleaned and are hiring the company to provide a single appointment, the onetime deep cleaning cost may be higher simply because there’s more to do and there’s no guarantee of additional work down the road.
Move-In or Move-Out Cleaning
Move-in or move-out cleaning costs about $360 but can go much higher if the space is still full of leftover moving debris or is very dirty. Add-on services may be required, because once the furniture is out, it may become apparent that the carpets must be fully cleaned or that the blinds must be fully cleaned. The cost of deep cleaning houses and apartments after moving out is worth it for renters, because the return of the security deposit is often contingent on the home being fully cleaned.
The cost for this type of cleaning depends on what the customer is looking for. It may entail washing dishes, collecting trash, decluttering, and then cleaning in general, or if the event was particularly festive, it may include cleaning carpets, washing floors, and scrubbing the kitchen. The deep house cleaning costs for this service will vary based on the services requested.
Sanitizing and Disinfecting
After the flu, COVID-19, or other viruses have swept through a house, it can feel like the illness just hangs in the air, even if that’s not the case. Sometimes a family can continually pass the same illnesses around just by living in the same house. When that happens, it’s worth considering a full disinfection or sanitization of the whole home. This can be expensive, because asking cleaners to enter a home that requires this treatment places them at risk of becoming ill as well, so often there will be an additional charge for protective equipment that is then discarded. Disinfection services can range from $15 to $400, while UV-light sanitizing services can range as high as $500 or more. Customers will want to check with local companies that deep clean houses for specifics, because every company will have its own pricing for this service.
Eco-Friendly Cleaning Product Usage
Some people are physically affected by the fumes generated by traditional cleaning chemicals, while others are concerned about the effects of harsh chemicals on the environment, both inside and outside the home. Using eco-friendly products can lessen both of these concerns. However, eco-friendly cleaning solutions are generally more expensive than traditional cleaners, so most cleaning services will add a small surcharge.
Customers may wonder how much to tip house cleaners for deep cleaning, but there’s no set amount. House cleaners and house cleaning services do not require tips: They have set the cost of their service. However, rewarding cleaners (especially if the same person or team cleans the home regularly) for excellent work is always appreciated. A tip of 15 to 20 percent for a job well done will be appreciated by the cleaners.
Deep Cleaning House Cost by Room Type
Each room in the home has different cleaning requirements and specific trouble spots. Some rooms take less time, simply because there are fewer surfaces to clean, while others have lots of areas that will require special attention and will take longer, increasing the cost of cleaning the space.
Home offices are fairly simple to clean: Dusting, vacuuming, wiping down surfaces, and cleaning decorative items on desks and surfaces is relatively quick work. Areas where electronics are in use do collect dust, so those areas will need extra attention. Home offices average between $30 and $60 to deep clean.
Home to soft furniture, electronics, books, and decor, living rooms aren’t usually the messiest spot in the home, but they do require a fair amount of physical labor, as furniture needs to be moved aside and televisions pulled out from the walls to vacuum and dust beneath and behind. Curtains and blinds will be dusted as well, and the furniture may be spot cleaned and vacuumed, so the $50 to $100 it costs to clean a living room is reasonable.
Rugs, mattresses, and soft headboards and furnishings need to be vacuumed and cleaned, and side tables collect all manner of things that need to be wiped down and arranged. Pillows may be freshened, draperies and blinds dusted, and furniture dusted and wiped down. These aren’t overly challenging spaces, other than raising a mattress for vacuuming, and usually cost between $40 and $60 to clean.
Requiring a lot of bending and scrubbing, and potentially extra deep cleaning tools and cleansers to remove scale, rust stains, soap scum (not to mention toilet rings), and other buildup, bathrooms are a more complex space to clean, costing between $60 and $150 apiece.
Of the main living spaces, kitchens are the most expensive to clean, running an average of $70 to $150. Why? So many different materials, including wood, tile, steel, vinyl, and natural or fabricated countertops, mean many different approaches, and the kitchen is also just a messy place. Splashes of sauce or food, spray from that bottle of soda that was unexpectedly pressurized, crumbs that fall out of the toaster and lodge in small spaces—there’s just a lot of work to be done in the kitchen, and this takes extra time and work.
Most people don’t think about the fact that a laundry room, a space used for cleaning, needs to be cleaned. Splashes of detergent, plus the dampness from the washer and dryer exhaust combined with lint, can actually render it one of the dirtiest spots in the home. If the laundry room doubles as a mudroom or entryway, things can get even worse, with floors dirty from debris tracked in from outside and wet pets shaking off upon reentry. Luckily, laundry rooms are usually pretty small; even when they’re really filthy, they’re pretty quick to clean, so they cost between $25 and $40.
Garages present a cleaning challenge: They’re an indoor space but house a lot of outdoor tools and machinery, and they’re often cluttered or stacked with equipment. Also, garages often have deep storage on the walls, or hanging systems, so it can be difficult to access the spaces where the dirt collects. Garages cost between $80 and $120 to deep clean.
Basement cleaning costs vary based on how the space is being used. If it’s being used as a finished living room, $150 will probably cover it. If it’s a semi-finished gym with a workbench and utility area, that space is more complex and will require more maneuvering and time, so the price will increase. And if it’s a large storage space with piles of old boxes and mousetraps in the corner, plus a funny mildewy smell, it can be cleaned but could cost up to $400.
Take all of the challenges presented by a basement and then add in low ceilings, awkward corners, and the possibility that a squirrel or bat might have made its way in, and it will make sense that attics average between $150 and $500 to clean.
Do I Need Deep House Cleaning?
How do homeowners and renters know when it’s time to deep clean their home? Most houses really need a deep clean at least once or twice a year, or more often in homes with small children or pets. There are, however, certain circumstances that warrant an immediate deep clean, even if it’s not the scheduled time to do so.
If household members have been seriously ill, or an illness has been passed around repeatedly, a deep clean can help disinfect surfaces and interrupt the cycle. Also, most people fall behind on cleaning tasks when there’s illness in the house, and it might just feel better to have a clean, fresh home in which to recover. It’s important to share with the cleaning service that illness is the reason for the cleaning so that the workers can appropriately protect their own health. COVID cleaning services prices, along with the costs of cleaning after other extended illnesses, can range between $15 and $400 for disinfection on top of the regular cleaning cost.
Excessive Dust and Cobwebs
Sometimes the dust can just get out of hand, especially if there’s been any kind of construction project in the home. If the corners of the ceiling are littered with cobwebs and the dust is thickly visible, it’s time to do a deep cleaning. Bacteria and germs can linger in dust, and eventually it can also become a fire hazard.
Pollen and pet dander can exist almost invisibly, even in a home that is regularly cleaned and vacuumed. If residents in the home suffer from allergies and experience a sudden flare-up, it may be an indication that the pollen counts are high outside and that pollen is being brought inside through an HVAC technician or on the shoes, shoulders, and hair of the people who live in the house. A thorough deep cleaning should ease symptoms and make it easier for air purifiers to keep up.
Mystery smells require investigation, because they won’t go away on their own. An older dog that is incontinent or licks the rug continuously or a vengeful cat that pees in the closet can create lingering odors that require more than a vacuum or a quick spritz of carpet cleaner. Other sources can include drinks that were spilled or snacks that were lost underneath a couch and went bad or mildew that’s hiding in a damp space. If there are unidentified, unpleasant smells in the home, it’s time to identify the source and deep clean.
Discolored Walls and Floors
Walls and floors can become discolored in many ways. Areas that are frequently damp, such as bathrooms, kitchens, and rooms adjacent to those spaces, can experience water tracks on painted surfaces—and those tracks can drag dust, cobwebs, or other dirt with them down the walls. This is unsightly and can also create buildup and permanent staining over time. If the discoloration is near windows or areas that are close to water sources, it could indicate mold or mildew, so it’s important to clean the area and monitor it for additional signs of leakage.
Presence of Mold
Any indication of mold or mildew in any space—a musty smell, a tinge of greenish gray on drywall, dark lines growing on grout—needs attention immediately. Cleaning services offer deep cleaning of grout and sanitizing of surfaces, but if there’s a significant problem, the home’s residents will need to call one of the best mold removal companies and then have the home deep cleaned after the treatment to make sure the spores are gone.
Deep House Cleaning: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
Can a resident deep clean their own home? Of course. Those with the physical ability, tools and materials, time, and energy can certainly do this task. It is hard work, though: It’s physical, it’s time-consuming, and it can be frustrating if the space doesn’t seem as clean as it should after the job has been completed. While many people don’t have the extra money for regular weekly professional house cleaning, yearly or twice-yearly professional deep cleaning may not cost much more than the supplies and tools needed to do a DIY job, especially if the customer also factors in the time it takes. Professional cleaning is fast, efficient, and effective, so it’s worth considering taking back that time and letting a pro do the job.
How to Save Money on Deep Cleaning House Cost
Professional cleaning isn’t as costly as many other home projects, but it still requires a good chunk of change, especially for customers who aren’t quite on board with paying for something they could technically do themselves. There are ways to save a little extra money.
- Shop around. Compare the base packages of several companies or cleaners until you find one that includes most of the services you want. That will be less expensive than choosing a smaller base price and adding on a variety of other itemized services.
- Skip supply shopping. Remember that if the cleaners are bringing their own supplies, it’s money you won’t be spending separately.
- Tidy up. Declutter the home before the cleaners arrive so they can spend their time working on tasks you’d rather not do yourself.
- Maintain the home. Keep up with regular weekly cleaning so the deep cleaning job takes less time.
- Exclude the basement and the attic. These spaces do need to be cleaned, but once a year is usually enough, so save by not including them in every deep cleaning.
Questions to Ask About Deep House Cleaning
How can a customer choose a house cleaning service? First, they can check with neighbors and friends to see who they use: Sometimes a service will offer a discount if they can clean several homes on the same street on the same day. Customers can also check online recommendations and ratings and identify several services to call. They’ll want to look closely at each company’s menu of options to see which cleaning service best meets their needs and then call to get more information or to request a quote. The following questions can help customers find the best cleaning services that fit their needs and budget.
- Will you be cleaning the house, or will you be sending in employees?
- What kind of training do you provide for your workers?
- Are they licensed and insured, and are they provided with workers’ compensation?
- Do you work from a deep clean house checklist?
- Do you bring your own supplies? What if I’d rather provide my own?
- How will you get into the house, and how will you deal with pets?
- What kind of guarantees do you offer?
- Can I see your references?
- How should I prepare the house for service?
- How can I make you more comfortable in my home?
Deep cleaning is a task few people are eager to take on, but a home feels so much better after the work is complete that it’s worth tackling the job or hiring someone else to do. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions and their answers to get homeowners and renters into cleaning mode.
Q. What is the fastest way to deep clean a house?
For quick cleaning to prepare for last-minute guests, homeowners and renters can check to see if a cleaning service nearby has an opening and can do a quick deep clean for them. It will cost a bit more than a DIY deep clean, but the time and stress savings can be worth it.
If that’s not an option, the resident can ask for some help: All hands on deck with assigned jobs will make the work go faster. Residents will want to gather all of their supplies together and then accomplish one task at a time, such as decluttering, dusting, and vacuuming throughout the home rather than tackling one room at a time. They can then tackle mirrors and glass, countertops and surfaces in living spaces, kitchens, and bathrooms. This kind of deep clean won’t necessarily hit every nook and cranny, but if speed is the goal, it can be done. Purchasing quality cleaning supplies can run up to $40 to $50 per month for residents going the DIY route.
Q. Where should I start when cleaning a house?
Residents will want to start with appliances that can run or work in the background that will make their tasks easier later. They can start a load of laundry, run the dishwasher, put the stove grates in the sink to soak, and spray cleaner in the oven, toilets, sinks, and tub. Then they can begin tidying the house: It will be easier to clean if there aren’t piles of clutter everywhere. The next task can be areas that require wet cleaning—bathrooms and kitchens take the longest to clean and the most elbow grease, so residents will want to do them while they still have energy.
Q. How long does it take to deep clean a house?
Professionals will take an average of 30 to 45 minutes per room, depending on the tasks that need to be completed in that room. If it’s been a long time since the home was cleaned or deep cleaned, it will usually take longer. And a nonprofessional will often take longer simply because they don’t have a streamlined route worked out the way a professional does.
Q. What do I need to deep clean my house?
If a resident wants to deep clean a house themselves, they’ll need time—and a fair amount of it if they want to clean their house like a pro. How much time will depend on how much stamina they have, whether they have someone helping, and how much cleaning needs to be done. Residents will also need the correct tools, such as rags, towels, or scrub pads that can be washed or thrown away once the home is clean; a clean water bucket and a dirty water bucket; rubber cleaning gloves; and a scrub brush and an old toothbrush for getting into the nooks and crannies. A mop and good vacuum along with a carpet cleaner with the appropriate solution will make the job much easier. Residents will also need cleaning solutions: a degreaser, dish soap, disinfectant, vinegar or cleaning spray, and glass cleaner. They can gather the tools and solutions into a bucket or basket so they can easily carry them from room to room instead of running back and forth to find what they need.
Q. How do professionals deep clean a house?
A standard cleaning is fairly surface-level. Everything is wiped down, surface dirt is removed, carpets are vacuumed, floors are mopped. Deep cleaning goes in, around, and behind fixtures, furniture, and appliances and scrubs down to the original surfaces to remove buildup. A professional will work from the top down to clean and sanitize every surface and leave the home sparkling.
Q. How often should I deep clean my house?
This depends a bit on who lives in the home. The average home needs a good deep clean once or twice a year. However, homes with young children, pets, or residents with many allergies may find that it’s necessary more frequently. Also, homes where regular weekly and monthly cleaning is tackled in an organized way (whether by the residents or a professional) will find that deep cleaning is needed less often. Sometimes it’s helpful to have a deep cleaning done before or after a major event at the home, before the resident starts using a regular cleaning service, or when they are moving into or out of a home.