How to Bid a Cleaning Job

A cleaning job involves any combination of a number of general housekeeping duties in either a commercial or residential setting. If you want to offer cleaning services for money, then you will need to know how to charge for cleaning. Follow these steps for how to bid a cleaning job.


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    Decide if you want to charge for cleaning by the hour, or by the job. Each method has its advantages and drawbacks. Consider the pros and cons of each:
    • Hourly. This allows a customer who needs a variety of work done some flexibility when it comes to hiring you for a job, and provides you with a way to charge for cleaning service projects that won't necessarily be ongoing. However, charging by the hour cannot provide you with an accurate estimate of how much money you will make with a regular, ongoing cleaning job, as a house may require more cleaning sometimes than others.
    • By the job. A flat fee bid allows you to know exactly how much you can expect to make each month and allows the customer to budget in the same way. However, be prepared that there will be times when your customer may feel shortchanged because the job took less time than expected, or when you may end up working longer hours for the same amount of money.
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    Determine your hourly rate. Even if you choose not to charge a customer for your cleaning service by the hour, you will still need to decide how much your time is worth so that you can provide quotes that don't overcharge the customer or undercut your pay. Take the following things into consideration when figuring your hourly rate:
    • Your area's cost of living. You can charge more for your cleaning service in an area with a relatively high median income.
    • Your competition. Call other cleaning services in your area and ask what their rate is for a cleaning job.
    • Whether or not you will be using your own cleaning supplies. If you choose to use your own supplies, you may factor the cost of cleaners, rags and paper towels into your rate.
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    Assess the cleaning job thoroughly. Be sure to write down everything it will take to complete the job. Bring a checklist with you to your job estimate appointments and go over every aspect of cleaning with the prospective customer, being sure to take note of the job specifics.
    • Services. Your bid sheet checklist should include sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, dusting, polishing furniture, making beds, doing laundry, cleaning the refrigerator and other appliances, picking up, emptying garbage, cleaning carpets/rugs, changing pet litter boxes, disinfecting bathrooms, cleaning windows and mirrors, organizing and any other miscellaneous service that a potential customer might request of you.
    • Square footage and location layout. Take note of the location's square footage, as well as the type of flooring, number of bathrooms and any patio/pool areas.
    • Difficulty and/or special circumstances. If the cleaning job includes out of the ordinary duties that make it more difficult, uncomfortable or dangerous, be sure to add to the bid accordingly. For example, if the customer requests an especially labor-intensive tile grout cleaning each month, or if the customer's dogs will be following you around while you work, you should account for the added effort in your price. Call cleaning services that are not your competition and ask what special circumstances they run into, and then ask how they charge for them.
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    Calculate a bid amount. Taking all of the cleaning job factors into consideration, determine how many hours it will take you to complete the job and apply your hourly rate to that. Remember to supplement your bid amount with compensating amounts for any difficult special circumstances the job may entail.
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    Present your bid sheet to the potential customer. Your bid should include a breakdown of the services the job encompasses, the frequency of the cleaning and what you will charge for cleaning.


  • Download free, printable cleaning job bid sheets online and print them from your computer.
  • The first time you clean for a new customer will take longer than subsequent cleanings because you will not be familiar with the cleaning job and will have to provide a thorough base cleaning. Be sure to compensate for this fact by up-charging your first session. A good rule of thumb to charge for cleaning the first time is to mark up your bid by 10 to 20 percent.
  • To make a professional impression, include references along with your bid references, as well as a letter about your cleaning service's history, experience, specialties and any other details you feel will impart a positive message about you and your cleaning service.

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