How to Price a Deep-Cleaning Job

How to Price a Deep-Cleaning Job

A deep-cleaning job is a one-time project or a periodic task that occurs on a set schedule or on an as-needed basis.

In educational facilities, floor and carpet care, along with wall and furniture cleaning, are often considered deep-cleaning jobs and may be scheduled during the summer months or during the holiday season when building traffic is slow. In an office building, deep-cleaning jobs may refer to upholstery cleaning or wall washing. In manufacturing or industrial environments, deep cleaning could involve washing equipment, ceiling structures, or a dust collection system.

Set Up for Success

Whatever deep-cleaning job you’re tackling, follows these keys to success:

Planning: Review what needs to be done and who’s going to do it. Determine what supplies, labor, and equipment will be needed. Have a backup plan in case things don’t go as expected. Allow a little extra time to complete the process, so when the job takes longer than expected you are the only one who knows.

Scheduling: Coordinate with other departments, contractors, and suppliers so you don’t run into road blocks or delays. Know how to reach key contacts when problems occur or support is needed.

Staffing: Overstaff the project by 20–5o percent. There will be someone who doesn’t show up or needs to leave early. If everyone shows up, have a list of projects where you can divert extra staff. You can always cut back or send people home early if you don’t need them, but getting people on short notice will only slow down the job.

Budgeting: Estimate your costs. Make a detailed list of everything you will need (and its cost) in terms of labor, supplies, and equipment before you start the project. This will help to avoid cost overruns due to surprises and overtime.

Set the Price

The basic budget approaches apply:

Time and materials: Add a management fee, which normally runs between 4–8 percent, but could be as high as 25–35 percent, depending on what’s included. Don’t forget to include profit and overhead as line items or bury them in your management fee.

Fixed rate/fee: Add your costs for labor, equipment, and supplies. Then figure in profit and overhead and you should have the number you need to bid the job. Labor normally accounts for 55–80 percent of your costs, depending on what’s included. Supplies can range from 4–12 percent, and equipment should run 2–5 percent. If this doesn’t leave a little room for profit and overhead, you will need to include some or all of your profit and overhead in your labor, supply, and equipment costs. If the customer wants a square-foot price, take the total cost and divide it by the square footage.

Hourly rate: For this calculation, you will need to come up with a burdened hourly rate that includes your overhead and profit. One approach is to take your labor costs and double or triple them. This may work for a small job, but when bidding larger accounts, you need to be more specific. When bidding on an hourly rate basis, have a minimum charge for a worker and vehicle that covers your mobilization costs.

Closing Advice

If you don’t know your costs, you shouldn’t be bidding on the job. Be sure to have your ducks in a row to ensure success.


Posted On February 2, 2018

William R. Griffin

President of Cleaning Consultant Services, Inc.

William Griffin is the president of Cleaning Consultant Services, Inc. He is an industry consultant, author, and trainer with more than 35 years of experience. Contact him at or visit

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How to Price a Deep-Cleaning Job
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