Choosing the right types of cleaning services is important when you’re thinking about how to start a cleaning business. The good news is, there’s more opportunity than ever to be successful in this field.
Homeowners are spending more time at home and want a break from everyday cleaning. And commercial businesses need more frequent cleaning to maintain a safe environment for customers and employees.
To help you take advantage of the opportunities in cleaning, we’ve curated a list of the top 20 types of cleaning services, plus how to bundle them into profitable packages.
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The Top 20 Types of Cleaning Services
Different cleaning services can be classified as either residential or commercial cleaning.
Residential cleaning includes all the types of cleaning in housekeeping that you would provide to homeowners or residents.
And what do commercial cleaning services offer? Typically, this includes cleaning services for businesses, like office cleaning. Commercial cleaning prices can look a little different, too.
This article includes both a residential and commercial cleaning services list. We’ll also talk about offering your list of cleaning services as standalone items or creating service packages further on.
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Residential and Commercial Cleaning Services List
- Basic House Cleaning: A service that involves general house cleaning jobs. Your list of house cleaning services can include areas like the kitchen, lounge, bathroom, and bedroom. Tasks include mopping, vacuuming, dusting, polishing, sweeping. For more examples of general home cleaning tasks, visit Out of Sight Residential Cleaning’s services page.
- Deep Cleaning/Spring Cleaning: This is a more comprehensive clean than a basic clean. It will include hand washing cabinets, vacuuming upholstery, polishing wood, cleaning the oven, ceiling fan blades and more. Recommend a deep clean to a client who hasn’t had their home professionally cleaned in a while. For a complete list of deep cleaning tasks, see My Amazing Maid’s cleaning services page.
- Laundry Services: Wash, dry, and fold clothes while cleaning the homeowner’s house. This is a superb addition to your list of house cleaning services. (Need a bigger house cleaning checklist? Try ours!)
- Green Cleaning: Green cleaning involves following eco-friendly cleaning practices such as using products that are non-toxic, biodegradable, and safe for you and the environment. This is a service on its own, but also a way to differentiate yourself from the competition.
- Sanitization Services: The sanitizing of homes and office spaces is currently in high demand. Squeaky Clean House is one example of a cleaning business offering this type of service.
- Ceiling and Wall Cleaning: Ceiling and wall cleaning may be part of a general house cleaning or office cleaning service provided by some businesses, but it’s also a specialty service. With this service, you remove dirt, oil, and other grime on walls and ceilings for cleanliness, better lighting, and health reasons.
- Blind Cleaning: Blinds in homes, whether aluminum or PVC Venetian blinds or wooden blinds, attract dust, so there is a real need for this specialty cleaning service. Just make sure you use the right equipment and become comfortable taking down and rehanging them.
- Curtain Cleaning: Curtain cleaning services can include both on and off-site cleaning methods. The on-site process involves dry cleaning. It is generally recommended because it’s more convenient for the client (curtains aren’t taken down and rehung), gentler on the fabric, and provides a superior clean.
- Carpet Cleaning: Typical carpet cleaning services include steam cleaning, carpet repairs, and stain and odor removal, to name just a few types of cleaning. In housekeeping, this can be especially important. Get our tips on starting a carpet cleaning business, and look into carpet cleaning software while you’re at it.
- Upholstery Cleaning: Another specialty service that involves cleaning fabric on furniture (sofas and armchairs). The material is typically pre-treated and then rinsed with water.
- Chimney Sweeping: Chimney sweep services include remodels, inspections, fireplace cleaning, chimney relining, repairs, and yes—you guessed it—chimney sweeping to prevent soot build-up, which is a fire hazard. Find out how to start a chimney cleaning business.
- Office Cleaning: These types of commercial cleaning services involve cleaning work areas, common areas, cubicles, restrooms, kitchens, and reception areas. Tasks will include mopping, dusting, polishing, sanitizing, and waste removal. For more examples of cleaning tasks, visit the Maid Sailors Office Cleaning page.
- Disaster Cleaning and Restoration: Technically, many cleaning businesses can offer this service, including carpet cleaners and chimney sweeps. But it does require specialized expertise in smoke, water and fire damage, and even mold remediation.
- Window Cleaning: Your core business is cleaning interior and exterior windows for clients. Some business owners, like Dave Moerman of Revive Washing, include extra add-on cleaning services like gutter cleaning, screen repairs, and pressure washing (discussed later) for additional revenue during slower periods. Window cleaning businesses can specialize in residential, commercial, or both—and they manage their operations with window cleaning software.
- Pressure Washing: Here you use a jet washer to deliver a powerful water stream to remove dirt and clean surfaces. Pressure washing businesses often perform specific jobs such as paint removal, restoration, maintenance. They can also offer add-on services like window, gutter, and roof cleaning.
- Restroom Cleaning: Cleaning restrooms may be part of office and home cleaning, but it’s also a high-demand standalone commercial service. Stadiums, schools, one-off events, and open public spaces can all benefit from this service.
- Janitorial Services: These services generally cover the ongoing maintenance and cleaning of schools, businesses, and large office spaces. If you’re providing this service, you’ll have to concentrate on building a team of professional, efficient janitors. Typical duties include mopping, sweeping, and taking out the trash and general building maintenance like changing light bulbs and fixing broken doors. Janitorial businesses also use janitorial software.
- School Cleaning: Cleaning services offered to private and public schools, including cleaning floors, classrooms, desks, tables, and bathrooms.
- Medical Cleaning: Because these clinics and hospitals have high standards when it comes to cleanliness, medical cleaning is highly specialized. You need to use the right cleaning supplies and equipment for these types of commercial cleaning services, and abide by the demanding cleaning practices. An example of a company that offers medical cleaning is CleanService.
- Sports Cleaning: Cleaning services offered to sports facilities such as gyms. Because these areas are a breeding ground for bacteria and the spreading of germs, they’re an ideal market for cleaning services. Common cleaning tasks include cleaning and sanitizing all equipment, surfaces, and floors.
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How to Increase Profits on Cleaning Services Offered
You can offer all the above cleaning services as a standalone service. That means customers can call you on an as-needed basis for one service at a time.
However, if you want to increase your profit margins, you’ll want to bundle cleaning services together or offer different service level packages for your clients to choose from.
Try these unique cleaning business ideas to increase your profits:
1. Bundle your services
This is where you combine multiple services into a single package and charge one price that is often more affordable than customers purchasing each service separately.
Here’s how service bundling is good for customers and for your business:
“Our house washing package is our most requested and most profitable service. This is a full soft wash of siding, windows, and gutters. Homeowners like this package because it takes care of all services with one detailed visit. And from a profitability perspective, it’s much better.”
—Dave Moerman, Revive Washing
2. Offer different service tiers
Many businesses typically offer three different packages, with each offering incrementally more value than the next. This is known as good, better, best pricing.
For example, a window cleaning package may include an entry-level package for $120 (outside window clean), a standard or popular package for $150 (inside and outside clean) and a premium package for $189 (outside, inside, tracks, sills, and even curtain rails).
The key here is to pay careful attention to your pricing strategy. You want your price increments to actually reflect changes in value and stop clients from choosing the cheapest package.
Suppose you price it in a way where your popular package seems only marginally more expensive than the starter package but offers way more value. In that case, odds are your clients will go for that over the starter package, and you will make more money.
Choosing Your Cleaning Services List and Beyond
There are many different cleaning services to choose from, whether you’re starting your first business or looking to expand into new niches.
Regardless of what’s on your list of cleaning services, start thinking about how to package them to boost profits.
And remember, how much you charge is crucial—and often the difference between paying the bills and being highly profitable.
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Originally published September 2020. Last updated August 5, 2021.