How to Start Your Own Maid Service

By Alejandra Rodriguez

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How to Start Your Own Maid Service

It is universally known (unless you’re Monica from Friends) that people hate to clean. It’s a chore. That’s why one of the practical businesses to start is a cleaning or maid service. From residential maid services to business cleaning, this chore that everyone hates can easily be made into a business as long as you have a plan.

You can make more money with more clients, or sell more services to fewer clients. Just remember to be careful to not go too fast. If you promise too much to too many new customers, you may not be able to deliver and then you can lose those clients.

Go slow and look at how much you can earn as a growing concept.

So how much does a maid service owner make? You can make $30-50,000 every year with no problem. With a partner, you can double that. And with more help, you can bring in more clients.

A maid service is not one you think of as glamorous. You clean up after other people’s fun. Many people are not even aware you are there. There is a lot of hard work involved, and you always get to hear that wonderful, wonderful joke “Hey I think you missed a spot!”.

While it’s not glamorous, there is a ton of business and money to be made, especially if the service you provide is exceptional every time.

How to Start Your Own Maid Service: 12 Quick and Easy Steps

My maid service gives me more financial security than I ever dreamed of as a teenager who spoke no English scrubbing toilets in a motel 25 years ago when I came to this country.

It is not that people are lazy. It is that they have the money to spend on not having to clean up, so they just don’t.

I realized that years ago. And I talked to some of the other girls I worked with and we decided we could make more money on our own.

Our boss paid us nothing, so we did not see a harm in trying.

The work was hard, and we were abused physically and financially as we learned what to do and what not to do.

I have never looked back.

Starting your own maid service is not an easy thing, but it is a good thing, and it is a needed thing.

You will always have work and you will always be able to find more.

If you are wanting to begin your own maid service, please read my words and may they guide you on your way to a better life as you read how to start a maid service.

Step 1: Learn How a Maid Service Works

There are many different types of cleaning services.

Your company may be a commercial cleaning service or an office cleaning service or a residential cleaning service.

Your company may be a mix of those.

In this day, you do not need to be a maid to own a maid service, but it is a very good idea for you for many reasons to clean for someone else before you open your own service.

You will learn what must be done as well as what should not be done.

You’ll understand your maids and they will respect you more knowing you did what they do.

You will see every piece of your business on different levels.

You’ll go through the hiring process.

You will see how a company does schedules and organization. You’ll get a better understanding of house cleaning prices per hour and a price list of add ons.

It is a very good thing to be involved in the business and to have your own, one should start at the beginning.

And then when you are ready, you will understand how to start a maid service in 30 days.

Step 2: Create a Plan

When we first started our company, we did not have a plan other than to go work hard and share everything.

We would clean anything.

Since then I have learned what to do.

As my teacher told me, have a plan.

There are not just rules for running a maid service but laws.

Do you know them?

Everything must be done right.

  • You must have permits and insurance.
  • You must have maids.
  • You must pay taxes.
  • You need an office.
  • What cleaning supplies will you use?
  • Where will you find the supplies?
  • How much money will you have to start
  • And how will you find your clients?

It is important to know before you start how you will do everything.

And if not to know then at least to think about.

Having a plan really will make your maid service operate better.

Step 3: Discover Earning Potential

The average US homeowner spends between $110 ~ $158 on cleaning services. A maid can make $30-50,000 a year.

But a maid service can make much more than that.

I make sure to pay my maids more than that to see to it they do not leave and clean at a high level because then I charge my clients more for top service.

To know how much your maid service startup can bring in, first you must know what you will offer and who you will offer it to.

If you are cleaning homes, you may see more customers but for less money.

If you are cleaning offices, you may see more money but for less customers.

But your earning potential will always depend on how many clients you have and what services they can afford.

If you know who you will be serving and what service they will need, you know how much you can earn.

Here are some house cleaning price guidelines to consider:

  • Charge by the hour (anywhere from $40/hour ~$80+ depending on how amazing your reputation is)
  • Charge extra for more maids (you an offer the customer the option to finish the job faster, with a 2nd maid on site)
  • Charge by sq. footage (the size of the house should be factored on top of the hourly rate because it’s more surface area and work).
  • Give small discounts for pre-scheduling or for scheduled cleanings (per week).
  • Some maid services charge extra for pets (fur cleanup)
  • Charge extra for specialty add ons
    • Furniture cleaning
    • Window cleaning
    • Deep cleaning
    • Move in/Move out Cleaning
    • Carpet Cleaning
    • Chimney and Fireplace Cleaning

Step 4: Set a Budget

How much does it cost to start a maid service?

That depends on you.

We started with very little. But our budget kept us on the right path and we grew our money and started buying better equipment and hiring more help.

If you have more money, you can learn how to start a small maid service very quickly.

Here is a list of what you need to start a maid service and what it costs:

  • Legal: $300
  • Uniforms: $100
  • Brochure: $200
  • Insurance: $500
  • Stationary: $50
  • Cleaning Equipment: $800
  • Communication Equipment: $100
  • Office Furniture: $100
  • Supplies: $200
    Total: $2,350

I did not put rent on this list because when I started we worked out of my apartment and you may want to do the same to save money. But if you want an office you will need to add rent to this list.

Your budget will tell you how much money you have to improve your service. But you may have to stretch your money to start.

To keep costs down my service always uses the same rags and cloth over and over by washing them after every service.

We also use concentrate products.

We buy the chemicals and then add them into spray bottles with water. This way the supplies are less expensive and we know how strong they are.

You should always try to keep costs down so you have more money to put back into your maid service so it can then make more money for you.

Use a budget and stand by it to do that.

Step 5: Decide Which Products/Service to Offer

The easiest way to set your prices is to look at other maid services in your city.

See what they charge and how their payment plans work.

I have seen many will charge by the hour. And rates change if there are more maids working on the same project.

You can also charge by the project or by the size of the space you are cleaning.

A bathroom will take less time than an office floor and will cost much less.

Here is a housekeeping services list to consider offering to your clients as your cleaning package:

  • Dust surfaces
  • Dust and hand wipe furniture tops
  • Dust baseboards, chair rails, and door panels
  • Dust ceiling fans (within reach)
  • Vacuum carpets
  • Vacuum and damp mop floors
  • Dust blinds, window sills, and lock ledges
  • Dust furniture
  • Dust pictures frames
  • Dust lamp and lamp shades
  • Dust and clean mirrors
  • Empty all trash


  • Dust surfaces
  • Dust blinds, window sills, and lock ledges
  • Dust cabinets, door panels, and baseboards
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces
  • Clean, disinfect and shine showers and tubs
  • Clean and disinfect toilets inside and out
  • Clean and disinfect doorknobs and switch plates
  • Shine fixtures
  • Vacuum and damp mop floors
  • Empty trash


  • Dust surfaces
  • Dust blinds, window sills, and lock ledges
  • Dust chair rails, cabinets, door panels, and baseboards
  • Dust top of refrigerator
  • Clean and disinfect counter tops
  • Clean and disinfect doorknobs and switch plates
  • Clean and disinfect sink
  • Clean and disinfect microwave inside and out
  • Clean, disinfect and shine outside of oven and top of range
  • Clean, disinfect and shine outside of dishwasher
  • Clean, disinfect and shine outside of refrigerator
  • Clean and disinfect kitchen table
  • Vacuum and damp mop floors
  • Empty trash


  • Dust surfaces
  • Dust and hand wipe furniture tops
  • Dust furniture
  • Dust baseboards, chair rails, and door panels
  • Dust blinds, window sills, and lock ledges
  • Vacuum carpets
  • Vacuum and damp mop floors (if non-carpet)
  • Change sheets (upon request)
  • Make beds (upon request)
  • Empty trash

Spring Cleaning Tasks

Everything included in the regular cleaning plus:

  • Damp wipe baseboards and window sills
  • Damp wipe door panels and frames
  • Vacuum upholstered furniture
  • Remove cobwebs
  • Damp wipe kitchen and bathroom cabinets

There are many maid services, so you must think why a customer will want you.

Price is one way to get business but if you are too cheap they may think you are not good.

You can have nice uniforms. Or be very fast.

But I think if you do a good cleaning and good service you will never be without customers.

You must know why someone should choose your maid service over another and base your services around that.

Step 6: Decide on a Location

I started my maid service out of a small apartment.

You can do that too.

Or you can have an office to put everything.

But you do not need a big space. Customers do not come to the office. The maid comes to the customer.

So you must focus more on where to serve.

Do you have a small service area? If you are by yourself, you cannot serve the whole city. But the more maids you have, the more area you can cover.

And remember your customers.

If you are cleaning offices, you will want to be by corporate areas.

If you are cleaning homes you will want to be by nice neighborhoods.

Your location is part of your plan. Make sure you do not ignore it.

Step 7: Find Suppliers

There are not that many things needed to start a maid service.

You need cleaning supplies and cleaning equipment.

You’ll also need office supplies like pens and paper and stationery.

If you have an office you will need chairs and a desk and other furniture.

You can order these and have them delivered from websites like

But when you are ready to start a small maid service you want to keep costs low.

Look for bulk ordering and discounts from bulk shopping options like Costco or Sam’s Club.

They have what you need to start a maid service without spending too much money.

You must have a plan for supplies, especially when your service grows.

Make supplies part of your plan before you ever start so you do not have to worry about suppliers later.

Step 8: Promote Your Maid Service

This is very important.

You cannot run a service without any customers.

Start with your friends and family and their friends and family.

Figure out what areas you want to work and go put hangers on doors.

If you want to clean offices then go in person to talk to the office manager.

Make sure you have business cards with you all the time.

Pay for a nice website so that people will trust your service.

Put flyers wherever you can.

Use technology so people see you online.

Yelp is a great site which can help people find you and is worth paying money to advertise on.

You can also advertise in newspapers or local mail coupons.

And put bright signs or magnets on your car so people see your car on the road.

Just make sure you are always trying to bring in more clients.

Step 9: Create a Staffing Plan

The more maids you have the more money you make.

When you start a small maid service you will probably not be able to afford a lot of maids.

But when you grow you will need as many as you can find.

You must have a plan not only to hire them but to schedule them.

How many maids will work at once? And where will you put them?

How will you find them to start?

I recommend starting with friends and family as I did.

Looking in Craigslist and local newspapers are very good ideas, too.

And do not be afraid to put up flyers around neighborhoods for your future maids to find you.

I sometimes find more maids when I wear my company shirt while shopping at the market. Women will approach me sometimes to see if we are hiring.

Always think about having more help and where to find the help.

Step 10: Decide on a Style/Design

How will people look at your company?

I see maid services with different names all the time. But I notice that a service with a name, like “Maria’s Cleaning Service”, will not do as well as the chains like MollyMaids.

This is because people assume it is a smaller and not as good company.

I would say to keep a name out of your service and call it something with Maids in it.

Or something fun!

After you have your name you should also think of a uniform.

Uniforms show customers we are professional.

If a maid wears jeans and a t-shirt, she does not look professional. And even if you think cleaning is not professional, your service is professional and your maids show that.

You should spend money on branding. Have nice business cards and a nice website and cars with signs and magnets.

The more professional you and your maids look, the more clients you will have.

Step 11: Create an Accounting Plan

I have a lot of immigrants as my maids.

And because of that, I see a lot of attention from the government.

They review my accounting to make sure I am paying all taxes and everything is documented.

You can expect that also.

But if you use an accounting software like Quickbooks or have an accountant then you will have nothing to worry about.

This is why having a plan for accounting is so important.

It can protect you in the future.

Step 12: Get Into the Maid Service Community

I have met many connections through the maid service community.

It is important for you to be involved in the community to understand new tips for better and faster cleaning.

And you can find new maids at shows and in online groups.

You should join the Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association for news and trade shows.

There are also a lot of local meetups and Facebook groups you can join.

Always be nice to everyone in the industry because it can only help.

Someone may have a cousin or a friend in your area

Clients can come from anywhere, especially the service community, so make sure you join it.

The Bottom Line

It is hard work to have a maid service startup.

But it is worth doing.

I am my own boss and I make my clients’ homes look very beautiful.

I provide work for my wonderful maids and my family is taken care.

To me, that is a dream come true.

Hopefully, you put this guide to use. If this was helpful for you and you want to learn more about opening a maid service, has a 21 point checklist for starting your new business. Make sure you download this if you’re serious about getting started.

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