How much should I pay for cleaning in San Francisco?

February 15, 2024
Written By
Miguel Zabludovsky
February 15, 2024

Cleaning service prices and rates in San Francisco vary widely, reflecting the city's diverse range of properties and specific cleaning needs. These rates are influenced by factors such as the size of the space, the type of cleaning required (standard, deep, or specialized), frequency of service, and the level of expertise and reputation of the cleaning company.

In San Francisco, known for its high cost of living, cleaning services often command a premium, but the competition among numerous providers ensures a range of options for different budgets. Let's delve into the intricacies of cleaning service costs in San Francisco, offering insights into what residents and businesses can expect to pay and what factors most significantly influence these rates.

Factors Affecting Cleaning Service Pricing

1. Types of Cleaning Services Offered

The specific cleaning service you seek will naturally impact the overall costs.

  • Commercial Cleaning Services: Geared towards businesses and offices, commercial cleaning ensures your professional spaces maintain a pristine reputation. These services often deploy specialized equipment and may carry a higher price tag because of the meticulous standards required.
  • House Cleaning Services: Residential cleaning, from apartments to full-sized houses, is typically what most people think of when hiring a cleaner. These services might be less intensive than commercial ones but can vary depending on the depth of cleaning required.
  • Deep Cleaning Services: Delving beyond standard cleaning, deep cleaning penetrates those hidden corners and crevices. This service can involve cleaning cabinets, reaching under furniture, and ensuring no detail is missed.
  • Carpet Cleaning: Carpets trap dirt, stains, and allergens. Specialized carpet cleaning rejuvenates your floor coverings, making them look, feel, and smell fresh.
  • Custom Cleaning: Not every cleaning job fits a mold. Custom cleaning tailors the service to your specific needs, focusing on laundry, bathrooms, or other unique areas.

 2. Pricing Structures 

  • Flat Rate Pricing: Some prefer the predictability of simple flat pricing. It's often based on the number of bedrooms or the square feet of the property. A flat-rate cleaning package assures you of a fixed cost regardless of the exact cleaning time expended.
  • Hourly Rates: Some services charge per hour, giving you the flexibility to determine the cleaning time. The hourly package price will thus vary depending on the hours consumed.

3. Consideration of Supplies 

The products and tools used during the cleaning process can also affect your bill.

  • Own Cleaning Supplies: Some residents in San Francisco prefer to provide their cleaning supplies. Doing so might reduce the cost, but ensure your supplies meet the cleaner's standards.
  • Green Products: With a growing emphasis on sustainability, many cleaning companies now offer eco-friendly cleaning products, which might carry a slightly different price tag.

4. Other Cost Determinants

When considering the price of cleaning services, whether from individual cleaners or a cleaning company, several other factors come into play:

  • Size and Layout: The number of bedrooms, additional bathrooms, and overall square feet of your residence can greatly influence costs. A three-bedroom house will typically cost more than a one-bedroom apartment.
  • Frequency: Recurring service might provide better value, as companies often offer discounts for regular engagements compared to one-off cleaning jobs.
  • Special Requirements: If you have custom jobs, such as laundry or focused cleaning on specific areas like cabinets, expect price variations.

What's the Average Going Rate?

Research indicates that the average cleaning service in San Francisco revolves around $92 per hour. For individual house cleaners, rates might hover closer to $40 per hour. However, bear in mind that professional cleaning companies offer reliability, background checks, and trained personnel. The convenience and peace of mind might justify the slightly higher price.

Flat Rate vs. Hourly Cleaning Services: Navigating San Francisco's Pricing Landscape

Some prefer the predictability of a simple flat pricing. It's often based on the number of bedrooms or the square feet of the property. A flat rate cleaning package assures you of a fixed cost regardless of the exact cleaning time expended.

Some services charge per hour, giving you the flexibility to determine the cleaning time. The hourly package price will thus vary depending on the hours consumed.

Flat Rate Cleaning Explained

Flat rate pricing primarily depends on the number of rooms, offices, and occasionally, the square footage of the area in question. 

To compare flat rate services with hourly quotes, calculate an effective hourly rate. Simply divide the flat rate by the specified maximum hours. For instance, if charges $149 for cleaning a one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment under 1,000 square feet, you can determine the hourly cost by considering the time they estimate to complete the job.

The Appeal of Hourly Cleaning Services

While flat rate services may sometimes prompt cleaners to finish hastily to maximize earnings, hourly rate services can provide more consistent quality.

  • Slate's Flexibility: Unlike some competitors, Slate charges hourly, ensuring quality isn't compromised. Furthermore, our rates, averaging $50 per hour, are highly competitive, especially when compared to MaidComplete $99/hour or ProHouseKeepers's $75/hour.

Decoding Commercial Cleaning Costs in San Francisco

After surveying 30 top-rated San Francisco cleaning companies on Yelp, the average hourly rate stands around $92. While some services may charge below $50 per hour, remember the age-old adage: you get what you pay for.

Hiring an individual cleaner could drop rates to around $40 per hour. However, the reliability, professionalism, and added benefits of a cleaning company typically justify the higher rates.

The hourly rates encompass more than just the cleaner's salary. Factors like insurance, customer support, and hiring expenses contribute significantly.

Inside Slate's Pricing Model

Slate ensures the highest standards by compensating their cleaners well above the San Francisco minimum wage. Here's a breakdown:

  • Cleaners' wage: $20/hour
  • Wage-related expenses (e.g., workers comp, insurance): +$10
  • Overheads like customer support and hiring: +$10
  • Profit and taxes: +$10
  • Resulting in Slate's base rate: $50/hour

So, Who Gets the Cleaning Gig: A Solo Housecleaner or a San Francisco Cleaning Company?

Making the right choice in the San Francisco cleaning scene can be perplexing, especially when weighing the advantages and disadvantages of hiring a direct house cleaning service against those of collaborating with an established cleaning company. Here’s an in-depth analysis to aid your decision:

Hiring House Cleaning Services Directly:


  • Cost-Effective: Generally, employing a house cleaner directly can be more wallet-friendly than securing services from a commercial entity.
  • Personal Touch: Establishing a direct relationship with your house cleaner fosters more transparent communication and a better grasp of your specific home cleaning needs. This often translates to a cleaning routine that perfectly aligns with your expectations, providing a sense of homeliness.
  • Customizable Standard Cleaning: You can discuss and tailor what "standard cleaning" entails, ensuring that your cleaner focuses on areas you deem most important in your home.


  • Flexibility Demands: The onus of flexibility rests squarely on your shoulders when hiring directly. If, for any reason, your house cleaner doesn’t turn up, they might not have a replacement ready, leaving you in a lurch.
  • Thorough Vetting Required: The responsibility of screening lies with you. Individual house cleaners, unlike their counterparts in professional companies, might not have had extensive background checks or validation of their references. This means investing more effort and time on your part to guarantee you're bringing a reliable person into your home.

Engaging a Cleaning Company in San Francisco:


  • Professionalism at its Best: Prestigious cleaning companies, such as Slate, promise unwavering, top-tier services. Their modus operandi, from exhaustive background vetting to all-encompassing training sessions, guarantees that your home cleaning is in the hands of the industry's finest.
  • Peace of Mind: Such companies often come equipped with insurance, shielding you from potential unforeseen accidents or mishaps during the cleaning regimen.
  • Guaranteed Service: With stalwarts like Slate, even if your dedicated cleaner (or "Keeper") is indisposed, they pledge that another equally skilled and trustworthy professional fills in, ensuring a seamless service experience.
  • Full-fledged Support: Prominent cleaning firms bolster their services with specialized customer support divisions to redress grievances, organize schedules, and manage any feedback or snags you might encounter.


  • Potentially Higher Expenditure: While opting for an accomplished company might seem pricier upfront, the myriad added benefits and assurance they bring often make it a reasonable investment.
  • Less Intimate: Even though companies like Slate strive to offer a regular house cleaner for uniformity, some might rotate different professionals each session. This might make the process feel less personalized, but the standard of cleaning invariably remains unparalleled.

Choosing between a direct house cleaner and a professional cleaning company boils down to personal preference. If you prioritize cost-effectiveness and a personal touch, hiring directly might be for you. However, if you value reliability, professionalism, and peace of mind, opting for a company like Slate might be the best choice. In the ever-busy San Francisco lifestyle, many find that the assurance and consistency offered by professional cleaning companies offer unmatched convenience and quality. 

Whether you're an over-scheduled homeowner or just someone in pursuit of impeccable cleaning services, leaning towards a revered company like Slate might be the smartest move you can make.

Cleaning Service San Francisco Price: $92/hr is the Benchmark

Based on an extensive review of the top 30 cleaning companies listed on Yelp, we've pinpointed the average hourly rate to be around $92. 


When deciphering the costs, we adopted a comprehensive approach to ensure accuracy:

  • Direct Hourly Rates: If a company presented their services with clear hourly rates, that's the figure we took.
  • Flat Rates – The Basics: For companies that employed flat rate pricing, we considered the cost of their standard cleaning service for a 1 bed/1 bath residence.
  • Flat Rates with Time Indicators: Some companies, in their "flat rate pricing includes" section, would specify the maximum hours covered by their flat rates. In such instances, we used this duration to calculate the equivalent hourly rate.
  • Flat Rates without Time Clarity: In cases where companies did not provide a clear indication of the hours their flat rate covered, we leaned on industry norms. On average, companies allocate about 2.5 hours for standard cleaning of a 1 bed/1 bath home— a generous estimate that we've used for our calculations.

Why Slate Stands Out - $50 BASE RATE

Slate offers a unique blend of both worlds. They provide great service without compromising on affordability. With a transparent hourly rate of $50, clients know they're getting value for their money. This rate covers background checks, insurance, and other operational costs, ensuring clients get top-tier service.

The added benefit? A consistent and regular cleaner, so you won’t be dealing with strangers every week. Moreover, if your regular cleaner is unavailable, Slate ensures you’re still covered. 

Transform Your Space with Slate’s Expert Touch

In the bustling heart of San Francisco, discovering the perfect cleaning service can be a daunting task, but with Slate, it becomes a journey of ease and assurance. Step into a world where cleaning transcends the ordinary, each task performed with unmatched attention to detail and a commitment to excellence.

Get your personalized quote effortlessly in less than a minute online. Manage your cleaning schedule and specifics with the convenience of our user-friendly digital platform, accessible via your smartphone or computer. Rest easy knowing that our team of local Keepers is not only highly skilled and trained but also rigorously screened and fully insured for your security and satisfaction.

Schedule a consultation today to explore house cleaning services that set new benchmarks in quality and reliability. Your home is your sanctuary, and we at Slate are dedicated to ensuring it shines with the utmost care and professionalism.


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