There are several reasons people hire a professional cleaning service to clean their apartment:
- They’re too busy to do the job.
- They don’t like doing cleaning.
- They have guests arriving and they want their guests to be comfortable.
- They’ve let things go for months and they need someone to deep clean their apartment to make it livable again!
- They’re moving in and want to remove all traces of the former occupant.
- They’re moving out and are required to clean the apartment if they want to get their security deposit back.
- Someone has been very sick or died in the apartment and it requires special disinfection processes.
Given the differences in these circumstances, you might be asked to do a one-time cleaning, deep-cleaning, or regular weekly or monthly cleaning to freshen up your client’s living space. You will need to consider how flexible your cleaning service will be with these different arrangements and schedules.
Recommended Cleaning Supplies and Equipment
- All-purpose cleaner
- Heavy-duty oven cleaner
- Window and glass cleaner
- White Vinegar
- Lemon Juice
- Baking Soda
- Tea tree oil
- Carpet Spot Cleaner
- Stainless steel cleaner
- Rubber gloves
- Microfiber cloths
- Toilet Bowl Brush
- Disinfectant wipes or spray
- Furniture polish
- Lint roller
- Paper towels
- Broom and dustpan
- Cleaning caddy
- Mop/ steam mop
- Vacuum cleaner with attachments
- Step stool
- Garbage bags
Standard Cleaning vs. Deep Cleaning
Standard (routine) cleaning occurs when your client hires you to clean their apartment on a regular schedule, be it daily, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. Your tasks will include:
- dusting surfaces, lights, fans and removing cobweb in all rooms;
- shaking dust out of curtains and wiping down blinds;
- cleaning and sanitizing the bathroom;
- cleaning the kitchen, including making the appliances shine and removing smudges and fingerprints; cleaning windows and mirrors;
- vacuuming carpets and cleaning hard surface floors; and
- sanitizing frequently-touched surfaces.
Your clients expect you to do a more thorough cleaning job than they would do for example, really cleaning a surface, not just wiping around objects. Take a systematic approach when cleaning the apartment:
Thoroughly clean one room at a time, starting at the top and moving your way down so that the dust and dirt falls to the floor. The last thing to be cleaned in a room is the floor. Look back in the room to make sure you have cleaned everything and put things are back in their place.
When it comes to the kitchen, speak with your client about what kind of cleaning they want you to do. Will you clean their dirty dishes? Do they want you to run the dishwasher and put the dishes away? Do they want you to clean the refrigerator and defrost the freezer? (These are part of deep cleaning which is discussed below.) Are you to remove the garbage and recyclables? If so, where are they to go?
The bathroom is one room that your clients will appreciate you paying attention to by cleaning:
- sinks, counters, tiled areas, tub, shower walls and floors
- faucets, spouts and drains
- mirrors and windows.
Expect to do deep cleaning when you are cleaning prior to a move-in or after a move-out, or if you have been hired to do a major one-time cleaning. Be prepared for layers of dust, grime and grease.
The kitchen and bathroom will likely need the most work. Move the kitchen appliances away from the wall to clean behind them. Then, clean the stove surface, elements and the oven. Wash out the interior of the refrigerator, including the walls, racks, drawers and door.
You may need to defrost the freezer; you can set it up to defrost while you work on some other tasks. Get into every cupboard and corner to remove crumbs and dirt. Satisfaction comes with seeing the transformation after you apply your effort and the right products.
How do you disinfect an apartment?
Note on terminology: We use the terms ‘sanitize’ and ‘disinfect’ interchangeably in this article, however there is a slight difference. Sanitizing refers to reducing 99.9% of germs on a surface which is an acceptable public health level. Disinfecting means to kill everything on a surface.
In general, disinfecting an apartment involves cleaning and sanitizing high-touch surfaces such as:
- appliance knobs and handles,
- table surfaces,
- light switches,
- toilet seats and handles, and
- remote controls.
Use disinfectant wipes or spray to sanitize these surfaces. Be sure to check how long the disinfectant needs to act before you wipe it off.
There are two situations requiring greater attention than normal to disinfection processes:
- After someone has been sick, especially with the COVID-19 virus, and
- When there has been an “unattended death”. This means when someone has died alone in their apartment.
Disinfecting when someone is sick or after someone has been sick
Two essentials for disinfecting when someone is or has been sick are disinfectant products and hot water. Three effective disinfectants are: Clorox wipes, diluted bleach, and 62 percent or higher isopropyl alcohol.
Disinfectant wipes and sprays kill germs on non-porous surfaces such as tabletops and counters, sinks, plastic and glass. Be sure to disinfect all of the high-touch surfaces that the sick person has touched.
Hot water and steam can kill germs on fabrics, upholstery and carpets. Bedding linens, towels and clothing used by the sick person should be washed in hot water. If the washing machine doesn’t have a ‘sanitize’ setting, use a liquid laundry sanitizer.
Disinfecting after an unattended death
When a person dies, certain bodily fluids and gases are released. Thus, when cleaning an apartment in this case, you need to protect yourself against biohazards.
If you are the person who discovers that the person is deceased, leave the apartment immediately and call 911 so that emergency services can help you deal with the situation.
They will remove the body and notify the next of kin who will determine how cleaning will be done.
Your cleaning service may have to deal with decomposition of body remains and resultant bacteria and mold, bad odors and flies or other insects.
The decontamination process needs to follow strict Occupational Safety and Health guidelines to keep the cleaners safe and ensure a safe, healthy environment for future occupants of the apartment.
Here is a list of the protective equipment you will need:
- a protective gown
- surgical mask, and
There are 3 steps to the process:
- a) cleaning,
- b) sanitizing and deodorizing, and
Cleaning removes any bodily substances and remains of the deceased. All biohazardous material needs to be disposed of in the appropriate biohazard bags and taken to a biological waste disposal facility, as set out in local regulations.
Sanitizing and deodorizing – To sanitize the apartment, use hospital-grade chemicals to eliminate all harmful pathogens. Then use deodorizing chemicals to get rid of odors.
Restoration brings the apartment back to a safe, habitable condition.
Benefits of professional apartment cleaning
When you are promoting your apartment cleaning services, here are some irresistible aspects for your prospects to consider:
- They can live their lives fully and enjoy coming home to a fresh, clean apartment.
- They will have more free time.
- They will have less dirt and fewer germs in their living space.
- Your regular cleaning can get rid of pet odors.
- They won’t have to worry about the time and effort involved in cleaning their apartment.
- They won’t need to store all the various cleaning supplies and equipment. You will bring everything you need to give their place a professional cleaning. In addition, you will know exactly what products to use on each surface to make it sparkle.
- You will regularly do a thorough cleaning of areas that are hard to get at and that they may tend to avoid: ceiling fans, wall art, under furniture, baseboards, mirrors and windows, kitchen and bathrooms.
When you explain these benefits, they will clearly see the value in hiring you to clean their apartment!
How much should you charge to clean an apartment?
Apartment cleaning rates generally run about $50 per hour for standard (routine) cleaning. Rates vary from $25 to $70 per hour.
For a small one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment, the cost of standard cleaning is $75. Deep cleaning for a move-in or move-out costs $110.
Standard cleaning for a three-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment starts at $135. Deep cleaning would cost $180 or higher.
Apartment cleaning is a relatively easy cleaning niche to get into as there is high demand, especially in large urban areas. You can clean several apartments in one day, making it a profitable venture with low overhead costs.