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Must-Read Guide On The Difference between Domestic and Professional Cleaning

Domestic and professional cleaning both involve scrubbing, mopping, and dusting but several distinctions set them apart.

Domestic cleaning focuses on maintaining cleanliness and hygiene in residential settings, typically using cleaning materials and equipment provided by the homeowner. Domestic tasks revolve around routine work like vacuuming, mopping, dusting, and cleaning bathrooms and kitchens.

Professional cleaning, on the other hand, caters to a wider range of settings, including commercial spaces, offices, industrial facilities, and healthcare environments

Specialized cleaning tasks like carpet cleaning, floor waxing, and window washing are some hallmarks of professional cleaning, with cleaning solutions and equipment provided by a cleaning company.

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Let’s compare the key features of domestic and professional cleaning side-by-side:


Domestic Cleaning

Professional Cleaning


General household chores (dusting, vacuuming, mopping, bathroom cleaning)

Wide range of services, tailored to specific needs (e.g., carpet cleaning, window washing, floor waxing, etc.)


Typically weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly

Customizable to your needs: daily, weekly, monthly, one-time deep cleans

Equipment & Supplies

Standard household cleaning tools and products, like vacuums, mops, brooms, dustpans, etc often provided by the homeowner

Industrial-grade equipment, like buffers, industrial mops, specialized cleaning solutions like floor stripping, disinfectant, etc for various surfaces


General cleaning knowledge, personal preference for products

Trained and certified professionals, knowledge of best practices and safety regulations


Lower upfront cost, but requires your time and effort.

Higher upfront cost, but saves time and ensures thoroughness.

When to Choose Domestic or Professional Cleaning

Domestic cleaning is the do-it-yourself approach and often the go-to for many homeowners. It’s flexible in the choice of cleaning methods and products and can be more budget-friendly than hiring professionals.

Meanwhile, professional cleaning services are ideal for busy individuals or families. If your schedule is packed with work, family commitments or social engagements, it’s best to call in the pros.

Domestic cleaning is also ideal for larger spaces like offices or large homes. The bigger the space, the more time and effort the cleaning requires.

What is a Domestic Cleaner and a Professional Cleaner Called?

A domestic cleaner is often referred to as a housekeeper, maid, or house cleaner.

Professional cleaners, on the other hand, might be called commercial cleaners, office cleaners, janitors, or even specialized technicians for specific tasks like carpet cleaning or window washing.

Average Cost of Domestic vs Commercial Cleaning

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Here’s a general overview of the average costs of domestic and commercial cleaning in the US:

Domestic cleaning:

  • Hourly rate: $25 – $50 per hour per cleaner.

  • Per visit: One-time standard cleaning ranges from $115 to $120, depending on the area and the extent of cleaning.

  • Monthly: For recurring weekly or bi-weekly cleaning, you may need to shelve out $100 to $300 per month.


  • Hourly rate: Between $50 – $80 per hour, depending on the service type and the size of the facility.

  • Per square foot: For larger commercial spaces, cleaning companies often charge per square foot, with rates ranging from $0.05 to $0.20 per square foot.

  • Monthly contracts: Monthly contracts for commercial cleaning services can range from a few hundred dollars for smaller offices to several thousand dollars for bigger facilities.

Key Takeaway on the Differences Between Domestic and Professional Cleaning

Choosing between these two types of cleaning boils down to the needs of the space in question. For example, for a move-in, or move-out project, a domestic cleaning service is generally more appropriate due to the cleaning requirements for such projects.

A commercial cleaning company could technically handle these tasks, it’s more cost-effective to call in domestic cleaners.

Let’s look at another example — church cleaning. Commercial services are preferred as they have specialized cleaning solutions for cleaning carpet flooring, wood furniture, tiles, and fixtures like chandeliers and stained glass windows.

Determine your cleaning needs, the size of the venue you want to be cleaned, and your budget. All these factor into getting the right quote for the right service.

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