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Get Quotes from Top Cleaning Services in Seattle, WA

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Cleaner in the City of Seattle

With nearly 100,000 Seattle residents being diagnosed COVID-19 positive since the coronavirus outbreak in 2020, the importance of proper cleaning and disinfection cannot be overemphasized. Nonetheless, cleaning can be a time and energy-consuming task, and in some cases may require specific cleaning chemicals and disinfectants that need professional handling. With $20.46 an hour, you can hire a professional cleaning service in Seattle that can save you the stress of cleaning your kitchen or scrubbing your toilet. However, before you hire a cleaner in the city, ask the following questions to ensure to contracting the best hand for the job:

Are You Licensed to Practice as a Cleaning Service in the City of Seattle?

Individuals or companies that wish to conduct any kind of business in the City of Seattle, including providing cleaning services to interested parties, must possess a Business License Tax Certificate. These certificates are issued by the License and Tax Administration of the city's Department of Finance and Administrative Services, and they have to be renewed annually. However, exemptions are made for cleaning businesses with an annual gross income that does not exceed $2,000.

Business license tax certificate applications can be made online via the FileLocal portal provided by the State of Washington. Applicants will be required to create a user account to properly access this platform, and may also be required to obtain a UBI number for the state's Department of Revenue. Alternatively, applications can be made by mailing a properly completed pdf Application for Business License Tax Certificate Form to:

License and Tax Administration
700 5th Avenue
Suite 4250
P.O. Box 34214
Seattle, WA 98124-4214

You can contact the Seattle License and Tax Administration at (206) 684-8484 to direct inquiries related to its requirements and procedures for obtaining business license tax certificates. It is also a good idea to make sure that any cleaning service you intend to hire has been duly licensed to operate in Seattle before concluding your hiring arrangements with them. You can do this online via the Find a Business portal that the city's License and Tax Administration provides and maintains for this purpose.

How Much Do You Charge Compared to Other Cleaning Services in the City of Seattle?

When searching for the right cleaning company in the City of Seattle, it is important to consider the potential cost of retaining the services of this company. Building cleaning workers in the Seattle area are estimated to earn wages of approximately $20 per hour. However, the cost of cleaning services in the city is typically dependent on a number of factors, such as the current condition of the residence or facility that needs cleaning, the type of cleaning service that is needed, and the urgency of this service. Other factors that generally affect the cost of cleaning services are the size of the residence, facility, or specific area that needs cleaning, the type and cost of cleaning supplies that will be used, and the number of cleaners that will be involved in the cleaning job.

To this end, you should consider requesting quotes for your required cleaning service from at least three different cleaning companies in the area and comparing these quotes to get a working estimate of the going rate for this service. In addition to helping you come up with a budget for the job, this is also a good way to avoid being overcharged by deceptive and unscrupulous cleaners.

Building and grounds cleaning workers in Seattle earn an average wage of $42,560 annually. A comparison of the average hourly wages of workers in Seattle's building and grounds cleaning and maintenance industry against those of workers in the rest of Washington State and five other major cities in the country is provided below:

Seattle Cleaning Contractors Average Hourly Wage
Washington State Cleaning Contractors Average Hourly Wage
Chicago Cleaning Contractors Average Hourly Wage
Detroit Cleaning Contractors Average Hourly Wage
Houston Cleaning Contractors Average Hourly Wage
Los Angeles Cleaning Contractors Average Hourly Wage
New York City Cleaning Contractors Average Hourly Wage
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Types of Cleaning Services Do You Offer?

Another way to ensure that you end up with the right cleaning company, and ultimately get value for your money, is by finding out the types of cleaning services that the company offers or is equipped to handle. Professional cleaning companies in Seattle provide several types of services to interested residents in the city, and these services may either be one-time or on a recurring basis. Examples of cleaning services commonly offered in Seattle include standard home cleaning, deep cleaning, office and business cleaning, move-in and move-out cleaning, live-in housekeeper and maid services, green cleaning, enhanced disinfection services, and holiday cleaning. Some of these companies also provide additional services, such as laundry and dry cleaning.

As such, it is always in your best interest to make sure that the cleaning company you intend to contract with not only offers your required service but also has the right supplies and tools to ensure that this service is delivered satisfactorily. To this end, you should request a list of cleaning supplies and materials that will be used during the provision of your cleaning and disinfection service and make sure that they are suitable for the job. It is also a good idea to request references from the cleaning company and contact these references to get first-hand testimonials on the company's service delivery. Finally, find out exactly how much the requested cleaning service will cost you and get this in writing.

Listed below are the estimated costs of some cleaning services that are readily available in the City of Seattle:

Cleaning a typical four-bedroom home
$105 - $122 per visit
Couch cleaning
$78 - $82 (for an average-sized couch)
Graffiti removal and protection
$1.74 - $2.94 per square foot
Janitorial services
$0.13 - $0.22 per square foot
Maid services/home cleaning
$20 - 25 per hour (for each person)
Medical office & healthcare facility cleaning services
$0.15 - $0.29 per square foot

Do You Comply with the City of Seattle's COVID-19 Regulations?

Even though more than 84 percent of Seattle and King County residents have completed their vaccine series as of February 2022, compliance with the relevant COVID-19 regulations is still necessary in preventing a resurgence of coronavirus cases in the area. Therefore, when searching for suitable cleaning companies in Seattle, you should always make sure that the company you decide to contract with is knowledgeable about the city's COVID-19 regulations and also implements them when performing their cleaning and disinfecting activities. Doing this not only protects the health of you and your loved ones but also mitigates the spread of the coronavirus in the city, thereby reducing the number of hospitalizations and deaths associated with this disease.

These regulations, which incorporate guidance provided by the King County Public Health Department, the Washington State Department of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, offer several recommendations and standards aimed at ensuring the proper cleaning of homes, businesses, and public spaces. These recommendations and standards include appropriate cleaning and disinfection methods and frequencies, the proper types of cleaning products, face coverings and PPE to be used during these activities, and hazard prevention procedures. You can get additional information on Seattle COVID-19 regulations and resources by calling (206) 684-2489. Queries can also be directed to the King County COVID-19 Business and Community Information Center online or to the Washington State COVID-19 Information Hotline at 1‘800‘525‘0127.

Do You Provide Commercial Cleaning Services for Non-Residential Buildings in the City of Seattle?

Cleaning companies in the City of Seattle typically provide cleaning services that are geared towards residential customers, business or commercial customers, or both. The major difference between these services is that residential cleaning services typically focus on the cleaning, sanitization, and disinfection of residential buildings, while commercial cleaning services focus on commercial buildings as well as industrial and medical facilities. Nonetheless, all cleaning companies that operate in the city are required to obtain a Business License Tax Certificate from the License and Tax Administration of the city's Department of Finance and Administrative Services, regardless of the type of cleaning services that they provide.

Note that, some of these cleaning companies may also be required to obtain additional local or state-issued permits for certain services, such as the disposal of medical and hazardous waste. You can contact the city's License and Tax Administration at (206) 684-8484 to get information on regulatory requirements for cleaning companies in Seattle. Inquiries concerning this subject can also be directed to the city's Consumer Service Bureau at:

City Hall
601 Fifth Avenue
First Floor
Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: (206) 684-2489

Do You Engage Unionized Cleaners for Non-Residential Buildings in the City of Seattle?

When searching for a cleaning company to provide recurring cleaning and disinfection services for your commercial building or facility, it is a good idea to consider a union cleaning service. Union cleaning services refer to cleaning companies that hire union cleaners and many building owners and facility managers in Seattle favor the hiring of these types of cleaners due to considerations of fairer wages and better working conditions. Also, while it may cost you less to hire non-union cleaners, you can end up on the receiving end of negative attention and pressure exerted by unions like the SEIU Local 6 and the SEIU Local 775 to discontinue your hiring arrangement with them.

To this end, to avoid a disruption of your business activities and the subsequent loss of money from these disruptions, it is advisable to contract with a union cleaning service to handle the cleaning and disinfection of commercial buildings and facilities in Seattle. Other advantages that come with hiring a union cleaning service include gaining access to well-trained and certified cleaners that are adequately insured as well as low employee turnover, thereby negating the need to constantly familiarize cleaners with your facility's layout.

Do You Offer Covid-19 Disinfecting Services in the City of Seattle?

In the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 outbreak in your home or business space, the proper cleaning, sanitization, and disinfection of the contaminated area is necessary to prevent the spread of the coronavirus to uninfected occupants of the building. However, when searching for COVID-19 cleaning and disinfecting services in Seattle, it is important to remember that not all cleaning companies in the city are qualified to offer this specific type of service. As such, before contracting with any cleaning company, inform them of the situation at hand and confirm that they have the necessary cleaning products and equipment needed to effectively handle it. Also, make sure that the cleaning and disinfection will be done per the recommendations of the city's COVID-19 regulations.

These regulations include relevant cleaning and disinfection guidelines provided by local, state, and federal health authorities, such as:

  • Properly cleaning organic matter and dirt on surfaces before applying sanitizers and disinfectants
  • Using only sanitizers and disinfectants that have been registered by the EPA and are included in its List N: products for use against the SARS-CoV-2 virus
  • Reading the labels of cleaning products before use and following the instructions provided on these labels when applying them to ensure effective use
  • Properly cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces and paying special attention to any areas used by the ill individual, regardless of whether they are high touch surfaces or not
  • Ensuring that the area being cleaned is properly ventilated
  • Using vacuums equipped with High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters in situations where vacuuming is necessary
  • Ensuring that face coverings, gloves, and proper PPE are used during the cleaning, sanitization, and disinfection

Note that you should always inform your cleaning company if you are asthmatic or have any respiratory-related health conditions that may be triggered by disinfectants and other types of cleaning products. It is also important to make sure that all cleaning products used during the COVID-19 cleaning and disinfection services have been duly registered by the EPA.

What Cleaning Supplies Do You Use?

Another important area to look into when considering cleaning companies in the City of Seattle is whether or not the company has the right cleaning supplies for the job and has cleaners that can use these supplies appropriately. Several types of cleaning products are commonly used in the city and the right type of product for a job is largely determined by variables like the type of surface or area that needs cleaning and the cleaning method. These cleaning products are generally grouped into cleaning agents, sanitizers and detergents, and cleaning tools and equipment.

Cleaning agents are further subcategorized into four classes, namely detergents, degreasers, abrasives, and acids. Detergents are the most commonly used cleaning agents and they are suitable for a wide range of surfaces in residential and commercial buildings. Degreasers are also suitable for residential and commercial surfaces and are commonly used in kitchens to remove grease, oils, and organic stains. Abrasives are typically used to remove stains through scouring action and are not suitable for surfaces that are easily scratched, while acids are used for descaling and removing stains caused by mineral deposits. Similar to abrasives, acids are not suitable for all types of surfaces and require professional handling due to their corrosive and dangerous nature.

Likewise, sanitizers and disinfectants are used to reduce or completely eliminate microbes and infection-causing microorganisms from an area, while cleaning tools and equipment like disposable rags, brooms, vacuums, and mops are used to clean up dirt or properly apply the aforementioned cleaning products.

Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Cleaners in the City of Seattle?

Per data published by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, a total of 75 fatal occupational injuries and 31,960 nonfatal occupational injuries were reported by private industries across the state in 2020. Making sure that the cleaning service you contract with is adequately insured and bonded provides you with financial and legal insulation in the event that any of these work-related injuries occurs during your cleaning job. Proper insurance and bonding also cover the costs of events like property damage caused by cleaners as well as theft and other dishonest acts carried out by these cleaners.

To this end, it is always in your best interest to confirm the insurance and bonding status of any cleaning company that you intend to hire in Seattle before finalizing any arrangements with them. You can do this by requesting copies of their insurance and bonding certificates and contacting the issuing organizations to authenticate these documents. Note that, per state-mandated insurance requirements, these companies must carry workers' compensation insurance for all their employees. However, this insurance typically does not cover third-party injuries as well as property damage or employee theft. Therefore, make sure that your intended cleaning company also carries adequate general liability insurance and employee dishonesty insurance or janitorial bonds to cover these events.

How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Cleaner in the City of Seattle

While conducting your search for the right cleaning service in Seattle, you should always keep an eye out for con artists and unscrupulous cleaners that are looking to scam unsuspecting homeowners and property managers in the city. In 2020, the Washington State Attorney General's Office announced that a King County Superior Court had ruled against several cleaning companies that had used deceptive and unfair methods to get residents of the state to contract with them. These methods included using illegal robocalls to promote œlimited time offer cleaning deals and upselling expensive and unnecessary additional cleaning services to their victims.

The Washington State Attorney General's Office estimates that it receives more than 25,000 written consumer complaints every year from aggrieved consumers in Seattle and across the state. While this office helps some of these consumers get monetary restitution for the actions of scammers, this is not always guaranteed. As such, it is always in your best interest to look out for signs of unscrupulous cleaners to avoid falling victim to their scams. You can do this by taking the following precautions when hiring cleaning companies in Seattle:

  • Be wary of unsolicited offers of cleaning services, whether these offers come in person, via phone call, or email. Utilize platforms like the Better Business Bureau to search for cleaners and cleaning companies in the city whenever you require cleaning services. You can also get referrals to cleaning companies from friends and relatives
  • Get estimates for your cleaning service from at least three different cleaning companies
  • Be wary of cleaning companies that offer ridiculously cheap deals for their services
  • Always confirm that the cleaning company you intend to hire has been duly licensed to operate in the city. Also, make sure that the company is duly insured and bonded
  • Request references of past clients from the cleaning company. Consider it a red flag if a cleaner or cleaning company cannot provide you with at least three verifiable references
  • Be wary of cleaners that insist on full payment or a substantial down payment before they commence their cleaning activities. Never make full payment upfront, limit down payments to a fraction of the total cost of the job
  • Be wary of cleaners that do not have verifiable local contact details or drive vehicles with out-of-state license plates
  • Insist on getting a written contract for the cleaning job and never hire any cleaner or cleaning company that refuses to provide one. Also, make sure that you read and understand any contracts and documents that you are given before signing them

If you or a loved one have fallen victim to a cleaning scam or any other type of deceptive business activity and consumer fraud in Seattle, you can file a complaint concerning the matter with the Washington Attorney General's Office. These complaints can be filed either by completing a general consumer complaint form online or mailing a properly completed pdf version of the complaint form to:

Office of the Attorney General
Consumer Protection Division
800 5th Avenue
Suite 2000
Seattle, WA 98104-3188

You can also contact this office at (206) 464-6684 or toll-free number 1-800-551-4636 between 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., Mondays to Fridays to make inquiries on its consumer complaint process. Note that the toll-free number can only be used by callers within Washington State. Also, complaints cannot be officially filed via any of the aforementioned phone numbers.