Get Quotes from Top Cleaning Services in Boston, MA

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Cleaner in Boston

Since the coronavirus outbreak in Boston, it is important that everyone adheres to the proper hygiene practices when it comes to their homes and work environments. Doing so can help prevent the spread of the virus and safeguard one's health. Getting the help of a professional cleaning contractor can help ensure that all health safety guidelines are followed properly.

You can ask the following questions to help you find the right cleaning company for your specific cleaning needs:

Are You Licensed to Practice as a Cleaning Service in Boston?

Cleaning contractors in Boston do not require any specific professional or occupational licenses to offer cleaning services to residents. However, before a cleaning contractor can operate their business in the city, they must ensure the business has been duly registered with the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth.

To start a cleaning business in Boston, the individual must first determine the type of business structure they wish to operate. This can be a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or limited liability partnership. Then, the individual applying must file a Doing-Business-As Certificate (DBA) to set up the business through the Boston Clerk's Office. The applicant must complete and submit a business certificate application form accompanied by a $65 filing fee via mail to:

Office of the City Clerk
1 City Hall Square
Room 601
Boston, MA 02201-2014
Phone: (617) 635-4601

Note that the mailed application form must be included in a self-addressed stamped envelope. Alternatively, the applicants can visit the city's clerk's office at the above location on Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Before registering the business with the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth, the applicant must obtain an "Employer Identification Number" (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Services. Finally, the intended business entities must then register with the Secretary of the Commonwealth before beginning business in Massachusetts. In addition to the EIN, the cleaning contractor must ensure all other relevant taxes are registered and filed for the business via MassTaxConnect and through other Massachusetts' appropriate tax authorities. Queries relating to the business registration procedure can be directed to the city's Clerk's Office at (617) 635-4600. You can also direct these queries to the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth at (617) 727-703. To confirm that your intended cleaning business has been registered, you can use the search a business entity platform provided by the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth.

How Much Do You Charge Compared to Other Cleaning Services in Boston?

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, cleaning services in Boston cost an average of $19 per hour. This cost is typically influenced by factors like the scope and nature of the cleaning job, the size of the area that needs cleaning services, the cleaning supplies to be used, and the current state of the area that needs cleaning. This is why you should always find out how much the cleaning services will cost you when hiring any cleaning business in the city. You should get multiple estimates from cleaning contractors that will enable you to compare prices and help you find fair estimates suitable for your cleaning needs and budget. Comparing costs also enables you to avoid any cleaning contractor trying to defraud you or overcharge for the intended cleaning services.

Boston's building and grounds cleaning workers earn an average wage of $40,470 annually. A comparison of the average hourly wages of workers in Boston's building and grounds cleaning and maintenance industry against those of workers in the rest of Massachusetts and five other major cities in the country is provided below:

Boston Cleaning Contractors Average Hourly Wage
Massachusetts Cleaning Contractors Average Hourly Wage
Houston Cleaning Contractors Average Hourly Wage
San Francisco Cleaning Contractors Average Hourly Wage
Phoenix Cleaning Contractors Average Hourly Wage
Chicago Cleaning Contractors Average Hourly Wage
New York City Cleaning Contractors Average Hourly Wage
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Type of Cleaning Cleaning Services Do You Offer?

Apart from confirming how much your intended cleaning service will cost you, you should also confirm if the cleaning business can offer the needed cleaning services. Cleaning contractors in Boston offer different types of cleaning services, including but not limited to regular and deep residential cleaning, enhanced disinfection services, office cleaning, and industrial cleaning. As such, you should inquire from your intended cleaning business if they offer your needed cleaning services and the type of cleaning product they intend to use. This guarantees that the hired cleaning contractor will satisfactorily carry out your cleaning services. In addition, you should inquire about how much the cleaning services will cost you.

Cost estimates for some cleaning services offered by professional cleaning contractors in Boston are listed below:

Maid services (per visit for a typical family home)
$129. - $145
Armchair cleaning
$45 - $72
Couch cleaning (average size)
$89 - $96
Couch cleaning (large size)
$120 - $130
Footstool or ottoman cleaning
$20 - $85
Loveseat cleaning
$67 - $82
Office chair cleaning
$50 - $85
Pillow cleaning
$5 - $7.50
Recliner cleaning
$60 - $85
Straightback chair cleaning
$50 - $85
Janitorial services (per hour)
$14 - $17
Medical office & healthcare facility cleaning services (per hour)
$16 - $18
Industrial cleaning services (per hour)
$24 - $36
Graffiti removal & protection (per square foot)
$1.99 - $3.36

Do You Comply with Boston's COVID-19 Regulations?

According to the Boston Public Health Commission, over 491,000 residents of the city, which makes up 72.3% of the population, have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Nonetheless, the city has recorded about 166,460 coronavirus cases, with 1,734 deaths resulting from the infection. Considering that the average daily incidence rate for this virus is 17.7 per 100,000 residents, it is essential that your cleaning contractor complies with all city guidelines.

To safeguard your health and those of your loved ones and reduce your chances of catching the virus, you must hire a cleaning contractor who complies with the city's COVID-19 Resources for Businesses published by the Boston Department of Economic Opportunity and Inclusion. The resources contain several guidelines regarding cleaning and disinfecting workplaces, residential buildings, and homeschool grounds in Boston. As such, always confirm with your intended cleaning contractor if they are conversant with this city's resources and the relevant guidelines that apply to your specific cleaning needs. For more information regarding Boston COVID-19 resources, you can contact the Boston Public Health Commission at (617) 534-5050.


Do You Provide Commercial Cleaning Services for Non-Residential Locations in Boston?

No specific professional licenses for cleaning businesses in Boston offer cleaning services in non-residential facilities like healthcare facilities, commercial kitchens, industrial facilities, office buildings, educational facilities, and hotels. Cleaning contractors that carry out services in commercial spaces are typically different from their residential cleaning contractor counterparts who work in the home and residential dwellings. This is because commercial cleaners utilize more specialized equipment and supplies for cleaning and disinfection than what is used by residential cleaning businesses.

Notwithstanding, cleaning businesses operating commercial hauling vehicles used for disposal of construction and industrial waste, medical waste, hazardous waste, waste oil, and grease must obtain a Commercial Hauler Permit Application. The Boston Department of Public Works is responsible for issuing these permits to interested commercial cleaning businesses. Collecting waste without a permit in the city is subject to a fine of $50. Questions relating to commercial waste disposal can be directed to the city's Department of Public Works at (617) 635-4900. You can also visit the physical location of this city's department at:

Department of Public Works
1 City Hall Square Room 714
Boston, MA 02201-2024
Hours: Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Do You Engage Unionized Cleaners for Non-Residential Buildings in Boston?

Before hiring a cleaning business in Boston, you should find out if your intended business is a union cleaning service. Union in Boston represents the interest of cleaning workers and janitors across the city. For instance, the SEIU Local 888 represents the interest of more than 8500 workers, including cleaning contractors in Boston. These union cleaning services strive to improve the lives of their members by providing safe and fair workspaces and access to good wages that align with the services they offer.


Hiring a union cleaning service also provides you with benefits like low turnover of cleaners and access to cleaners with proper on-the-job training. Also, union cleaning services tend to have adequate insurance coverage compared to non-cleaning services. Even though hiring a non-union member may be cheaper, hiring a union cleaning service to handle all your intended commercial cleaning needs is best. Nonetheless, you should do your due diligence to find out if your planned union cleaning service is not involved in any ongoing strike that may disrupt your business.

Do You Offer COVID-19 Disinfecting Services in Boston?

Making sure your home is effectively cleaned and disinfected after a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 among residents or visitors is an important way of reducing the spread of the virus to other healthy occupants. Before hiring a cleaning contractor in Boston, you must make sure they know about the COVID-19 Resources for Businesses published by the Boston Department of Economic Opportunity and Inclusion. These resources provide different methods of mitigating the spread of coronavirus in spaces usually occupied by different individuals. In addition to these city resources, your cleaning contractor should also follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations. Some of these recommendations include:

  • Wearing personal protective equipment like masks and gloves during the cleaning and disinfecting services, especially where there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19 on the premises
  • Use of EPA-registered disinfectants approved for use against mitigating coronavirus.
  • Ensuring there is proper ventilation in the area to be cleaned by opening all outside doors and windows where possible to improve air circulation
  • Focusing on the areas that have been occupied and used by the confirmed COVID-19 cases. Also, concentrate on areas subject to touching, like doorknobs, tablets, computers, keyboards, light switches, handles, tables, and other high-touch surfaces.
  • Make sure easily penetrable items like carpets and chairs are removed, cleaned with appropriate cleaners, and disinfected.

Most of the time, Boston cleaning contractors have the knowledge and equipment to implement the recommended cleaning and disinfection procedures for COVID-19. However, it is still important that you confirm with the cleaning company you are working with that they will implement these procedures. Also, make sure that the company follows all of the recommendations of the Department of Public Health Commission and that of the CDC. Before hiring a cleaning company, ask for a list of the chemicals and equipment that will be used against the coronavirus and ensure they are EPA-approved.

What Cleaning Supplies Do You Use?

It is very important to find out what kind of cleaning supplies will be used for your job in Boston before hiring a professional cleaning contractor. There are a variety of cleaning supplies available, so it is essential to select the right one for your cleaning needs. Note that the cleaning services required usually determine the cleaning supplies to be utilized. Generally, mild cleaning agents are used for residential, while strong cleaning agents are used for industrial and commercial cleaning. In Boston, cleaning contractors use four types of cleaning agents, which include:

  • Abrasive: An abrasive is a chemical used to remove dirt from hard surfaces.
  • Acids: This substance removes mineral deposits and rust from various metal surfaces. It is highly hazardous and potent and should only be handled by experienced professionals.
  • Degreasers: This product is commonly used to remove grease, oils, and fats from kitchen surfaces.
  • Detergents: These are commonly used in residential and commercial establishments. They can be obtained in various forms like powder, liquid, crystal, or gel form.

You must confirm that the cleaning services that the company provides are precisely what you need before hiring them. Before hiring a cleaning contractor, make sure that they have the necessary equipment and supplies to perform the task successfully. Aside from regular cleaning supplies, also make sure that they use additional cleaning products such as disinfectants and germ-killing agents, like sanitizers to remove harmful bacteria and viruses from the home or office. This is especially important if you have concerns about the presence of pests or other environmental contaminants in the building. However, you must inquire about the cleaning product to be used to rule out any product that may contain allergens that will compromise your health and that of the other occupants.

Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Cleaners in Boston?

Hiring a professional cleaning contractor is not without its work-related injury risk. In 2020, over 64,700 non-fatal work injuries attributed to the cleaning industry were reported in the US, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Regardless of the level of expertise and experience of the cleaning contractors you are hiring, it is always good to hire only cleaners with adequate commercial liability insurance coverage to help minimize these risks. It minimizes risk by protecting you from incurring any financial or legal liabilities in the event of any work accidents during your cleaning services.

As such, before you hire a cleaning company, make sure that it has the necessary insurance coverage to cover the scope of its work. You can do this by requesting a copy of their insurance certificate and checking with the company's insurance provider to confirm its authenticity. In Boston, cleaning companies must purchase workers' compensation insurance, which may either be salaried replacement or medical coverage, or both for their employees. You can contact the Boston Department of Human Resources at (617) 635-3193 if you need more information regarding workers' compensation in the city.

How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Cleaner in Boston

It can be daunting to renovate a home, especially if it involves spending a lot of money. It is essential to make sure that you do not get ripped off by a cleaning contractor in Boston when planning to hire one for cleaning services. In August 2022, a home improvement contractor was prohibited from operating as a construction firm after being accused of scamming customers in Massachusetts. The contractor was also ordered to pay $150,000 in restitution. Home improvement-related scams are not uncommon in Boston. Many of these involve individuals targeting homeowners after natural disasters or those who require cleaning services following a home renovation. This is why it is a good idea to thoroughly research before hiring a cleaning contractor in Boston. Doing so will help you avoid getting ripped off by a legitimate company. You can take the following precautionary steps when searching for a cleaning contractor in the city:

  • Avoid any cleaning contractor that shows up at your door without being asked.
  • Before hiring a cleaning contractor, ensure they have all of the requirements, like operating with a business license. Doing so will ensure that they have the legal right to offer cleaning services and can provide the services you expect.
  • Get multiple estimates from different cleaning contractors near you. This helps you get fair estimates and eliminates cleaning contractors who may try to defraud you.
  • Make sure that the cleaning contractors involved are thoroughly vetted by the cleaning company and have the necessary insurance.
  • Request for references of past clients from the cleaning contractor and ensure you contact these past clients to inquire about the cleaning contractor's services. Never hire a cleaning contractor who has no verifiable references. Several online platforms allow you to check out the reviews of cleaning contractors, like Better Business Bureau and Yelp.
  • Execute a written contract to describe the cleaning contractor's services. It should also show the cost, the type of cleaning supplies, and the duration of the work.
  • Avoid signing a contract that you have not read and understood.
  • Never pay a downpayment that is more than 10% of the total cost. Do not pay the remaining balance until the job has been completed and deemed satisfactory.
  • Avoid cash payments to enable you to keep a record of all transactions between you and the cleaning business. This can serve as proof if you happen to file a claim against the cleaning business with the appropriate authority.
  • Keep records of all documents executed during the work transaction, including contracts, receipts, invoices, and other relevant documentation.

If you have complaints concerning a fraudulent or deceptive cleaning contractor in Boston, you can file with the city's Consumer Affairs Division by calling (617) 635-3834. These complaints can also be filed online with the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office or by mailing a completed consumer complaint form to:

Office of the Attorney General
Consumer Advocacy & Response Division
One Ashburton Place
18th Floor
Boston, MA 02108

Queries concerning this office's consumer complaint process can be directed to its consumer hotline at (617) 727-8400 between the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays. You can also file a lawsuit against a fraudulent cleaning business in Massachusetts District Court. Getting legal advice from a lawyer can be very helpful in resolving the situation. You can use the public service platform of the Boston Bar Association to find suitable lawyers near you.