From mopping the floors in the heavily trafficked hallway of a busy office building to cleaning years of spilled juice and puppy prints from a family’s carpet, those who work in the cleaning services industry provide essential services to people throughout the world.

The cleaning services industry is made up of two main branches: commercial and residential. Residential businesses clean people’s homes, while commercial ones focus on office buildings, schools and other public areas.

And with more than 1 million janitorial services businesses present in the United States, the market doesn’t seem to be getting swept under the rug. People rely on these services to keep their homes, offices, schools and other public areas clean and orderly.

Let’s look into what makes the cleaning services industry so special.

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Cleaning industry demographics

North America has the biggest cleaning industry market, followed by Asia.10


  • There were more than 3.24 million people working in the janitorial services industry in 2018.1
  • Most cleaning and janitorial services business insurance policies are purchased in Florida, Texas and California.7
  • 65.8% of janitors and building cleaners are male.12


  • The average age of a housekeeper, cook or cleaner is 47.5
  • Most carpet cleaning business insurance policies are purchased in California and Texas.7
  • 76% of housekeepers, cleaners and cooks are women.5
  • 61.5% of housekeepers cleaners and cooks are white; 19.6% are Hispanic or Latino and 10.% are Black.5
  • 31% of housekeepers earned a high school diploma as their highest level of education.5

Types of cleaning businesses


  • There are 1,063,988 janitorial services businesses in the United States in 2021.1
  • As of May 2020, there were 1,990,510 janitors and cleaners working in the United States, excluding residential maids and housekeepers.2
  • Commercial cleaning makes up a bulk of the market, with 2.3 million jobs in 2016.4
  • There are 31,909 carpet cleaning businesses in the United States in 2021.6


  • As of May 2020, there were 795,590 residential maids and housekeepers working in the United States.2

Cleaning business revenue statistics


  • The median salary for a janitor or building cleaner was $29,080 in May 2020.4
  • The estimated annual revenue of carpet and upholstery cleaning businesses in the United States is $4 billion.2
  • Janitors and building cleaners get paid the most in Washington State ($40,330/year); Massachusetts ($38,850/year); Connecticut ($37,730/year); New York ($37,680/year); and California ($37,520/year).4


  • The average annual salary for a housekeeper or maid is $28,010.9
  • Maids and housekeepers get paid the most in the District of Columbia ($40,000/year); Hawaii ($39,600/year); New York ($38,430/year); California ($35,560/year); and Massachusetts ($33,680/year).9

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The future of the cleaning industry

  • The cleaning services market is expected to reach $74 million by 2022.10


  • The number of janitorial services businesses in the U.S. grew at a rate of 5.7% per year from 2016 to 2021.1
  • The commercial cleaning industry is expected to grow at a rate of 5.4% annually through 2025.3
  • Employment of janitors and building cleaners is expected to grow 4% per year through 2029.4


  • Employment of maids and housekeepers is expected to grow 6.08% through 2029.8
  • Vacuuming services are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.2% through 2022.10

Cleaning industry overview

The cleaning industry is big. Encompassing both residential and commercial cleaning services, people can find many ways to clean up in this market.

How competitive is the cleaning industry?

In 2018, more than 3 million people were working in the janitorial services industry. To put it into perspective, that’s more than the number of people living in Chicago, Illinois. Because of the number of people working in the industry, it makes sense that the market would be more competitive than industries with less interest.

However, the competitiveness of the cleaning industry doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to carve out your niche. For example, there are only about 30,000 carpet cleaning businesses in the U.S. in 2021.

How much money can you make with a cleaning business?

The average U.S. residential cleaning business can make $36K to $100K per year. To make $36K, a business would have to clean 25 to 30 homes per month and charge $100 to $150 per job. In the end, the amount of money that your business makes will depend on how much work you’re willing to do and how much you charge for it.

How do I make a successful cleaning business?

The cleaning services industry is expected to reach $74 million in 2022. Wanna get in on the fun? You’ll need to make your business shine. To do that, you’ll need to get attention from quality clients that will return for more business, deliver quality work and get good reviews. It’ll also help to have a website that is visually appealing and easy to use, as well as an inviting logo and clear business motto. These things will legitimize your business, while good reviews and reliable customers will attract new business.

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People might like dirty jokes, but they don’t like dirty houses. So keep your customers smiling by providing them with quality work and even better customer service. And do it all without worrying about your own liability by investing in Thimble’s cleaning business insurance.

  1. Janitorial Services in the US – Number of Businesses 2005–2027
  2. Number of employees in cleaning occupations in the United States as of May 2020, by job type
  3. $117 Billion Commercial Cleaning Services Industry Takes on New Importance Due to Coronavirus
  4. Janitors and Building Cleaners
  6. Carpet Cleaning Industry in the US – Market Research Report
  7. Thimble proprietary data
  9. Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2020
  10. Cleaning Services Market by Service Type (Commercial) Window Cleaning, Vacuuming, Floor Care, (Residential) Maid Services, Carpet & Upholstery – Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecasts, 2014-2022
  11. How Much Do Cleaning Businesses Make?