maid cleaning floor with mop

By The Cleaning Lady


Let’s face it, cleaning services can be expensive. Even though companies like Molly Maid and Maid Brigade have made housekeeping services more affordable to a wider range of people, maids on average can charge anywhere from $20 to $50 an hour or a fixed price per house that can break the bank. But if you play your cards right, you can trade your way to a clean house. But where to start? Here are some tips for successfully bartering for cleaning services.

Steps to Bartering / Trading for Cleaning Services

Call around to cleaning service companies and get some pricing

You’re going to need to get an idea of how much your house will cost to clean if you paid money because you’ll need to make sure you have items or services comparable in value. Most cleaning services will give you a round-about figure over the phone or a free in-person estimate. Or Check out my House Cleaning Cost Calculator to get an estimate on the price of a cleaning service to come to your home.

Know what you have of value to barter

Items like computers and TVs are great barter items. Even things like designer clothes, handbags and shoes can work. If you have a service to offer, that’s great too. Things like web design and logo creation work well because many cleaning services have websites and maintaining them is expensive. If you are a massage therapist you can barter massages. Cleaning can create a lot of sore muscles!

Post an ad on a barter site

Now that you know what to barter and how much, you can put an ad on a barter site. Craigslist is a great place to start as they have a barter section on their website. Also sites like and are strictly dedicated to bartering.

Communication is key

Once you have found a cleaning person willing to barter, be upfront about your needs and come to an agreement on the trade before any services are rendered. And be honest. If they say they would normally charge $100 for the cleaning and you charge $50 per massage, you would owe them two massages. If you are bartering a computer, don’t give them one that needs work unless it was specified upfront. And this goes both ways. Feel free to ask for references before the work is done. Anyone can show up with a mop and say they clean houses.

Bartering is a great way to get your house cleaned without having to shell out your hard earned dough. And it helps others get things that they might not normally be able to afford either. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Once you have a cleaning service willing to barter, read my article on how to prepare for your cleaning service.