The 15 Best Residential Cleaning (Maid Service) Franchises of 2023 (Updated Rankings) (2024)

This annual list of the best residential cleaning (maid service) franchises was revised and updated on January 11, 2023.

Residential cleaning services have been on the rise for decades. There are currently 1,530 residential cleaning service franchise businesses in the US, following five years of 3.1% annualized growth. Changes in the population and the way we live have created more demand for professional cleaning, leading to a diverse range of services, many of them franchised.

The fundamental service of residential cleaning is the same regardless of circ*mstances: someone is hired to clean another person’s home. But the nature and schedule of the service can vary a great deal, to suit the facilities of the service, the size of the home, and the needs of the customer. From daily or weekly cleans to an occasional deep clean, regular services can be varied, and there’s even demand for one-off services, such as when moving in or out of a house.

Demographic Change and the Cleaning Market

The residential cleaning industry has grown substantially in recent decades, largely because of demographic changes. In 1950, 8.1% of the US population was aged over 65. By 2000, that figure was 12.4%, and it’s expected to grow to 17.9% by 2025. That’s a growing number of people whose age and infirmity make it hard to do their own cleaning, and so rely on help from family or professionals.

On top of this, there was a sharp rise in dual-income households between 1960 and 1990. In recent decades, fewer households have contained an adult with the time available to stay on top of cleaning and tidying. Disposable incomes are also on the rise, meaning that people can pay for extra services. As a result, there’s a far larger market for domestic cleaning services to economically active families than there was two generations ago, and services have been emerging to fill that gap.

The acceptance of this trend has normalized hiring a cleaner, making it more acceptable and appealing for a range of people, not just the elderly and the wealthy. In increasingly busy lives, people want to save time for leisure, and hiring a cleaner achieves this goal.

The State of the House Cleaning Industry

Over 700,000 people are employed as maids or housekeeping cleaners. Over 81,000 of them provided services to homes and other residential dwellings, while others cleaned in hotels, hospitals, care homes, and a range of other facilities.

COVID-19 caused a huge disruption for residential cleaners. The nature of their work meant that it couldn’t be done without entering other people’s homes. In many jurisdictions, this became impossible because of anti-COVID regulations. Layoffs in other industries meant that more people had time to do their own cleaning and lacked the money to pay a cleaner.

But even in those difficult times, there were opportunities. The need for greater cleaning to combat COVID helped fill the gap for some cleaning businesses, with work cleaning workplaces or shared spaces in communal buildings. Some customers asked for more cleaning rather than less to battle COVID, and the industry’s inclusion in many lists of essential services let it survive in a reduced state.

The overall impact of this was a small dip in revenues, followed by a swift return to growth. The franchised part of the industry is now worth $1.2 billion, the strongest it’s ever been, and 3.2% growth is forecast for 2023. Franchises play an increasingly important part in the industry, and have grown in numbers every year for the past decade – even in 2020, when the industry as a whole was struggling. Franchises have a good chance to pick up work previously done by independent businesses, some of which went bust during the crisis, and this has helped their recovery.

Geography plays into the demand for cleaning, and into which brands are flourishing. California, Florida, and New York currently have the largest numbers of franchised maid services: it may be that other markets are currently underserved, or they may be less interested in these services. That’s a judgment that any franchisee needs to consider before setting up a service in other territories.

Cleaning Services in a Downturn

Residential cleaning is not recession-proof, as it’s a service people can replace with their own labor when money is tight. This may cause problems in the next few years, given forecasts of an economic downturn. If the people using cleaning services see their incomes squeezed and costs rising, then they may cut back on paid cleaning. As a result, growth is expected to slow.

Cleaning services are heavily reliant on labor, and wages take up on average 40.8% of earnings. As a result, the brewing labor crisis at the bottom of the economy may also affect these businesses. Employees seem less willing than ever to work for low wages, and this could push up the costs for maid services. On the other hand, an economic downturn may force people to accept lower wages, aiding in recruitment.

The Personal Touch

As a maid service franchisee, you should be prepared to spend a lot of time working with people, both in managing staff and in maintaining relationships with customers. The willingness to listen to feedback and sensitively handle the tensions coming from working in other people’s home space are crucially important.

Cleaning someone’s house is a very personal service, as the cleaners are entering their customer’s home, and so it’s important to make the customer feel comfortable. It’s also very important to provide a high-quality service to the standards that matter to the customer. It’s easy to change cleaner, and dissatisfaction, either with the standard of the cleaning or with the attitude of the cleaners, could easily lead to the loss of a job.

Future Options for Cleaning

Green cleaning is increasingly popular, with cleaners using more environmentally friendly cleaning products. This can be at the special request of a particular customer or can be a defining feature of a cleaning brand. This sort of specialist cleaning can help a franchised business to stand out from its competitors, attracting customers and persuading them to pay a slightly higher rate.

Residential cleaning offers great opportunities if it can be targeted right. Affluent urban and suburban locations have the best opportunities, and social media makes it easier to market services to these communities. In the long term, demographic trends mean plenty of potential for growth. In the shorter term, an economic downturn may put the squeeze on the industry.

Low barriers to entry mean that this is an easy industry to get set up in, but also mean plenty of competition. For any potential franchisee, the question right now is whether they can find the custom locally to stand out in toughening economic times.

The Top House Cleaning (Maid Service) Franchises of 2023

1. The Maids

The Maids sends 4-person cleaning crews in bright-yellow branded vehicles to serve customers. Services offered include recurring cleaning, occasional cleaning, move in/move out cleaning, seasonal cleaning (spring and fall), same-day cleaning, and special cleaning services. The company is an exclusive partner of Mr. Clean, and makes extensive use of that branded character on its website.

Founded by Daniel J. Bishop in Omaha, Nebraska in 1979 and franchising since 1981, the number of locations has been rising steadily in recent years from 1,080 in 2012 to the current total of 1,589 (up from the previously reported total of 1,538), of which 160 are company-owned and 56 are located outside the US.

2. Merry Maids

Merry Maids offers a wide range of cleaning services, including house/apartment cleaning, green cleaning, maid service, specialty cleaning, detailed cleaning, housekeeping, move in/out cleaning, holiday cleaning, and organizational services. The company’s satisfaction guarantee is backed up with a free re-cleaning. It also has its own line of maintenance products, Shineffective, that have been approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency to carry the Design for Environment (DfE) label, meaning they meet strict safety standards.

The chain is a subsidiary of The ServiceMaster Company, which includes several different home services brands. Founded by Dallen Peterson in Omaha, Nebraska in 1979 and franchising since 1980, the number of locations climbed to a high of 1,708 in 2020 but has since dropped to the current total of 996 (down from the previously reported total of 1,687), of which three are company-owned and all are located in the US (the precipitous drop in locations appears to be the loss of all international locations, which might be a reporting error of some kind).

3. Molly Maid

Molly Maid prides itself on the fact that of the two million cleans it performs each year, approximately 90% of them are for repeat customers. It offers a standard array of house and apartment cleaning services (regular, occasional, special events, moving), including green cleaning, although it does not adhere to any particular green cleaning standards beyond its own.

Molly Maid is a Neighborly company (formerly Dwyer Group), which is a collection of 16 different brands that provide all kinds of home services. Founded by David McKinnon in Canada (who moved the company to Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1984) in 1979 and franchising since then, the number of locations has slowly expanded in recent years from 431 in 2012 to the current total of 488 (down from the previously reported total of 496), of which none are company-owned and all are located in the US.

4. Maid Brigade

Maid Brigade offers a full range of home cleaning services to customers, including apartment cleaning and house cleaning that can be one-time or regular according to a customer’s needs. The company has been committed to its Green Clean Certified system since 2007. It includes products and equipment based on standards developed by the independent, non-profit Green Seal organization. The Maid Brigade website explains its green cleaning standards in great detail.

Founded by Bart Puett and Don Hay in Atlanta, Georgia in 1979 and franchising since 1980, the number of locations has declined in recent years from 477 in 2012 to the current total of 416 (down from the previously reported total of 421), of which 20 are company-owned and 58 are located outside the US.

5. MaidPro

MaidPro doesn’t have a menu of pre-configured cleaning services. Instead, a representative sits down with customers to build a cleaning plan that is tailored to their needs and budget. Its approach to cleaning is based on a 49-point checklist that can be modified as needed to meet a customer’s needs. Several pages of the company’s website explain how the company is green and the green products it uses.

Founded by Mark Kushinsky and Richard Sparacio in Boston in 1991 and franchising since 1997, the number of locations has expanded steadily in recent years from 159 in 2012 to the current total of 265 (up from the previously reported total of 260), of which none are company-owned and 12 are located outside the US.

6. The Cleaning Authority

The Cleaning Authority was purchased by Steve Robinson and Tim Evankovich in 1989 from the original founders. The company’s Detail-Clean Rotation System ensures each of four home zones gets an extra deep cleaning at the right frequency. All the cleaning products used are environmentally responsible and sustainable. The menu of services includes one-time cleanings, move in/out cleanings, apartment cleaning, and house cleaning.

Founded in 1977 and franchising since 1996, the number of locations has increased in recent years from 177 in 2012 to the current total of 227 (up from the previously reported total of 221), of which three are company-owned and seven are located outside the US.

7. Two Maids and a Mop

Two Maids and a Mop takes a unique approach to paying its cleaners with a performance-based model where higher customer ratings could reward cleaners with wages better than the industry average. The company founder also created a 100-page room-by-room guide to cleaning a home, thereby ensuring consistency in the quality of cleaning customers receive.

Customers can choose a Design with Time Cleaning Package for limited specific cleaning based on time, a Top to Bottom Deep Cleaning Package to cover the entire home, or an Empty Home Move In/Out Cleaning Package for those who are either vacating or about to move into a house, apartment, or condo.

Founded by Ron Holt in Birmingham, Alabama in 2003 and franchising since 2013, the number of locations has quickly grown to 107 (up from the previously reported total of 90), of which one is company-owned and all are located in the US.

8. TruBlue Total House Care

TruBlue Total House Care provides a range of services to seniors and busy families from whole house cleaning to handyman services, routine lawn care and property maintenance, seasonal tasks, pressure washing (siding, decks, sidewalks), and safety audits. Services can be purchased “a la carte” or customers can sign up for a flat-rate House Care Plus monthly plan.

Co-founded by Gary Green and other franchise veterans in 2011 and franchising since then, the chain currently has 85 locations (up from the previously reported total of 58), of which none are company-owned and all are located in the US.

9. You’ve Got Maids

You’ve Got Maids offers customers weekly cleaning, biweekly cleaning, green cleaning, move in/out cleaning, and a 54-point spring cleaning option. It backs up its satisfaction guarantee with an offer to re-clean if the customer requests it within 24 hours. Customers can also download the company’s Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Your Kitchen to learn how to effectively clean a kitchen using natural products.

Founded by Frank and Cynthia Berger in Orlando, Florida in 2005 and franchising since 2010, the number of locations rose rapidly to 99 in 2019 but has since declined to the current total of 70 (down from the previously reported total of 84), of which none are company-owned and all are located in the US.

10. eMaids

eMaids began during a significant building boom that saw the addition of many new high-rise apartment buildings. It offers both house cleaning and office cleaning in and around New York City, with a focus on Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx.

Appointments can be booked through the company website along with a 24/7 answering service. It uses non-allergenic cleaning products, but has found it’s the cleaners who value “green” cleaning even more than the clients.

Founded by Miriam Kahn in New York City in 2004 and franchising since 2010, the company website lists a total of 35 locations in 11 states and Washington, DC, up from the previously listed total of 23.

11. Maid Right

Maid Right makes a point of sending the same cleaner back to a home so they develop a more detailed knowledge of the customer’s needs and desires. The company’s Signature Clean program provides comprehensive cleanings and medical-strength protection against germs and bacteria with its proprietary EnviroShield system, non-toxic cleaning products, vacuums with HEPA filters, and detailed cleaning checklists used on every job.

The Maid Right franchise model is based on the highly successful JAN-PRO commercial cleaning model. It is an owner-led model where the franchisee is directly involved in providing the cleaning services.

Founded in 2013 and franchising since then, the number of locations has risen rapidly from just three in 2018 to the current total of 34 (up from the previously reported total of 23), of which none are company-owned and all are located in the US.

12. Home Cleaning Centers of America

Home Cleaning Centers of America gives customers a full range of home cleaning services using OSHA-approved cleaning products. Before quoting a price, the company takes the time to visit the home to ensure the quote will be accurate. Franchisees who prove to be successful at their home cleaning service have the option to expand their business to provide additional services such as carpet cleaning, office cleaning, window cleaning, and country club cleaning.

Founded by Mike and Jeanette Calhoon in Kansas City in 1981 and franchising since 1984, the number of locations has held more or less steady for more than a decade and currently stands at 30, of which none are company-owned and all are located in the US.

13. Sears Maid Services

Sears Maid Services carries the well-known Sears brand name but is part of a separate company, Sears Home & Business Franchises, that includes four other brands: Sears Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning, Sears Air Duct Cleaning, Sears Garage Solutions, and Sears Handyman Solutions. The larger retailing company has had its problems with store closings and bankruptcy, but none of that directly impacts these franchised services.

In addition to one-time cleanings, customers can sign up for weekly and monthly cleaning services. Other services include apartment cleaning, move-out/move-in cleaning, and intensive fall/spring deep cleaning services.

Founded in 1992 and franchising since 2014, the company website lists 30 US locations.

14. Home Clean Heroes

Home Clean Heroes aims to help busy people protect their time while keeping their homes clean. After all, who doesn’t want to have more free time to spend on what matters most?

This franchise is raising the home cleanings bar with higher standards in quality care trustworthiness. They offer a standard cleaning service that covers a 19-point checklist that can be easily scheduled for as often as a customer wants, as well as a range of “save-me-now” specialty cleans, including move-in clean, move-out clean, the in-law invasion clean, and the party protector package (both before-event and after-event cleaning). They also reward customers $25 for every friend referred who becomes a customer, up to 20 referrals ($500), applied to their next cleaning.

Founded in Virginia Beach, Virginia in 2017 and franchising since 2018, there are now 11 locations, of which two are company-owned and all are located in the US.

15. Tina Maids

Tina Maids offers residential and property maintenance cleaning services with a focus on incorporating twenty-first century technologies for better customer service and improved cleaning results. Customers can log into their account to interact with the company in real-time to view invoices, make payments, give feedback, and adjust services.

Residential cleaning options include recurring/periodic cleaning, one-time cleaning, move-in/move-out cleaning, post-construction cleaning, rental property cleaning, and property maintenance cleaning for offices, retail spaces, condominiums, places of worship, business common areas, and more. Customers can request green and ecofriendly products, and purchase gift certificates or credit to gift cleaning services to friends and family.

Founded by husband-and-wife team William and Christina Geronco in Florida in 2018 and franchising since 2019, the number of locations currently stands at 11, of which one is company-owned and all are located in the US.

An Important Note About Our Methodology

The franchises on this list were ranked according to the number of units in the franchise system. If you are a prospective franchisee searching for franchise opportunities that meet or exceed certain performance benchmarks for sales, profits, and return on investment, please check out this list of America’s Most Lucrative Franchises.

The 15 Best Residential Cleaning (Maid Service) Franchises of 2023 (Updated Rankings) (5)

The 15 Best Residential Cleaning (Maid Service) Franchises of 2023 (Updated Rankings) (7)

The 15 Best Residential Cleaning (Maid Service) Franchises of 2023 (Updated Rankings) (2024)


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