Hiring a professional cleaning service is a cost-effective and stress-free way to maintain a clean, healthy, and safe environment in your home or workspace. Regular cleaning and disinfection have been proven to reduce the spread of germs and deadly diseases like the coronavirus, which accounts for over 3,140 confirmed deaths in Detroit since 2020. However, before contracting with any cleaning company in the city, you should make sure that they meet certain criteria to ensure that you get the best service possible. Asking the following questions listed in this article can help you determine the suitability of cleaning companies in the City of Detroit for your required cleaning service:
- Are You Licensed to Practice as a Cleaning Service in the City of Detroit?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared to Other Cleaning Services in the City of Detroit?
- What Types of Cleaning Services Do You Offer?
- Do You Comply with the City of Detroit's COVID-19 Regulations?
- Do You Provide Commercial Cleaning Services for Non-Residential Buildings in the City of Detroit?
- Do You Engage Unionized Cleaners for Non-Residential Buildings in the City of Detroit?
- Do You Offer Covid-19 Disinfecting Services in the City of Detroit?
- What Cleaning Supplies Do You Use?
- Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Cleaners in the City of Detroit?
There are no state or city-level business licensing requirements for cleaning companies that wish to operate in Detroit and offer their services to residents of the city. Nonetheless, these companies will be required to undergo certain local and state-level registration processes before they can legally conduct business in the city. These processes are generally dependent on the cleaning company's business structure.
As such, cleaning companies that wish to conduct business under an assumed name or as a co-partnership will be required to register their business names locally with the Wayne County Clerk's Office. Alternatively, cleaning companies that wish to incorporate or conduct business as limited partnerships will be required to register their businesses at the state level with the Michigan Corporations, Securities, and Commercial Licensing Bureau.
Local business registrations can be done by completing and submitting either a Certificate of Conducting Business Under an Assumed Name Form or Certificate of Co-Partnership Form, along with all applicable fees, via mail to:
- Wayne County Clerk
- 201 Coleman A. Young Municipal Center
- ATTN: Assumed Names
- Detroit, MI 48226
Note that the information on these forms must be printed or typed in black ink, and the signatures must be notarized. Similarly, state-level business registrations can be completed online or by submitting a duly completed appropriate application form to:
- Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
- Corporations, Securities, and Commercial Licensing Bureau
- Corporations Division
- P.O. Box 30054
- Lansing, MI 48909
Queries concerning these business registration procedures can be directed to either the Wayne County Clerk's Office at (313) 967-6938 and (313) 224-5565, or the Corporations Division of the Michigan Corporations, Securities, and Commercial Licensing Bureau at (517) 241-6470 or via email. Note that in addition to registering their business names, cleaning companies in Detroit must also obtain a sales tax number from the Michigan Department of Treasury. This can be done via the Michigan Treasury Online platform, and the department also provides applicants with access to resources and guides that can be used to navigate this process.
You can get additional information on the requirements for operating a cleaning business in Detroit by contacting the city's Business Licensing Office at (313) 224-3179 or via email.
The cost of cleaning services in the City of Detroit is influenced by factors like the size of the home or facility that requires cleaning, the specific type of service that is requested, the frequency of the cleanings, and the type of cleaning supplies used. Note that cleaning companies in the city may utilize hourly, fixed, or square footage rates when charging for their services. However, it is good practice to always get and compare estimates for your intended cleaning job from at least three different cleaning companies when searching for a suitable cleaning company to handle your cleaning needs.
When comparing these estimates, look out for discrepancies and find out the reason for these discrepancies from the cleaning company that submitted the estimate in question. If the cleaning company cannot provide you with a feasible explanation for this, then you should strongly consider striking them off your list of potential hires.
Building and grounds cleaning workers in Detroit earn an average wage of $31,320 annually. A comparison of the average hourly wages of workers in Detroit's building and grounds cleaning and maintenance industry against those of workers in the rest of Michigan and five other major cities in the country is provided below:Detroit Cleaning Contractors Average Hourly Wage$15.06Michigan Cleaning Contractors Average Hourly Wage$15.12Chicago Cleaning Contractors Average Hourly Wage$16.44Los Angeles Cleaning Contractors Average Hourly Wage$18.32Phoenix Cleaning Contractors Average Hourly Wage$15.26Houston Cleaning Contractors Average Hourly Wage$13.53New York City Cleaning Contractors Average Hourly Wage$19.09
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Before hiring a cleaning company in Detroit, it is important to confirm that they have properly trained cleaners that are adequately equipped to satisfactorily deliver your required cleaning services. These services may include recurring cleaning, one-time cleaning, apartment cleaning, green cleaning, deep cleaning, move-in/move-out cleaning, live-in maid services, office cleaning, and enhanced disinfection. In addition, some cleaning companies also offer specialized cleaning services that focus on specific areas in a home or office, such as bathroom cleaning, window washing, and even laundry services.
In addition to getting verbal confirmation that your intended cleaning company provides the type of cleaning service that you require, you should also find out the types of cleaning supplies that will be used for the job. It is also a good idea to request references to past clients that can vouch for the cleaning company's service delivery. Finally, find out the billing structure that the cleaning company intends to use to charge you for their services, as well as how much these services would cost you. Cost estimates for some cleaning services typically requested by home and property owners in the City of Detroit are listed below:Cleaning a typical four-bedroom home$88.80 - $103.40 per visitCouch cleaning$64.30 - $68.10Graffiti removal and protection$1.44 - $2.43 per square footIndustrial cleaning services$18.50 - $28.50 per man hourJanitorial services$18.60 - $34.70 per hour (for each person)Maid services/home cleaning$38.75 - $51.25 per hour (for each person)Medical office & healthcare facility cleaning services$0.12 - $0.36 per square foot
Compliance with local and state covid-19 guidance and resources is an important factor to look out for when searching for cleaning companies in Detroit. According to data published by the city's health department, there have been over 122,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Detroit, with more than 3,000 of these cases resulting in deaths. However, as of February 2020, less than 50 percent of the city's residents had received at least one vaccine dose. To this end, hiring a cleaning company that adheres to the provisions of these guidelines and resources whilst performing their duties goes a long way in protecting the health and safety of you, your loved ones, and residents of Detroit in general.
Some provisions of the Detroit and Michigan local guidance and resources that directly involve cleaning and disinfecting activities include ensuring proper distancing to limit the person-to-person spread of the disease and requiring the use of face masks and appropriate personal protective equipment. Considering that these guidelines and resources aim to reduce the spread of the coronavirus in the city, you should be wary of any cleaning company that downplays their importance. You can get additional information on local and state-level COVID-19 guidance and resources, and how these resources pertain to your home or facility cleaning and disinfection activities, by contacting the Detroit Health Department's COVID-19 hotline at (313) 876-4000.
COVID-19-related queries can also be directed to the Wayne County Department of Health, Human, and Veterans Services or the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services at (734) 287-7870 and (888) 535-6136 respectively.
The City of Detroit does not issue specific business or occupational licenses to cleaning companies that provide business cleaning services. These types of services typically focus on the cleaning and disinfection of commercial, industrial, and medical facilities, such as offices, schools, hospitals, factories, and apartment complexes. It should be noted that there is equally no separate business licensing requirement for cleaning companies that focus on the cleaning and disinfection of residential buildings.
Notwithstanding this, in accordance with state environmental regulations, cleaning companies in Detroit that provide services involving the handling or disposal of septic, medical, or hazardous waste may be required to obtain permits for these services from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE). Inquiries concerning this department's permitting processes and requirements can be directed to its Detroit District Office at:
- Cadillac Place
- 3058 West Grand Boulevard
- Suite 2-300
- Detroit, MI 48202-6058
- Phone: (313) 456-4700
Union cleaning services refer to cleaning companies that hire only cleaners that are members of unions, such as the SEIU Local 1 - Michigan, which represents over 50,000 residential and commercial maintenance workers in Michigan and across the Midwest. Many commercial property owners and facility managers in Detroit lean towards contracting with union cleaning services because of considerations for better working conditions and fairer wages for these union cleaners. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, cleaners that belong to unions earn at least $110 more per week than non-union cleaners.
Some benefits that commercial property owners and facility managers get from contracting with union cleaning services include hiring cleaners with up-to-date training certifications and enjoying a low turnover of cleaners. However, before retaining the services of a union cleaning service, it is important to make sure that they have a low level of controversy, to avoid your facility being involved in strikes, picketing, and receiving unwanted media attention. One way to do this is by perusing the website of the union that your intended cleaning service is affiliated with, and finding out if there are any issues that the union is currently bargaining for.
In situations where a member of your household or an employee in your facility has been diagnosed with COVID-19, it is important to clean and disinfect any areas that this individual may have been in contact with to stop the virus from spreading. Note that you should always inform the cleaning company you reach out to about the contamination of your space and confirm from them that they offer COVID-19 cleaning and disinfection services. You should equally find out if these enhanced disinfection services will be carried out per relevant CDC cleaning and disinfection recommendations, as well as local and state COVID-19 guidance, which include:
- Wearing disposable gloves, face masks, and other appropriate personal protective equipment during the cleaning and disinfecting
- Cleaning surfaces with soap and water or other suitable cleaning agents, and then disinfecting them
- Using only EPA-approved List N Disinfectants for the disinfection. These products have been determined to be effective against the SARS-COV 2, which is the virus that causes COVID-19
- Following the instructions on cleaning and disinfecting products' labels to ensure that they are safely and effectively used
- Ensuring that the area is properly ventilated, especially when using disinfectants. This is important if you are prone to asthma attacks or other respiratory issues, as some disinfectants contain components that can trigger these issues
- Paying attention to high-touch surfaces like tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, and ensuring that they are adequately cleaned and disinfected. Extra attention should also be paid to any areas that may have body fluids on them
- Properly disposing of all gloves, masks, and other disposable items used for the cleaning and disinfection. Non-disposable items should also be properly washed and sterilized where necessary
Ensuring that the right types of cleaning supplies are used for the cleaning of your home is very important, and failing to do this can lead to you being at the receiving end of shoddy cleaning services. Cleaning companies in the City of Detroit utilize several types of cleaning agents when providing their services to interested parties, and the appropriate cleaning agent for a job is usually dependent on the type of surface that is being cleaned. Note that factors like the environment and the method of use can also affect the efficiency of these cleaning agents. Nonetheless, cleaning agents generally belong to four major groups, namely detergents, degreasers, abrasives, and acids.
- Detergents: Detergents are the most common types of cleaning agents and they are used for both residential and commercial cleaning services. They are typically water-soluble organic preparations, and they come in gel, powder, cake, crystal, or liquid form
- Degreasers: Degreasers are cleaning agents that are mostly used to remove grease, oils, and organic stains, and they are commonly used in commercial or industrial kitchens
- Abrasives: Abrasives utilize scouring action to remove dirt and stains from hard surfaces. They typically come in powder or liquid form and are not suitable for surfaces that can be easily scratched
- Acids: Acid cleaning agents are highly corrosive chemicals that are used for removing rust, mineral deposits, and hard water stains from surfaces. Acids have to be properly diluted before use, and should only be handled by professionals to avoid injuries and accidents
Depending on the nature of your requested cleaning service, the use of cleaning products like sanitizers and disinfectants to rid the area of germs, pathogens, and other microorganisms may also be necessary. To this end, you should request a list of cleaning products that will be used during your cleaning service and make sure that they are not only suitable for the job but are also EPA-registered. It is also a good idea to inform your intended cleaning company of any allergies that you may have so that they do not use products that may trigger these allergies.
Making sure that the cleaning service you contract with is properly insured and bonded saves you from having to deal with the financial and legal fall-out of any work-related accidents or injuries that may occur during your project. Data published by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that a total of 164 fatal work injuries occurred in the State of Michigan in 2019, accounting for more than three percent of the total number of work-related fatalities recorded across the country during this period. Contracting with an insured cleaning service not only insulates you from the liabilities associated with these injuries but also covers the cost of any damage to your property that may be caused by the company's cleaners during the execution of their services.
As such, even though the State of Michigan only mandates cleaning companies in Detroit to carry workers' compensation insurance for their employees, you should make sure that your intended cleaning company also carries general liability insurance as well as janitorial bonds. General liability insurance covers the cost of bodily injuries and property damage during the job, while the janitorial bonds protect against any losses that may be incurred as a result of theft or dishonesty on the part of the company's cleaners. Request copies of the cleaning company's insurance and bond certificates and validate these certificates with the relevant issuing organization. Find out the extent of the cleaning company's insurance coverage and make sure that it is adequate enough for the scope of your required cleaning service. You can also direct inquiries concerning state-mandated workers' compensation insurance requirements to the Michigan Workers' Disability Compensation Agency at (888) 396-5041.
Clean-up scams are quite common in the City of Detroit, especially in the aftermath of natural or manmade disasters. In June 2021, the Michigan Attorney General issued consumer alerts warning residents of the metro Detroit area to beware of scams related to clean-up activities following recent flooding in the area. Some common signs of these cleaning service scams include high-pressure sales tactics, requests for cash payments, and an inability to provide verifiable references or written contracts.
To avoid falling for a cleaning service scam, you should endeavor to take the following steps when searching for cleaning companies in Detroit:
- Do not rush into hiring arrangements with any cleaners in the city, especially ones that show up at your home or office unsolicited
- If your home was affected by a disaster, contact your insurance company to find out if your homeowners' insurance policy will cover the cost of the cleanup services and the extent of this coverage
- Get estimates for the cleaning service from multiple cleaning companies in the city
- Insist on a written contract and carefully review this contract before signing it
- Never pay in cash and never pay the full cost of the cleaning service upfront
- Make sure that the cleaning company you hire is insured and bonded and request proof of this
- Look up the cleaning company on websites like the Better Business Bureau to get third-party reviews on their service delivery
- Contact the Michigan Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division at (877) 765-8388 to find out if any complaints have been filed against the cleaning company and the nature of these complaints
- Request references from the cleaning company and contact these references before finalizing any hiring arrangements with the company
Every year, the Michigan Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division receives more than 10,000 consumer complaints from residents of the state concerning a wide variety of matters, including scams and unfair business practices. You can file complaints concerning cleaning service scams that occur in the City of Detroit with this division online or by mailing a pdf consumer complaint form, along with copies of relevant supporting documentation, to:
- Consumer Protection Division
- P.O. Box 30213
- Lansing, MI 48909-77
Note that this division utilizes an informal mediation process to help solve consumer complaints, and it cannot force businesses to participate in this process, nor can it act as a private attorney on your behalf. Nonetheless, if the cleaning company refuses to cooperate with the mediation process, you can file a lawsuit against them with the 36th District Court of Michigan. It is always in your best interest to consult with a private attorney to review your legal options before taking court-related actions. You can find private attorneys in the City of Detroit by contacting either the Detroit Bar Association at (313) 961-6120 or the State Bar of Michigan at (800) 968-0738. Note that the payment of an administrative fee may be required for these referral and consultation services.