4 Big(ish) Cleaning Expenses You Should Start Saving For Right Now

published May 27, 2019
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No one said taking care of a home was cheap. In addition to that hefty monthly bill of your mortgage, our homes cost us money in cleaning, care and maintenance costs. There are very large and infrequent expenses like, say, replacing an air conditioner, and smaller ones like repainting a wall.

But there’s another category of home maintenance expenses that falls under a big ticket “cleaning” category, and you really need to save for them. They aren’t negligible costs, especially when added together.

Here are some of these cleaning projects along with estimates of how often you should do them and how much you can expect to pay. (Hint: From these two numbers you can figure out how much to set aside per month.)

1. Professional Carpet Cleaning

Even if you vacuum regularly and spot clean meticulously, your carpets will benefit from regular professional cleaning. Experts recommend professional carpet cleaning be done annually. Not only will it get your carpets their cleanest, but the steam cleaning method most professionals use will dry quickly. By getting dirt, grime, and pollutants out of your carpet fibers, you’re prolonging the life of your carpet as well.

Cost: Expect to pay around $50 per room.

Keep in mind: Some companies could charge per square foot, and if you have a smaller place, the price per square foot could be higher. Don’t forget to clean both wall-to-wall carpeting as well as area rugs. Consider asking your carpet cleaning professional if they also clean upholstery and whether you want to bundle this cost in.

2. Grout Cleaning

Yes, you can do it yourself, but sometimes either your grout is so bad or you just want to throw money at the problem and end up with pristine grout that didn’t cost you hours on your hands and knees. Thorough grout cleaning, on average, can be done about once per year, although you can definitely stretch this.

Cost: Grout cleaning will cost about $1-$3 per square foot.

Keep in mind: Sealing grout keeps dirty mop water and spills from absorbing into the porous grout. Consider asking your grout cleaners to apply a sealant to your grout lines. This could double the initial cost but drastically prolong the fresh look of your newly cleaned grout lines.

3. Whole House Soft Wash

The frequency of whole house washing depends on your location and how long it takes before your home’s exterior starts looking dirty. A good soft wash can last up to about three years. Soft washes are far preferable to pressure washing for two reasons: 1) pressure washing can damage the exterior components of a house, including paint and brick and 2) soft washing contains chemicals that kills mold spores and will therefore keep the house clean for longer.

Cost: Prices vary based on location, home size, and materials to be cleaned, but expect to pay between about $300 and $500.

4. Pressure Washing Driveways, Walkways, and Patios

Washing your driveways, patios, and walkways can be done annually, although you can stretch this if you don’t mind a bit of dirt buildup. Note that power washing and pressure washing are slightly different: Power washing uses hot water and can remove grease and oil stains; pressure washing, on the other hand, does not necessarily use hot water is is used to remove dust, dirt, and mold buildup on hard surfaces, especially masonry.

Cost: Expect to pay between $130 and $220 to power wash a driveway, and between about $250 and $420 to power wash a deck or patio.

What large house cleaning expenses would you add to the list?