If your Diwali cleaning checklist is giving you heartburn, then it’s time for some outsourcing
Long before Marie Kondo invaded our TVs and our homes, the annual purge was a prevalent ritual in most Indian households. In joint families, Diwali and other holidays meant all-hands-on-deck, scrubbing, scouring, and expunging to make the house fresh for the new year.
But things are changing with the rise of service apps offering deep cleaning services using top-of-the-line chemicals and commercial-grade machines, so that you and your help don’t need to sweat it out. One of the largest is UrbanClap, whose co-founder Varun Khaitan says the reason for the demand is that “the quality of our homes is going up along with our sensitivity towards cleanliness.” This sensitivity has been nurtured by online platforms that offer everything from basic listings to complex algorithms; as well as local service providers—often commercial cleaners who partner with platforms like UrbanClap to enter the residential market.
“We didn’t even know what it exactly entailed until the guy showed up and explained,” said Rahul Ved Prakash, an ad film director in Mumbai, who used a service like this one. According to some maids we spoke to, the professional cleaning made their daily jadhoo-pochha easier too, with the underlying layer of grime gone.
On the surface, most pan-India apps look similar, but service quality varies widely. To arrive at a list of the best ones, we waded through reviews and spoke to customers and companies. We factored in companies’ response time to our queries, and considered whether workers are on staff, contracted, or work for a contracted company; whether they are verified and trained; and whether a company uses professional products and techniques. A tip: if you’re planning to book a cleaning, slot it for early in the day in case it takes longer than expected. Also tidy up beforehand, familiarise yourself with included tasks, and optimise your time by rolling in add-ons like pest control, sofa-cleaning and mechanised floor scrubbing.
This “managed marketplace” dominates the industry and most often recommended across the cities we looked at. With over 60,000 cleanings per month, UrbanClap can quickly adapt to feedback, tweaking its algorithm, ratings system and offerings regularly. It originally farmed out home cleaning to other companies completely, but for the last eight months, individuals contracted to UrbanClap provide “unbundled” cleaning (bathroom, kitchen, sofa, etc.), while full home cleaning, which requires a team, will likely move in that direction soon. This direct involvement has seen a “dramatic” improvement in quality, ratings, and repeat customers, Khaitan said.
Available in: Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi NCR, Chandigarh Tricity, Jaipur, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune.
Perks: Up to Rs 10,000 of insurance against damages; improved customer support; quick turnaround time.
Price: Home deep cleaning for 1BHK starts at Rs. 4,499
Another major provider, Housejoy has expanded slowly, emphasising its “stringent” induction process, which includes trial cleaning for a panel of family and friends. Varun L., who works on training, says the platform’s jobs-guaranteed model is a win for service providers too. Saran Chatterjee, CEO and founder says that beyond training cleaners, Housejoy’s success has as much to do with raising customer awareness. “The first time a customer takes the service, it’s a hit or a miss—if the home is in a certain condition, maybe one cleaning isn’t really enough. Houses that are well-maintained see the highest degree of differentiation.” Like UrbanClap, Housejoy offers a variety of things, but is slightly more focussed on building services (including renovations and makeovers).
Available in: Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Delhi NCR, Mumbai and Pune; limited presence in Coimbatore, Vijayawada, Surat, Baroda, and Ahmedabad.
Perks: Customisable services, 100 percent satisfaction or a free re-work, subscription packages available.
Price: Home deep cleaning for 1BHK starts at Rs.2,500; with floor-scrubbing machine Rs. 4,600 (currently discounted to Rs. 3,600).
Mr. Right started in 2013 in Delhi as a company with workers on its rolls, before scaling up to an aggregation model—though one quite engaged with its partners. And it’s easy to see exactly what you’re paying for. Abeniel Huton, a former customer who now handles marketing says, “Mr. Right survived because we have been bootstrap since Day One. We’ve stuck to our roots providing home services—we could have gone into other domains—beauty, home tutors, etc. But how you position yourself matters.”
Available in: Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Delhi NCR, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Mumbai, Pune.
Perks: Focus on home services, high customization; app gives customer a high level of control.
Prices: Home deep cleaning for 1BHK starts at Rs. 4,999.
Mr. Homecare comes with the heft of its parent facilities management company, which services five-star hotels and airports. Mumbai media entrepreneur Mansi Poddar has used their services several times, starting with when she moved back to India from New York. “Cleanliness standards have changed,” she said. “Everybody has an architect or interior designer now and people are building houses disregarding practicality—mine is a white apartment.” She was sold on the “robust” website, and the professionalism of the people she spoke to on the phone.
Available in: Mumbai, Pune
Perks: On-staff employees, commercial janitorial experience.
Price: Home deep cleaning for a 1BHK starts 5,800 (1RK is Rs. 3,200).
Joboy takes a slightly different approach by providing a wide range of services (you can book tickets or deliveries), within its local focus (Kerala, though the company is slowly expanding elsewhere). House cleaning is done by verified partners, some of whom can take time to confirm.
Available in: Kochi, Kottayam, Kozhikode, Thiruvalla, Thiruvananthapuram, Thrissur.
Perks: 60-day guarantee of satisfaction, or work is redone.
Price: In Kerala, home deep cleaning for a 1BHK starts at Rs. 2,099.
Unplan started by providing maids when people’s regular staff were off duty, particularly during festivals. Once an UrbanClap partner, Unplan decided to focus on its own platform, with particular attention to customer service and on-the-job training. Besides highly customisable deep cleaning, they still offer regular cleaning—now at an hourly rate.
Available in: Bengaluru
Perks: Employees on staff, local focus, accessible customer service, affordable options.
Price: Home deep cleaning for a 1BHK starts at Rs. 2,500.
Another Bengaluru company (and former UrbanClap partner), DeepCleaningServices stands out for its option of eco-friendly cleaning materials, which the founder first started concocting in his kitchen (he has a day job and doesn’t want to be named). It is also committed to its staff, who are insured against accidents and come from a particularly underserved area of the Sundarbans. DeepCleaningServices grew out of the founder’s restaurant and café; when friends kept asking him to send staff over to clean their homes, he decided to shift gears. A repeat customer for seven years, housewife Nupur Singh told me “Only once did I have to message to say you missed something,” she said, “and they came back right away and fixed it.”
Available in: Bengaluru
Perks: Employee protection, chemical-free options, local focus, direct customer support. Terms and conditions clarified in writing prior to service.
Price: Home deep cleaning for a 1BHK starts at Rs. 3,500.
Although they didn’t respond to our interview request, Broomberg’s deep cleaning is highly recommended by several Delhi customers.
Available in: Delhi NCR
Perks: Cleaners on staff, local focus.
Price: Home deep cleaning for a 1BHK starts at Rs. 3,499.
A top-rated service in Chennai (which is relatively crowded with independent cleaning companies), Tidy Home has over ten years of experience and extensively trained employees.
Available in: Chennai
Perks: Packages for regular maintenance, local focus, will rework if customer expresses dissatisfaction within 24 hours.
Price: On request, but on par with market rates.
Like Chennai, Hyderabad also has a wide range of cleaning companies. GoKlean4U has a consistently high rating and well-trained staff.
Available in: Hyderabad and Vijayawada
Perks: Quick response, longer-term contract plans available.
Price: Deep cleaning for a 1BHK starts at Rs. 3,800.
Another high-rated provider in Hyderabad, WashTog has the added advantage of late-night cleaning, available on request.
Available in: Hyderabad
Perks: 24/7 service and late-night cleaning available; highly trained staff; gifting options available.
Price: Deep cleaning for a 2BHK starts at Rs. 3,999.
A highly-rated company in Gujarat, with over five years of experience, including with several corporate clients.
Available in: Ahmedabad and Surat
Perks: Post-party clean-up service, regular maintenance contracts available.
Price: On request.