Frugal Side Hustle: Cleaning Business with Ken Carfagno – EP 293

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Starting a cleaning business is inexpensive that’s why it’s one of the fastest-growing industries since the pandemic struck us. We often don’t hear about cleaning businesses as much as the popular side hustles that are digital, but for those who are drawn into hands-on side hustles, this one’s for you! Listen as we talk and deep dive into setting up your own cleaning business as a side hustle with Ken Carfagno. 

Treat someone’s home better than you would even with your own home.


  • The 3-Day Spending Makeover! If you’re tired of busting your budget every month but don’t want to live under a rock while getting your finances together, The 3-Day Spending Makeover is for you! By the end of this FREE 3-day challenge, you will find what you value spending on, learn strategies for saying “no” to the things you don’t, and create a plan for guilt-free spending that won’t leave you broke. If that sounds like everything right now head to to get started today!

Ken Carfagno is the host of the Smart Cleaning School Podcast which helps cleaning professionals make the impact they were meant to make. Ken levels up cleaning business owners in growth mindset, leadership, and promotes the thought leaders in the cleaning industry through this podcast. Ken and his wife Teresa have 5 kids that they homeschool in the Philadelphia Area.

The Ins and Outs of a Cleaning Business

It’s a tremendous side hustle, says Ken, who earned $70,000 in profit in just 18 months, part-time and working 2 days a week (together with his wife) in his cleaning business. Over 50,000 people join or start a cleaning company every year; specifically, the number has increased since the threat of COVID-19. Ken believes it has a tremendous upside for the years to come. Anyone can learn how to clean, but Ken doesn’t initially look for someone who knows how to clean in their company but has a good character and willingness to learn and grow their mindset.

Types of Cleaning Businesses

The cleaning industry is broad–it ranges from residential, commercial, carpet cleaning, flooring finishing, and much more. Ken focuses on two types of side hustlers: One Time, which is for those who want to make a profit, and Reoccurring for those who wish for long-term stability (these are usually residential or commercial sites). Some one-time cleaning can get offered a contract for office buildings which can be recurring.

Satefy and Building Trust With Clients

Like most successful businesses, it took work for Ken. The world of cleaning houses it’s dominated by women, which became a challenge for him in building the trust of female clients. If you’re trustworthy, you won’t have any problem. It’s an honor for someone to let you in their door as long as you carry yourself with trust. Also, with the threat of the COVID-19 virus, every cleaning company insists on safety protocols such as garments and equipment to minimize contamination and protect every cleaner from these health risks. 

Setting Up Your Own Cleaning Business

Planning to start your cleaning business? Do every requirement and other things to become a legit business. From there, you can get basic cleaning supplies. Remember that you don’t have to spend on the most expensive cleaning products. You only need a vacuum cleaner, spray bottles, and cleaning chemicals (you can take the things you have under your kitchen sink). Ken recommends starting with someone you know and having them leave a review on your Google Page or Facebook (Make sure to make one of these as well!). Join local networking where you can meet other business people to connect and find other cleaners locally. 

The worst thing we’ve ever had to clean up

  • Ken: Discovered leftovers of a deer carcass on a 3 months unplugged refrigerator which created a foul smell. 
  • Jill: Accidentally left a project about composting on her locker for an entire year that exhibited an unpleasant smell, mold, and other gross stuff! 
  • Jen: Experience with potty training. For instance, when they had their power out because of the hurricane and Kai pooped which made a mess. 

Bill of The Week

Thank you Ken for sharing your bill about a new friend NAMED BILL who is the 7th member of your team, the one who makes Florida possible!

Thanks so Much for Listening!

Thanks so much for listening. We love LOVE love reading your kind reviews and we especially loved this one:

I kept hearing commercials for this podcast on the other podcasts I listen to and finally decided to give it a try.

After a few episodes I was still in denial about how bad my finances were and wasn’t really considering taking their advice, but kept listening. After a few more episodes I realized the hosts felt like my friends and I began to open my heart up to their advice. Now I’m back on my debt payoff journey and feeling so much better about my life choices. I’m still quite a ways behind on episodes so you ladies will keep me company for months to come before I’m caught up.

Who knows maybe then I’ll go back and start over again to keep myself motivated. ❤️

Thanks! If you want to check out our monthly challenge community head to to see what challenge we have coming up next.

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