How Much Does a Garbage Can Cleaning Business Make?

One thing everyone has is a garbage can. The average household has at least two, one for recycling and one for trash. If you think about your own garbage bins, you may realize that you have even more. And one thing we all know is that they get dirty. Really dirty. Foodstuffs, especially, can cause quite a mess, not to mention breeding grounds for bugs and bacteria.

A garbage can cleaning service can make anywhere from $26,000 annually to over $200,000 annually, depending on the amount of cans cleaned per year. Cleaning 10 cans per day at a cost of $10 per can easily nets over $20,000 per year. With the right equipment, return customers, and a can-do attitude, the garbage can cleaning business can be quite profitable.

That’s why the garbage can cleaning business is taking off. Most garbage can cleaning businesses offer different levels of pricing for how often their services are needed. One time services can cost anywhere between $20-$30. Monthly services typically cost between $8-$12 per can, and bi-monthly services usually cost from $12 to $15 per can. As a relatively new business idea, starting a garbage can cleaning business can offer a lot of work for less capital than a lot of other businesses. It’s no wonder that this idea is gaining traction all over the country, and beyond!

Starting a Garbage Can Cleaning Business

While starting a garbage bin cleaning business is relatively easy, there are still a few necessities that you’ll need in order to do so, including business licenses and permits.


In today’s world of technology, your work office can easily be crafted from your home. With a cell phone, website, and email address, you can start virtually any job from the comfort of your own home, and the garbage can cleaning business is no exception. As long as customers have a way to reach you, you can work out of your home, sparing yourself the expense of needing an off-site office.


While it can be possible to use your personal vehicle for a garbage can cleaning business, you probably want to think about getting a van or truck instead. That way, you’ll have plenty of room to haul your equipment, and you’ll keep any filth you pick up separate from your personal vehicle. Cleaning cans is a dirty business, and it’s nearly impossible to not take some dirt back with you.

A used van or truck can help keep the grime out of your personal space, and also helps give your business a more professional look. A professional appearance can help get you more customers and improve your profits, so having a van or truck from the start can be an important expense, even if you feel like you can’t afford it.

There are even companies that custom build garbage bin cleaning trucks that come complete with water storage tanks, hoses, and connectors for pressure washers of all shapes and sizes. While you may not need one right away, you may want to upgrade to one of these custom trucks once your business starts to take off in order to be able to handle even more jobs, and to complete them quicker, which means more money for you.

Curious what’s the difference between steam cleaning and dry cleaning? Check out our article to know the answer.


The most important piece of equipment for garbage can cleaning is a power washer. Power washers come in a variety of types and sizes, and are typically powered by either electric or gas. Electric power washers are cleaner, but they may not produce the power needed to clean effectively. You don’t want too much power, though, or the job will become too difficult.

Do your research on power washers before you purchase one, so you know that you’re getting one that will do the job right. You can talk with professionals at any store that sells power washers, and may even be able to try out some before you purchase. If you’re getting a gas-powered washer, be sure to find out how much gas it takes, and how quickly it uses the gas. That gas will become an expense, so you don’t want one that guzzles it too quickly.

An important accessory of the washer is the pressure nozzle, and these also come in a variety of sizes and options. You’ll probably want a few different nozzles that each use a differing amount of power, so that you can switch depending on the type of job you’re doing. The amount of power produced by each nozzle can either make your job easier or harder, so having multiple nozzles can ensure you have one that works best for your current job.

Another aspect of the power washer is the water supply. You’ll need a hose (most power washers come with them) to hook up to the spigot of the house or business where you’re doing the cleaning. Most everyone has an exterior spigot for garden hoses, but you’ll want to make sure your customers do as well in order for you to use the pressure washer. This is where having your own custom truck with water supply can give you an edge at places that do not have an exterior spigot.

Some pressure washers even come with a detergent tank, which can come in handy when cleaning trash bins. Detergent tanks allow you to mix soap right in with the power washer so you can clean with the soap and not just the water pressure. This addition can help clean grimy trash cans, so be sure to look into them when researching power washers. Get to know what detergents you can use, how, and how much is needed so you can decide if one is right for your cleaning business.

Some other equipment that will help in cleaning garbage bins is a disinfectant spray or cleaner. This will ensure that you kill most of the nasty germs and bacteria that inhabit trash bins. You’ll also need thick cloths, towels, and even a bristle brush to clean those hard to reach crevices and stuck on messes that a power washer may miss. Some garbage can cleaners even use baking soda or other deodorizers to get rid of the nasty smells associated with trash bins.

Protective Gear

When using a power washer, it’s always important to use the correct protective gear in order to reduce the risk of injury. Some gear that is typical includes goggles, heavy gloves, and sturdy shoes or boots. This type of equipment is not only useful for power washing, but also can help keep you mostly clean while you’re cleaning garbage bins.

Another piece of protective gear that you might want to look into is a heavy overall that you can wear while cleaning. As you might imagine, cleaning garbage bins can be a dirty job, and any type of gear that you wear during the cleaning process will get dirty quickly. You may even want to purchase a few pairs of overalls, gloves, and goggles, as they will become increasingly filthy well before you even think they should. Having a fresh pair tucked away in your van or truck can help keep you looking clean and professional, which can help you pick up even more customers.

Licenses and Permits

Besides a vehicle and equipment, another necessity is a business license. A business license allows you to operate your own business, and declares your business profits taxable. You may want to form an LLC, or limited liability corporation. Doing this gives you legal protections that you may want since you’ll be dealing with waste and wastewater. It also simplifies your taxes.

Other permits needed will be determined by your locale, so you’ll need to look into which ones you may need. These can include a zoning permit, which indicates what areas you are able to operate in, and possibly even an environmental permit, as you will be dealing with waste. Some local and state governments require permits based on how much pollution your business will create, and declare wastewater from garbage bin cleaning as pollution.

Be sure to get all the permits you need, so you can pay as little in taxes as necessary, which will keep your profits high!

Check out this article to learn what are the types of cleaning in housekeeping.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best way to grow a garbage can cleaning business?

Growing a garbage can cleaning business is a lot like growing any business. The key is marketing, doing an efficient job, and word of mouth. The last may be the most important, as customers will spread your business name if they’re impressed by your work. Other marketing materials can include flyers, business cards, and shirts with your logo. Most garbage can cleaning businesses grow just by providing superior performance and a business card, as customers are eager to talk of this new industry.

Do I need a website?

In today’s technological world, a professional website is needed for any business. There are a number of hosting sites where you can purchase a domain name and create your own website. There are also numerous website creating services that offer professional website creation and upkeep for competitive prices. Building and maintaining your own website can seem like a hassle, but a good, professional website can increase customer participation as nearly 81% of customers check out a website before making a decision. Having your own website gives you a 24/7 presence and can increase your profits by a wide margin.

To learn more on how to start your own cleaning business, check out my startup documents here.

Please note that the contents of this blog are for informational and entertainment purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Any action taken based on the information provided in this blog is solely at your own risk. Additionally, all images used in this blog are generated under the CC0 license of Creative Commons, which means they are free to use for any purpose without attribution.