How to Start a Trash Can Cleaning Business in 2022?

Starting a trash can cleaning business may be an appealing option for those looking to be their boss or earn a higher income through an administrational position. It can be surprisingly profitable, and both residencies and commercial buildings need it done throughout the year.

To start a trash can cleaning business:

  1. File the necessary paperwork
  2. Plan out your budget and obtain your equipment and hire your staff
  3. Create an organized system
  4. Perform marketing
  5. Check-in regularly

Working in this industry can be rewarding, but it also requires planning and strategy for effective results. For example, a trash can cleaning business demands high investment, particularly for a commercial cleaning bin. If the staff, system, and marketing are not utilized properly, the business can quickly fall red. Fortunately, knowing the common pitfalls and in’s and out’s can help avoid this issue significantly. 

Below are the five main steps to starting a trash can cleaning business, along with tips and things to look out for.

File Paperwork

To legally operate in the United States and file taxes, the trash cleaning business will need to be registered as an LLC in its state. Also, it should have a business license. Both of these will have a cost, which depends on the location.

In the United States, the employer will also need an Employer Identification Number, which is free. They can file for it through Form SS-4 from the IRS.

Finally, the company should have a business bond or insurance. Emergencies happen, including injury to employees and unintentional damage to the trash cans. Although a business bond is less expensive because it does not have a premium, it does have a small bond fee. Also, it requires the company to pay back what it received (fortunately without interest). On the other hand, while insurance requires a premium, the company does not need to pay it back, which is helpful in larger emergencies.

Check out this article to learn more about the residential cleaning and commercial cleaning contracts in Florida.

Plan out a Budget 

Once the trash cleaning business has all of its legal paperwork out of the way, it can proceed to its budget. In this planning, it should consider the number of customers it aims to reach. To put the budget into perspective, trash can cleaning businesses typically charge about $10 per can. This means that if the company cleans 20 containers per day, it will make $200 per day, or $52,000 a year if the company considers weekends and breaks. Here are some of the essential aspects to consider:


Some of the smaller supplies required include brushes (about $15 to $20 each), cleaner (white vinegar and baking soda are standard options, which cost about $30 and $14 per large container respectively), and deodorizer (about $10 to $15 per container), and rags (about $55 per 50-pound box).

Other personal supplies include work gloves (about $10 to $20 each), boots (about $20 to $40 per pair), and a first-aid kit (minor injuries can happen surprisingly often in this industry; each will cost about $10 to $20 for a basic one). Also, the employees may need a uniform or other protective clothing for the cleaning chemicals and grime. Some have found uniforms in bulk that only cost $9 total; rental programs are available (although they may not work well with cleaning trash). Other protective clothing may cost around $10 to $30 each.


Because of the nature of the job, one of the essential components of a trash can cleaning business is one or more designated vans. Since many businesses put their logos on these vans, one may buy vans instead of personal ones, especially if their business is more significant. Such vans can widely vary in price (from $5,000 to $40,000 each). Also, the business should keep in mind that each vehicle requires insurance.

The business will also need a portable hose, which costs about $130 each. Finally, it will need a pressure washer. Typically, they can cost anywhere from $100 to $600.

Suppose the trash can cleaning business is a larger one (or targeting commercial buildings instead of personal trash bins from residencies). In that case, it will need a specialized trash bin cleaner truck with a cleaning system. These will be the business’s most significant investment, costing about $50,000 to $90,000 each here are some examples:  and  (as a positive note, this can take the place of the pressure washer, so the business does not need to buy both). Many businesses sell industrial bins, which the user assembles and then puts on the desired vehicle. The trash can cleaning business can still put on their logos (which is discussed in detail in Step 4).


According to Indeed, an average trash can cleaner makes about $11 an hour. Depending on the size of the trash cleaning business, this may also be a significant investment. Also, the business may choose to hire a marketer and website designer, especially if it is more extensive. While a marketer will earn about $14 per hour, according to Indeed, the typical website designer can earn an incredible $24 an hour. Since a website designer is relatively expensive, one may desire to build the site themselves, which can be done quickly through free website building platforms. Should the business need well-written content for its website and social media, it can hire a copywriter for an average of $25 per hour.

Finally, the owner may need receptionists, managers, and customer service workers if the business is significant. While the average receptionist salary is about $15, a manager makes about $56,000 per year. A customer service agent can be expected to earn $14 per hour.

Create an Organized System

Once they have planned out a budget, the trash can cleaning business owner will need to design a clear, consistent way to organize clients and employees. For example, the owner will need to designate a building or a home office to organize workers and schedule appointments. There should be a shed or other place that is large enough to store cleaning supplies at the site. Depending on the size of the business, this may cost nothing at all or a bucketload.

To keep track of scheduling, the business should have an organization method, such as spreadsheets or another type of software. Again, if the trash can cleaning business is more significant, it may hire a data entry clerk to keep track of scheduling, which requires about $15 an hour.

Finally, the business will need a well-designed website. Not only does this promote the business, but it also informs clients and provides an opportunity to organize customers and leads in one place. To ensure that it aids the business’s system, the website will need straightforward navigation, along with a well-written copy to describe the company’s services, what it specializes in, and how much it costs. It should also include a contact form to express interest or ask for a service.

Check out this article to get an idea on how to clean a mattress without using a vacuum cleaner.

Perform Marketing

To ensure that customers notice the trash can cleaning business, the organization needs to perform proper marketing. For example, the company may use flyers, mainly if it is focused on a localized area. Also, it may use in-person marketing and cold calls, both of which are surprisingly effective in this industry. To perform these successfully, the company should design and print business cards and have a dedicated phone line for business calls (if this is the case, a phone line maybe another one of the costs in the budget). 

Regardless of the business’s desired to reach, it should have its respective logo and branding on vehicles used for the cleaning service. Along with allowing the clients to recognize a cleaner’s arrival more efficiently, they can attract new customers. Finally, if the business is more significant (especially if offered in a wide range), it may use online advertisements and focus intensely on its website’s search engine optimization.

One good way to improve the website’s visibility is through creating a blog, which demonstrates the trash can cleaning a business’s expertise while creating more relevant pages to rank in search engines. 

Check In Regularly

Although this final step is a combination of the previous ones, it is essential to ensuring the business’s consistency and long-term success. Because owning a business is highly volatile and circumstances can often change, the owner should make a conscious effort to update their business by repeating the previously mentioned steps constantly.

For instance, they may need to invest in high-quality equipment, or they may need to hire more staff and improve their organizational and marketing strategy. Also, the trash can cleaning business may change the insurance they use depending on personal needs. As the business expands, the owner may find that they can relay some of these responsibilities to other staff members.

Overall, starting trash can clean business requires a surprising amount of strategy. Between the level of competition from larger businesses to the significant up-front investments and initial unpredictability, this industry is tricky to break into. Fortunately, through careful planning and referring to the advice in this guide, those looking to start such a business can succeed in the long run.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I fund my cleaning business?

With all of the costs associated with starting a trash can cleaning business, one may understandably struggle to find proper funding. Fortunately, some solutions can go with saving and budgeting. For example, the business may apply for credit or ask for bank loans. In the United States, cleaning businesses starting can apply for the Small Business Investment Companies grant through the SBA (which is entirely free).

Should I invest in a specialized trash bin cleaner or clean the bins with a pressure washer?

This depends on the size of the business. Although many may believe that a trash bin cleaner is essential to succeed in this industry, it can be a high cost that bogs down the business. A power cleaner can often do the same things that an industrial cleaner does, even if it is less attractive and slower. Alternatively, a business may start with a pressure washer and move up to an industrial cleaner as it grows.

Should I use a franchise to start my business?

Again, this depends on the goals and circumstances of the business. For example, if the trash can cleaning business needs to invest in an industrial cleaning system, having the franchise do it can help, even with the upfront costs. Also, using a franchise can help the business gain recognition, as more people will be familiar with a widespread corporation than a business that is just starting. If the owner would like, they can start with a franchise and then design their own business later to prove they have experience.

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.