The 10 biggest cleaning franchises in the Australian market

Edm Thumb The 10 Biggest Cleaning Franchise In The Australian Market 1

This list of cleaning franchises is mixed with a spread of residential, commercial and external house and speciality cleaning all featured.

Another in our list series!

You can find links to all others in our 'biggest list' series HERE

We decided to not only limit 'cleaning' franchises to just in home or commercial cleaning. We also factored in gutter and carpet speciality cleaning sub-niches of the cleaning business market.

The cleaning franchise market in particular is full of competitors. And likely even more so with its often designation as an 'essential service' in lockdown cities across the pandemic.

Like mobile, but probably to an even greater degree, given the low barriers to entry, and the general ease with which to start to build a client base using relatively inexpensive digital marketing, it is a space that sees many players pour into.  

It is frustrating for would-be franchise prospects in this space to struggle to get significant information for their research from some in the space. We have found some in this list have given huge amounts of information, and others very little.

Perhaps this is symptomatic of the concern given the lower barriers to entry commonly found in many cleaning operations. This may result in competitors of all types cherry-picking openly available information to easily construct their competitive positioning.

Why we create these lists

We created this list to help make your research and decision making process easier. 

We’ll update it as the market changes, and as we get more information for you*.

1. Jim’s Cleaning Group - 966 franchises (AU)

Multiple cleaning market niches.

The Jim’s Cleaning Group comprises; home and business cleaning, car detailing, window and pressure cleaning, carpet cleaning and blind cleaning and repairs.

The Group came out of Founder Haydar Hussein, rebranding his own cleaning business in the 90’s as a Jim’s Cleaning franchise. He then set about acquiring the other regions nationally, and later re-branding to Jim’s Cleaning Group after adding other offers.

The business lists a ‘Pay-for-Work’ Guarantee of $1,500 per week.

This business has a presence that is full of personality and people, right down to pictures and written introductions from all franchisees for their regions - a nice touch. 

  • CEO = Ali Olmez 
  • Headquarters located = Mooroolbark, VIC
  • Franchising Since = 1997
  • Investment = Starts from $30,000
  • Initial Franchise fee = TBC
  • Ongoing Fees = TBC
  • Training = Initial 5 day business training, and 5 day on-tool training. Ongoing provided.

Social Media Presence 

  • Facebook = 23.9K followers
  • Instagram = 887 followers
  • Twitter = 60 followers
  • LinkedIn = 182 followers

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2. Cleantastic - 900+ franchises (AU)

Commercial Cleaning.

For such an apparently significantly large business, Cleantastic has a very low profile in the broader market. Very little social presence of any sort, and little activity. 

The web platform for the brand presents more like an international franchisor that has minimal presence in the country - although that doesn’t appear to be the case. It’s just that when a franchise brand is already well in the Australian market, it is not usual to have to keep mentioning ‘franchises for sale in Australia’ on their Australian website.

There is no visible business leaders (people) in their web presentation to the business, other than a short franchisee video testimonial (from 2012) that appears international.

I have also never seen a disclaimer used to start such a video “The views expressed in the following video are the personal opinions of the Cleantastic franchise owner.”

There is also very little transparency on purchase or ongoing fees and other aspects of the franchise offer.

This perspective on the business is given on the basis of a prospective franchise owner looking at the limitations to what they can research themselves online.

  • CEO = Stu Beadle
  • Headquarters located = Auckland, NZ
  • Franchising Since = TBC
  • Investment = from $11,000- $60,000 range
  • Initial Franchise fee = TBC
  • Ongoing Fees = TBC
  • Training = TBC

Social Media Presence 

  • Facebook = N/A
  • Instagram = N/A
  • Twitter = N/A
  • LinkedIn = 20 followers

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3. VIP Home Services - 600+ Cleaning franchises (AU + NZ)

Home and commercial cleaning, lawns and garden maintenance. Focused here on the cleaning aspect including carpet and window.

Another one of the key core originators of the modern franchised home services sector offer that we see today. In fact, according to the company, it “ the pioneer of franchising home services in Australia; being the first to franchise in the industry.” after it was launched in 1979.

Despite its larger size, the brand proudly positions itself as still very much a family business with founder Bill heading it up, wife Ros is still involved, along with three of their children as well.

The company has also achieved significant brand recognition in the market, and perhaps in comparison to their larger competitor, does not come across as aggressively innovative.

Or, are they just a little quieter about what they do?

  • CEO = Bill Vis, Founder
  • Headquarters located = Cowandilla, SA
  • Franchising Since = 1979
  • Investment = starts at $12,000
  • Initial Franchise fee = TBC
  • Ongoing Fees = Flat monthly fee - no lead or % of income fees
  • Training = Up to 4 weeks on the job training

Social Media Presence 

  • Facebook = 3K followers
  • Instagram = 556 followers
  • Twitter = N/A
  • LinkedIn = 265 followers

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4. Jani-King - 600+ franchises

Cleaning services.

The Jani-King business presents itself as a highly sophisticated operation with a presence in ‘14 countries and 9,000+ franchisees globally’. ‘The King of Clean’ is the tagline.

The name has origins in being a ‘janitorial cleaning service’ back in 1968.

As with many American originated brands, the business has put in little effort it seems, to present a ‘local flavour’ to it’s appeal to potential franchise owner investors. Imagery looks very USA, and it is an approach I have never quite understood, or been comfortable with.

The web presence for potential franchise owners for Australia is another that talks constantly of mentioning what country they are in. Yet this is contrasted with the ‘Proud Australian Company’ rotating banner, indicating they know it’s in the public’s mind.

Interestingly, the brand has had a recent design overhaul from the blue colour, to gold, and is referencing it on their site as an ‘Upgrade to Gold Class - Your gold class service is now reflected in our brand’. 

Seemingly, a desire to position itself from the lower-end, low-cost, nil barrier to entry competing brands flooding the market.

  • CEO = Ben Stoltz
  • Headquarters located = Kenmore, QLD
  • Franchising Since = 1974
  • Investment = Starts from $12,800 (US Market) $218,100 (US Market)
  • Initial Franchise fee = $9,000 (Low - US) - $195,000 (High - US)
  • Ongoing Fees = 10% gross monthly revenue, 7% gross accounting & sales fee, plus an advertising and technology fee (US fee table in absence of Australian)
  • Training = Approximately 40 hours of instruction including self-study, spread across 8 sessions.

Social Media Presence 

  • Facebook = 587 followers
  • Instagram = 36 followers
  • Twitter = 20 followers
  • LinkedIn = 471 followers

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5. United Home Services and Housework Heroes - 210+ franchises

Cleaning services (cleaning and carpet included here).

The business is part of a larger holding company Mpower Franchising, that operates United Home Services, Housework Heroes, and Car Care franchise brands.

United Home Services (UHS) began in Melbourne as a family owned cleaning business, and commenced franchising in 1995. The business was purchased by Mpower under senior franchise executive, Mike Stringer in 2010. 

UHS, primarily with a focus on the Victoria market, it operates as Housework Heroes in Queensland, Western Australia, and South Australia.

The digital presence of the UHS brand is relatively unsophisticated in comparison to a number of it's competitors in this list. There is little content outlining the business, the franchisees, or the operators, and little social presence.

The Housework Heroes brand is improved from this with a number of franchisee featured content video pieces on time in the business.

The UHS business positions itself in the market with; a flat fee structure, guaranteed financial support for the first 6 months from commencement, and a 'guaranteed work-flow for the entirety of the time of being a franchisee'.

Both of these risk-reducing guarantee statements are not particularly clear when it comes to comparative market income type guarantees to reduce buyer risk.

For UHS, as well as cleaning, (home and office), carpet cleaning, gardening, and ironing are also on offer.

Little transparency around training, entry costs and ongoing fees.

  • CEO = Mike Stringer (National Franchisor)
  • Headquarters located = Perth, WA
  • Franchising Since = 1995 (UHS)
  • Investment = From $6,800 (Housework Heroes new state starter package)
  • Initial Franchise fee = TBC
  • Ongoing Fees = Monthly flat fee
  • Training = Not detailed other than 'Full training provided'

Social Media Presence 

  • Facebook = 261 followers
  • Instagram = N/A
  • Twitter = 26 followers
  • LinkedIn = 69 followers

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6. Bebrite - 200+ franchises

Cleaning services.

This has an interesting digital presence that is unlike any others in this list. The franchise page about the opportunity practically yells information at you about income ranges, start-up guarantees, hourly earning rates and more.

Now, while the 'sell' style of the presentation might feel a little a confronting, we cannot accuse the brand of lacking transparency in the information they provide - and that is to be highly commended in comparison to many others in the market.

In fact, I'd go as far to say that this is one of the most transparent franchise related websites I've seen, with regard to information up-front, before having to provide your details.

The business lists a 'start up guarantee' of $800-$1,200 per week, along with a guaranteed ROI, with your franchise fee paid back to you in less than 90 days.

They pitch it that you are getting three (3) franchises for one cost - 'Combined franchises home, office, windows, and carpet cleaning.' Bebrite Green cleaning products are also provided free of charge.

  • CEO = Jay Wilson (Director)
  • Headquarters located = Belrose, Sydney
  • Franchising Since = 1994
  • Investment = From $26,500
  • Initial Franchise fee = TBC
  • Ongoing Fees = Flat monthly fee
  • Training = 'Comprehensive' HQ and on job training.

Social Media Presence 

  • Facebook = 2.1k followers
  • Instagram = 106 followers
  • Twitter = 60 followers
  • LinkedIn = 74 followers

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7. Chem-Dry - 140+ franchises

Carpet cleaning services.

The Australian arm of the business has been owned and operated by the Mitchell family since 1986 when first brought to Australia. Globally, the business has over 4,000 franchise locations.

Servicing home or office, the business is heavily focused on highlighting franchise partners as trained technicians in stain removal. As per the name, the business uses a low moisture process, meaning carpets are drier faster (1-2 hours claimed). In addition, that the process is healthier for your family, both are key competitive points to the market.

As with many USA originated and focused brands into our market, a lot of the brand' presentation to the Australian audience, is still highly Americanised in look and style.

The brand provides a guaranteed income option, which is quite extensive in providing work, booking the jobs, bookkeeping, and more. 

  • CEO = Lachlan Mitchell (Director, AU)
  • Headquarters located = Mulgrave, NSW
  • Franchising Since = 1977 (Globally)
  • Investment = $19,950 (new) (not inc equipment or vehicle)
  • Initial Franchise fee = TBC
  • Ongoing Fees = TBC
  • Training = 3-5 days

Social Media Presence 

  • Facebook = 213 followers
  • Instagram = 385 followers
  • Twitter = 62 followers
  • LinkedIn = N/A

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8. Electrodry - 140+ franchises

Carpet cleaning services.

Another carpet cleaning business focused on a competitive advantage around no wet carpets and 'no nasty chemical residue'. It is positioned as a modern, well-presented brand in the market.

Even from the outside, the company looks to squarely line up against Chem-Dry in the Australian market. 

The business states in a presentation that 'most Electrodry franchises are sold as a going concern' (an operating business), thus have lower cost second hand equipment to reduce entry costs.

It actually feels a little unfair comparing both Chem-Dry and Electrodry directly in this list, as on the surface, it appears that Electrodry is significantly more transparent on it's details and costs. 

Not having all the information at hand for the main competitor, could mean comparisons are not fully apples with apples - so keep that in mind.

We've seen territory presentation documents for Electrodry where the franchise cost varies significantly for a variety of reasons.

The brand has a sophisticated web presence, and strong social presence as well. This gives confidence that it is prepared to invest in it's brand assets.

Uncertain whether it is intentional, but it is unusual to type in 'Electrodry franchise' into search, and the primary sources of information that result are actual 20+ page presentation PDF's on specific territories giving detailed costing breakdowns, cashflow scenarios, pricing and much more. 

Excellent transparency if intended, but I'm not certain if it is fully.

It is hard to find 'franchise' specific information links from the brand outside of these presentations which is not the norm in my experience. This can sometimes also signal a pull-back from franchising.

  • CEO = Paul Burchell, Founder / Managing Director
  • Headquarters located = Newcastle, NSW
  • Franchising Since = 1983
  • Investment = From $42,000 (not inc equipment or vehicle)
  • Initial Franchise fee = Above
  • Ongoing Fees = Turnover based fee structure - 37% of turnover up to $200k p/a. Exceeding $200k in turnover sees ongoing franchise and marketing fees come down to 32.7% of turnover.
  • Training = TBC

Social Media Presence 

  • Facebook = 13.6k followers
  • Instagram = 136 followers
  • Twitter = 59 followers
  • LinkedIn = 151 followers

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9. Gutter-Vac - 136 franchises

Gutter cleaning services.

The business was founded by highly respected franchise executive, Warren Ballantyne in 1995, and began franchising in 2000.

In the brand story, they state that prior to Warren developing a vacuum cleaning system for gutters, that the only way to clean gutters was by hand. 

According to the brand, they are also the largest gutter vacuum cleaning network in the world. 

The brand provides three (3) options for investing in  the business; buy an existing operating franchise (price varies), buy a brand new territory ($80,400), or their reduced price rental option ($35,358).

Impressively, Gutter-Vac has also focused on ensuring they are best positioned to help would be franchise owners to secure finance. Many brands in the franchise space 'talk' about their recognition with finance providers to help you secure finance. But, Gutter-Vac has gone the extra mile, by working to be accredited with FRANdata via a detailed Bank Credit Report.

With this work, Gutter-vac is designated Franchise Finance Ready by FRANdata which helps significantly in accessing finance.

In my own experience of seeing this brand, and knowledge of the people behind it, it is very much focused on strong initial training, and on-going support, to help develop and support their owners with coaching and guidance. 

The brand is very proactive in working to help their franchise owners be as successful as possible by providing all the training, tools and support.

  • CEO = Warren Ballantyne, Founder and Managing Director
  • Headquarters located = Northgate, QLD
  • Franchising Since = 2000
  • Investment = $80,400 (includes trailer and machinery)
  • Initial Franchise fee = Included above
  • Ongoing Fees = 10% of gross marketing / Royalty TBC
  • Training = 1 week comprehensive at Head Office and 2 days on site

Social Media Presence 

  • Facebook = 4.5k followers
  • Instagram = 3.1k followers
  • Twitter = N/A
  • LinkedIn = 187 followers

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10. Urban Clean - 100+ franchises

Cleaning services focused on commercial cleaning.

Overt in advertising in the market, in most searches while researching this list, Urban Clean was at the top of paid search result looking for franchise partners.

The brand presents quite sophisticated in it's approach to digital marketing for attracting franchise partners. A simple execution of a call to action to book in a 30 minute call to discuss their franchise blueprint. 

It is very much akin to a sales letter like you would see in a lot of internet marketing - and this differs very much from the approach of most. Free reports to download, well-placed testimonials, all following a proven and tested digital lead generation marketing formula. 

Some prospects may find this whole approach just too slick in comparison to the way it is generally done. On the flip side, as the brand seems to executing this well, one could expect that their lead generation for client work is similarly structured and effective for franchise partners.

This 30 minute phone call call to action, is surrounded in its paid advertising and web presence that is heavily focused on attracting prospects with highly repetitive mentions of 'earning and extra $5,000 per month - with minimal risk'. It also graphically demonstrates what it states are franchisee payslips in the thousand's of dollars per month.

Two investment options; A branch (Master franchisee), where you recruit and support franchisees in your region, and a service franchisee as the other option where you can 'keep your day job with an after-hours part-time business'.

Has an integrated Contract Guarantee as well built in within the first 24 months of your business.

  • CEO = Damien Boehm, Founder & CEO
  • Headquarters located = Windsor, QLD
  • Franchising Since = 2014
  • Investment = From $18,750 (Service Franchisee) From $120,000 (Regional Franchisee - Branch)
  • Initial Franchise fee = As above
  • Ongoing Fees = Service fees payable as a % of what you earn (no indication of the level)
  • Training = 2 weeks intensive on and offsite plus ongoing workshops and support.

Social Media Presence 

  • Facebook = 76 followers
  • Instagram = N/A
  • Twitter = N/A
  • LinkedIn = 232 followers

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*Note: And of course, please contact the brands direct for the most up to date information, as while we've done our best to be as accurate as possible, we know some of this information can be a moving target at times unfortunately!