Local cleaning services are struggling to get things back to normal because of the pandemic. We reached out to some ahead of their busiest season to see how things are holding up.

How do you handle the stress of everybody being like, come to my home, come clean for me?

“That is the challenge,” said Ryan Brelje, owner of 701 Cleaning.

The cleaning industry faced many unexpected changes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think some areas got busier. Some areas maybe people were a little more reserved in it. Now I feel like everything’s *motions* you know?” said Brelje.

“It’s demanding kind of. When we’re busy, you have to kind of move your butt. You have to move a little faster, and you have to be thorough. That’s the thing. It’s not so much hard, as it is you have to be thorough and very detailed,” said Christine Anderson, employee of 701 Cleaning

As the need for their services has increased, some cleaners have had to adjust and even raise their prices.

“It changed to cater to a new type of disinfecting, which required new chemicals, new equipment that we hadn’t necessarily needed before. We did have quite a bit of significant cost increases,” said Sean Snyder, CEO of Sunny Side Cleaning Services.

Like many other businesses, we’re told finding employees has also been a major issue.

“It’s tough to find good employees. There’s a lot of people out there that are collecting extra Job Service unemployment checks. Unfortunately, some people would rather sit at home and not work and make more money than they would at a job,” said Brelje.

“Our company was intending to expand into Fargo this year, but we’ve had to put that on hold due to the immense staffing issues that are being faced in the locations we do service. In Bismarck, Mandan and Minot,” said Snyder.

Cleaners are even picking up some of the workload from other business staffing issues — like hotels and restaurants.

“Some companies are having big problems with that, and they’re calling us in to come in and help them with their cleaning stuff because they don’t have the manpower,” said Brelje.

Snyder says people should know that just like other essential services, they’ve been here, putting in some hard work.

“I do believe that a lot of the cleaning companies that have been working and putting their own health at risk to ensure the health of others has definitely been undermined. The cleaning industry is definitely something that has gone unnoticed and unappreciated not just in North Dakota, but all over the world,” said Snyder.

North Dakota’s participation in the federal government’s pandemic unemployment assistance program ends June 19. Also, both 701 Cleaning and Sunny Side Cleaning Service are hiring and booking new clients.