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When is retail sales tax applicable?

This article will help you determine the classification for interior cleaning charges. Generally, cleaning services are subject to retail sales tax. However, if a company performs routine and repetitive “janitorial services,” described in WAC 458-20-172, the company’s receipts are not subject to retail sales tax.

Specialized or non-repetitive cleaning services are taxable as retail sales. Examples of specialized or non-repetitive cleaning services that are taxable as retail sales include:

  • Construction cleanup (except when performed for a custom contractor providing a reseller permit)
  • Natural flood water or moisture removal
  • Leaking appliance water or moisture removal
  • Specialty cleaning or resealing of grout or tile
  • Mold abatement
  • Hood cleaning
  • Tap cleaning
  • Drain clog/cleaning
  • Deep fryer oil filtration/cleaning
  • Duct cleaning
  • Fire damage cleanup
  • Smoke smell removal
  • Hoarder cleanup
  • Crime scene/bio cleanup
  • Haz mat cleanup
  • Meth lab cleanup
  • Asbestos cleanup
  • Cleaning fish tanks


You can find out more information about janitorial services under the “Business and Occupation Tax” paragraph located on our site at WAC 458-20-172.

Also, see our Tax Topics article on interior and exterior Window Washing.