Hiring a home cleaning service is a great idea if you’re too busy to regularly clean your home, preparing to host guests, moving out of your apartment and hoping to get your security deposit back or you just enjoy the feeling of a tidy house. If you’re hiring a cleaning service for the first time, you might have no idea what to expect. After all, you’re used to scrubbing the shower and vacuuming the carpet yourself. How are you supposed to know what the protocol is when someone else is quite literally handling your dirty work?
Believe us, there are no silly questions when it comes to hiring a home cleaning service for the first time. How do we know that? Because we went ahead and asked them ourselves. Here’s what we learned:
1. Read Online Reviews
This one’s a given. You already look at online reviews when choosing a place to grab coffee, so it stands to reason that you should check out Yelp, Facebook and Google before hiring a home cleaning service.
2. Understand Tipping
Tipping is not required when hiring a home cleaning service, but it is appreciated. It’s an especially good idea if you plan on using that service on a regular basis or if the house cleaner went above and beyond. Twenty percent is standard, and you’re welcome to leave it as cash along with a note saying thanks.
3. Ask About Products
Don’t assume that the home cleaning service will provide everything. Many do, but some smaller companies will use your cleaning products and may expect you to have tools such as a vacuum and paper towels available. You should also ask about eco-friendly cleaning products if this is important to you. Some cleaners may use environmentally friendly cleaning products on request.
4. Seriously, You Don’t Need to Pre-Clean
Don’t be embarrassed if your home isn’t spotless—that’s why you hired a home cleaning service! There’s no need to pre-clean, but you should pick up clutter (i.e. children’s toys in the living room, clothing on the floor in the bedroom) before cleaners arrive.
5. Ask About Arrival Time
Some cleaners will allow you to schedule a set time, while others will provide a window of time when you can expect them. If you need to arrange accommodations for pets, children or yourself (most companies prefer to clean when you’re not home), ask the company what their policy is to avoid disrupting your schedule.
6. Ask About Pets
Speaking of pets, keep in mind that home cleaners may not love your fur baby as much as you do. If your dog or cat is aggressive or prone to escape, make arrangements to keep him elsewhere or keep him secure. Even if your pet is the sweetest animal in the world, it’s a good idea to ask the home cleaning service about their pet policy.
7. Read the FAQ Page
It’s your first time hiring a home cleaning service. You don’t know everything—and they might not tell you everything. Give the company’s website a quick read. The FAQ section might contain some information you weren’t aware of.
8. Make Sure the Cleaning Service is Insured
A reputable home cleaning service will be insured. This means that if an item is damaged in your home, it will be repaired or replaced. This also means that if an employee is injured in your home, you won’t be held liable. Look for companies that provide personal liability insurance and work-related injury insurance.
9. Know What the Cleaning Service Won’t Do
Don’t expect cleaners to handle your dirty laundry, closet organization and the inside of your oven. Find out what the cleaning service doesn’t clean—it may surprise you! Some home cleaning services don’t handle dirty dishes, the inside of appliances and carpet shampooing—among other things. For those specialized tasks, you may need to hire someone else or (sigh) do it yourself.
10. Know What to Do If You’re Not Happy
So what do you do if you come home and find out that the home cleaning service missed more than a few spots? Many companies will clean again if you’re not happy, but the only way to avoid paying for a less-than-stellar cleaning job is to choose a home cleaning service that will promise to make it right if the job isn’t done correctly in the first place.