10 Secrets Your House Cleaner Wont Tell You

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Home improvement

You never know what your house cleaner is thinking!
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People are increasingly hiring professional cleaners to save time and effort, but hiring someone to clean your house can come with some hidden complications. Here are 10 secrets your cleaning professional may be keeping from you:

10: She May Not Know More About Cleaning Than You


Is this cleaner safe for your countertop?
©iStockphoto.com/fatihhoca

While most of us would assume that our house cleaner is an expert in cleaning, that may not always be the case. Many cleaners never receive formal training and may not know the best way to clean certain surfaces. To avoid any mishaps, it’s a good idea to be present for the first cleaning and provide detailed instructions. You can also supply the cleaning products to ensure that the right cleaners are being used on the right surfaces.

9: She May Bring Germs Into Your House

House cleaners often work in dirty and germ-filled environments. If your house cleaner just came from cleaning a home with bed bugs or cockroaches, she may bring those pests into your home. To avoid this, supply your own cleaning equipment and products. This will also be cheaper for you in the long run.

Did You Know?

Some house cleaners may not speak English fluently, so it’s important to ask for someone who understands your instructions.

Number 8: She Works Faster, but Not Necessarily Better


She may take shortcuts to finish early.
©iStockphoto.com/fotostorm

During the first visit, your maid will probably do an excellent job, but it will be more expensive than subsequent visits. The second and third visits will set the standard for future cleanings, so it’s important to pay attention to how long they take. If the maid takes three hours to clean your home during these visits, it should consistently take that long. If, after six months, it only takes two hours and 15 minutes, there may be a problem. The maid may be cutting corners while still charging you for the full service.

Number 7: She May Misrepresent the Cost of the Cleaning

When discussing your cleaning needs with a maid or service, they will give you an hourly rate and an estimate. If the cleaning takes longer than estimated, you may end up paying substantially more than you anticipated. To avoid this, invite the maid or service representative to your home for a walk-through and an in-home quote. This will make your needs clear and prevent any surprises.

Did You Know?

When searching for a reputable cleaning service, ask for customer references who have been with the company for six months or longer.

Number 6: The Service May Send Someone Else


Do you know her?
©iStockphoto.com/fatihhoca

When scheduling maid service, you may not know who will be stopping by your home. Some services assign specific workers to accounts, but employee turnover, illness, and scheduling conflicts could result in different people cleaning your home every month. Additionally, some cleaning services subcontract labor, which gives them less control over employee screening and work quality. This could potentially pose a security risk if a spare key to your house is floating around.

Number 5: You May Have Gotten a Cheap Rate Because She’s Not Insured or Bonded

When comparing maid service rates, it’s important to make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. Established cleaning services often bond and insure their employees, which protects you from loss or injury. If a service or person offers an attractive rate but isn’t bonded or insured, any protection you have will have to come from your homeowner’s insurance policy, which may result in an increased premium.

Did You Know?

It’s important to do your research before hiring a maid or cleaning service. Consult your local Better Business Bureau or consumer watch group for honest feedback on the companies you’re considering.

4: Her Record May Be Clean, But Her Boyfriend’s Isn’t – And She Tells Him Everything


Always be aware of any missing items.
©iStockphoto.com/Rutryin

It’s a scary thought, but it’s worth considering. Although you may trust your maid or cleaning service, that person may have connections to others who could be less trustworthy. Once information about your belongings and schedule gets out, it can be difficult to control who has access to it. This could put your valuables and security at risk.

3: She May Have Checked Off Everything on Her Checklist Before Even Starting Work

One of the main selling points of cleaning services is their checklist. This list outlines all of the tasks the maid will complete during each visit. While this checklist may look impressive, it’s important to remember that the maids themselves are responsible for filling out these checklists. Just because something is checked off on the list doesn’t necessarily mean it was actually done. To ensure that your maid is doing the job properly, it’s best to physically check their work rather than relying solely on the checklist.

Did You Know?

Before hiring a maid or cleaning service, it’s a good idea to review your homeowner’s insurance policy to see what is covered in case of a worker’s injury on your property.

2: She Could Be Prone to Stealing


Keep your valuables in a secure location.
©iStockphoto.com/snapphoto

While most maids and cleaning service employees are honest, there is always the risk of theft. Cleaning service complaint websites are filled with stories of maids stealing everything from cash to clothing. When someone enters your home and takes something without permission, it’s a violation of your trust and security. To minimize this risk, consider using a cleaning service that employs dedicated, bonded employees rather than subcontractors. It’s also a good idea to have someone at home during cleaning days.

1: The IRS May Consider Her an Employee

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that your friendly, reliable cleaning person is doing you a favor by working for a low wage. However, the IRS may view this as a formal employer-employee relationship, and you could be required to pay taxes accordingly. To avoid any issues with the IRS, it’s best to hire a maid or cleaning service that is properly licensed and insured.

If you pay an independent worker $1,400 or more annually, you may face issues with the IRS. This could result in you becoming an employer overnight, responsible for the employer’s share of social security, federal unemployment taxes, state taxes, and Medicare taxes. Although not everyone gets caught, it’s still a risk you may not want to take.

Did you know that hiring a maid service is a more expensive option than hiring a single person? However, if your maid happens to be in the country illegally, you won’t be held liable, which could save you from incurring some stiff penalties.

In the United States, the average cost for hiring a cleaning lady or maid to clean your home ranges from $25 to $80 per hour. The cost depends on the size of your home, the state/city you reside in, and whether it’s a deep or regular clean.

To find a housecleaner, you can search for cleaning services online, check out home service sites such as Angie’s List, ask friends for recommendations, or look for suggestions on neighborhood sites like Nextdoor. To ensure you hire a trustworthy cleaner, check their track record and only go for workers with a clean history. Ask for references from previous employers and avoid beginners who aren’t listed in an agency.

If you want more information on housecleaners, you can search for related articles on topics such as self-cleaning ovens, tips for cleaning your refrigerator quickly, how to cut household cleaning expenses, and what your dry cleaner, pizza delivery guy, and grocer don’t want you to know. Sources for this information include ConsumerAffairs.com, The Wall Street Journal, Dust Busters Cleaning Services, and the Chicago Tribune, among others.

FAQ

1. What are some things my cleaning lady might be hiding from me?

First and foremost, your cleaning lady may not be as thorough as you think. She may only clean the surfaces that are visible, neglecting to clean areas that are harder to reach or tucked away. Additionally, she may be using your cleaning supplies on other clients’ homes to save herself money.

2. Is it okay to leave valuables out when my cleaning lady comes?

While most cleaning ladies are honest and trustworthy, it’s always better to err on the side of caution. If you have valuable items that you don’t want to risk losing or having stolen, it’s best to put them away in a safe or locked cabinet before your cleaning lady arrives.

3. Should I tip my cleaning lady?

A tip is always appreciated, but it isn’t necessary. If you do decide to tip your cleaning lady, a good rule of thumb is to leave 10-15% of the total cost of the cleaning job.

4. Why does my cleaning lady sometimes cancel at the last minute?

There could be a variety of reasons why your cleaning lady cancels at the last minute. She may have a personal emergency, or she may have overbooked herself and needs to reschedule to avoid burnout.

5. Is it better to hire an individual cleaning lady or a cleaning service?

Both options have their pros and cons. An individual cleaning lady may be more flexible with scheduling and may be able to develop a more personal relationship with you. On the other hand, a cleaning service may be more reliable and have more resources at their disposal in case of an emergency.

6. How do I know if my cleaning lady is doing a good job?

One way to gauge the quality of your cleaning lady’s work is to do a walk-through with her after each cleaning session. This will give you the opportunity to point out any areas that may have been missed or need extra attention. You can also ask for feedback from friends or family members who have used the same cleaning lady.

7. What should I do if I’m not satisfied with my cleaning lady’s work?

If you’re not satisfied with your cleaning lady’s work, it’s important to address your concerns with her directly. She may be willing to make adjustments and improve her performance. If the issues persist, you may need to consider finding a new cleaning lady.

8. How often should I have my house cleaned?

The frequency of your house cleaning will depend on your personal preferences and lifestyle. Some people prefer to have their homes cleaned once a week, while others may only need bi-weekly or monthly cleanings.

9. What should I do to prepare for my cleaning lady’s visit?

To ensure that your cleaning lady can do her job efficiently, it’s important to clear away any clutter or items that may be blocking her path. You should also communicate any specific cleaning requests or areas that need extra attention.

10. How can I make my cleaning lady’s job easier?

One way to make your cleaning lady’s job easier is to keep your home tidy on a daily basis. This means picking up after yourself and putting items back in their proper place. You can also provide clear instructions and feedback to help her understand your expectations and preferences.

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