When To Tip Your House Cleaners and Maid Service

Last Updated : November 2, 2023 /

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Tipping maids and house cleaners is a common but inconsistent practice. You may be the type to leave a few dollars in a hotel room for the housekeepers, but do you tip house cleaners? 

tipping house cleaners

Some companies have a no-tipping policy, while others provide guidelines for clients who support gratuity. Even still, many professional house cleaning services have no official stance on tipping which can leave clients unsure of what to do. 

In this article, we will discuss common situations when tipping is and is not appropriate and suggest reasonable guidelines for tipping etiquette. All in all, tipping is becoming more common, but you shouldn’t feel obligated to open your wallet every time. 

Expert Guide To Tipping Your House Cleaner

Hiring house cleaners can be nerve-wracking. You might be embarrassed about the state of your home, unsure about inviting strangers inside or need clarification about whether you should offer a tip.

Worry not! We’re here to dispel any confusion and set your mind at ease. 

Believe us, we’ve seen worse than your house and offer friendly, professional service from start to finish. Tipping is always optional, but we’ll cover different situations in more detail, so you feel comfortable with your decision about tipping cleaning staff. 

Why You Should Tip Your Cleaning Lady

Tipping cleaners isn’t always expected but is usually appreciated. This is especially true for particularly backbreaking or dirty tasks, and anytime a good job is done. 

Especially if you plan to use the same cleaning companies again in the future, a tip can leave a good impression and increase your chances of them making room in their schedule. It is also a nice gesture to tell someone you appreciate their hard work. 

Factors To Consider Before Tipping Your House Cleaner

Unlike restaurants, there is no hard-and-fast rule for tipping across the cleaning and maid service industries. Especially if you haven’t used many house cleaning services in the past, you may have a hard time determining whether or not to tip, and what precedent you are setting by doing so. 

Below are some variables to consider before pulling out your purse to pay your house cleaner. 

Self-employed Cleaners vs. Cleaning Agencies

A major difference in some scenarios is whether you hire an independent cleaner or an employee from a larger organization. These cleaning professionals will operate under different rules and have different expectations from their clients. 

Tipping is more customary in service industries where the client deals directly with an employee. If you hire a cleaner from a larger company that pays them an hourly wage, they are more likely to accept tips for hard work to supplement their income. In fact, their service provider may have guidelines for tipping or a no-tipping policy. 

However, you can probably skip the 15-20% tip if you hire an independent cleaner who sets their own rates and schedule. Since you have agreed on how much to pay for the job, they probably aren’t expecting any extra money.

What’s Your Tipping Budget?

Before busting out your wallet and feeling generous for a job well done, consider what you can afford in the long run. If this was a one-time cleaning and a big help for an event or upcoming holiday, sure, give a big tip if you want. 

However,  if you give a generous tip for the first cleaning from a new company, the cleaners may come to expect that with each regular cleaning visit. Be realistic about what you are comfortable paying for each cleaning, and tip within your means so you can be consistent. 

Does Pay At The Maid Service Company Account For Tips?

Many companies have tipping policies to save their clients from the awkwardness and confusion of gratuity. You may be able to find information about tipping on the cleaning company’s website or by speaking to a representative. 

There are many ways to handle tipping. Some companies pool all cash tips together and distribute them evenly, while others let each cleaning person keep what they earned. This may be enough to persuade you to tip higher or lower, or the company may have a blanket no-tipping policy.

Generally, companies that don’t allow tipping pay their employees a reasonable wage to compensate. Other companies may pay a lower wage expecting tips to supplement each worker’s income. Getting a sense for this will help you decide whether or not to tip, and how much.

How Large Is Your Home?

At the end of the day, a significant factor in whether you give a tip and how generous you are should be the quality of service and quantity of work performed. A cleaner who did a subpar job or was only briefly at your home may not deserve a substantial tip. 

On the other hand, if you have a large home or a particularly dirty or difficult cleaning task, consider adding a small bonus for the hard work completed. This will motivate that cleaner to work equally hard the next time and ensure they want to return.

Will You Tip Each Individual Cleaning Service?

Using multiple services or a company that sends different cleaners each time can get confusing. Again, be careful not to set the bar too high early on so you can continue to tip fairly and consistently. 

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You don’t want to get too generous with one service or worker, then have to stiff the next one. Decide on a reasonable amount if you’re going to tip, and make sure you won’t regret it for repeat visits. 

How Many Cleaners Are Needed Per Service (And Should You Tip All of Them?)

Tipping an individual cleaner is usually an easier decision than if a cleaning business sends a group. A larger single tip is often more impressive than several smaller ones, especially if a single person could have tackled the job on their own.

You also may notice some workers did a better job than others, but tipping unevenly presents its own discomfort. It is usually wise to have a rough idea of how much you want to tip for the job, then divide it among the cleaning staff who show up. If the number gets divvied up too small, consider setting a reasonable minimum for each cleaner. 

How Much Should You Tip the Cleaning Lady or Cleaners?

Considering the above factors, a good rule of thumb is to calculate 10-20% of the price of the service as a tip. 

For example, for $100 cleaning sessions, you could give a $10 tip to an individual or $20 for an excellent job. If two cleaners performed the task, consider $10 each. If three show up, consider sticking to $10 each instead of calculating down to $7-8 each, especially for a well-done job. 

How Generous Should You Be?

It is usually better to tip conservatively, at first, until you are sure of a comfortable tipping amount. If you start off too strong, the cleaners may be disappointed to receive a lesser amount at subsequent visits. On the flip side, no one will ever be sad about an unusually large tip!

When to Reconsider Tipping

If you feel the service is already too expensive, or the quality of work isn’t impressive, there is no shame in not tipping. Worst case scenario, the cleaner will feel snubbed by a lack of expected tip, but if you weren’t thrilled with the cost or service, you’re probably better off looking for a different service anyway. 

Have More Questions? Give Us a Call!

Not everyone has experience hiring house cleaners, and you shouldn’t let anxiety keep you from enjoying the convenience. If you have questions about our cleaning service, expectations about do you tip house cleaners in your market, or general cleaning questions, our experts are happy to answer them. 

Call us at (630) 394-5543 or visit our website for chat and email.

FAQs

What is the difference between a housekeeper and a cleaning lady?

In general, housekeepers tend to handle more daily maintenance tasks like laundry and arranging personal effects. Cleaners tend to focus more on deep cleaning jobs like before an event, moving, or spring cleaning. However, these terms are often used interchangeably.

Do you tip house cleaners for deep cleaning?

It is good form to tip for tough or dirty jobs like a deep cleaning service or bathroom cleaning. Especially since deep cleaning isn’t a frequent occurrence, a generous tip is often deserved and appreciated.

How much do you tip the monthly cleaning lady?

Tipping for a regular, recurring service adds up. If you have sent a good precedent for reasonable tips each visit, great, but there are other alternatives. Consider offering a seasonal or annual bonus or other forms of tipping. This could also be a gift rather than cash. Otherwise, a small tip of $10 or so is probably sufficient since routine cleaning services probably aren’t overly strenuous or dirty. 

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