The Complete Guide to Tipping Your House Cleaner

Coins in a Tip Jar

Your housekeeper works hard to do all of the dirty chores that you lack the time, energy or desire to do yourself. In the process, you appreciate the benefits of a pristine home combined with more free time and less stress. The rate that you pay this important person in your life is based on numerous factors, such as your location, the size of your home or apartment and the type of work that you need completed. As is the case with many other service providers who you work with, cleaners appreciate being recognized for their hard work through tipping. In some cases, they may even be counting on tips from satisfied customers.


While there is a general consensus regarding how much to tip waitstaff at restaurants, food delivery workers and even stylists and beauticians, the guidelines for tipping your home cleaning professional are less well-known and are even gray in some areas.

  1. Exactly How Much Should You Be Tipping Your House Cleaner

Before you can decide how much to tip your house cleaner, you need to determine how competitive your regular rate is. Some cleaning services have rates that are significantly higher or lower for comparable services in the same area. Then, you should consider how much of this money is actually going to your house cleaner rather than to the company or management. In some cases, house cleaners make close to minimum wage, and it may be difficult for someone to live off of such a low rate in some areas. On the other hand, if the maid is self-employed and can set his or her own rates, then tipping may not be necessary or even expected.


The matter of how much to tip your maid extends beyond how much money he or she actually takes home from the service done in your home. You should consider if the work was completed to your expectations or if the work was substandard. This may be particularly true if you had to call the main office for a follow-up visit just to get the work done right. As a rule of thumb, when a tip is earned, paying between $10 to $20 per visit is reasonable.


  1. Factors to Consider When Tipping Housekeepers

Before offering a tip, inquire with the main office or management team about their tipping policy. Some companies acknowledge that they pay their maids a relatively low rate, and they expect their customers to tip their cleaners regularly as part of their compensation. With this pay structure, housekeepers are encouraged to do their best work regularly so that they can earn tips. On the other hand, other cleaning franchises have established higher rates and have adopted a no-tipping policy as a result. They pay their cleaners consistently competitive wages with the expectation that they will do quality work at all times. With this pay structure, the pressure and confusion that customers have surrounding tipping may be alleviated.


If tips are allowed, consider if the maid took extraordinary steps to meet your needs. For example, did she respond quickly to an urgent service request? Did he do a chore that is not typically included in the service? When a housekeeper goes above and beyond to provide excellent service, it is reasonable to provide financial compensation as a gesture of gratitude.


  1. House Cleaner Tipping Etiquette: When to Tip and How Much?

The confusion about tipping a housekeeper continues when you consider when to offer the tip and how much to offer. Generally, you should examine this from two different scenarios. There are tipping etiquette for many services including when you’re at the restaurants, at the bar, and your hair dresser. These are one-time or special green cleaning services as well as recurring services. If you hire a maid for one-time service, such as for move-out service before you vacate an apartment, providing $10 to $20 after the work is done is common. However, the exact amount may be determined by the rate that you paid and the effort that the cleaner made to complete excellent work.


If the same house cleaner visits your home regularly, tipping this person each time is not usually expected. In many cases, an end-of-year bonus is reasonable. However, the bonus should be aligned with the results and with how many services the person completed for you within the last year. An alternative to this is to tip on a monthly or quarterly basis. In some cases, the residential cleaning service company will send different maids to clients’ homes. If this is the case with your provider, it may be reasonable to leave a tip after each service to ensure that each maid who works in your home is properly compensated.


Most cleaners appreciate cash tips, but this is not the only option. Cash is a great option because of its incredible versatility. It can help the housekeeper to put food on the table, to pay the bills and to buy kids new clothes. On the other hand, gift cards may be appreciated from time to time. If you tip frequently and know your regular housekeeper well, it may be reasonable to offer a special gift from time to time rather than cash. For example, you may purchase a gift card to a favorite store or restaurant.


  1. Summary: How Much to Tip Your House Cleaner

Before you can decide how much money you should tip your house cleaner, you need to determine if it is permitted and how much compensation that person is personally receiving from their service in your home. When you know this information, you can better determine if and when to tip.


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