Do you have a cleaner?

(44 Posts)
massagegirl Tue 14-Jan-14 11:52:37

And if so what do they do and how long does it take them? I just got a cleaner for the first time as have new baby and I'm finding it really hard to keep on top of it all so decided to get someone once a fortnight.
We live in quite a small cottage, 2 and half bedrooms, small lounge, dining room, kitchen, bathroom. She came today for the first time. 2 and half hours and has only cleaned the kitchen and bathroom and not touched anywhere else. I feel quite disappointed, it was quite big decision to get a cleaner and I was looking forward to coming into a clean house. I don't have overly high expectations but I guess I didn't expect that I'll now have to hoover and dust everywhere she hasn't touched. So what is it reasonable to expect? If this is what I should expect after 2 and half hours then I think I might change my mind about having a cleaner. We don't have money to burn but I was looking for a little more work/life/cleaning/baby balance.

DameDeepRedBetty Tue 14-Jan-14 13:03:42

I'd rather have a good independent cleaner than an agency, provided she or he comes with good references.

And yes you need to make a list of what needs doing and discuss it with her/him.

Sillysarah49 Tue 14-Jan-14 13:04:13

Truthfully, how dirty were the kitchen and bathroom? I am a cleaner, and the amount of times I have been caught out by customers requesting a general clean, when in actual fact they really required a deep clean - greasy kitchen cupboards, black skirting boards and window frames, mouldy bathrooms. On an initial look round, it isn't always easy to see exactly how dirty a house is, so now I insist on a deep clean first and then on to regular cleans including dusting, hoovering, mopping, windows, skirtings etc. This may not be the case in your home, you may just have a particularly inefficient cleaner. I clean several 2 bedroom homes and spend between 2 and 3 hours on them. Also like other people have said, you need to have a conversation with her about exactly what you require and hopefully she will tell you if she can do this. Also the first few cleans do take longer - getting used to where sockets are etc. Once she gets on top of it, it should become quicker.

massagegirl Tue 14-Jan-14 13:07:35

Thanks everyone, good to know type of thing to expect. I'm not gonna lie, she's made the taps sparkle like I've never seen. I guess I'm sleep deprived and emotional but was so excited to have a clean house and instead I'm doing it myself. Oh well. I'm going to try a different cleaner and be really clear about what I'd like. I do think that to have not even touched the rest of the house is a bit crap. Live and learn!

Fillybuster Tue 14-Jan-14 13:10:16

Massagegirl I'd suggest you try to avoid using an agency and go direct if you can: that way you can build up a proper relationship with whoever is cleaning your home (as with an agency there's no guarantee it will be the same person every time), plus the cleaner will be getting all the money (agencies take quite a bit cut), plus you'll be much more in control.

Having said all of that, even with an agency you should still expect to take control and be very clear about your expectations when you brief the cleaner when they arrive. For example: "you're here for 3 hours, so I would like you to spend an 1.5 hrs on the bedrooms and bathrooms, with particular attention to toilets, shower and xxx, and the other 1.5 hours downstairs - and please make sure you give the hob some attention".

That way they know exactly what you expect. By all means make it an open discussion ("do you think you can manage that in the time?" "ok, well how much do you think you can get through?") so that you can agree expectations with them. Otherwise, if they can take it easy and clean 2 rooms slowly, and get paid regardless, why not?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 14-Jan-14 13:11:30

Did you have a lot of limescale that needed shifting? I would use the same cleaner again for one more week, but discuss what needs doing, and see how things go this time. Really grubby and limescale covered kitchens and bathrooms take an age to clean.

natwebb79 Tue 14-Jan-14 13:13:14

Our wonderful cleaner cleans kitchen, bathroom, living room and both bedrooms in 2 hours for £18.

bebbeau Tue 14-Jan-14 13:16:34

OP i work as a self employed cleaner and what i always do is sit down with the client when i first start with them, and make sure i know exactly what they expect me to do. then i can say if its possible in that time or not

different clients have vastly different expectations and they are paying for a service so its important that both parties are clear on whats expected

its a shame that you have been left disappointed but what i would say is if you were happy with the work that she did do - give her a call and just say that next time you would like more done, if she is professional she won't be offended and if she does take offence then just write her off and get another one!

but IME that does sound like very little in 2 1/2 hours

hope i have helped x

stopgap Tue 14-Jan-14 13:18:50

Mine does four or five hours. Our house has five bedrooms. She vacuums and mops all wooden floors, the entire kitchen, folds laundry, and focusses on the two bathrooms we use the most. If the fridge needs it, she will clean that as well. We use her once a week.

ChrisTheSheep Tue 14-Jan-14 13:28:35

I have quite a big house, and I have two cleaners who come for 1.5 hours once a week: they clean the bathrooms (upstairs bathroom, downstairs toilet), hoover and dust (3 bedrooms, 2 sitting rooms, hallways), and clean the kitchen floors, surfaces and cooker top. The rest of the time, I keep on top of things, and I make sure the house is tidy before they come. I wouldn't expect them to do anything else, but I just wasn't managing to keep on top of the cleaning without help.

LittleBearPad Tue 14-Jan-14 13:29:30

Why don't you try the same cleaner again and tell her what you want done.

ChrisTheSheep Tue 14-Jan-14 13:30:42

As others have said, the head cleaner came for a visit before the others came, and we discussed what I expected and how long it would take. I really only needed the things I mentioned, but evidently they do other services for other clients: making beds, emptying bins, folding washing etc.

bebbeau Tue 14-Jan-14 13:32:03

oh and also agree that for the best possible result, tidy before your cleaner comes so he/she can get in everywhere without having to move stuff etc, it saves loads of time that can be better spent actually cleaning.

JupiterGentlefly Tue 14-Jan-14 13:33:03

I am a cleaner, it does take longer the first time you do it at a new house, and it depends on what she has done. In one clients I do the 'usual' surfaces cooker sink etc, floors skirtings windows, doesn't take too long. another client wants me to include oven, dishwasher load/unload fridge, takes twice as long. Bathroom again depends if its my first clean and it hasn't been done I will get into absolutely every corner with a grout brush/toothbrush.
One of my sub cleaners will take 45 minutes to clean a bathroom, she isn't shirking but I think she goes into a zone... It means then I have to rush like crazy (all done properly I might add) to complete the rest. She is now banned from bathrooms!! smile
I would say give her maybe one more chance.
As I don't work for an agency I have to be top class its the only way to stay in work.
As for charges as its been mentioned I charge between £10 -£12 p/h with my insurance, NI, accounting fees it wouldn't be feasible to do it for less

Elfhame Tue 14-Jan-14 13:33:21

Yes, she's 8 and I pay her in moshi monsters.

formerbabe Tue 14-Jan-14 13:35:02

I used to live in a house the size of the ops...I could clean the whole house including changing the beds in 1.5 hours...but then I am a speed demon at it!

As a sahm with kids at school and nursery I could never justify a cleaner!

Joysmum Tue 14-Jan-14 13:40:56

I was about to say the same thing.

If I stay in top of the housework I can do a quick clean if the house in only 3 hours. That's along the lines of a quick Hoover where I don't move furniture and a quick wipe of the oven and bathrooms.

However, if it's minging to start with, so not just a case of maintaining a level of cleanliness, it takes a lot longer. Also, I tend to like to just keep on top of things and then do things like skirting boards and windows whenever they get a bit grubby.

So if I were to get a cleaner in, I'd be going for 3 hours per week just for hoovering, dusting, bathrooms, kitchen. I'd look to have an extra couple of hours a month for windows, skirting boards, light fittings etc.

chocolatemartini Tue 14-Jan-14 13:46:32

Mine does our 2 bed flat in 3 hours. She cleans the kitchen and bathroom meticulously, hoovers the whole flat and washes the hard floors, changes bed linen and does a small amount of dusting at the end if time. She does it when I'm there so I know she is working very hard all the time to fit this in. I had another cleaner who was much faster in the kitchen and bathroom but not such a high standard, she got around to dusting much more at the end. So if your kitchen and bathroom are 5 star hotel style when you come back then maybe yab a bit u.

JupiterGentlefly Tue 14-Jan-14 13:47:08

Also just to add that sometimes when I am getting to know a new house and deep cleaning the existing dirt that possibly won't need doing the following week I will often overrun to finish knowing that I will speed up the next visit. If she is working for an agency she may well be backed up with appointments and not have that luxury.
Or she could be shit, one more visit should decide.

Oriunda Tue 14-Jan-14 15:02:19

I would give her another week, and mention at the start your expectation that the whole house be done. First time my cleaner came, it took longer (but she explained this before starting) then once she knew where sockets/cleaning stuff was etc it was quicker.

Agree that it helps if you tidy stuff off floor etc before she comes. I take up playmat, pick all toys off floor etc so she can get on with hoovering easier.

If you can get an individual cleaner rather than an agency it's much better. Mine has been cleaning for me for over 2 years, with a break for her having a baby in between, and it's nice having someone I can trust with the keys, who comes whilst I'm on holiday etc.

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