AIBU or is my cleaner?

(47 Posts)
Phosphene Wed 06-Mar-13 17:30:15

We employed a wonderful cleaner for our 5 five bedroom house for five hours a week. She found a FT job before Christmas with her Economics degree and since then we have a new cleaner.
We paid our old cleaner £10 per hour, we are in Surrey/London border, so not Central London and £10 is maximum cleaners get paid around here. We found a new good cleaner, she charges £12.50 per hour, which is fine but the amount of cleaning products she goes through is ridiculous. It costs me nearly £100 a week now to have her. I talked to her about it but she doesn't want to change it. Do you think she is U or am I?

Blankiefan Wed 06-Mar-13 17:32:18

Mine does this too - what she needs all that bleach, I'll never know. I think you should have a word (but I'm too scared to bring it up with mine so if you could mention it to her too, that'd be great).

Catsdontcare Wed 06-Mar-13 17:33:10

She's using over £30 of cleaning products a week?!

If so tell her you will pay her £14 an hour but she provides the cleaning products.

Jengnr Wed 06-Mar-13 17:33:43

Kinell, I pay mine 11 pounds an hour in West Yorkshire.

Mind you, she brings all her own stuff. She doesn't even use my hoover.

Iggly Wed 06-Mar-13 17:34:15


Get another cleaner

MerryMingeWhingesAgain Wed 06-Mar-13 17:34:25

£38 worth a week of cleaning products plus her wages? Is she taking home 6 bottles of Flash in her pockets every week?

The £12.50ph you agreed to, if that's the going rate and you are happy with it.

What products are you buying? Maybe just buy her a selection of E Cloths, a bottle of vinegar and some bicarb and tell her you are going eco-friendly from now on.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 06-Mar-13 17:35:12

She is. There is no way anyone needs to use that much cleaning product for a house that is cleaned every week, unless your family are particularly minging and go out of your way to cover everything in mud before she comes over.

frankie4 Wed 06-Mar-13 17:35:14

Is this for real??

Five hours cleaning a week, so it is costing you £40 a week in cleaning products?!

If you don't want to pay that then get a new cleaner.

recall Wed 06-Mar-13 17:36:13

She doesn't need that much cleaning stuff. Mine cleans our 5 bedroom house for 4 hours a week, and I occasionally buy him some bleach or jif if he runs out. He seems to run out at about the same pace as I would.

HecateWhoopass Wed 06-Mar-13 17:36:32

Why doesn't she want to change it? If you say I don't want you to use this much, then surely she should just use less?

Just trying to work it out £62.50 is wages, so she's using £37.50 a week on cleaning products.

that's ridiculous! How can you get through £40 worth of stuff in 5 hours cleaning? Is she taking them away to use at other people's houses?

What are you buying? buy less expensive products? Value range stuff?

Pancakeflipper Wed 06-Mar-13 17:37:09

She's taking it all home. Bet she's never bought any Mr Sheen for years.

Phosphene Wed 06-Mar-13 17:38:43

We don't buy anything fancy at all. Se uses a bottle of Viakal a week, two bottles of bleach.. I wonder if she thinks we are made of money.

Unless you are buying some seriously premium cleaning products from the Selfridges food hall and couriering them in, she must be stealing or just pouring your stuff down the sink.

I would call her on it, or put everything away & just leave her a bottle of Flash All Purpose & leave her to it.

Phineyj Wed 06-Mar-13 17:40:00

YANBU - my cleaner provides her own cleaning products, which presumably gives her an incentive to be economical with them!

Phosphene Wed 06-Mar-13 17:40:05

I am here when she cleans so i would notice if she takes it home.

HecateWhoopass Wed 06-Mar-13 17:43:41

good god, your house must STINK of chemicals.

Not good for you, you know.

Perhaps switch to eco friendly as suggested upthread.

I also liked the suggestion to up her wages but make it a condition of that that she brings her own cleaning materials.

MerryMingeWhingesAgain Wed 06-Mar-13 17:44:20

a bottle of Viakal is £3, 2 x bottles of bleach about £2.


a packet of cashmere dusters to go with it?

INeverSaidThat Wed 06-Mar-13 17:44:22

How on earth can she use two bottles of bleach? How many loos do you have?

Vanilla is a few quid and bleach is cheap...... What else does she use.

BTW do you have a water softener? It sounds like you might need it grin

My cleaner and I are pretty frivolous with paper towl usage but she works a day a week but doesn't get through anything like yours does.

INeverSaidThat Wed 06-Mar-13 17:44:54

Vanilla = Viakal + auto correct hmm

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 06-Mar-13 17:45:45

She is.

I pay my cleaner £11 an hour (we are not that far from you) and she brings all her own cleaning products.

She is using £35+ of products each week?? I think she is stealing from you.

How does a bottle of Viakel and two bottles of bleach cost £35? That should be £10 tops if it's big bottles of branded bleach, less if it's shop own-brand stuff.

CremeEggThief Wed 06-Mar-13 17:53:46

TWO bottles of bleach a week? I don't think I even get through that in a year!


LindaMcCartneySausage Wed 06-Mar-13 17:54:53

Does she give you a lust if products that she's bought and the receipts. Our (fabulous) cleaner dies this. She likes to buy her own stuff, which she then leaves behind in our home.

LindaMcCartneySausage Wed 06-Mar-13 17:57:22

Please excuse typos and auto correct. Was going to say that our cleaner instigated this system and apart from going through a colossal number of paper towels, I doubt she spends more than £5 a week on average. Sometimes it's £10 worth of bleach and Viakal, other weeks it's just £12 an hour (central London)

INeverSaidThat Wed 06-Mar-13 18:01:01

OP's weekly shopping delivery


Can't understand this at all- all the cleaning products I own don't cost £35! My cleaner comes once every 2 weeks so the other week I clean myself and I still don't think I would spend £35 a month on cleaning products and thats for a 4 bed, 2 bathroom, plus loo.
Cleaner charges £15 an hour which includes all products ( including specialist Karndean floor cleaner which she buys as several of her clients have Karndean floors).
Time for a "chat" or a new cleaner

Phosphene Wed 06-Mar-13 18:05:19

She writes a list every week with dusters (yes we need new dusters every week! shock), sponges, glass cleaner, dettol etc.

MerryMingeWhingesAgain Wed 06-Mar-13 18:08:29

You are being a mug, sorry. I haven't bought dusters for years. And they do go in the washing machine.

But not with the towels, unless you want dingy yellow towels.

OhThisIsJustGrape Wed 06-Mar-13 18:11:40

I clean my 5 bed, 4 bathroom house from top to bottom every week and I spend nowhere near that amount on cleaning products.

And I get through a lot of products - bleach (a bottle every time I clean the bathrooms), glass cleaner every fortnight, kitchen cleaner every week, a pack of washing up sponges, flash wipes, bathroom cleaner every fortnight, can of polish per month, bottle of Flash liquid every 2 weeks and copious amounts of kitchen towel.

I still don't spend £35/week hmm

She's taking the piss OP.

HecateWhoopass Wed 06-Mar-13 18:11:44

No you don't need new dusters every week.

Where are the old ones?

Where are the empty containers?

do you see all that?

squeakytoy Wed 06-Mar-13 18:12:48

Wow, you really are being mugged off!! I work for my friends cleaning company sometimes. She charges around £12 an hour (london/surrey) but that includes all cleaning products too.

INeverSaidThat Wed 06-Mar-13 18:25:15

I always bulk buy my cleaning products. I would never buy anything 'full' price and if a store has a great deal on something I will buy lots of it. OP should consider doing this as she is spending nearly 2k a year on cleaning products.

TBH I wonder how much we use. Our house is a similar size and my cleaner keeps it lovely and clean. hmm. I think I better check.

Yfronts Wed 06-Mar-13 18:32:07

All those awful chemicals! Just buy everything from the basics brand and then it will be much cheaper.

GirlOutNumbered Wed 06-Mar-13 18:32:25

You are being ripped off.
I can't believe she writes a list and you go out and buy it!
New dusters every week. Ridiculous...
Seriously, get a new cleaner.

Phosphene Wed 06-Mar-13 18:32:59

We have five large bedrooms, three reception rooms and four bathrooms plus loo. We have lots of antiques, so get special cleaning products for those too. Just realised that they are quite pricey. Never realised how much it was but just checked on Ocado.

Viviennemary Wed 06-Mar-13 18:34:17

New dusters every week!! That's madness. So she buys the stuff and you pay. Unless she is some kind of superwoman I'd be looking for somebody else. From what others are saying her hourly rates are expensive but all the cleaning materials on top. No. But it's difficult to know what to do next. But something will have to be done about her.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Wed 06-Mar-13 18:34:25

£37 quids worth of stuff?

As NaanBread says I would just leave her a bottle of multipurpose cleaner and one bottle of polish and let her ask if she needs anything else.

ShesAStar Wed 06-Mar-13 18:34:26

I run a cleaning company in central London and your cleaner must be toilets, sinks etc. with bleech and leaving them to do the work for her. She should use a tenth of the product and do some actual scrubbing.
It is your house and since you buy the product (we supply our own and if anyone was getting though that much we would have to say either stop or it will come out of your salary)and if you say use less then she must use less.
It's your money!

ShesAStar Wed 06-Mar-13 18:36:27

Sorry, coating toilets

Yfronts Wed 06-Mar-13 18:37:12

I recon you are supplying her cleaning fluid and cloths for the whole week. Do you see the empty bottles and thrown away clothes?

Tell her you want to wash and reuse the clothes. Please put them in the washing pile after.

Tell her you will only spend 5 pounds a week on cleaning items and she can list 5 pounds worth of Salisburys basics items.

Or decanter the amount she can have each clean into a container and refill after she has gone.

Icelollycraving Wed 06-Mar-13 18:37:50

Are the dusters sprinkling gold fairy dust?

MousyMouse Wed 06-Mar-13 18:41:15

sounds like a ridiculous amount of cleaning stuff.
I would expect my cleaner to use for a house that big:
- a bottle (probably less) all purpose cleaner
- a bottle wc cleaner
- half a bottle of anti limescale stuff
a dozen or so j-cloths (can be washed)

PatriciaHolm Wed 06-Mar-13 18:41:56

Your house sounds a similar size to ours; our cleaner does 8 hours a week (inc. some ironing) and uses nothing like that. You don't need new dusters every week. Her "cleaning" approach seems to be cover everything with spray/bleach/vim etc and call it cleaning! I think you need to have words....

chickydoo Wed 06-Mar-13 18:44:47

We pay ours £8.00 per hour
3 fantastic people come & do an amazing job. 6 hours a fortnight.
So as there are 3 of them they are only here for 2 hrs.
They bring all their own stuff, they think my own brand stuff is crap. grin
We are Surrey/London boarder

Phosphene Thu 07-Mar-13 09:37:24

Thanks for all your replies. I guess I need to talk to her. It is very difficult to find a good cleaner in my area, hence why I would like to keep her.

QuickLookBusy Thu 07-Mar-13 09:45:43

I can understand why she uses 2 bottles of bleach and a bottle of viakil with 4 bathrooms. But not the dusters etc.

Just tell her from now on you will buy X amount (which you feel comfortable with) and it has to last her the the week/two weeks.

Crinkle77 Thu 07-Mar-13 09:51:56

I think that perhaps you should tell her what jobs you want doing then provide the equipment. If she uses dusters make sure they are cleaned and dried for her next visit so you don't need to buy new. Don't be afraid to tell her tell her that she needs to be sparing. After all you are the employer.

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