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.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 14-Jan-14 11:55:43

Didn't you discuss what she would do before you hired her?

It takes my cleaner 4 hours to do our whole house - kitchen, bathroom, downstairs cloak, 3 bedrooms, living and dining room are one big room.
In two hours she does the kitchen and bathroom and runs the hoover round the bedrooms quickly.

You need to discuss your expectations with her. How much are you paying out of interest?

Did you discuss with her what you wanted to do in that time?

We have a 3 bed terrace, and a cleaner who does 2 hrs a week. She does the en-suite and main bathrooms, hoovers the carpeted stairs, and cleans the kitchen floor. But that's cos thats what we asked her to do. Every so often we'll ask for something different eg blinds, that doesnt need doing every week.

AngelsWithSilverWings Tue 14-Jan-14 12:00:49

My cleaner used to clean two bathrooms, two bedrooms, living room, dining room, hall , stairs , landing , downstairs loo and the kitchen floor in 2 and a half hours. I did the rest myself.

The first ever day she came it did take longer and I paid her extra even though she didn't ask for it but after the initial deep clean it was fine. I must say I would have been very unhappy with how little seems to have been done by your cleaner.

Freetobeme Tue 14-Jan-14 12:02:52

I don't have a cleaner now by did when my kids were little. We had a 3 bed semi then and our cleaner did it all in 3 hours. Not proper spring cleaning, but vac, polish etc in all rooms, and kit and bathroom cleaned, floors mopped etc.

I think you need to talk to you cleaner about your expectations and she (or he!) needs to tell you what they can realistically do.. If you are not getting what you expected and/or need it might be best to try and find someone else.

TunipTheUnconquerable Tue 14-Jan-14 12:03:11

Mine does a quick run round the whole house. She's ace.

Aberchips Tue 14-Jan-14 12:03:13

Mine does our 3 bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen, living room & downstairs loo in 3 hours. We also have a 4th bedroom that is not used much (for guests) which she will do a quick once over of if I ask her.

When she first started though she did an extra hour each week for about 6 weeks to really deep clean everything. Maybe she is starting off by doing that?

As others have said I think maybe you should have a brief chat with her about what you need/what she can do & see if you can reach an agreement. Unless you are really mucky wink I think she is being a bit lazy.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Tue 14-Jan-14 12:03:23

I have a 4 bed house and my cleaner does 2.5 hours per week to do all of it. I would say that I do tidy up before she comes, if I don't the standard is not as good because she is also tidying / can't clean so easily around the mess. The first few times they come it does take longer as they are getting used to the house and on top of the existing dust and dirt.

So it doesn't sound like your cleaner has done much really but if your kitchen and bathroom were untidy / very dirty then it may just be that it takes a few visits to get on top of things. I'd ask her and say you'd hoped she'd be able to do the whole house in the time. She may suggest a one off through clean followed by regular shorter cleans.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Tue 14-Jan-14 12:04:22

thorough not through

wobblyweebles Tue 14-Jan-14 12:04:54

She spends four hours, hoovers everywhere, mops downstairs, cleans bathrooms, cleans hob, cleans kitchen sides, sometimes cleans fridge.

It's a big house so I don't expect her to also dust everywhere.

wobblyweebles Tue 14-Jan-14 12:06:18

I did a similar clean last weekend and it took the same amount of time btw...

RainbowRabbit33 Tue 14-Jan-14 12:07:06

Ours is a bit of a godsend. In two hours, she does a 'normal' clean of the kitchen, downstairs loo and bathroom, plus a Hoover of the rest of the house and normally a bit of a 'special', i.e. clean the oven, deeper clean of one of the other rooms. I genuinely don't know how she does it. She comes once a fortnight and we pay her £20. She did come highly recommended, and we had to go on awaiting list to get her once a fortnight (originally she could only fit us in once a month).

To mitigate all that slightly, there are only two of us and I do prep the house a bit so that we don't look slovenly!! it's true that the house doesn't sparkle as if it has had a spring clean, but it's enough that I'm never embarrassed if we can't be arsedto do anything between her visits and get unexpected visitors!

Danann Tue 14-Jan-14 12:10:12

I don't have a cleaner but I was a cleaner.

In 2 1/2 hours I would have cleaned the kitchen and bathroom, cleaned the dining table/polished it if its wooden and hoovered the whole house. But I would have asked you what you wanted done before starting the first time anyway.

FerretsRfun Tue 14-Jan-14 12:11:15

Hiya i don't have a cleaner but i am one while also being 28+
For a local business (treble an average 3 bed house for floor space) in three hours and to a relatively high standard i manage
4 bathroom's shower,bath, sink, glass, toilets, kitchen dishwasher,counters, polish, hoover, mop and dry floors, laundry, dishwasher, fireplaces
The building is never in a "state" but isn't exactly clean when i get there either

If i was you i would get a new cleaner and state beforehand that you expect XYZ to be done with a realistic time scale and other odd jobs you would like done if there is spare time before they leave

£10 ph buy the owners choice i would have done it for less

Its taking a bit longer these days so adding an extra 30min but i'm not charging as its not my employers fault i'm pregnant and need a sit down halfway through smile

massagegirl Tue 14-Jan-14 12:15:22

I didn't discuss beforehand as on the company website it said what they did. I left the hoover out and showed her where new hoover bags were. Asked if it was possible to change the sheets on our bed and left the clean sheets. I had done a big tidy up before she came. Kitchen and bathroom were not messy but needed a clean. I suppose I had higher expectations as friends living in similar size houses really like having a cleaner!

Oriunda Tue 14-Jan-14 12:34:30

My house same size as yours ie 2 beds, kitchen, bathroom, sitting room. My cleaner comes for 2 hrs a week. Sweeps/mops all floors, hovers carpets, cleans bath/shower plus all surfaces, dusts, tidies, plumps cushions and folds any blankets etc. I wouldn't ask mine to change sheets and tbh that is a little time consuming. I pay £10/hr.

Possibly you could make allowances for the first week ie getting to know the rooms etc, but I would expect the whole house to be done the following week in 2 hrs. Do you clean in between though? I am a slattern so a 2 hr clean a week is enough to tide us over until the following week. If you weren't cleaning the week between then I would imagine the place would be harder to clean.

Mine does 2.5 hours every other week and in this time she does the following

clean kitchen
clean bathroom
hoover all carpets
steam mop all hard floors
all dusting

I try and make sure the floors are clear for her, but she will pick up and put away any small items left out.

It's a 5 bed house though, so not small (but very tatty as we bought it derelict and are slowly - veeerrryyy slooowwwly - doing it up!)

similar sized house to you, she does two hours at £8/hr on a weekly basis

it's not a deep clean, and i hoover once or twice between anyway as stuff seems to collect on the rugs, but she concentrates on the bathroom and kitchen with a quick dust and hoover of the other rooms

i don't get her to change sheets or iron - i don't mind doing those things and would rather she concentrated on the cleaning that i hate

t3rr3gl35 Tue 14-Jan-14 12:43:13


Just a thought - I once had agency cleaners, allegedly for 2.5 hours at a time who didn't get much done. It transpired after my first invoice that the agency was sending 2 cleaners - ie, 1.25 hours each and taking off their travelling time - 20 min each way each, allowing only 35 minutes in the house (each). My neighbour told me after 3 weeks that they were actually only in the house for max 20 minutes. I paid first invoice and cancelled the contract.

whois Tue 14-Jan-14 12:44:32

Totally depends doesn't it?

Our cleaner can do a 'run round' the flat and change bed sheets in 2h and that's one bedroom, one bathroom, kitchen living room and dining area.

However that is a wipe, dust hover type thing. If I want something more akin to my kind if 'deep clean' it takes an hour at least just to do one small bathroom.

dozily Tue 14-Jan-14 12:45:30

Mine comes for less than 2 hours. In that time she hoovers and dusts whole house, mops hard floors, cleans kitchen and bathrooms. We have 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms over 3 floors (so of stairs to hoover). She works like a demon!

Sounds like yours should do more in the time...

SadAndWorried1 Tue 14-Jan-14 12:48:43

We have a 3 bed semi and our cleaner does 3 hours a week at £9.50 an hour which covers a whole house clean. She also does a huge basket of ironing for us each week. If I have any little jobs I need doing that week i.e change bed sheets, get marks off the walls, deep clean oven she will do that as well

LittleBearPad Tue 14-Jan-14 12:50:53

You need to tell her what you want her to do. She will get more efficient as she learns her way round too.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 14-Jan-14 12:52:28

whois I was about to say the same thing.

My cleaner does all the mirrors, the window insides either upstairs or downstairs, wipes all the skirtings, gets any cobwebs down, moves the sofas and the beds and does behind them - every time she comes.

I can run the hoover round the middle of the floor myself!

CoffeeChocolateWine Tue 14-Jan-14 12:59:41

My cleaner comes for 3 hours each week and she does the whole house...3 bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs and hall, lounge, kitchen, dining room and downstairs toilet downstairs. And hoovers/mops floors throughout.

When she first started though we agreed that she would do a really thorough clean including skirtings, windows inside and outside, and worked on some mouldy patches so came for 4 hours and just did downstairs and then the following week she did 4 hours just upstairs. After that we dropped down to 3 hours.

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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