Am I asking too much from my cleaner?(17 Posts)
I have a cleaner for 6 hours per week split into 2 slots of 3 hours for a large 4 bedroom house , she does not have to do the spare bedroom as it is not used often. The house is always tidy and clutter free and things like bathmats are always on the wash when she is here so the floors are clear so there is no reason for her to just crack on. I do the inside of the fridge myself, my own ironing and get the oven done by an oven cleaning company.
My gripe is that there is so much that is left not done. For instance windows have had fingermarks on them for weeks, corners of the floor and behind doors are not hoovered and mopped, I noticed today that there are stains on bathroom cupboards by the toilets have wee stains on them, I have 2 small boys who don't always have the best aim, there are cheerios under the sofa in the kitchen that I have left for 3 weeks, even though I asked her to deep clean the kitchen instead of the boys rooms last week, thick dust on lampshade bases, I could go on.
I have had agencies in the past and they have always quoted for 4 to 5 hours for a weekly clean and 10 for a spring clean so I took this lady on hoping that she would give the kitchen the once over twice a week or give another room a bit of a deeper clean when needed. I do communicate but she wants to be my best friend and just does her own thing plus constantly wants me to buy her bloody Avon.
Am I giving her enough time and asking too much from her?
I think you're OK timewise, but may need to set out in writing and/or walk her round to explain what you want done. So, Monday: kitchen deep clean including a,b,c; dishes washed, dries and in cupboards; etc. If she still doesn't get it I think you'd be fine to send her on her way.
And the Avon nonsense needs a consistent, polite "No thanks". Not sure why she feels that's appropriate.
3h twice a week sounds like loads =
It's easy though to fall into the trap of thinking your cleaner knows your mind or has the same cleaning priorities you do. You need to be very specific in your instructions. How is the cleaner supposed to know what you mean by a "deep clean" or "the once over"?
Also remember that when you never do the work yourself, it is easy to forget how long it takes. You don't say what her regular tasks are? Do you expect her to do those AND the deep cleaning items?
I have a cleaner who comes once every two weeks for 2h and she essentially just does the floors and bathrooms. That is what I definitely expect to be done in the 2 h (3 bed semi) The first few times I supervised fairly heavily and explained exactly how I want it done eg hoovering means moving the couches and hoovering under the cushions. Cleaning the bathroom means cleaning the sink cupboard and the radiator (little boy issue too).
I do notice she tends to dust and clean the glass doors as well in the time she has. She has cleaned the fridge for me once or twice too.
I am a cleaner and those things you mentioned should be done every week, or at least checked to see if they are clean, then move on. She has ample time, but in my opinion is not very thorough.
The only thing I would say is has she just started or has she been with you a long time?? The reason im asking is that if its her first few weeks, then fine allow her time to get around the finer details like lamp shade bases etc, but basic things like floor corners should have been done first week onwards. If she has been with you a long time then im afraid she is just not particular enough.
I don't think you're asking too much.
We have a 5 bed house and the cleaner comes for 3hrs a week. Two of the bedrooms aren't usually done nor is my office. If I want her to do those she drops something else.
In the 3hrs she hoovers/mops everywhere (except above rooms) and cleans the kitchen and 2.5 bathrooms (spare ensuite is not usually done). She does a bit of dusting/glass/polishing on top but not everywhere every week. She just basically keeps on top of it. If there is anything specific I want her to do then I ask her but don't expect it to be done as extra.
It's much easier to spot these things when you live in a house ;) Just explain to her politely the details of what you want done, and give her a detailed check list of what you need done. I have a cleaner as well, and although she's great (and much better than me) I often find small things like you describe, but I say to myself that we are all human and we notice different things. And there are things that I don't really think about that she does so much better than I would have imagined, like she hoovers more thoroughly than I do.
I was about to have a chat to her about the kitchen floors recently as it just doesn't get clean from a quick mop (cheap old lino), but on the day she actually turned up with a steam mop because she wasn't happy with the results of normal mopping herself!
That sounds a lot of hours. We have cleaners come for 4 hours (2 people for 2 hours), once a month, to clean a 4 bed, 4 bath house. They do all 'normal' cleaning plus one 'deep clean' type task like cleaning windows/oven/taking down blinds and cleaning them.
I agree with other posters, that's a lot of hours for her to be missing the basics. Our cleaner gives our whole small 3 bed a quick once over, including kitchen and bathroom and irons 3 shirts in 2 hours. You probably need to spell things out more clearly but missed food in the floor etc is pretty basic.
I think it's a lot too. We have an average sized 4 bed, we let the cleaner figure out how long she needs and pay accordingly. She vacuums all round, mops kitchen and 2.5 bathrooms, cleans wood floors throughout, dusts, cleans bathrooms, changes our bed etc and is currently working 3 and a quarter hours per week. She is fab, she was recommended by two friends who also use her. She also told me that the cloths I had were not up to scratch and recommended which ones would enable her to do a better job.
I used to have a wonderful cleaner who did 4 hours a week for our (small) 4 bed house. She used to do everything you would expect plus the insides of windows and would move the sofa/clean the oven/do the ironing/wipe out the kitchen cupboards on a rotational basis.
I decided to do a "deep clean" myself yesterday. I steamed all the wall and floor tile grout in the bathroom, moved all the beds and cleaned under them, cleaned out all the cupboards and fridge and did the insides of the windows as well as a thorough normal clean and beds changed. This took me 6 hours with a couple of tea breaks so I don't think she can say she's short on time.
Would she be better to do one stint of 6 hours do you think?
Shes not a mind reader. Write a list of specific things you would like doing so you both know where you stand. 6 hours should be enough to clean a 4 bedroom house though.
I think it very much depends on the house and the people in it. My cleaner comes 2 x 2 hours weekly, it's a large 5 bed house, it's old and we have a dog plus there is a lot of "kids garden traffic" through the kitchen. I work full time from home, and so does DH, we do a lot of cooking, and I was having a nervous breakdown over keeping it clean, so I ended up getting a cleaner. I still do a little cleaning myself in the weekend, hoover and clean the toilets.
That is a lot of hours for a 4 bed house. We used to have a woman 4 hours to do a very large 2 bed flat with a dining room and drawing room and she also did our ironing in that time.
She worked in hotels so she was fast and efficient.
I am pretty your cleaner is not doing the full 6 hours but selling Avon or phoning people or whatever at the same time.
Just say exactly what you want done . Say can you do behind doors and light shades etc. Trouble with cleaning is you only notice what's not done . I did a deep clean today but looking around missed a few cobwebs.
As for wee stains on cupboard think you should do them yourself to be honest .
Thank you very much for your replies all very helpful!
I am not sure what I am going to do, I asked her to clean some gunk which has built up on the bathroom worktop joins, sprayed some viakal on before I went out to give it chance to work to make it easier and asked her to dust the lamps in our bedroom. I came home 10 minutes before she left she was still in the bathroom making a right song and dance and left without touching 2 rooms she was meant to clean. I did the same job in another bathroom and it took a few minutes with an old toothbrush.
I did have to clean up after her and that is defeating the purpose of having a cleaner. I do feel bad as I know she needs the money but at the same time I need someone to do the job properly. My DS is starting school in September so I may take the cowards way out and say I will not need anyone anymore then and do it myself.
I think you may be better with a more experienced cleaner.
Have a look at a few websites in your area, see how they put themselves across before you buy.
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