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What to ask when interviewing for a cleaner?

(17 Posts)
AnonUser2018 Thu 10-Sep-20 14:46:08

Never had one before. Have a couple of people coming over next week to discuss my requirements.

Apart from the obvious hourly rate, products used and whether they bring their own vacuum what else should I be asking?

Also, don't know whether to go for 2hrs a week or 3hrs a fortnight (I'd keep on top of bathrooms and kitchen, need the cleaner to do things like woodwork, floors, blinds, conservatory).


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AnonUser2018 Thu 10-Sep-20 15:38:15

Oh, I'm guessing I should ask for references too?

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Findahouse21 Thu 10-Sep-20 15:41:59

I wouldn't bother with references, but would agree a trial period of 2 or 3 cleans - the first couple often take longer as the cleaner works out a routine in your house/where everything is and goes.

I'd ask what they exclude from their duties eg some won't change beds, wash up etc.

Are they able to be flexible with days of for instance you have a day off of work

Do they offer additional services eg ironing

Do they bring their own products/cloths etc

elaeocarpus Thu 10-Sep-20 15:49:43

Id ask for DBS
Payment terms( cash/bacs etc), weekly/monthly.
How you will agree on not coming / not required days eg if you are away/ they away weeks notice ir more? Sickness
Are they a smoker ( i had one person come to interview who was, my house smelled very strongly of stale smoke from her coat/ clothes after she left. I wouldn't have thought to ask that question before that.

AnonUser2018 Thu 10-Sep-20 15:50:26

@Findahouse21 thank you! A couple of trial sessions sounds like a great idea - thanks.

I won't want them doing things like dishes and ironing, we can keep on top of the day to day stuff, just the "long - arm" jobs we struggle with.

Do folk tend to give their cleaners a key and leave the house empty for them then? Due to Covid I'm only in the office once a week now, on a Monday, and wfh the rest of the time. Don't think I feel happy about leaving a stranger in my house alone from the get go!

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Itsrainingnotmen Thu 10-Sep-20 15:57:59

Cleaner here!
Suggest you leave her a list.
Ask who provides cleaning stuff.
Can't imagine cleaning a kitchen and not doing the dishes op!
I have a bunch of keys a prison warden would be proud of!
Enjoy your clean abode!

AnonUser2018 Thu 10-Sep-20 16:04:30

@Itsrainingnotmen oh wow, thank you!

So do you think it's best to agree say 2hrs every week and I just leave a list each time rather than a set schedule? That would suit me better actually.

We put the dishwasher on every night and empty in the morning before we go to work. Seldom anything in the sink but guess if there were a few bits then yeah it would be weird to clean windows/blinds/floors/doors and not do surfaces and a few dishes.

Do you prefer it if a customer asks you to tackle a room at a time or a job? As I'd love all our wooden slatted blinds to be dusted (1930's house with bay windows and four bedrooms) and all the floors to be vacuumed and mopped, which would prob take most of the time up.

Also is £15 p/h the going rate if they use all their own products please? I'm in the South West.

Sorry for all the questions!

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AnonUser2018 Thu 10-Sep-20 16:05:31

@elaeocarpus DBS is a good shout. Cheers. Will add the other questions in too (hate the smell of smoke so that would def put me off!).

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TheFogsGettingThicker Thu 10-Sep-20 16:33:30

I am a cleaner and don't have a DBS, I've never had one. I've never been asked for one confused. I'd be upset if I was turned down on that basis.

I am fully insured however, so if I accidentally knock over your priceless Ming vase/widescreen tv/laptop etc, I'd be covered. I'd ask about that (although most of my clients never have).

I have had keys for client's houses in the past, but I would understand if you didn't feel confident doing that, especially from the very start!

I charge about what you're suggesting, and I bring and use all my own cleaning products, cloths etc.

AnonUser2018 Thu 10-Sep-20 17:16:04

@TheFogsGettingThicker thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas - much appreciated! Insurance is a great question to ask.

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Yerroblemom1923 Thu 10-Sep-20 17:20:05

Yes, get them a key cut after a few weeks when you feel you can trust them. It's also good to find one that has been recommended to you, so while I wouldn't ask for references exactly I'd like to speak to other people they clean for.
Two hours per week is preferable and if there are any additional jobs eg blinds, skirting boards or an area in particular you'd like them to focus on remember they're not superhuman and may not have time to do something else.
My sister has had clients who have added more and more tasks each week thus taking the Mick!

AnonUser2018 Thu 10-Sep-20 18:37:17

@Yerroblemom1923 yeah I actually only want them to do:

Skirting boards/dado rails
Doors and frames
Vacuum and mop all floors (no carpet downstairs just wood or tile, plus 2 x bedrooms are wooden + en-suite)
Clean inside of all windows and frames
High-level vacuuming/dusting/ceilings

Maybe I need to ask for a price for a one-off deep clean of the above first, then move onto a fortnightly clean of them on a rota system? (so blinds get done once a month for example).

It's the above stuff that never gets done and is stressing me out. The rest of the house isn't too bad (tho a professional cleaner may disagree! grin)

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Itsrainingnotmen Thu 10-Sep-20 18:50:53

To have a dbs you have to apply to the Council and it costs (ime) £85 +the dbs fee. When I looked into insurance the excess was average at £500!!
Hand in heart in over 7 years I have only ever broken a broom and a loo brush!

Findahouse21 Thu 10-Sep-20 19:33:19

Our cleaner has a key which we gave after the first 2 cleans as (back in those halceon days) we were both out of the home at work. Even now we are at home, she still has a key as it can be useful.either if I'm feeding the baby and dh is on a call that she can let herself in, or lock up after herself.if we pop out for instance. I don't leave a list, she does the same basics each time and then uses her 'spare' time at the end for the most pressing jobs. She said she hates having lists

JoJoSM2 Thu 10-Sep-20 20:58:21

Hand in heart in over 7 years I have only ever broken a broom and a loo brush!

Our cleaners have always broken sth... the current one managed to break a shower and knocked pictures off walls. A previous one broke some porcelain.

We just assume it’s something that will happen occasionally.

I’d see if weekly or fortnightly suits the cleaner better as it’s not many hours so potentially less attractive so I’d be flexible.

Yerroblemom1923 Sun 13-Sep-20 08:22:21

A one off deep clean first sounds like a good idea then regular weekly cleans. Blinds won't need doing weekly as you say. Skirting boards etc might if your house is dusty, you have pets and/or open fires.
I'd also stay away from agencies unless you want different people in your house every week (something I know I wouldn't be happy with). It also doesn't sit easy with me that they're so expensive yet receive only min wage.

AnonUser2018 Sun 13-Sep-20 15:23:35

Thank you @Yerroblemom1923! I will definitely steer clear od agencies/big businesses and shop local. Agree I'd like the same person each time.

Will ask how much for a deep clean then too. No pets or fires but for some reason J can never keep on top of dust!

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