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What questions should I be asking a potential cleaner?

(19 Posts)
Northend77 Wed 14-Dec-16 21:15:29

Sorry, this isn't an AIBU question but really was hoping for the reader traffic.

I am looking to get a cleaner for the first time so was hoping people could help me with what questions I should be asking and what I should be looking for

I have already asked about doing 2 x 1 hour a week rather than 1 x 2 hours a week, gone over the main things I want doing (kitchen, bathroom, change bedding and hoover upstairs/stairs) but asked that if there is any time left then I want someone relatively self motivated so that they look for/use their experience to see what else needs doing

I've checked price but not sure if most cleaners are cash in hand or bank transfer and any other things I should be asking

ImNotReallyReal Wed 14-Dec-16 21:37:31

A good cleaner would barely have time to put the hoover round upstairs in a two up two down and clean the kitchen in a hour. You'd be better off looking at 3 hours a week as they'd pay less on travel and could fit in extra jobs like cleaning the fridge or microwave. 2x1 hour a week probably won't be worth their while unless they are very local due to travel costs.

One hour is barely enough to change the beds and get the hoovering done. Time yourself doing those jobs.

My cleaner does four hours and only does two bedrooms, one bathroom, two receptions and the kitchen. I think you are asking a lot as you're not giving them time to get started really.

An agency wouldn't accept a 1 hour job, take your chances on Gumtree? Unless you are in a tiny flat.

MsVestibule Wed 14-Dec-16 21:43:22

I'm currently a cleaner and definitely (unless I lived next door) would not do 2x1 hour - I'd spend double the time travelling to the job.

Please be realistic about what a cleaner can get done in the the time you're paying them for - time yourself doing it if necessary.

Ask them if they bring their own cleaning materials or do you need to provide them.

Northend77 Wed 14-Dec-16 21:58:27

Thank you for the feedback. I have put a request out on a local facebook group and 2 ladies who have come back to me who are local are happy to do the 1 hour sessions. I am meeting one of them next week so she can see the house (which is very small). I can only afford 2 hours a week so it's either 2 x 1 hour sessions or 1 x 2 hour session and my only thought on that was do that the kitchen got more regular attention however I am flexible on that.

I have asked about products/equipment so will just Google other suggested questions

ImNotReallyReal Wed 14-Dec-16 22:10:04

Go for a two hour session. It gives the cleaner a chance to get more done.

I empty my vacuum (and put freshener in) and fill my steam cleaner with detergent before they come. I provide a basket of good quality cleaning products and wash all microfibre cloths they use weekly so they can just get going. I also buy a big roll of cheap blue kitchen paper from the pound shop so they can use masses of it to clean any mucky surfaces quickly. I also leave disposable gloves in the basket.

I usually spray the shower with Viakal before they come so they just rinse and squeegee.

A good cleaner is a god send, hold onto them if you get one!

Northend77 Wed 14-Dec-16 22:34:47

NotReally
Thank you, those are some fab tips and suggestions. I need to buy a few things over Christmas before he/she starts too (we need new bedding and I need new cleaning stuff) so that's given me a few things to add to the list

The 2 ladies I am meeting are both happy to do the split hours however I have suggested it be part of our initial discussion as I'm flexible on it and they are the ones with the experience. They have also given me an example of what they do for their other clients in the same time and it sounds just what I am looking for. Really not looking for a show home but more than is done currently (absolute bare minimum) so that I can sit and relax in the evenings rather than look around at what needs doing that I have no energy or inclination to do!

Loulou87 Wed 14-Dec-16 23:58:18

I work for an agency and can say they do contract 1 hour cleans (we even do 30 min cleans) it all depends on the size of the house and what wants doing.

Elphame Thu 15-Dec-16 00:11:27

Ask for references ( and check them).

Northend77 Thu 15-Dec-16 05:51:05

Is insurance really vital? I haven't asked if either of these ladies have insurance however i have a suspicion that one of them might not have. I will be in the house whenever they are here as I'll be working from home.

Civilservant Thu 15-Dec-16 06:08:56

2 x 1 hour slots will put off a lot of people.

IMO the main thing is the quality of the work, the first clean and then the consistency.

I don't know anyone who has asked cleaners about insurance.

HerestoyouMrsRobinson Thu 15-Dec-16 06:18:28

I made sure my cleaners had insurance. Why wouldn't you?

Elphame Thu 15-Dec-16 09:10:48

Many cleaners, especially if they are private individuals doing the odd cleaning job, don't have insurance so you need to make sure that your own will cover you. Companies obviously are different.

You also need to check that you are covered if they injure themselves at your home. My house contents policy specifically states that I am covered for up to £5m liability should mine be injured due to my negligence.

YelloDraw Thu 15-Dec-16 10:00:00

No one decent will accept a 2x1h job. Get 1x2 or 3h

Too much traveling time. Too much set up/put away time.

YelloDraw Thu 15-Dec-16 10:02:30

I also buy a big roll of cheap blue kitchen paper from the pound shop so they can use masses of it to clean any mucky surfaces quickly.

That is SUCH a good idea! Our cleaner uses shit loads of kitchen roll which is really annoying. Will get lots of he blue stuff.

Also agree with making sure you have lots of nice cloths and good quality products. Defo get vikal if you're in a hard water area.

Katy07 Thu 15-Dec-16 10:11:00

Ask them if they take their shoes off?!
(I am partly being serious - if they leave their shoes on they'll not be cleaning to my standards, though to be fair I don't think anyone does hence why I'd always do it myself)

takemetobrazil Thu 15-Dec-16 13:35:36

Communication is really important.

You might want the bathroom taps polished but she could concentrate on hoovering skirting boards. She won't know if you don't tell her.
If I'm at work I leave notes and she leaves notes.

I tidy up because I'd rather pay for cleaning that sorting.

Pay on time, be flexible about school holidays (if appropriate ), give plenty of notice if there's a day not needed and make sure there's tea and coffee available.
You might find a 2 hour slot works better in the long run, maybe sound them out in case you change your mind.

Dozer Thu 15-Dec-16 17:22:52

Kitchen roll is not a good option for the environment.

RozzlePops Thu 15-Dec-16 17:28:44

Make sure they actually use cleaning products. Mine doesn't apparently, she will probably be looking for a new client next week.

Northend77 Sat 17-Dec-16 21:31:43

Thanks everyone, some really good suggestions and things for me to think about. The 2 ladies I have picked to chat to next week both do this just as a sideline, hence why I asked the question about insurance as I doubt they will have it set up. I will be in the house when they do the clean (another reason I'm now thinking that a 2 hour session will be best as it will be easier for me to work around on a regular basis). I've also asked them to give me an example of what they currently do in an average hour and it certainly sounds like my house won't be too much of a problem

Will be shopping for products and a nice caddy to store it all in over the Christmas break!

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