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To ask what jobs you won't do as as a self employed cleaner

(30 Posts)
Fuckitbucket13 Wed 23-May-18 19:58:21

I've just set up as a self employed cleaner & already have a few clients some brilliant some not so.
I have one client who sits at the table when I'm cleaning the kitchen, She actually said to me once "it must be hard cleaning when I'm sat here" I said yes so she's sat there ever since, she used to leave the room. I find it so uncomfortable.
Another had me cleaning her maggot filled cupboard & expects me to do it every so often to keep it clean. She points out cobwebs, I'll ask where & there's the tiniest thread of one.
One client (who thank god) is generally working when I'm there always insists on having a clear out around me when she has a day off, her & hubby in & out of rooms I'm trying to clean.
Aibu to expect people to clean there own (maggot filled) cupboards? Or to expect an empty room when I'm cleaning?
Is there anything you've been asked to do but refused?

I'm a bit soft & don't really know when to say no or if it's just expected that as cleaners we always do as the clients want.

Any words of wisdom from long term cleaners?

Pengggwn Wed 23-May-18 20:04:21

You're self-employed so you get to set your own list of things you will and won't do. If the woman wants to sit in her kitchen, she can. If you want to turn down her business, you can.

Fuckitbucket13 Wed 23-May-18 20:13:08

I really can't be turning down business right now though, maybe when I'm more established I can be more choosy. I guess it's a learning curve for me as to what I do & don't want to do in future.
Empty rooms when cleaning will be a must!

Pengggwn Wed 23-May-18 20:15:46

In that case, unfortunately, you're stuck with it! sad

LeopardSkint Wed 23-May-18 20:19:50

I do think YABU to expect empty rooms if you haven't expressed that expectation clearly to your employer.

For that specific example, if I wanted my cleaner to clean a maggotty cupboard (which I agree sounds rank) then I would probably ask her "is this something you're happy to do?". But in general I expect her to tell me if I've asked her to do something she's unhappy with.

So if you've agreed to do it before then YABU now to expect your employer to know that you don't want to do it. Just out of interest, why is it repeatedly maggotty?!

I'm self employed (totally different field) and it's my responsibility to agree a contact whenever I start work for a new client. I can't expect them to know specifics about the ways I want to work if I don't tell them.

Bodicea Wed 23-May-18 20:22:11

Do you object to cleaning out cupboards in general or just ones with maggots in? I would think that cleaning out a cupboard is one of those one of jobs they get you to do once every 6 months or so but not a major hardship (unless there are maggots)!

I try and stay out of the cleaners way if am in. I feel awkward being in the same room. But I know one of mums friends “supervises” her cleaner

User467 Wed 23-May-18 20:24:03

I used to have a cleaner once a week because I couldn't fit everything in. Sometimes I would have to use a day annual leave and treat myself to fun me time like gutting rooms, cleaning the fridge batch cooking etc etc (I'm being sarcastic)......again because I don't have enough time. I wouldn't expect my cleaner to have an issue with me being in the house doing things when she was there, although I would probably say just to leave whatever room I was cleaning.

And how can a cupboard be continually maggot filled? I probably would have said to that but surely now it's clean, it's clean.

NeverLovedElvis Wed 23-May-18 20:28:17

The woman who sits in her kitchen sounds like she's on a bit of a power trip with you. I'd drop her as soon as you can afford to.
The only thing I absolutely won't do is clean toilets for people who don't have toilet brushes. I have only been asked to do that once.

HouseOfGoldandBones Wed 23-May-18 20:30:54

I've got a cleaning company & have had Staff call me if they are not comfortable dealing with a situation.

Sometimes I agree with them (human waste not in the toilet ) usually for safety reasons.

Sometimes I have to ask them, respectfully, to get on with it.

You will need to set your own guidelines, but can't imagine many people would be willing to clean out a maggoty cupboard (the other issues, are, IMO, just one of those things)

Fuckitbucket13 Wed 23-May-18 20:51:44

I don't know why the cupboards with maggots in will need cleaning again to be honest.
@bodecia I wouldn't go back if anyone tried supervising me!
@NeverLovedElvis my thoughts exactly, I will be dropping her asap. Strangely enough I don't mind cleaning toilets with or without a toilet brush.

With future clients I'll just mention that the only thing I like is an empty room when I'm cleaning. I even insist on this in my own home, my family know to move when I'm cleaning.

Hefzi Wed 23-May-18 21:03:57

The only thing I ever refused to do was skin a rabbit: it was well outside my area of competence. The rest? Some people are just rank, some are not, some are lovely, some aren't. Clients I ditched included those who let all their birds fly free downstairs (shit everywhere every time - would be fine if a) It could have been left or b) they'd agreed to additional hours so I could scrub that and clean everywhere), the family who were ok with their children throwing all sorts of things on the floor in front of me because "it's your job to pick up after us"(the children would say this; the adults never pulled them up on it - and teenagers, who were old enough to know that wrappers go in the bin and chewing gum doesn't get thrown on the carpet) and the family who always left all their washing up from the whole week, for me to do (with a hugely long list of other chores that couldn't be completed without skimping).

I m shit on boundaries, though, so would always stay until everything requested had been done thoroughly, and wouldn't turn a hair a being asked to weed, make dog food or scrub steps with bare hands and hydrochloric acid. Good luck, OP - hope you get enough clients soon to be able to get rid of the problem ones!

Msdudley Thu 24-May-18 07:07:44

Sorry for hijacking your thread fuckitbucket, but I'm also interested in starting a cleaning business? How did you get your first client? And did you have any previous experience?

LakieLady Thu 24-May-18 07:38:44

Possibly hijacking, but I'm intrigued by the maggoty cupboard.

At some stage, surely, those maggots will turn into flies, then no more maggots? And there must be something lurking under or behind the cupboard to provide a host for the maggots? My housekeeping standards are pretty low, but even I've never had an infestation of maggots.

It sounds utterly vile, and maggots really turn my stomach. The bin men refused to empty my friend's recycling because it was full of maggots (she hadn't been washing out the cat food tins). She thought they were taking the piss, I thought they were perfectly reasonable.

It's tough when you're starting out, and you maybe can't afford to turn clients down, but I'd say bin these people off when you get a few more clients.

I'd be fine with cleaning toilets and stuff, but I'd really hate having to pick up other people's underwear (I'm a bit reluctant even when it comes to handling DP's pants!). I've hear stories of how some clients just leave all their dirty clothes on the bedroom or bathroom floor, and expect the cleaner to gather them all up.

herethereandeverywhere Thu 24-May-18 07:49:28

You need to distinguish between general clean (usually weekly stuff) and deep clean (fridge/oven/cupboards/windows/end of tenancy). Also if there's a risk of biohazard (vomit/shit not in toilet/maggots/pet related) you have right to refuse.

You need to itemise all these things and present them as your T&Cs - charge additional for the deep clean jobs.

herethereandeverywhere Thu 24-May-18 07:51:08

*(should have said) you should express in the T&Cs that you have the right to refuse - thereby giving advanced notice that they can't just expect you to do anything and everything for your hourly rate.

mehimthem Thu 24-May-18 08:18:05

theres a difference too to tidying up & cleaning up. When I was a cleaner for a job (luckily only for 2 nice families) they both told me to ignore messy stuff like kids bedroom floors eg. & vacuum around it/ignore that stuff. If I had an oven to clean too, it was often sprayed the night before to help me. When youre cleaning for someone for maybe 2 hours, its impossible to mop, vac, dust, do a bathroom, plus other bigger jobs - windows, oven etc - without having to pick up after the kids etc/work around other people & their "cleaning" work

user1499173618 Thu 24-May-18 08:23:54

When you are self-employed, you will undoubtedly come across very unreasonable clients from time to time. Do not hesitate to ask them to behave properly! Having said that, as a cleaner you should probably lay out your basic expectations (empty rooms, empty house, tidy rooms, no gross mess... or whatever your red lines are) upfront.

Storm4star Thu 24-May-18 08:28:39

Just to possibly clear up the issue of the maggot filled cupboard! Was it larder moths? As they hatch they look exactly like maggots and are hell to get rid of. I know, as I had them. I threw everything out, bleached my cupboards and they still came back.

Bramble71 Thu 24-May-18 08:41:39

I'm looking for someone to help out with the cleaning just now (I'm disabled) so your thread is helping me know what guidelines and expectations to have, for me and for the cleaner.

I agree it must be awkward to have the householder sat in the room with you so, as I'm housebound a lot of the time, I will have to make sure to move between a couple of the rooms when I do find someone.

I think you'd have to stipulate beforehand if there is anything you won't do. However, with the best will in the world, there are some areas that do get a bit grotty and you'd expect to have to clean them. Jobs like the inside of cupboards aren't something I'd expect doing more than a few times a year, though. A wipe down of the outsides is different. I'd like the insides of the windows doing now and again, but I'd never expect a cleaner to do the ironing or wash the pots.

Bramble71 Thu 24-May-18 08:43:02

Inside of the kitchen cupboards NO more than a few times a year! Sorry!

GrannyGrissle Thu 24-May-18 08:46:13

Chuck the maggots in the garden for the birds to eat.... sing very loudly and out of tune (bit of Mariah?) with your music and headphones on while being 'supervised'?grin xxx

IJustLostTheGame Thu 24-May-18 09:24:21

When I cleaned I found categorizing helpful. For instance ironing, tidying and bed changing comes.under housekeeping and not cleaning. So you can turn that down if you want to.
And if you're asked to do extras such as maggot filled cupboards say that's OK but I won't have time to do x, y, z.
The biggest bugbear I had was the tidying. People would leave their houses a tip and expect you to work a kim and aggie job in two hours. I would make enormous piles of crap onto newly cleaned tables and say 'well I've left that for you to sort' including crisp packets etc because I was a CLEANER and not a picker upper.

I didn't last at cleaning very long. I didn't mind it in itself but once people have a cleaner they become pigs. They stop doing their washing up as much, no daily wipe downs of the kitchen or cleaning the toilet after themselves.

BettySwollocksandaCrustyRack Thu 24-May-18 09:28:59

once people have a cleaner they become pigs. They stop doing their washing up as much, no daily wipe downs of the kitchen or cleaning the toilet after themselves

I don't agree, I know I'm much tidier since having a cleaner as I make sure the house is tidy when she comes as I pay her to clean and not tidy so yeah for me, my house is a lot lot tidier since she started. My toilet is always clean anyway but there's no way I'd let it get in a state just because I have a cleaner, and same for the washing up. I know loads of others who do the same too, make sure it's tidy for the cleaner. My mum used to do this when we were kids, I never quite understood it at the time.

Allthebestnamesareused Thu 24-May-18 09:34:18

I do what my cleaner tells me to do ! grin she is great and I wouldn't want to lose her!

nudepolish Thu 24-May-18 09:34:24

I'm with Betty, I'd rather pay someone to clean that tidy so I have a quick blitz for thing before my cleaner comes.
Collect any laundry hanging about, empty bathroom bin and check the loos are cleanish.
I would never expect her to clean a maggot cupboard, that's so revolting.

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