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Am I being too picky with the standard of cleaning by my cleaner?

(142 Posts)
Crazyladee Thu 17-Oct-19 09:50:41

If recently taken on a cleaner. She was a recommendation from a friend. She's coming for two hours a week and we've discussed the rooms I'd like cleaning each week.
This is cleaning a smallish main bathroom, a tiny ensuite and a downstairs loo. I've also asked her to dust the lounge, hoover the stairs and wipe over the two leather two seater settees.

She told me from the start she doesn't provide her own cleaning products and cloths. Or strip/make up beds. I was a bit disappointed in this as the reason why we decided to get a cleaner was I'm due to have a knee operation soon and will struggle doing the beds. I thought id give her a try anyway and maybe further down the line she might change her mind or we could come to an agreement about it.

She's a lovely little japanese lady and I've noticed she struggles to understand what product to use on what. The first week I showed her where I keep all my cleaning products and cloths and left her to it.
I love accumulating cleaning stuff and have tonnes of really good branded cleaning products but was taken aback when I noticed she was using an anti bacterial multi purpose spray in the lounge on all my wooden furniture and fireplace.
When I saw her start tackling the leather sofas I quickly stopped her and ran and got my leather cleaning product and explained to use that on the sofa. She agreed and off she went. It's the kind of product that a little goes a long way plus you have to buff afterwards.
She's made a bit of a mess as I've realised after she went she's used tonnes of the stuff and not buffed so the sofas have got drip/spray marks on the sofas and look like they're covered in grease. So I've had to go over them myself after she left.
I've also noticed she's not done a thorough clean in the bathroom. A glass shelf where all our toothbrushes are kept which gets full of toothpaste has not been cleaned plus the hinges of the toilet seat are still dirty.
What she does love doing though are making things pretty such as she puts little bows and foldy things on all our toilet rolls which are nice but id sooner her give the place a deeper clean.
It's difficult to explain things to her due to the language barrier but she's so nice it's difficult to fire her off. This week she came round with a load of japanese food that she'd cooked for us which was lovely. She's also a little cheaper than other cleaners in the area too. Am I being too picky?

Finfintytint Thu 17-Oct-19 09:55:01

I think it will just take a little time for her to get used to the products you want her to use.

NearlyGranny Thu 17-Oct-19 09:55:19

She's not for you, is she? Pretty touches are not what you're looking for. Thank you, we're not suited, goodbye and good luck. Don't be trapped into buying services you don't want..

Stickysnot Thu 17-Oct-19 09:58:58

I'd get a new cleaner, there is no point in having her if she's not doing what you need her to do

Dieu Thu 17-Oct-19 10:02:35

Sorry, but I couldn't help but giggle at the antibacterial spray on wooden furniture.
It doesn't sound promising, to be honest, but I would give her another chance. Maybe separate the cleaning products, according to where in the house they've to be used.
If you need her to do the beds though (maybe you can convince her, on account of your knee), then she will need more than 2 hours. 2 hours is a basic clean.

Dieu Thu 17-Oct-19 10:04:05

And if she still refuses to do the beds, then it would be reasonable to part ways for that alone. You're paying for a service, and it has to work for you.

Taswama Thu 17-Oct-19 10:06:55

Yanbu. You are paying for this service, it’s not someone doing you a favour. No point it being cheaper if you are having to redo it yourself anyway.

kaldefotter Thu 17-Oct-19 10:07:52

She doesn't sound like a good fit for what you need. I think if you decide to keep her, you'll be even more disgruntled in a few months, but will find it even harder to part company with her. I'd look for someone who better fits what you're looking for.

waterrat Thu 17-Oct-19 10:10:48

You are being too accommodating i!
You want someone to strip the beds just get someone else.

Zebraaa Thu 17-Oct-19 10:11:10

Your post made me laugh. I have an image built up in my mind, bored housewife following around the paid help, informing her how to do things properly. Why don’t you just bloody do it yourself if you’re going to watch her doing it anyway.

sweeneytoddsrazor Thu 17-Oct-19 10:12:16

Are cleaners supposed to strip beds and clean leather sofas?

lifecouldbeadream Thu 17-Oct-19 10:13:42

I think minor adjustments are one thing, if she doesn’t know which products do what job, she’s not a cleaner.

For the beds, google burrito method, my DD who cannot change a duvet to save her life has finally managed to do it with this.

Paraballa Thu 17-Oct-19 10:15:35

I used to have a cleaner who used one product for everything (damaging my taps in the process) and liked to faff about making towels etc pretty. It never got better despite many chats. Just sack her and move on.

Mind you, most cleaners won't want to use 6 million different products either so you may need to be realistic about that. When I worked as a cleaner I used Maybe 4 and that's about what I use now.

Crazyladee Thu 17-Oct-19 10:16:10


I've already explained that I've taken her on in ready for my operation.

And where does it say in my post I'm a bored housewife? I actually work full time from home but that's irrelevant to the thread.

Paraballa Thu 17-Oct-19 10:16:13

Ps I hated doing beds as a cleaner. That's not cleaning it's housekeeping. Do your beds yourself.

GettingABitDesperateNow Thu 17-Oct-19 10:19:28

I had a cleaner once that didnt speak English very well, she brought her daughter to the initial meeting and gave me her contact details for any issues maybe you could ask the same?

ThatMuppetShow Thu 17-Oct-19 10:21:38

there's always one bitter unpleasant poster on this thread hmm
here we got Zebraaa

bookwormsforever Thu 17-Oct-19 10:22:57

She's not for you. A basic in a cleaner is that she knows what cleaning products to use and does a good job. Does this woman even have her own insurance? What if she ruins your leather couch by using the wrong product on it?

ThatMuppetShow Thu 17-Oct-19 10:24:23

OP, get rid of her, and find someone else.

You are paying for a service, it it's not satisfactory, why would you keep paying.

Find a cleaner who is happy to clean, instead of faffing around, and to strip your beds as it is what you need.

Who cares if someone hates doing them? Others will be happy to, and would rather strip beds, put your grocery away than cleaning the loos - even if it's part of the job. Just look for the right individual, your requirements are perfectly common and reasonable.

Alsohuman Thu 17-Oct-19 10:24:33

Get shot, she’s making you work. There must be cleaners out there who can clean properly and change beds although, unless you live alone, I don’t understand why you need the cleaner to change the sheets.

Crazyladee Thu 17-Oct-19 10:25:59


I didnt realise cleaners aren't suppose to strip beds. My mum has a cleaner who does so I assumed they could. Sadly my mum's cleaner isn't willing to travel to my area.

ThatMuppetShow Thu 17-Oct-19 10:31:52

Cleaners" are just people, stripping the beds is a perfectly reasonable request.

When you own a holiday let (or book one), don't your cleaners strip and change the beds when they do an end-of-stay clean? Of course they do, so there you go. It's normal - so just ask and find the right person.

I know cleaners who are happy to walk the dog. It's might not be the most obvious task, but if they are happy to do it in their paid hour, it doesn't hurt anyone does it.

Ineedtochillthehellout Thu 17-Oct-19 10:34:33

I’m a cleaner and she does sound a little naff tbh.
What I’ve found is that different people expect a different level/type of cleaning. Your friend recommended her so she must find her cleaning ok.
If she’s self employed and independent she hasn’t got a boss to tell her what to do ( I tell my ladies to move everything except paperwork and furniture and to wipe everything when you put it back... side eyes to those clients who hide bits of paper under a crappy ornament to catch us out, we find them).
Anyway your her boss and she will listen to you. Be direct. Tell her what you expect. Tell her to move things to clean behind & under them. Regarding the cleaning products she obviously for what ever reason can’t read what they are for or how to use them. The sofa your going to have to show her how to do it. I know it’s a pain but you would probably any cleaner you take on. With any luck when you’ve shown her that will fix that. As for anti bac cleaner on your wood furniture shock that’s definitely not on. Again tell her to use whatever product you want her to use.
I know it’s a faff but if it take 15/20 minutes of your time to make her understand what you expect for your money it will probably work so I’d give her that chance. If after you’ve told her and she doesn’t listen then give her notice and find a new cleaner.
Good luck with the operation op & definitely ask her to change the bedding too. That’s a easy job for her to get right !

IncrediblySadToo Thu 17-Oct-19 10:38:19

A private cleaner can strip beds, of course they can, it’s not a Hotel. But lots of cleaners prefer nit to strip a bed (don’t really blame them, some people are minging) but they’ll put fresh linen on the bed

You need to find a cleaner that’s happy to strip & make beds if that’s what you want.

Any decent cleaner would know which product to use and how to use it. She is Japanese, but she’s working with chemicals in the UK, she needs (for her own safety apart from anything else) to know what the hell she’s using.

I think that’s quite a lot of work though for two hours especially given you want them to do the leather sofas properly, not just wipe them over

YouJustDoYou Thu 17-Oct-19 10:41:45

ODFO Zebra.

OP, they tend not to have leather furniture in Japan so she probably has no idea how to use leather polish. If you're going to keep her, google translate actually works pretty well in getting small points across and the Japanese presented isn't too innaccurate so for example typing in "use a little only please" comes with the correct Japanese (not some crazy translation).

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