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Anyone who works as a cleaner....

(20 Posts)
bordellosboheme Mon 20-May-13 15:26:24

Can you give me some insight as to why I feel my cleaner has become less effective?

She started very well. I pay her 20 for 2 hours a week. It's a small 2 bedroom bungalow. In that time, she hovers (but she missed my bedroom this week). She also mops the lounge wood floors, cleans the kitchen and bathroom. That's it. She doesn't do any dusting and tends to chuck anything that is in the way onto a chair (not folding anything). I do try and tidy as much as possible (with a ds 18months).

She does a good job in the kitchen and bathroom, but does no dusting, wiping down etc..... I just don't get that 'wow' feeling I used to.... once I came back 15 mins early and she had gone already.... I don't know if it was a one off or not.

Can anyone - cleaner or not shed any light on this. Have I offended her? How can I resolve?


NotGoodNotBad Mon 20-May-13 15:42:08

No experience of cleaners, but if she'd gone when she was supposed to still be working it looks like time for a chat...

KneeDeepInDaisies Mon 20-May-13 15:46:43

I'm a cleaner and what I prefer is if I am left a list of what the client wants done every week.

It's good because there are some things that I think are important that the client might not. For example, one house had lots of mirrors/mirrored wardrobes which I cleaned but the owner told me not to worry about that in future.

musickeepsmesane Mon 20-May-13 15:49:46

She may have arrived early? Also, sounds like she was just trying hard for a couple of weeks and now she has her feet under the table she is cutting corners. I agree with leaving her a list. My last cleaner never cleaned above eye level.

KneeDeepInDaisies Mon 20-May-13 15:55:38

I once went to a client and she asked me to dust the whole house. So I did that and everything else on the list and off I went.

The next week the note said "I see you didn't get a chance to finish the dusting" and I was a bit [raised eyebrow emoticon]. I looked around and I hadn't removed any cobwebs hmm

I was so embarrassed. In my pathetic defence all my other clients say dusting and cobwebs, but it was my own fault for not thinking about it.

bordellosboheme Mon 20-May-13 16:08:01

So it seems that lists are the way forward.....

I also heard her talking to herself / saying something under her breath this morning. I think she thought I was out.... Wonder if I've pissed her off? What would piss you off as a cleaner?

And out of interest, as a cleaner, do you mind if it is not a posh, well to do house? We are both professionals (teacher and lecturer) but live in a compact place!

What are your gripes as cleaners (just interested to try and get inside her head!)

KneeDeepInDaisies Mon 20-May-13 16:14:30

The only thing that would piss me off would be someone expecting me to do a ridiculous amount of stuff within an impossible timeframe but that is very rare!

I don't care what type of house I clean. Well I hate cleaning my own grin

Is she employed through an agency or directly? Either way have a sit down and maybe ask how she's finding it, are they any problems she's encountering?

Failing that get somebody else. Preferably recommended by word of mouth.

bordellosboheme Mon 20-May-13 16:58:01

That's a relief... I always think, I bet she thinks my house is shit! Insecure? Moi? I also think my friends thnk the same! blush

munchkinmaster Mon 20-May-13 17:05:41

I sacked my cleaner as her work just got worse and worse. We'd had a couple of chats, a list with an agreement that I wanted the things at the top of the list done thoroughly and if the spare bedroom etc were in touched fine. She'd get better, then worse and I began to feel taken advantage of.

At least if you agree the bits to skip you can go them yourself but if it's all just a bit slapdash it's no good at all.

OhThisIsJustGrape Mon 20-May-13 17:14:06

I clean for my inlaws once a fortnight for 2hrs.

In that time I:
Dust MILs office
Dust in the living room - no mean feat as every available inch of surface has ornaments on it! - plus dust all leather sofas and armchairs
Dust all windowsills and skirting boards downstairs
Dust banisters in hall
Dust sun lounge inc leather sofas and dining room - again, millions of ornaments
Clean bathroom and mop floor
Vacumn office, living room, hallway, stairs and bathroom floor
Vacumn upstairs and dust too

It doesn't sound a lot but it takes ages due to above mentioned ornaments (can you tell they're the bane of my life grin ) and I'm not slow but I only just get done within the 2hrs. However, their house is always immaculate, I don't have to pick anything up as I go along or tidy anything away first. If I had to do that then it would take far longer. Could that be the issue with your cleaner? You say she dumps stuff on a chair - how much stuff? I hate cleaning my own house as it takes me twice as long by the time I've actually cleared the crap in order to be able to clean, honestly - is your house a little untidy when your cleaner comes?

If not, she's probably taking the piss.

bordellosboheme Wed 22-May-13 08:39:04

Our house is certainly not immaculate. But I do pick up a lot of stuff before she comes

cantdecideonanewname Wed 22-May-13 10:10:56

I worked as a cleaner for a couple of years.

It sounds to me as though she's got lazy. There's no way my clients would have been happy with what you describing.

One family I cleaned for 1 1/2 hours a week this is what I'd do

Kitchen, cleaned worktops splash back and sink washed dried put away pots, hoovered and mopped floor, wipe over fridge door and tidy up kitchen table.

3 reception rooms fully dust and hoover, turn cushions on sofa and hoover underneath cushions if required, clean leather sofa, tidy up child's toys, clean mirrors clean bay windows and patio doors every week, mop the 2 rooms with wood flooring.

Hall stairs and landing dust clean mirrors and hoover.

2 bedrooms strip and remake beds, dust hoover and clean mirrors.

clean bathroom and wash floor.

If I have any time left I clean additional windows, move sofas out, clean door frames and skirting boards and give the guest room a clean as and when required.

I also didn't care whether the house I was cleaning was large or modest, I cleaned to the same standard for everyone.

Like someone else said the only thing which would annoy me would be clients wanting more done than is possible in a given time frame.
It does take longer if the cleaner has to tidy as well as clean.

Viviennemary Wed 22-May-13 16:19:53

I think cleaners get fed up if they have to keep moving piles of stuff to get to things. I had a cleaner once and my house was a bit too untidy some of the time to be cleaned properly. And also this cleaner moaned about people leaving things like the washing up. It wasn't a great success I have to add.

bordellosboheme Thu 23-May-13 23:31:01

Can't decide you sound great! Those are the things I would want her to do.... She never touches the sofas to get rid of any residual sand (we virtually live on a beach), does nothing with the cushions has never touched a window.... Hmmm.....

bordellosboheme Thu 23-May-13 23:32:00

Can't decide, did they leave a list or did you work from your own initiative? How should I approach her, do you think?

bordellosboheme Thu 23-May-13 23:55:25

Vivi your cleaner sounds a bit moany. Others have mentioned they don't mind the odd bit of washing up...

cantdecideonanewname Fri 24-May-13 09:38:55

Bordello Originally I'd have a client profile, they'd say what they wanted doing and a suitable time scale would be agreed, after I got to know the house the client would leave me to prioritize.

To be honest I'm not sure how you should approach her, with how you said she was talking under her breath she doesn't sound the most approachable person but you must, you can't go on paying for a clean house and not getting one.

I think I'd say to her that you noticed the bedroom had been missed on her last visit and you'll leave a list from now on with what you want doing, the top jobs to be her priority. Or ask her to do something different for one week like all woodwork, inside kitchen cupboards etc and then introduce a list system if you think a list will work for you, I'd expect the amount of cleaning she'd get done to increase after the first month though not get worse as when you start a new house it takes a few weeks to really find the routine that works for you but as you get used to the property I find that I then have time for extras that I didn't have time for in the early weeks.

Your paying her a good wage as well, more than I got.

lowercase Sat 25-May-13 15:06:12

I work from a's usually very long!
I do what I can in the time I have.
I don't tidy, I clean ( dust, wipe, mop, steam, vac )

What annoys me is inadequate tools ( no cloths or blocked vacuum, this kind of thing )

2 hours would cover what cantdecide describes.

It sounds as if she is rushing sometimes.

forevergreek Sat 25-May-13 15:12:49

We have a one bed, and cleaner does 3 hrs ... Maybe we are overgenerous but she is very good. ( actually comes 3 hrs twice a week more like a housekeeper as cooks 1.5hrs each time, cleans the other half)

JaxTellerIsAllMine Sat 25-May-13 16:16:10

My cleaner (private ad) is very thorough. She comes over twice a week at moment and in the 2 hours she - hoovers all downstairs, inc downstairs loo, wipes down kitchen cupboards/skirting/doorframes as needs doing, if worktops and splashback tiles need doing she will do that too.

Then washes floors downstairs; all wooden/tiles. Hoovers stairs, landing upstairs bathroom and washes floor in there too. Upstairs bathroom gets cleaned 'deeply' on a Friday and the other day it gets a swish as does downstairs loo. I wipe round/bleach every day anyway

Those are the main things I like to have cleaned. On other days she hoovers the wooden blinds/cleans windows, sometimes hoovers my bedroom. Some jobs take longer than others, but I have noticed now that she has been here a while I can give her more to do as she knows where everything is kept and has her own routine.

We are off on holiday so I have given her a key and asked her to come in on the Friday, she is going to do her usual clean, do inside Fridge and other 'stuff' she cant do when we are all here 'living'. grin

I do like my cleaner, she has came early and gone early, but other times has worked past her time, so the odd 5 mins here or there I dont mind.

It does sound like your person is feeling 'resentful' of cleaning/tidying.

Oh, my cleaner doesnt tidy - I make sure surfaces are clear for her to clean.

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