Advanced search

Talk to me about having a cleaner -

(22 Posts)
CrabAppleTree Tue 25-Jun-13 10:29:48

I am thinking of using an agency that a lot of my mates use and recommend
I have a mother's hep who does a bit in the kitchen and plumps pillows in sitting room and runs hoover about
But nothing upstairs (out of habit)

I am now expecting twins and will need to have a lot more help

how can I get off on a good foot with a new cleaner?

CrabAppleTree Tue 25-Jun-13 11:48:54


Hercy Tue 25-Jun-13 11:50:56

I would go for a personal recommendation rather than an agency if you can. Go for someone with a good grasp of basic English so you can be clear about your preferences etc (I speak from bitter experience - it's a pain not being able to communicate).

On the first day, I would arrange that she/he can be there longer to do a more thorough clean and establish their routine, get to know where things are etc. let them know what you'd like done and ask if it seems reasonable in the time. I would also use this a trial, and if you're not happy, then you'd be under no obligation to take them on.

Make sure to leave the money in the same place for them every time they come, so they don't have to ask for it. I always offer mine a cup of tea and a biscuit, and give her a card and double pay for Christmas. I'm flexible with her taking time off (she goes back to Bulgaria a lot), but it's not a problem for me. If you would struggle if she went away, you might ask for x weeks notice so you can make other arrangements and discuss this at the outset.

crispsarenotoneofyour5aday Tue 25-Jun-13 12:00:55

Realising that I wasn't cut out to be a domestic goddess but liking a clean tidy house, I have had cleaners since I was 19!

I would say be very clear on what you want done and how often and put it in a written job spec e.g. wipe down all skirting boards once a fortnight, hoover spare room once a month - and then check it is done. It helps if you both know exactly what is expected. On that note, don't be shy in pointing out when things aren't up to standard. As a youngster, I tried to avoid any conflict and ended up paying a fair whack for a very cursory service. Tackle shortcomings straightaway but in a nice straightforward manner. Don't agree changes to dates on short notice unless you are happy for this to become "business as usual". We had one who turned up when she felt like it by the end - I should have nipped that in the bud.

Be polite and reasonable. If I am in when mine is around (rare since I work) I always make us a cup of tea and have a chat and always give double pay at Christmas. My latest has been with me since 1999 smile

heidihole Tue 25-Jun-13 12:03:26

You need to write a list

Wipe worktops,
Clean fridge,
Wipe skirtings,
Clean stove

etc etc. It saves a lot of hassle. If you just say "clean the kitchen please" that means something different to everyone <bitter experience>

trice Tue 25-Jun-13 12:03:51

I use an independent cleaner. I checked she had insurance. I wrote a list of what I expected, which we both agreed. It is great, I have a clean enough house. It takes the pressure off and means Dh and I have more time for each other and the dcs.

CrabAppleTree Tue 25-Jun-13 12:48:52

this is all v helpful
Also how specific can I be?
Do cleaners use their own chemicals etc? We don't scrub our wooden floor - just gentle mop to keep the natural oils in.

CrabAppleTree Tue 25-Jun-13 12:49:16

what I meant to say what
This is is all v helpful, THANK YOU

CMOTDibbler Tue 25-Jun-13 12:53:32

I'd def try to not go through an agency. My last two cleaners have both been self employed and its been a great working relationship.

I'm not fussy, so my cleaner gets on with things and has her own mental list of extras to fit in once the whole house has been done.

We provide all cleaning materials, and you can be as specific as you like

ShoeWhore Tue 25-Jun-13 12:54:34

YY to personal recommendation and being very specific up front - it is much easier to say specifically how you want something doing before they start than criticise the standard of work a few weeks in ime!

It usually takes a new cleaner a few weeks to get used to the house and get a routine going so bear that in mind.

With something like your wooden floor then I would say exactly what you do and don't want them to do.


CrabAppleTree Tue 25-Jun-13 13:03:04

Okay - next question
How many hours to clean a 4 bed house do you think???

teatimesthree Tue 25-Jun-13 13:05:23

There are agencies and agencies. I use a local agency and they are brilliant. I love the fact that it is all above board, insurance and tax are paid etc. I have a direct debit that goes out every week, they bring their own products, cover holidays - it is completely hassle free. If your mates recommend them, that is a real bonus.

CrabAppleTree Tue 25-Jun-13 13:11:26

Yes this is a local agency and used by quite a few of my mates
I have as I said a mothers help who isn't great at cleaning and I need to up my game

DonutForMyself Tue 25-Jun-13 13:23:10

I clean for a friend, its a handy way for me to earn a bit of extra ££ and she gets someone she knows and trusts. It takes me 2 hours to do a 4 bed house, dust & hoover upstairs & down; clean bathroom, ensuite & WC; wipe kitchen tops and table, mop wooden floors downstairs & bathrooms.

Any extra jobs like cobwebbing, skirtings, cleaning the front of kitchen cupboards etc would take me over the 2 hours she pays for and it also helps if you tidy up first so that all floors are clear for hoovering and flat surfaces are easy to dust (its a good way to get older DCs to tidy their rooms once a week!)

I can imagine things getting awkward if she starts to criticise my standard of cleanliness, as I think I do a very thorough job in the time that she's willing to pay me for (the downside of mixing work/friendship!). I would of course take it on board but I think you do need to be realistic about what can be done in 2 hours.

If you want anything doing over and above the basics you may have to ask for an extra hour once a month for example. I take my own hoover & rubber gloves/cloths as I'm more comfortable with them, but I use the products she supplies. Anything that runs low I make a note on her pinboard.

CMOTDibbler Tue 25-Jun-13 13:29:24

I have a 5 bed/2 bath, and have 3 hours a week, which gives my cleaner about 1/2 an hour a week of cobweb etc time. We do flex the schedule sometimes if the spare rooms haven't been used but the skirtings could do with a go, or if we have guests coming and she'll change the spare beds and leave our room and ensuite.

Hercy Tue 25-Jun-13 14:41:48

Yes, do make sure you leave things tidy - if the cleaner has to constantly pick up and move things on the floor, tables etc to clean, it eats into their time. You have to remember you pay cleaners to clean, not tidy.

We pay for 2.5 hours for a 2 bed town house and in that time she dusts, hoovers (inc 2 sets of stairs), cleans kitchen counters, sink and hob, mops kitchen floor, cleans bathroom and downstairs loo. She might do windows if she has extra time.

Maybe write a list of what you want done, and add up roughly how long it takes you to do each job and add a bit extra at the end for leeway to give you a rough idea. Then if she has extra time, you could always ask her to do odd jobs on an as and when basis.

I would expect to provide everything a cleaner would need, but if they want to bring their own stuff, I wouldn't mind at all. And if you have particular requirements like not using products on the wood floor, just say!

kalidasa Tue 25-Jun-13 15:04:37

We have a flat with a main bedroom, small nursery, and two spare bedrooms/studies as we both work quite a lot from home. Our cleaner comes for three hours once a week and in that time she: tidies, dusts and hoovers throughout (we try to tidy first but there's usually a little left to do); cleans the floor, hob, surfaces and sink in the kitchen; straightens cushions/bedding etc; thoroughly cleans the bathroom. In the last 45-60 minutes she does ironing. She empties and changes all the bins and takes the rubbish out with her as she leaves. She will also do anything obvious that 'needs' doing - e.g. unloading the dishwasher, hanging up washing. She is a fantastic cleaner, thorough and reliable (not quite so great at ironing but it is very convenient to have her do a bit). For the odd week when there's no ironing I have a few reserve jobs that don't need doing so often (e.g. cleaning the oven or fridge).

We provide the equipment and products and she just tells us or leaves a note if anything is running out or is on its last legs.

heidihole Tue 25-Jun-13 15:34:54

I Have every week:

2 hours of ironing

3 hours for downstairs (including bathroom, playroom, dining, kitchen, living and 2 hairy dogs!!)

3 hours for upstairs (3 bedrooms, staircase, 2 bathrooms, corridors)

so 8 hours a week. Its a 5 bed house but 2 of those are guest rooms so not used.

DonutForMyself Tue 25-Jun-13 16:32:19

Kalidasa, be nice to her, it sounds like you've got a good one there!

ShoeWhore Wed 26-Jun-13 15:00:41

Our house is a big old 4 bed 2 bath - big rooms and not especially easy to clean. It takes 3-4 hours to do a decent clean of it, depending on the cleaner - some work faster than others. It takes me forever sob. I so wish I could justify a cleaner again...

kalidasa Wed 26-Jun-13 18:15:28

I am donut she is great and we thank our lucky stars for her every week!

JohnBradley Wed 26-Jun-13 19:23:34

My parents and I have been using a local cleaning company for a few years now and it's a delight.
They have a vast variety of services. We've tried almost every service from them. Gardening, domestic cleaning, removals, rubbish clearance, carpet, oven and window cleaning.
The guys are real professionals with friendly attitude and prices worth having. Last but not least - they are always on time.
If you want send me a PM. I`ll hook you up.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now