6 Important Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring a House Cleaner

These questions will ensure that you're getting the right help for your home.

It's not always easy to keep your place tidy on your own. Maybe you can't find the time because you've got a busy work schedule, or perhaps you're getting older and don't want to strain your back trying to scrub those hard-to-reach spots. No matter the reason, many of us end up seeking outside help for our homes. But despite the obvious benefits of a house cleaner, it can be stressful to pick a stranger who you can trust in your personal space and who will do good work. That's why it's important to vet them by asking the right questions. Read on for six things you should always ask before hiring a house cleaner.

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"What's your approach to cleaning speciality items?"

woman thoroughly wipes the shade in the lamp with a rag at home

Good care is crucial for a house cleaner—especially when it comes to things that may be valuable or sentimental. That's why Karina Toner, operations manager at Spekless Cleaning, recommends asking a potential hire what their approach is to cleaning speciality items.

"From heirloom antiques to modern art pieces, every home has unique treasures," she says. "Inquire about how the cleaner plans to handle these specialty items to ensure they receive the specialized care they deserve."

RELATED: 5 Things You Should Always Do Before Your House Cleaner Comes.

"Are you fine with cleaning while people or pets are home?"

man wearing robber gloves and spray sliding door glass to clean at house

Some cleaners prefer to work in an empty home to avoid distractions, but homeowners sometimes find it worrying to leave someone they don't know alone in their house. With that in mind, you should ask potential house cleaners how they feel beforehand to make sure you're on the same page, according to Carrie Flitcroft, director of the UK-based Shiny and New Cleaning Services.

"Always check that your cleaner is happy to work with you at home," she advises.

Toner says this concern should extend to households with furry friends as well.

"Ensuring your pets are comfortable and safe during the cleaning process is a must," she adds. "Discussing this upfront leads to a harmonious environment for everyone."

"How many people will have access to my house?" 

woman unlocking front door of home with keys

It's also important to know if others will be in your home besides the person (or people) you're meeting with during the hiring process.

"This question is a great way to learn not only if you'll have the same cleaning team on a weekly basis—which can lead to better communication and more efficient cleaning—but also about your cleaning service's employment, background check, and privacy policies," Nick Valentino, vice president of market operations at Bellhop Atlanta Movers, explains.

In terms of security, Paul Corazza, licensed real estate agent and executive director at Independent Property Group, says there are certain related questions you should always ask early.

"Who else will have access to codes and keys if the cleaner works in a team? Who will be responsible for opening the home? A lockup? The majority of house cleaners will have a plan in place to keep your home secure," Corazza notes.

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"What kind of products do you use?"

Shot of young woman cleaning the outside of an oven. Woman cleaning with spray disinfectant and gloves at home.

Since there are so many different cleaning products on the market, you should ask a potential hire what kind they use—especially if you have pets or children, according to Andre Kazimierski, home expert and CEO of Improve Painters Naperville.

"Some cleaning products are toxic or harmful," Kazimierski warns. "So if you have pets or children, you want to make sure that cleaners are using products that are safe and non-toxic. If a potential cleaner won't agree to use other products other than potentially harmful ones, I would look around for a different cleaner who will accommodate your needs."

It's also essential to figure out if they are bringing their own products or if they expect you to have them, Ralph Abundo, operations specialist at Canberra Bond Cleaning, adds.

"Knowing whether the cleaner provides their cleaning supplies or if you need to provide them can help you plan and budget accordingly," he shares.

"How do you deal with unexpected illness or weather concerns?" 

sick woman with headache holding her head and cleaning basket with supplies

In a perfect world, you would be able to stick to a clear schedule with your house cleaner. But unexpected conflicts can and will arise from time to time, so it's best to get questions about this possibility out of the way before hiring someone.

Ryan Farley, home care expert and CEO of LawnStarter, recommends asking specifically about their sick leave policy. It's not only about their wellbeing—though that's certainly part of it.

"Cleaners will spend a lot of time in your home, breathing hard and touching things. A cleaner who is sick stands a good chance of sharing their germs with you, so it's important to make sure that the cleaners you hire have a chance to stay home when they aren't well," he says.

You should also discuss the potential for weather concerns, according to Nathaly Vieira, owner of the InspireClean agency.

"If you live in an area with unpredictable weather, be sure to ask your house cleaner if they offer alternative arrangements when conditions are too wet or cold for outdoor cleaning," she adds.

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"Are you insured and bonded?"

man checking off maid requirements on paper as she cleans

Asking a house cleaner about insurance and bonding before hiring them is a must, Muffetta Krueger, cleaning expert and founder of Muffetta's Domestic Assistants, tells Best Life.

"Accidents can happen during cleaning, and having an insured and bonded cleaner provides protection for both parties," she says.

According to Krueger, having an insured cleaner means you're not liable in case of damage or injury, while bonding will cover any theft or damage that may be caused by the cleaner.

"This question offers peace of mind and safeguards your interests," she explains.

Kali Coleman
Kali Coleman is a Senior Editor at Best Life. Her primary focus is covering news, where she often keeps readers informed on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and up-to-date on the latest retail closures. Read more
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