Having a 9 to 5 job means it is difficult to handle house cleaning yourself and since you can’t live in an untidy environment, you need house cleaners. When you employ house cleaners, however, do you need to tip them after paying them what they charged? Let’s find out.
How Much to Tip House Cleaning Service?
Tipping house cleaning service depends on a lot of factors, but the usual amount is between 10 and 20% of the cleaning fee. Tipping practices for professional cleaning services are a bit different from that of self-employed cleaners but the tipping amount is still within this range.
In the United States, it is common to tip in many service-based industries (barbers, servers, taxi drivers, valets, etc.) and 20% is the STANDARD rate across many different industries.
For Routine Cleaning (Weekly)
If you use the same housekeeper every week for the general cleaning of your house, you do not have to tip them every week. Tipping them between $20 – $30 every month is adequate.
This amount however isn’t a standard because some factors determine how much you tip your housekeeper.
For example, if your house is large and your house cleaner spends a lot of time cleaning, you can tip them more than $30 monthly or consider tipping them more than once a month.
This is also applicable if you have children or pets, or you don’t tidy the house before the cleaner comes. The cleaner works more so you should tip them more if you can afford it.
If you use a house cleaner from a cleaning company, and the company sends different house cleaners every week, you can tip between $10 -$20 every week or about 20% of the cleaning fee which is the standard for most service-based work.
For Deep Cleaning / Spring Cleaning
For a house cleaner that cleans your house thoroughly every week or month, you should consider tipping them 20% or more of the cleaning fee depending on your budget. This shows that you appreciate them and value their work.
Tipping housekeepers that do deep cleaning in your house should be done after every cleaning– Not weekly or monthly. You probably don’t require deep cleaning in your home every week. It takes more time, energy, and attentiveness, and tipping every time in addition to payment for their service isn’t a bad idea.
If you are moving out of an apartment and need a cleaning service so you can secure your security deposit, the cleaning is more thorough and intense. Every room in the apartment has to shine and look super clean.
Although the cleaners are just doing the job you paid them for, tipping them after such service is very nice, especially if they did a satisfying job. Cleaning after a house party falls into this category too.
If your home requires a deep cleaning, more than one housekeeper may be sent by the cleaning company to provide this service. You can tip them 20% or more of the cleaning fee as a group (instead of individually paying them). But if you are feeling generous and you want to tip them individually, it’s alright.
Remember there's no standard for the tipping system for housekeepers so only tip what you can afford.
Tipping the House Cleaner at the End of the Year (Christmas)
If you use different house cleaners every week throughout the year, it would be difficult to tip since you can’t tip them all. If you use a regular house cleaner however or a house cleaner comes to clean just before Christmas, the usual tipping amount is $50. You can tip more if you like.
If you use a cleaning company or agency, you can send them the tip or tip the cleaning crew as a group when they come to clean around Christmas time.
Note that your tip does not necessarily have to be cash, especially if you’re tipping the cleaners directly and not through the agency. It’s a holiday and a festive season, so you can include gift cards, gift boxes, wines, movie tickets, etc. in your tips. This will show that you appreciate them and will improve your relationship with them.
Professional House Cleaning Services vs Self-Employed House Cleaners (Tipping Practices)
|Professional Cleaning Service||Self Employed Cleaner|
|Some professional house cleaning services may make it clear that they have added tips to their charges. If that is the case, you are not obligated to tip their cleaners after cleaning your home.|
Before tipping cleaners from professional house cleaning services, you should contact the cleaning services first. Some of them forbid their cleaners from accepting tips from clients since they have adequately charged the clients. If you tip these cleaners it may look awkward or make them feel uncomfortable.
In cases where the cleaning service doesn’t forbid its cleaners from accepting tips, it is always good to tip them, even more than self-employed cleaners. Cleaners from professional cleaning services get less than what you pay for their service. Some only earn a minimum wage. They depend on tips, rewards, and bonuses to boost their income.
|For self-employed house cleaners, most of them have added tips to their charges so you don’t have to tip them if you don’t want. A self-employed cleaner works long-term usually. So if you use the same cleaner every time you clean, you don’t have to tip them every time they clean. If they clean your home once a week, you can give them a big tip once a month to appreciate them. If they clean your home two or more times a week, you can give them a tip once a week.|
Tipping your long-term self-employed house cleaner breeds loyalty and help boost the relationship between you which is necessary since you have been together for a while. It doesn’t have to be cash every time. It could be unused kitchen utensils, gift cards, coupons, a bottle of wine, etc., or something you know they would appreciate.
You may not want to tip your self-employed house cleaner because they get 100% of the money paid unlike cleaners from agencies, but remember that they get their own cleaning supplies and are responsible for finding clients. This can be tasking and difficult.
Does It Look Rude if You Don’t Tip? (With Alternates to Cash Tips!)
It is not rude to not tip your house cleaner because they are doing a job you paid them for. While tipping is good and shows appreciation, it shouldn’t be forced or demanded as the compensation has already been agreed upon. You should also not tip above your budget or be pressured to tip more than you are willing to part with.
Note that tipping is not the only way to show appreciation to your house cleaner(s). So you don’t have to break the bank because you want to be generous.
Here are alternatives to tipping:
1- Reviews: If the house cleaner is from a cleaning company or agency, calling the agency and giving good reviews about the cleaner will be appreciated. This can lead to the cleaner getting a raise.
A self-employed cleaner with a website will benefit very much from good reviews too.
2- Referrals: This is more beneficial for self-employed house cleaners. They have to find clients themselves so it can be difficult to get jobs if they aren’t well known. Referring them to family, acquaintances, colleagues, and friends will bring them more business in the future. They would even appreciate this than tips.
You can also refer a professional cleaning agency.
3- Entertainment: You can decide to entertain your house cleaners when they come to clean. Offer them food and beverages before they start working or tell them to take a break while working if they prefer. It could be home-baked cookies with fruit juice or something similar. This clearly shows you value their service and appreciate them.
4- Written Appreciation: You could also write them ‘thank you’ notes and include some sincere words of appreciation. This can be done during special occasions or holidays, not necessarily regularly.
When Should You Not Give Tips?
Statistics reveal that more than 7 percent of adults in America don’t tip. And men are less likely to give tips than generous women.
Tipping is not mandatory although you should try to do it. But if tips have been included in the charge for the cleaning, you don’t have to give tips. A professional cleaning service will tell you if that’s the case.
If you are already paying a steep price for the cleaning service, you shouldn’t give tips. The price is probably steep because the self-employed cleaner has factored tips into the payment. And since self-employed cleaners get 100% of the money you paid, you don’t have to worry about tipping them.
If the house cleaner demands a tip or solicits for it then you shouldn’t tip them. You have agreed on a price, so demanding extra after being paid brings up a question mark on their honesty.
While tipping is not an absolute necessity, it is good and common practice to tip about 10-20% to house cleaners for a job well done.