How to tell if your cleaner's good enough

How to tell if your cleaner's good enough
Posted by Gary Cooper

They might get the Pledge polish and duster out when you’re home, but it’s never easy to know if they’re really up to the job. Here are some ways you can be sure your cleaner is cleaning up more than putting their feet up

You can tell
The first sign your cleaner is doing the job they’re paid for will hit you as soon as you walk in the door. A good housekeeper will understand how important first impressions are to you. So making sure shoes are put away or that mats are straightened and floors cleaned is crucial.

You can smell
Some people prefer not to be able to smell strong fragrances and chemicals, but it is a good way of knowing (and feeling!) as though your housekeeper has been earning their fee. Most cleaners will always open windows and doors if appropriate to get the stale air and dust out and clean air in.

The difference is in the details
Moving on past the superficial signs such as smell and sight, there are ways you can differentiate between a cleaner who is there to simply dust and one who really wants to make your house somewhere pleasant to live. If you’re paying them enough, you should never have to lift a finger when it comes to cleaning. Of course, the remit should be decided early, usually in the first meeting, but your cleaner should plan a rolling rota of ‘hidden cleans’. These are things that can be done monthly, or sometimes yearly, such as cleaning all the edges of the carpets or clearing out the kitchen cupboards and wiping down. Other tell tale signs to keep an eye on are light switches, internal glass, lamps, and towel rails.

They have a routine
Don’t worry if your housekeeper does his or her job at random. They may work best that way. But most will have specific routine that ensures they do the maximum amount of work possible in the time they have. For example, starting with the bathrooms and bedrooms on the top floor, collecting laundry and cups and plates. Then gradually making their way downstairs.

They never waste a step
Your housekeeper will move around the house a fair amount. If they’re smart, they will never waste time and energy moving from one room to another without doing something useful. That can be something as small as taking away some rubbish or bringing back the dustbuster.

They move things
Obviously there will be some people who don’t want a cleaner touching valuable possessions and that can be decided at the beginning. However, any cleaner worth the money will not be afraid to pick up, dust off and carefully place back anything in your home.

They tidy, too
Who wants to come home to a house that smells clean but looks like a bomb just hit? Cleaners must realise that ‘homemaking’ is as much about comfort as it is cleanliness. The property should be ‘dinner-party-ready’. In other words, you could invite the prime minister round for tea and not be concerned that your Playstation games are scattered across the floor. 


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