May 19, 2009,
K.H. asks from Castle Rock, CO on May 03, 2009
How Do I Handle Tips for a Cleaning Service?
I've never been one to like having a cleaning service or maid help with my housekeeping, but we recently decided to try it. We signed on with one of the more expensive services; they use eco-friendly cleaning supplies, are family owned, have low turnover on their teams, and the gals who come do a great job.
So my quandry is on how to tip the ladies who come into my home... We're already paying about $30 more for each visit than several other services charged and it puts us at the top of what we had wanted to spend on cleaning each month. I have always been a good tipper, but here I feel like it already costs so much... Is there a protocol on how to tip people from a cleaning service? Thanks so much!
So What Happened?™
Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences. Keeping your advice in mind, I had a candid conversation with the service owner. He told me in no uncertain terms that tips are rarely given. He said their turnover rate is low because his staff are paid well and they don't rely on tips. I plan to make a note of my team's birthdays and also to remember them at the holiday season. Thanks again!
S.W. answers from Boise on May 19, 2009
tips are optional. Don't feel at all obligated. I have cleaned houses for years. I receive gifts in the way of unwanted things, food/meals, an occassional gift for my birthday, holidays, etc. My clients have become my friends so I get more sometimes than someone hired from a service in the way of the above mentioned "tips"
T.W. answers from Salt Lake City on May 05, 2009
My experience has been that it is customary to tip the equivilant of 1 cleaning total split amoung the crew at Christmas time.
L.M. answers from Denver on May 04, 2009
I used to own a cleaning business, and never expected, nor received, compensation (i.e., tips) above and beyond what I charged my clients. The expection to that was around the holidays or if they asked me to do something above and beyond the basics for which they hired me (i.e., windows, etc.). To the best of my knowledge, the only time you are expected to tip a housekeeper is when you are staying in a hotel.
S.W. answers from Salt Lake City on May 04, 2009
I've never used a service, just an individual and I have most of the perks you describe (eco-friendly, local person, same person for a long time). I don't exactly tip a percentage, but I make it a point to always round up when paying her, to the next half or full hour's worth of pay, depending. Then I write my check out for an extra hour's worth of work around her birthday and then two hours' additional pay at Christmas. My help is so good, efficient and flexible that I want to make sure she feels appreciated. (She has said she prefers to work for clients who openly say when they are happy with things, so make sure you're doing that.) She helps with organizing as well as menial scrubbing so I think she's worth it and I budget to avoid eating out when I know I'd like to have her come and work for awhile.
A.C. answers from Colorado Springs on May 04, 2009
Will you always have the same person cleaning your house? If so, let her know you can't always afford to tip cash, but you'd love to leave her a plate of brownies, or a gift card for a cup of coffee, maybe a bottle of her favorite lotion now & then. I don't know if that's socially acceptable, but if she sees that you'd like to make the effort & you appreciate her work, you just don't have the cash to give her cash... that might be enough, that you're making the effort.
M.M. answers from Salt Lake City on May 04, 2009
I also was not aware that you are supposed to tip a cleaning lady. From what I have seen with others as well, you just give them the check for the payment, so I guess I already feel like I am paying them.
K.M. answers from Denver on May 04, 2009
Hi K., just a gentle suggestion that if you feel that you are spending too much that you can't tip the people that are making $8 an hour or something, you are using a service that is too expensive for you. When I can afford housecleaning services, which I can't right now, I tip about 7% of the service cost per person. They always seem happy with that so I would say that's a good place to start. Even 5% per person would be reasonable, I would think. BTW, I used Messywork and I think they did a great job and are very reasonable.
H.A. answers from Denver on May 04, 2009
I currently have my own housecleaning service. I work by myself. Depending on the client's wants I use eco-friendly cleaners at no extra cost. I don't expect tips each time. Many of my clients tip me around the holidays and some even leave me a little gift or gift card for a dinner around my birthday, but I certainly don't expect them to tip me each time. Some have never tipped me, but have kept me employed for years. I don't expect them to ever tip. I usually protest except at the holidays. I am just working to support me and the kids and I just appreciate the monthly business on a consistent basis. I don't think you need to tip each time. Of course, now your quandry will be how to stop now that you have started. You can just be honest and explain that you want to reward them for the great job that they do, but didn't really mean for it to be a tip each time. Good luck.
C.O. answers from Colorado Springs on May 05, 2009
Becuase the same person comes for me each time I dicided to give a Christmas Bonus each year. I have done this the last few years. I pay what I pay for a full cleaning service - but you could do whatever you wanted.
A.T. answers from Denver on May 04, 2009
My mom owns a cleaning service and she appreciates tips, but usually only gets them at Holidays and around her birthday (she has had the somve clients for over 10 years).