10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Cleaning Company


10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Cleaning Company
In Partnership with
Shinebright Cleaning Services

  1. Why should I hire a cleaning service? The number one reason is to save valuable time. You can save countless hours on dreaded housework (most of the time you save is the time you spend thinking about not wanting to do it). It is not difficult to find a good reliable professional service that can meet your cleaning needs. Hiring a good home cleaning service can give you back some of that time. Cleaning services are rapidly becoming a time management necessity and not a luxury.

  2. How long have you been in business? It takes little more than a mop, a bucket and good intentions to start a cleaning business, but it takes far more to run a professional, sustainable cleaning company. That’s why 50% of new services go out of business within their first year; by the end of their fifth year 90% will be closing their doors for good. I’m not saying you should not consider hiring a newly formed company, but generally the longer a company has been in business the more likely they are to be around in the future.

  3. Are you insured? Do you carry workman’s comp? Proper insurance (at least one million dollars in coverage - two million is better) is vital. An uninsured company will absolutely be cheaper, but when the finish is eaten off your wood floors, your stainless steel appliances are scratched, or a cleaner is injured in your home, they are also the ones who will not be able to afford to compensate you for it…. leaving you to foot the bill. It takes more time, but if you request an insurance certificate from the insurance company you will get it. Make sure you check the dates.

  4. How do you train your cleaners? Turnover rates for cleaners on the Vineyard are quite high during the summer months. It is not uncommon for new hires to get very little training, or no training at all. The best companies will have formal, documented, on-going training, inspections and an open line of communication with clients for feedback.

  5. Can you provide me with a written checklist of tasks to be performed? This is extremely important. Different companies have different ideas of what a basic service consists of. It is important to know exactly what you are paying for and to know that you are truly comparing apples to apples when making a final decision. Some of the more common areas of potential confusion are dishes, stripping and making of beds, laundry, high dusting of ceiling fan blades, high reach window sills, the handling of the trash throughout the home, grills, porches, decks and outside showers. You can save yourself a lot of potential grief by getting written specifications upfront.

  6. Do you have a satisfaction guarantee policy? Every professional house cleaning service should offer a service guarantee or satisfaction guarantee. Some cleaning services only offer a specified percent off your next service if you are displeased. If you are dissatisfied and they won’t fix it, why would you even want to use them again? A reputable service should come back immediately and do whatever necessary to fix the problem.

  7. Do you provide equipment and supplies? Look for a company that provides all of their own supplies and equipment. Cleaners are less likely to misuse (Windex on granite countertops, green scrub pads on the stainless steel stove, etc.) products they are familiar with and trained to use.

  8. What kind of products do you use? Today’s trend is toward a more "green”, "environmentally friendly” and "nontoxic” products for everyday life. There are many products readily available for home use. Many cleaning companies already have "green cleaning” programs in place, while others are just getting into that segment of cleaning. Take time to ask what products they use. Investigate for yourself (if you do not already know) what products suit your needs and desired outcomes. Microfiber or cotton cloths? All of these make a difference.

  9. What about my pets? Always ask if they are pet friendly. Some companies will not clean a home if your pet is not on a leash.

  10. How much will it cost? Most cleaning services charge an hourly rate for the initial visit. You can always put a cap on the estimated hours to avoid any unwanted costs. The estimator can give you an approximate time of how long the service will take. Cleaning services will usually give you a flat rate for each subsequent visit depending on the condition of your property, needs and how often you will need the service.