If you are wondering how to tip a house cleaner, you are not alone. With there being so many options for hiring someone to help you keep your home clean, it can be difficult to decide if- and how much- to tip.
With so many variables in how you hire, the industry standard for tipping a house cleaner is a little confusing. To help you out, I created this comprehensive guide to help you know how to tip a house cleaner.
Do I Have to Tip a House Cleaner?
In most scenarios when hiring extra help, it can be confusing to know if- and how much- you should tip them.
While it is not necessarily required that you tip a house cleaner, I think it’s always a smart idea to factor a tip into your budget. Why? In many cases, house cleaners are making minimum wage and depend on tips to survive.
Another reason? Whenever you are hiring someone to do a job that you can’t do (or don’t want to do), it’s nice to show your appreciation through some extra cash.
If you are unsure if you can afford the tip, you can always ask when you are hiring what the expected tip may be. If it’s too much, try rearranging your finances or check out my favorite cleaning method for under 30 minutes.
If you are ready to hire a house cleaner, keep reading to see a comprehensive look at how to tip a house cleaner!
Tipping Scenarios for a House Cleaner
When learning how to tip a house cleaner, it can feel overwhelming simply because of the unlimited options for tipping etiquette. Oftentimes, the answer for ‘how to tip’ is ‘well, it depends’.
That answer always feels so frustrating to me, so I had to dig deeper. I went through and broke down the 4 most common scenarios for someone to use a house cleaner and how to tip them.
Scenario #1: The One Time Occasion. You are hosting a big celebration in your home and want everything to be perfect. To make sure you don’t miss any dust or window spots, you hire a one time house cleaner to make the event perfect.
How to tip in Scenario #1: For a one time gig, industry standard is to tip your house cleaner between 15%-20% of the bill.
Scenario #2: Hiring a House Cleaner through a Cleaning Service. You and your partner are both working parents with little to no time to keep up with the cleaning around the home. To help you out, you hire a service to send out a house cleaner once a week through a House Cleaning service.
How to tip for Scenario #2: When it comes to using a house cleaning service, there can be a lot of pros and cons to them. One of the best pros is that you can ask the customer service representative what exactly is expected of you for a tip.
Typically, they are trained to answer a specific dollar amount or a percentage for what the average tip is. They also might inform you that tipping isn’t encouraged or that it is already included in your price.
I like knowing this in advance so that I am able to budget and make sure everyone leaves satisfied with the experience.
Scenario #3: Hiring a self-employed house cleaner. You hire Sonia, a self-employed house cleaner to start coming in and cleaning every Tuesday to help keep things clean in your home.
How to tip for Scenario #3: providing a tip for a self-employed house cleaner is completely different from tipping someone from a house cleaning service. This is because they set their own rates, so they probably don’t expect a tip each time they clean.
Instead, it is recommended that you hold off on tipping a consistent self-employed house cleaner until a major event, like Christmas or a Birthday, to show your appreciation.
Scenario #4: Hiring a move out cleaner. You move out of your apartment and want to make sure you get your security deposit back. To make sure everything is in tip top shape, you hire a move out cleaner.
How to tip for Scenario #4: Typically in this scenario, the idea is that you will end up paying the house cleaners with some of the money that you will get back from the security deposit. With this being the case, industry standard is that you tip double what you would normally tip.
If you pay someone $100 to do that last deep clean, instead of tipping $15 (or 15%), consider paying them $30 (or 30%). This shows your appreciation and helps you avoid doing all that deep cleaning you want to avoid.
These scenarios will help you narrow down how to tip based on different situations, but there are still smaller details to discuss in the world of tipping.
Do You Tip Every Week?
If you aren’t sure if you should tip every week, this is a common question that a lot of people wonder about. Honestly, it depends on your house cleaning situation.
If you have the same person cleaning your house every week, it’s alright to only tip once a month. If you notice that there is a rotation, however, and you see a new face every week from the house cleaning service, then you want to make it a habit to tip every time.
The Industry Standard
Overall, the industry standard for how to tip a house cleaner is between 15-20%. That means if your bill is $200, then you are expected to pay between $230-240.
For budget sakes, this is important to know before scheduling a house cleaner. There is a big difference between just $200 a week and $240 when you look at the entire month. For 4 weeks you need to have $960 saved, not the $800 that the service is charged for.
Should Your Ever Tip More?
While the average asks of a house cleaner don’t necessarily warrant a large tip, there are always exceptions to the rule. Did your kid drag cracker crumbs all over the house right before they arrived?
Or maybe the bathtub needs an extra deep scrub after your trip to the farm. If you feel that your house cleaner needs to go above and beyond for any reason, then you should consider tipping more.
How to Tip on Special Occasions
Whenever it is the holiday season or another occasion for celebration, it is common to tip a house cleaner. There is just something about showing your generosity during Christmas that is expected, but not required.
How much to tip a house cleaner, however, is completely up to you. While it can depend on if the cleaner is self-employed or with a service, chances are the year of cleaning has led to some sort of relationship.
Some families choose to double their typical tip, while others can tip up to 100% of the bill. It’s completely up to you and what you can realistically afford.
Another option is to attach something more personal to the tip, like a nice candle, bath salts, or a gift card to somewhere nice.
Is Cash the Preferred Method?
When it comes to tipping a house cleaner, it can be a little confusing. Most of the time, the business asks for their clients to pay for the service in advance through a digital platform. Are you supposed to add the tip onto that bill before the cleaner has even come to your home? In short, no.
When you are tipping, it is preferred that you offer some sort of monetary gift in the form of cash or a prepaid VISA gift card.
What is not okay to tip is random items like earrings from your cousin’s Etsy store, food, or any sort of physical item. When people are working, it is typically because they want to earn money, so if you must give these items, make sure there is some money attached to it.
How Do You Present the Tip?
When presenting a tip to your house cleaner, it is best to keep things as clear as possible. Separate from the payment, put some cash in a separate envelope marked ‘tip’.
Once the work is finished, you can present it on their way out. Keep it casual and think of it as a way to express your gratitude for their help.
(I like to keep a box of plain white envelopes in my office for things like this).
Other Unwritten Rules
Whenever you choose to hire a house cleaner, its essential that you keep in mind that they are people- just like you! It’s okay to go out of your way to make sure that things run smoothly and that they are comfortable with cleaning your home.
Being thoughtful can go a long way! Here are a few simple ways to help you show your appreciation:
- If they are cleaning while you are home, maybe offer them a cup of water or coffee
- Leave a positive review. Whether it is through Yelp or you contact the services customer service department, if you are pleased with their work, let people know! It costs you nothing and can help them get future work.
- Show your appreciation! Yes, tipping is one way to show your appreciation, but you can also reach out with a simple ‘thank you’ or grabbing that extra latte on the way home.
Tipping a house cleaner is not as black and white as you might hope. With so many different variables that go into hiring a house cleaner, the industry standard will vary based on a variety of things.
How often they come to clean, how many people come, and how deep of a clean are you hiring for are just a few factors to consider when considering a tip.
Luckily, there are a few generalizations that can help you narrow down and make a final decision on how to tip a house cleaner.
How do you decide how much to tip a house cleaner? Tell me in the comments below!