If you're curious about whether or how much to tip your house cleaner, you're not alone. We've all been in situations where you wonder whether you need to tip someone who has provided a service or how much you should tip that individual. Started in Tudor England in the 16th century, the practice spread from providing a tip to members of a household's staff that had gone above and beyond to help you with a situation to an expected part of going out to dinner on a weeknight. It's become an expected part of the service industry that you're going to leave a tip for good service for anyone from your hairdresser to your waiter.

But what about house cleaners? Do they not also provide a valuable personal service that requires them to pay close attention to your personal preferences, much like, "short but not too short except for the back" for your hairdresser" or, "no vegetables that have been in contact with meat products" for your waiter? They know that you have specific things you'd like done on a regular basis and the ways in which you'd like them done, such as taking the trash out when they're done with a service. This personal service often receives a tip, but when, how much and how often are issues that are often left up to debate, leaving you wondering exactly what is appropriate. Here's a quick look at when and how much you should tip your house cleaner.

How Much Do You Tip Your House Cleaner?

When Should You Tip Your House Cleaner?

Though you should find out from your cleaning service whether tips are welcome, how much is expected and act accordingly, how often is a question that is still up for debate. If you have a regular cleaning service schedule but are on a fixed income, most cleaners are happy to accept a tip for the month of weekly cleaning sessions all at once. If you work with one individual or a regular team and happen to be a bit short on cash, they'll understand, but make sure you make it up next time you have a cleaning appointment.

However, if the cleaning session you're scheduling isn't likely to be repeated, such as just before the holidays for an extra-special cleaning or after a large party or similar event, make sure that you tip at that point. Similarly, if the cleaning is part of a weekly service but the mess is beyond what you normally have to clean up, make sure to tip the house cleaner at that point to compensate for their time and attention when you need their services most. Another point where you want to tip the house cleaner at every cleaning is if the service sends different people to clean your home every time. Because the people who are there providing the service changes, you can't be sure when you'll be able to tip each person again, so it's important to take care of it at that point in time.

Is the Mess a Bit Above and Beyond the Norm?

Whether it was a bachelor party that got a bit out of hand or your nephew's birthday party guests somehow got frosting on the ceiling fan, these are the kind of situations where it's always a good idea to tip. Is it a mess that was something you just didn't want to deal with or though was too gross, like the really disgusting laundry or leftover food containers your college-student son left lurking in his room for two months? If it's not something you'd be willing to deal with, tip well, because it's probably not something they're exactly excited about dealing with either, and the extra money helps make the process more palatable.

How Much Should You Tip for Regular Cleaning?

Though it's a frustrating answer, "it depends" fits in as well here as anywhere else in life. Some companies pay their cleaners more and do not expect that the client will tip the cleaner. Other companies pay minimum wage, and tips are expected to make up the remaining amount so that the cleaner has a living wage. More traditional services fall somewhere in the middle, where a seasonal bonus around the holidays is considered to be a great way to show your appreciation for the cleaner, but it's not necessarily expected. Some services build their tipping into their fee, so it's important to take a solid look at your service contract so that you're not doubling up in the process.

How much to tip will depend on your area, the wage the cleaner is making and the service's experience. The service will often be happy to let you know how much you should be tipping, if tipping is expected and how often to tip. Generally speaking, house cleaners will receive a tip anywhere from $5 to $25 depending on the size of the house, the amount of cleaning that needs to be done and the frequency of the cleaning. Other individuals stick to the 15-20% guideline, basing the size of the tip on the cost of the service involved. That being said, the amount you tip is for the entire crew - you don't have to tip each person that amount, the total tip will be split between the house cleaners. If in doubt, or if the house cleaner has gone above and beyond in their work, tipping is better than not tipping.

The Bottom Line

By having a basic understanding of when and how much you should tip your house cleaner, you've got a much better idea of how to avoid those uncomfortable pauses when the service has been completed. As with anything in life, if you're not quite sure whether you should tip in a particular situation, simply asking the house cleaner or the service that you use can help clear up the situation very quickly. Most services do not require a tip or gratuity, but it is an option that is often appreciated by the cleaners and can be a great way to show your appreciation for their hard work.

Now that you know how much and when to tip your house cleaner, are you ready to clear some more time out of your schedule by handing off your bi-weekly or weekly cleaning tasks to a service? If you have any questions, would like more information on the services provided by Cleaning Exec Cleaning Services' experienced staff or would like to get a free quote, please feel free to reach out today to get started.