Your complete house cleaning tipping and etiquette guide.


By Sheena Harris

Keeping a clean home is an essential part of home maintenance. The floors, counters, bathrooms, furniture, baseboards and even the ceiling fans — it takes a lot of work to perform a thorough house cleaning. If you don’t have the time or energy to clean your home on a regular basis, hiring a house cleaner may be the right move for you. 

If you do decide to hire a house cleaner, it’s important to remember a few etiquette and tipping guidelines. Keep reading to learn the dos and don’ts of tipping house cleaning services.

Are you supposed to tip a house cleaner?

Generally, you should tip a house cleaner for their work. Whether you’re hiring an independent house cleaner or working with a cleaning or maid agency, it’s a great idea to leave a tip to show your appreciation. Plus, it can make for a good job and makes the job more worthwhile for the cleaning professional. Just as you would tip other service industry professionals, tipping is appropriate for service providers cleaning your residential property. 

House cleaners tend to offer various services, and it’s OK to tip them after they have completed any of the following tasks (and did a great job):

  • Apartment cleaning
  • Deep cleaning
  • Move-out cleaning
  • One-time cleaning
  • Weekly cleaning

How much should you tip house cleaners?

The generally accepted amount for tipping house cleaners is between 10%-15%, according to the Association of Residential Cleaning Services International. However, it’s not uncommon for customers to leave a more generous tip of 20%. 

Here’s a quick look at how much you should tip depending on how much the cleaning services cost:

House Cleaning Cost

Suggested Tip Amount















Ultimately, how much you tip should be based on the quality of the services you received and your overall satisfaction.

What about tipping independent cleaners vs. company employees?

This industry best practice of 10%-20% tipping applies whether you’re hiring an independent house cleaner or a house cleaning company that sends employees to do the job.

If you hire a house cleaning company, you can ask about their tipping policies to see if tips or gratuities are "built-in" into the rates they charge — but that may not be the case.

Factors to consider when tipping cleaning services.

Determining the right amount to tip house cleaners involves considering several different factors. For example, you should consider: 

  • The overall quality of the cleaning. Tip higher when you’re impressed with the quality of the work. For example, a cleaner that takes extra steps or goes above and beyond may deserve a bigger tip.
  • How quickly they work. Perhaps the house cleaner finished the job much quicker than you expected or catered to your schedule demands. If so, a higher tip is appropriate.
  • The level of professionalism or attitude. If the cleaner was especially personable, highly professional or you had an otherwise positive experience, higher tip amounts would be fitting. 
  • Whether your circumstances required extra work or stress. If you booked the house cleaner at the last minute, the cleaner handled an extreme or problematic mess or you required specialty or specific cleaning help, they probably deserve a higher-than-normal tip. 
  • If the cleaner offered special discounts or deals. Perhaps the cleaner gave you a discount as a repeat customer or offered a discount for specialty services. You can show your appreciation by leaving a nice tip.
  • Frequency of services. If a cleaner comes several times a week, for example, you may only offer a small tip with each visit or a larger tip once a week. 
  • Type of service request. You may choose to leave a larger tip if you only have your house cleaned one time, such as a single-visit deep cleaning or a move-out clean. Meanwhile, a smaller tip may be more fitting for smaller jobs. 

More ways to show your appreciation.

A clean home takes a lot of work, and the benefits of hiring a house cleaner are easy to see. Therefore, you may choose to show your appreciation in other ways that aren’t purely monetary — especially if they regularly clean your home and you’ve been working with them for a long time. 

A few added ways to show appreciation to house cleaners include: 

  • Refer the cleaner to a friend. If you’re hiring a house cleaning service (especially a self-employed house cleaner or maid), help them build their client portfolio by recommending them to friends, family members or neighbors. 
  • Leave positive reviews for the professional's services. Most people who want to hire a cleaning service read online reviews to ensure they’re hiring a trustworthy service provider. Leave a review of the professional's services on their Thumbtack profile, website and/or business-related social media pages with before-and-after photos of the job well done. 
  • Express your appreciation. Maids and cleaners can feel a bit invisible and underappreciated. Make sure to express your appreciation for their hard work with words of gratitude or a simple thank-you card after a good job.
  • Offer gifts of appreciation on occasion. A gift basket filled with goodies, a bottle of wine or a gift card to a favorite shop or restaurant shows the cleaner just how much you appreciate their hard work. Be sure to especially remember your house cleaner during the holidays. 
  • Let their employer know how pleased you are with their work. Words of praise from a happy client may be considered when a house cleaner is considered for raises or opportunities to excel in their position at the cleaning company. 
  • Give the cleaner snacks, buy their lunch or offer them cold drinks. Cleaning the house can take a lot of energy and stamina. Show your appreciation for their hard work by buying your cleaner lunch, leaving them a tray of snacks or treats with a note of appreciation or making sure they always have access to a cold drink when needed.

Etiquette guidelines to remember when hiring house cleaners.

If this is your first time hiring a house cleaner, you may be wondering what to expect or how to prepare. Do you need to be at home, or is it better to leave so you are out of the way? Should you clean before the cleaner arrives if the house is super messy? 

Here are a few etiquette guidelines to remember:

  • Pick up general clutter. It can take a lot of time from more important tasks such as cleaning windows, flooring and dust from under the bed. So, go ahead and drop laundry in the hamper, put away dishes and get rid of stacks of mail or toys scattered across the floor. If you want your house cleaner to declutter your home, be sure to ask about this upfront before you hire them. They may or may not offer this type of service.
  • Put away valuables, cash or highly personal belongings. While most cleaners are completely professional and trustworthy, most also prefer not to handle valuables, cash or highly personal belongings. Before the cleaner arrives, safely tuck away items like expensive jewelry, medications, cash or other personal items that should only be handled by you. 
  • Discuss your cleaning preferences. If you prefer certain cleaning methods, products or solutions, be sure to disclose this information upfront. For example, if you prefer only eco-friendly cleaning products, make sure the service professional knows from the beginning. 
  • Secure your pets. Pets can disrupt cleaning processes and may even pose a threat to the professional in some cases. Make sure the cleaner knows what pets you have before they arrive, and keep pets in a secure area while cleaning is in progress.
  • Ask about leaving or staying home. Whether you should be home or not can vary depending on the cleaner. If this is the first visit, it’s best to be available for a quick walk-through and questions. However, you may not be required to be home after the first visit. 
  • Stay out of the way. If you do stay home, step back and allow the cleaner to do their job. You may be tempted to supervise, but this can be perceived as a lack of trust and inhibit the professional from doing their job effectively. Likewise, make sure children in the house understand the professional is in the house to provide a service, and keep them entertained during the work. 
  • Be mindful of the cleaner's schedule. Being kind to the house cleaner is good, but interrupting the work with too much conversation can interfere with how much they can get done in the allotted time frame. Also, be considerate when you have a change of plans or have to cancel a cleaning session. Get in touch with the cleaner or cleaning company as soon as possible so they can adjust. 

Hire a house cleaning service on Thumbtack today.

Whether you need a one-time house cleaning or weekly cleanings, you can find professional cleaning services near you on Thumbtack. A house cleaner can help with routine upkeep, home office cleaning, cleaning before or after an event or move, seasonal home maintenance and so much more. 

Book the services you need ASAP. Use Thumbtack to find top-rated house cleaners in your area. 

Compare prices from house cleaners near you.


Do you tip self-employed house cleaners and services?

Generally, yes, you should tip self-employed house cleaners. 

How much should you tip house cleaners at the end of the year?

If you choose to tip your house cleaner at the end of the year, there is no definitive rule to follow. Some customers choose to give house cleaners a bonus during the holidays or at the end of the year instead of tipping throughout the year. 

For reference, most employers offer a bonus that is between 5% and 10% of an employee's earnings for the year. For example, if you paid the house cleaner $3,000 for the year, you may offer a bonus between $150 and $300 at the year's close. 

Do you tip the person who cleans your carpet?

You may choose to tip the carpet cleaner to show your appreciation, but this is not mandatory. Further, some companies won't allow employees to accept tips from customers.

Much like house cleaners, you may be working with a self-employed individual or employees of a larger company. All of the aforementioned factors for determining how much to tip a house cleaner can be used to determine how much to tip a carpet cleaner. 

How much should I tip the hotel maid?

The American Hotel & Lodging Association recommends leaving a hotel maid service or housekeeper a tip between $1 and $5 per night in an envelope in the room. Further, it’s recommended to leave the tip each night instead of leaving one large tip at the end of the stay. You might choose to leave a larger tip if the hotel maid provided exceptional service. 

A note about project costs included or linked in this article: Figures represent national average cost estimates using data provided by Thumbtack pros and additional research. These figures are provided for educational purposes only and are subject to change at any time due to various factors. Details about your specific project and local rates can impact costs."

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