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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with a house cleaner during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The best way to set up a consultation with a house cleaner during the COVID-19 pandemic is by using virtual, online tools. Start by performing an online search for local house cleaners. Message them to set up either a phone call or video call to perform a consultation. During this call, they can give you recommendations and may be able to estimate the cost of their services. Be sure to discuss whether they accept virtual payments and any precautions they can take to perform the job safely.

How can I find out if a house cleaner is considered an essential COVID-19 service provider?

A house cleaner is generally not considered an essential service sector during the coronavirus pandemic. To find out which services are considered essential, visit your city and state government, and read their guidelines. A national list of essential service providers can be found on CISA’s Identifying Critical Infrastructure During COVID-19 site. This webpage lists 16 different infrastructure sectors considered to be essential. However, not all jurisdictions follow CISA’s definitions of critical infrastructure.

Can I use digital payments to pay for house cleaning?

Not only do many house cleaners accept digital payments through platforms like Zelle, PayPal, Square Cash, Google Pay, Venmo and more, but this may become more common as the COVID-19 pandemic pushes more service workers to digitize. This means you can pay your house cleaner without making physical contact or handling money. 

If cleaning is absolutely essential during the current crisis, consult with the house cleaner beforehand to ensure a safe monetary transaction that complies with current government guidelines and recommendations for social distancing.

Does a house cleaner need to enter my home?

Yes, in almost all cases a house cleaner needs to enter your home. However, a cleaner may not need to enter your home if they are solely cleaning outside areas. 

There may be some cases in which a cleaner is necessary. If so, take precautions — avoid being in the same room, make no physical contact, sanitize any surfaces and pay through a digital service instead of using cash.

Do house cleaners offer remote or virtual services?

House cleaning is generally done in person, but some may be willing to offer remote services. If you find a house cleaner’s profile that states they’re offering remote services, contact the pro to talk about your options. 

If you’d rather hire a house cleaner to clean your home when the pandemic is over, you may be able to book an appointment at a later date. Start by comparing local house cleaners in your area side-by-side.

What is the difference between a housekeeper and a house cleaner?

Although some house cleaning and housekeeping duties might overlap, a house cleaner is charged with the top-to-bottom cleaning of a home. House cleaner duties typically include basic and deep house cleaning, such as washing and sanitizing countertops, floors, tubs, toilets, kitchens and more.

Housekeepers or maids are hired to lightly clean and maintain certain aspects of the home. This might include dusting, washing dishes, changing sheets, doing some meal preparation and restocking the client’s groceries and personal care products.

It’s also worth noting that a housekeeper or maid is usually one individual employed to a home (sometimes hired as a live-in), while a house cleaner is oftentimes accompanied by a team of cleaners. 

What should I ask a house cleaner or maid before hiring them?

There are many questions to ask a cleaning service before you hire them to make sure they’re the right fit. These questions might include:

  • How much do you charge?
  • How do you set your prices -- per hour or per square foot? Or, do you charge a flat rate?
  • What is your past work experience? Can I see a list of references?
  • Are you accustomed to working with different home or apartment types and sizes?
  • Can you work with children or pets in the house?
  • What types of cleaning products do you use?
  • Do you bring your own cleaning supplies and products?
  • How often can you clean my home?
  • Is there anything you recommend I do (or don't do) to my home before you arrive?

For more tips on how to hire the best maid or house cleaning service, read our smart hiring guide.

How much is a house cleaning?

The national average cost for house cleaning ranges between $25 and $50 per hour, per cleaner. However, the cost of house cleaning services near you might be different.

House cleaning prices vary based on how many square feet your home is, how dirty your house gets and how often the cleaning service comes. And, prices can be lower in areas with a lower cost of living, higher in big cities or affluent regions.

Some companies charge a set amount — such as 5 cents — per square foot, with a minimum amount, such as $100. You may save money by increasing the frequency of your house cleaning visits. Often a company will charge you less per cleaning when you schedule more cleanings per month. The cost advantage rewards your loyalty, and also reflects the fact that more frequent cleanings make it easier to maintain a high level of cleanliness in your home. A housecleaning service may charge more for the first visit or for one-time services than for recurring cleanings.

To learn more about the cost of house cleaning, visit our House Cleaning Cost Guide.

Reviews for house cleaners
Ekaterina S.
The best house cleaning team I have ever encountered. Cleaned our 3 bedroom, 2 bath house top to bottom. Exceptional quality, great value. Highly recommend them!
Maid4UMaid4U
Matthew I.
Quick response and great price, left the house pretty clean.
PearlsCleaningPearlsCleaning
Twinkle G.
We got our house cleaned in December and they did an amazing job. They were very professional and didn't waste any time. They cleaned each and every corner of the house thoroughly leaving the house as good as new :) We'll be hiring them again and would recommend them to everyone.
Thamyka CleaningThamyka Cleaning
Shruti V.
Ludy did a great job cleaning my house. Very thorough and very professional. The house was sparkling. Thanks so much.
Ludy House Cleaning ServicesLudy House Cleaning Services
Thumbtack Customer
The cleaners were punctual, they provided excellent cleaning service for my house, I would definitely use them again.
Daniela's house cleaningDaniela's house cleaning
Jingyi M.
Michael did a great job for my house cleaning. Good quality with reasonable price. I would recommend him to others.
Michael's Carpet Steam Cleaning and Janitorial Co.Michael's Carpet Steam Cleaning and Janitorial Co.
Dheeraj G.
Did not clean fridge, oven, table top, TV stand, window sill. She came and cleaned for 1.5 hours (it's a 3br 2 ba house). Very poor work ethic. Will not hire again.
diamond cleaningdiamond cleaning
Calvin S.
We hired Rosa and her team for a move out cleaning and the service well exceeded all of our expectations. Rosa walked through the process in a very detailed manner, and provided additional cleaning options for different rooms, depending on the level of dirtiness. After the service, the house is just as it was when we moved in, perhaps even cleaner! I will definitely hire Rosa and her crew again for my next large cleaning.
Rosa Cleaning ServicesRosa Cleaning Services
Patrick E.
Cesar and Tania provided exceptional house cleaning service. They tackled our kitchen, bathroom, and living areas and had them looking cleaner than when we first moved in. Both of them are tidy, professional, and detail-oriented. I highly recommend their service and will be continue to be one of their customers.
Thamyka CleaningThamyka Cleaning
Sara D.
Erica and her partner did a terrific job on my house. They arrived on time, were extremely friendly and communicative, and spent hours getting everything shiny and clean. Will definitely use their services again.
E.V general cleaning servicesE.V general cleaning services
Hyunsoo K.
They did really good job on cleaning my house. I asked time to time about cleaning outside area or windows but they never complained and willingly did it no matter it takes. And never asked tips to me after finish but I have some since I really appreciated their quality of job!
Junior’s cleaning serviceJunior’s cleaning service
Thumbtack Customer
They come on time, communicate well though a variety of media including by text. Price is reasonable and cleaning is exceptional. They are very good about our two rambunctious cats, and didn't charge more for pets (as other service providers had suggested). I love coming home to my squeaky clean house.
Palma cleaning  # 203569Palma cleaning # 203569
David P.
Eloy was excellent to work with, and did a great job of cleaning my house with tons of nooks. Coming home after he had been there was always a highpoint of the week! I had him do my move out clean as well, and the place looked immaculate. I would absolutely recommend him to anyone.
Mr. Fitting HKMr. Fitting HK
Daniel S.
Wellison and Fernanda were on time, and friendly and very willing and helpful. They took very good care of cleaning the house and working with care around the stereo and art pieces. I would trust them with my home again.
Wellison & Fernanda (Cleaning Services)Wellison & Fernanda (Cleaning Services)
Daniel S.
Victoria and her team did arrived on time and ready to make the whole house clean. They did a good job. The only shortcoming was not putting the rooms back the way they were when they arrived. It took me an hour to put the tables and chairs and furniture back into place. They are a good team.
Victoria cuevaVictoria cueva
David E.
All I can say is wow! I contacted Rosas Cleaning services last minute for a huge job, 5 story house that had not been cleaned in about 12-15 years and had been trashed. A bit of a hoarding situation... they brought a team of 8 maids and they cleaned for 7 hours and they all worked so hard and only took like 1 30 min break and 1 15 minute break.... I was so impressed and they did an amazing job! Total transformation! They truly surpassed my expectations! I made them let me take pictures so I can write a review for them! Don’t hesitate to contact them!
Rosa Cleaning ServicesRosa Cleaning Services
Nithanth K.
Quality of work was mediocre. Indicated that she would carry all cleaning supplies required for the job, but the night before the cleaning I was messaged and asked if I had a vacuum cleaner. When I said I didn't have one available for her to use, she said no problem I'll bring one. Next day she arrived with a tiny handheld vacuum to clean the entire house. Suffice to say it didn't work well; in some areas you couldn't even tell it was vacuumed. After the job, the landlord inspected the apartment and showed specific areas that either weren't cleaned or had been done a clumsy job of - minor work that wouldn't require more than 30 minutes. I forwarded them to her and asked if she would be able to come back and clean those areas, and I offered to pay extra for it. She agreed and set up an appointment for 4 days later, but hours before the appointment she told me something had come up and she wouldn't be able to visit for another 3 days. I asked if she could get the company to send another cleaner to finish it up, and she said no. Because of this I ended up having to hire someone else to finish her job and had to pay more than twice the amount since it was a last-minute request. Overall, the quality of cleaning was mediocre, wasn't professional with the follow-up that she committed to, and didn't offer any alternative arrangements. Would not hire again.
Think Tidy Home OrganizersThink Tidy Home Organizers
John T.
I am very very disappointed and sad to say that I have to change my rating of Daniela's crew on Thumbtack. They came to my house twice, and generally were fine, but on the third time they damaged an expensive shower head while cleaning the bathroom and also the wall base while vacuuming. Attached photos. I gave Daniela multiple options to address this, sent her a number of texts and emailed her the pictures showing the damage, but she didn't do anything about it (I gave her a couple days to view the pictures and respond) Too bad. I thought I could use this crew for the long term.
Daniela's house cleaningDaniela's house cleaning
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Why you should hire a house cleaner

Hiring a professional house cleaning service can be worth the investment, whether you need someone to clean your one-bedroom apartment or four-bedroom house. You can receive services on an agreed schedule, like monthly or weekly house cleaning. And many house cleaners and maid services offer different services, such as deep cleanings and move-out cleanings. Compare the best house cleaners in your area. Find out what customers had to say in their reviews, and ask a few house cleaners for a free price quote before hiring a pro.

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