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17 near you

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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 Ashburn house cleaners
Paula P.
Kristel was professional, courteous, responsive to our requests and did an excellent job cleaning our house. In fact we hired her to come in bi-weekly.
Kristel Klean LLC.Kristel Klean LLC.
Faniah F.
I’ve hired companies to help me out with cleaning before. All of them cleaned the house, baseboards, bathrooms, kitchen...etc. They clean all that, clean the bedrooms, make beds and straighten up rooms that need it. If I am paying you to provide a service I expect the entire job to be done, not Half of it. I wasn’t happy with this service at all. She focused on floors and surfaces only. She Left the sofa as it was with toys on it. She didn’t touch the fireplace area. She Left all beds as they were. In a room downstairs she vacuumed around items on the floor and left the items as they were. In my office, she barely touched anything. She picked up the stuff from the floor in my sons room and put it all in his closet. I wanted to try a new company but I should have kept working with who I had previously. They CLEANED the whole house and left each room spotless for less. When paying for a service, I’m paying you to lighten the load for me, but after she left I had to stop working and I went and straightened up the rooms and made the beds. I’m sure she offers those services but for a higher price. It would help if she was clear about what she DOES NOT do for the price she quoted me. Lesson learned for me and money lost.
Kristel Klean LLC.Kristel Klean LLC.
Kenya S.
I'm so disappointed by the quality of service I received. I paid for a "deep" cleaning and I did not get it. I expected that they would pay more attention to detail. My appointment time was scheduled for 7am but they didn't arrive until 8am (due to a migraine). Prior to them arriving, I asked if I needed to provide any supplies and I was told no. We did a walk through of the house and I told them some of the things I expected in each room. I didn't feel the need to say each and everything I expected because I thought it would be a given. Boy was I wrong! Even some of the items I specifically asked for were not done. Unfortunately, I didn't notice until after they left. I'm almost certain they used a stick vacuum on the carpeted areas. The carpet didn't look like it had been vacuumed at all. The rug in my family room wasn't vacuumed. The living room wasn't touched. Their bed making skills leave a lot to be desired. I know it sounds knit-picky but it could have been better. I didn't think I should have to tell them exactly how to do it. The hardwood floors, glass surfaces and wood dining tables we're left with streaks. The tiled floors were still dirty. She said she needed a spin mop for the tile. If they had gone into the laundry room at all, they would have found one. Or they could've just asked me. The bench seat in the shower of the master bath was not cleaned. I think they used the same towel on the bathroom countertops for dusting in the bedroom. Some of my husband's shaving clippings were on a bookcase in the bedroom. (He only shaves over his sink in the bathroom) It makes me wonder where else they used that towel? I made sure that all surfaces were easily accessible and no trash was lying around. They didn't bother to move things on countertops to clean behind them. They didn't wipe down the kitchen countertops. The ovens were supposed to be cleaned but they didn't clean the glass on the doors. My granddaughter's play area I specifically told them to pick up and arrange the toys but they never touched it. If you a pretty clean house, you probably won't notice a difference if you hire them to clean. I won't hire them again. I do not recommend. The photos: Shaving clippings on the bookcase They did bother to vacuum the furniture (I didn't specify, I thought it would be a given) or arrange the pillows. How they made the bed vs how I make it. (We make our beds every day & I asked them to put clean bedding on the bed in the guest bedroom this was the only bed they had to make.) Dining room table with streaks. (The light makes it look shinier than it is & they didn't even bother to re-center the bowl) Kitchen countertops, they didn't wipe down or attempt to straighten the items. Streaks on the windows.
Quality Cleaning ExecutivesQuality Cleaning Executives
We spoke by phone and agreed on a price and an appointment time of 2pm. At 2 o’clock, there was no call no show. After reaching out to her, she text and changed the time to 3pm as they were just finishing another job. 3pm... again, no call no show. I called and text several times with no response. A few hours later, she finally text back saying one of their cleaners had a family emergency but that she herself would come the next day in the morning at 11am. Around 10:30am, I get an email from her asking if I still needed service. I responded back that we already had an appointment at 11. A few minutes to 11, I text her AGAIN just to make sure we’re still on. To which she replied, yes... but now she’ll be at my house between 1 & 1:30pm. At that point I told her don’t bother. Running a business is more than providing the service itself. I don’t know anyone that would be okay with folks playing with their time. Update: After posting my review, the owner decided to give me a piece of her very small mind. I’ve posted the screenshots below so folks can see the level of immaturity you may have to endure working with this “professional”.
Mrs.Clean cleaning service LLCMrs.Clean cleaning service LLC
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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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