How Much Should I Tip for a House Cleaning

March 1, 2010 at 3:46 AM 45 comments

I hired a cleaning service to clean my home this week and I’m not sure whether or not I should tip and if so just how much I should give. When I searched online I was surprised to find that most homeowners do not tip for cleaning services. It seems some folks provide a large tip around the holidays and some never tip at all.

This is the first time I’ve ever hired a cleaning service and I could really use advice on this one. If you hire a cleaning service do you tip the men and women who come out to clean your home? If so how much do you tip them? Do you tip them a specific amount or a percent of the overall cost of the cleaning?

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  • 1. Heather  |  March 1, 2010 at 12:29 PM

    We do not tip each visit, but rather at the holidays take the cost of a cleaning and divide it up among the number of cleaners we normally get (3-4) in the form of gift certificates to a common store.

    I try to always leave out glasses and cans of Coke when they visit to make themselves welcome to have a drink as they work.

    Reply
  • 2. me in millions  |  March 2, 2010 at 3:19 PM

    It's probably a nice idea to tip them, since I'm sure they do not get paid that much. If it's a one off thing, then maybe a small tip (like $5 each?), but if it is a regular thing I like what Heather said.

    Reply
  • 3. One Frugal Girl  |  March 3, 2010 at 12:06 AM

    I don't know how long it usually takes to clean a house, but the two women that showed up were here for nearly 3 hours. I left out bottled water like Heather suggested and paid them a small tip as me in millions suggested. I am so happy the house is now clean!

    Reply
  • 4. Anonymous  |  March 3, 2010 at 11:53 PM

    We've had a cleaner come in on a biweekly basis for several years now and consider it money well spent. However I have never tipped her and don't know of anyone else who has either. At Christmastime, I leave her $20 extra, as well as a gift, such as a bottle of wine and a card expressing our appreciation for her service.

    Reply
  • 5. One Frugal Girl  |  March 4, 2010 at 5:23 AM

    Anonymous — The women who cleaned my home definitely aren't used to tips. When I handed it to them they were as giddy as two school girls on the first day of summer. I don't know if I'll ever use their services again so I couldn't wait for the holidays and I was so happy to have my bathrooms sparkling that I really did want to give them something extra. Especially the one woman who spent the majority of time at my house scrubbing the bathrooms 🙂

    Reply
  • 6. People Power Cleaning  |  February 4, 2011 at 11:00 AM

    Your home will look fantastic, smell fresh and indeed look a million dollars if you use the professional services of People Power Cleaning services.
    Professional cleaning company

    Reply
  • 7. upholstery cleaning knoxville tn  |  February 8, 2011 at 1:46 AM

    In my first time to call for a house cleaning I also don't know how much should I pay for the house cleaning? I just ask the cleaner about and I think I pay her a fair price.

    Reply
  • 8. Anonymous  |  December 21, 2011 at 3:47 PM

    My wife and I are office Cleaners and Trust me, A tip is GREATLY appreciated. Please take into consideration that we provide service all year around , in all kinds of weather, Cleaning your floors in the winter is the worst. Cleaning in HOT offices at night in the Summer. Scrubbing all your Bathroom messes. Most people forget about the cleaning people because as I say " OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND" . While most people tip the Mail Man or Fed EX guy or Water Delivery guy,, think about it, the previous 3 are in and out of your office in a matter of seconds are even a couple of minutes. While a cleaning person is in your office at least an hour some accounts are even 2-3 hours. Put yourself in the Cleaning Peoples place and than think about how you would feel about not getting tipped !!!

    Reply
    • 9. JJ lang  |  April 16, 2014 at 2:06 PM

      So how much would you recommend for 2 hours of work done by two people as an appropriate tip?

      Reply
      • 10. Tiffany  |  November 20, 2015 at 6:12 PM

        I’m a cleaner I make 20 percent on the total clean. I really need the tips I get which range from 5 to 20 depending on the size of house and or job requirements.

        Reply
  • 11. Anonymous  |  January 20, 2012 at 9:54 PM

    I have been using a home cleaning service monthly for about six months. I have (since the beginning) left a tip for the two ladies who spend about 3 hours here.

    That investment has repaid itself many times over. We have a comfortable, mutually respectful relationship. At Christmas I left them a tip plus two ornaments. One of the ladies gave me a personalized hand-made candle.

    More importantly, after several months of assessing my cleaning needs, they consulted the cleaning service owner about reducing the fee since they did not need the full allotted time to clean. How many businesses would do that?

    It took me many years to get over reluctance to having someone in my home, handling my things. I now consider it one of the best decisions I've ever made. Providing a generous tip is the least I can do to show my appreciation to these lovely ladies.

    Reply
    • 12. Donna  |  October 26, 2015 at 3:59 PM

      Thank you! I clean houses and only make $8 an hour and I work my tale off. I ensure I do a thorough job and when I don’t get a tip it’s seriously discouraging. Im a mom of two young little girls and I count every penny. I have cleaned small houses to make a big tip and big and fancy houses and made nothing. It’s ashame more people don’t tip. We work so hard for our money. Luckily the company I am with sells the tipping information with their packages but still you would be surprised how many people could care less. In the end,my work is much better when I know I am working for someone who is appreciating what I do.

      Reply
      • 13. Beth  |  November 16, 2015 at 11:39 AM

        So if you cleaned a house every week for 3 hours at a time and there were two of you, how much would you consider to be a fair enough tip? I want to make sure I’m taking care of my girls.

        Reply
        • 14. Tiffany  |  November 20, 2015 at 6:15 PM

          I also clean houses depending on size of house the smallest I have gotten was 5 the most is 25 I get from one of my regulars.

          Reply
          • 15. Aubrey  |  July 5, 2016 at 8:36 PM

            You ladies need to start your own business!! I am paying my housecleaner, who is her own boss, $200 a clean, which takes her a little over 4 hours to do. That’s almost $50 an hour!! Why are you working your tails off for $8??

          • 16. Peggy  |  September 19, 2016 at 8:13 PM

            You definitely need to ask for at least $25 per hour or more, depending on the average pay in your state etc. You are worth every cent, believe me!

  • 17. Charles Jackson  |  April 10, 2015 at 5:14 AM

    Here at Ontario, we are getting cleaning services from Sunrise cleaning services. We always used to tip them on every visit. Because I am really impressed with their staff. They are really nice guys. They take care of everything from start to finish. Each day they came with some cleaning tips for my wife.

    Reply
  • 18. Xena  |  October 27, 2015 at 12:44 AM

    As a cleaning lady I TIP to all who use cleaning service: here is a Big secret : doesn’t matter how much you tip $5, 10 or more, JUST TIP.. This way you show to person who cleans your home that you appreciate her/his hard work. And next time you will be very surprised ! It’s a huge difference between what we must to do and want to do. You tip a cleaning lady , she will tip you back doing a little extra work . If there is more then one cleaner at the moment in your house, no need to tip to each one. They will share. Coffee, soda, juce are not a tip. And never offering coffee do the comment as : “have some coffee so you will have more power to clean” .
    And guys , be nice to cleaners. If they missed some spot or cleaned the way you don’t like just easy explain it in polite way.
    If you ask cleaning lady to do some work which is not her duty- tip a must!!!

    Reply
  • 19. Tiffany  |  November 20, 2015 at 6:19 PM

    I can tell you as a cleaner if it were not for my cleans that Tip I wouldn’t make it. We only receive a small percentage of the whole clean. Most of my cleans I make 16 dollars. When you tip it makes our day. You have no idea how Manny times our dinner has depended on my tips. And at Christmas its REALLY important.

    Reply
  • 20. Tanika  |  December 2, 2015 at 10:50 PM

    I have been a house cleaner for 4 years and get paid $10.50 an hour. I have to work a 50 hour week just to make ends meet. I totally believe people who hire cleaners should tip. Totally appreciated and we work out butts off! We come and clean when it’s 100° out with no ac or when it’s -15° and your stairs aren’t shoveled. Please next time you hire a cleaner think about how hard we work.

    Reply
  • 21. Lorna  |  March 22, 2016 at 9:29 PM

    I have always tipped people who provide a regular service and makes my life easier.

    I have a cleaning lady for 4 hrs once a month and I pay $20/hr. I give a $20 tip. At Christmastime I will give her $80–what I pay the agency each month. It’s part of my budget and I am not wealthy, just thankful.

    Reply
    • 22. Morgan  |  December 18, 2016 at 5:51 PM

      Lorna, I’m the same way. I pay a housekeeping service $110 per month for a very large home (I’m in a rural area, and not a big city, so rates lower here). They do an amazing job, and hiring them is one of the best decisions I ever made, since my health had started to decline. Two sisters come and spend 3-4 hours here. I tip $15 to $20 to each of them, so $30-$40 tiotal at each visit (more when they change the sheets on an extra bed). At Christmas, I give them each an extra $50. I’m not wealthy, either, but very thankful, like you. I hired a few other housekeeping services, and was not happy, but these two women are incredibly hard working, go above and beyond, each and every time. After the first deep cleaning, I was on a monthly schedule, and their service has been consistently excellent.

      Reply
  • 23. jean  |  June 12, 2016 at 10:44 PM

    Shouldn’t the question be why the cleaning company pay so little to the cleaners?

    Reply
  • 24. Donna  |  June 23, 2016 at 11:24 AM

    I think it depends on whether or not the person is the owner of the company, or an employee of the company. Just as the owner of a hair salon does not expect a tip, the same should be true of a cleaning service.

    Reply
    • 25. Aubrey  |  July 5, 2016 at 8:41 PM

      So if I’m paying my cleaner $40-$50 an hour, and she is a self employed person, do I still tip? That’s more than I make!

      Reply
      • 26. Bets  |  December 27, 2016 at 1:31 PM

        Remember that your cleaner has expenses: travel to your place, supplies, phone/internet, administrative time, business taxes, etc. Plus, as an independent contractor, she pays a higher income tax rate than those who are employed. At $50, she’s not getting wealthy – believe me.

        Reply
        • 27. Andy  |  September 4, 2017 at 12:33 PM

          To clarify, her income tax is not higher, but she pays self-employment tax (7.5% of her profit) that, for the non-self-employed, is paid by the company and never even shows up on the check.

          She also pays entirely for her own insurance and retirement plan, if she’s lucky enough to be making enough to do that.

          So after the self employment overhead, she’s probably making the equivalent of 15 – 25 an hour at a company with benefits, but might only be able to bill for 5 – 6 hours a day since the rest is travel.

          These numbers are wild guesses, but you get my point.

          Reply
        • 28. jkg  |  September 23, 2017 at 6:04 PM

          But she can deduct those expenses.

          Reply
  • 29. Judy Corcoran  |  July 31, 2016 at 6:21 PM

    I cannot imagine not tipping the cleaning women who come to my house. I had been leaving $15 each for the two women who come once a month. The company recently sent two new women and for the time being I am tipping $10 each. I live alone and my house is neat, tidy and relatively clean anyway but I’ve never done a good job with hardwood floors. These women give me peace of mind and more free time. Their support is worth every penny of a tip. (They do work for a company which has done other work for me.)

    Reply
  • 30. Alise Harper  |  August 1, 2016 at 7:18 PM

    I honestly didn’t think about tipping for a house cleaning service. I am a few weeks until my due date and was going to get the whole house deep cleaned before the baby comes. I think I would pay the price we originally set and if I feel like the cleaning was above and beyond I would probably give a little more then set price.

    Reply
  • 31. LiLDee4Ever  |  September 20, 2016 at 1:07 PM

    I had started my house cleaning business a little over a year ago in Topeka Kansas, after having cleaned houses in the Chicago area for several years. I charge $25 per hour and I have my own supplies. Not only do I provide the equipment and the cleaning supplies, I have also invested money into being insured and bonded, which is quite a cost. I have gone through 4 vacuums and of course, wear and tear on my 2014 car. Here in Topeka, my clients love me, praise my work, recommend me to others, although they rarely tip. I don’t know if it is the area compared to Chicago or if it’s because my clients feel I am already getting $25 per hour, but a only see $5 additional dollars if someone pays me cash and they don’t have $75 so they leave $80. This is easier than having to run to get change (or maybe they expect me to leave them change)! Lol. I do rely and hope to get tips. I do appreciate the referrals, although that in itself doesn’t help increase the amount I make each week because I am usually always booked. Yes, I read through this blog and trust me, I do go beyond the extra for the people who are caring, considerate, don’t treat me as a servant and leaves just a little extra $. We are in the service business and it doesn’t matter if we are in business for ourselves or making a meager hourly wage working for someone else. There are always expenses that we have to be able to make your homes so clean and shiny. So don’t forget your house cleaners!

    Reply
  • 32. LiLDee4Ever  |  September 20, 2016 at 2:10 PM

    Oh, here another thing, besides being fully insured and bonded in your homes, I also have to pay my own health insurance, which is more then $400 a month. So again I will empathize, topping is greatly appreciated for all house cleaners, weekly, biweekly, monthly, birthdays and Christmas.

    Reply
  • 33. Karen  |  November 29, 2016 at 11:50 PM

    My cleaning lady is self employed. She comes with another woman and spends 1-1/2 hrs every other week. She charges $20.00 an hour each. So for the hour and 1/2 it’s $60.00. I tip $5.00 to each of them so every other week it’s $70.00. I went through a cleaning service before her, the first time it was $25.00 for the one person she sent. I did not tip, because I wasn’t happy. The next time, the girl said she wasn’t working for the company anymore that she was on her own. I told her in a polite way that there were several places that she missed. So the next time, she just never showed up or called. She did call me the next day and apologized but I told her there is no excuse for her to not have called me. I told her that her services were no longer needed. She said that she wasn’t a slave, that she was a priestes, and she didn’t need me any way. Good riddance! I am extremely happy with the lady I have now. I just don’t know how much to give them for a Christmas Bonus. Any ideas?

    Reply
    • 34. Morgan  |  December 18, 2016 at 5:58 PM

      As I mentioned above, in a reply to Lorna, I’m giving my two AMAZING housekeepers $50 extra at Christmas. They come once per month, charge $110 for a large house, and I tip them pretty generously (30-40 percent). They do so much–cleaning that I can no longer do because of health reasons–and they consistently go “above and beyond.” They bring their own products and vacuum, etc.

      Reply
  • 35. Nancy  |  December 19, 2016 at 2:24 PM

    I use a small service. The lady I contact owns the business and drives the ladies to the homes, but does not clean. Do I tip her or just the ladies who clean?

    Reply
    • 36. Kevin  |  December 24, 2016 at 7:45 AM

      Just the ladies who do the cleaning (it’s what I do)

      Reply
  • 37. Kevin  |  December 24, 2016 at 7:43 AM

    Hi. I tipped each girl $100. I have 3 regular girls who clean my house every other week for $100. I don’t tip regularly just at Christmas. My wife thinks I should’ve given $50 each, oh well too late. They do a great job and I trust them. They work for a small company and I get the impression they don’t make a lot. Merry Christmas people and good luck!

    Reply
  • 38. Amy  |  December 29, 2016 at 1:31 PM

    Have known my cleaning lady and her two helpers for twelve years. She knows I’ve never tipped (though I give xmas gifts and pay extra if my house has a bit of picking up to do. She’ll tell me how much extra). My house is small and after I took a break to save money for a few years, she charges $125 for about an hour. I think she assigned this cost knowing I don’t tip so gratuity is included, if you will? Should I tip $5 each time or more and maybe tip a lot today because the gifts I gave weren’t much, just gorgeous wrapped ornaments for each. I want to show her my love…

    Reply
    • 39. Amy  |  December 29, 2016 at 1:34 PM

      Btw she comes every other week.

      Reply
  • 40. Patty  |  January 15, 2017 at 6:27 PM

    Wow. $125 hr. I think you should check values in your area. I have been cleaning for 25 years. I am currently making $33 hr. I clean everything in the home top to bottom. No need for spring cleaning because everything stays clean. I’ve had many of the same customers for over 20 years and Izvestia never had to advertise. They trust and value my work and my honesty and I appreciate their business and especially their friendships. I have never been tipped weekly….just a Christmas tip that usually equals the cost of one cleaning. Most of the homes I clean are between 6000 and 8000 square feet and cost between $100-$140. Tip number one….if your cleaning person is there longer ask if you owe them more. I often end up spending more time one day and if I don’t charge for that I’m not going to cut you a break if I finish early the next time. So don’t tell me the one time I get out early if you didn’t notice the five times I stayed extra! I always err on my customers behalf! Tipping is a sore subject for me because this is the only opportunity my customers have to show me each year that they appreciate me….and it is so disproportionate to income! I have had customers who spend $350 on jeans for their kids, they drive escalades, their children brand new suv’s, nothing but private schools, designer clothes, the best vacations, furnishing beautiful homes in the costliest ways….. and they re-gift me with gift with purchase items at Christmas….like perfume samples or something that came with a cosmetic purchase. Please!. Its disparaging to feel so undervalued and makes me feel like you think I’m not very bright to boot! They telll me what a great job I do and how they appreciate all I do but year after year…..this! I get one half week off a year….the week after Christmas because I cleaned for everyone and their brother almost every day straight since thanksgiving and then everyone cancels because of the Christmas mess with kids home. Thank heavens for my tips or I wouldn’t eat the week after Christmas! But I truly need those days off. I pay my overhead., self employment taxes, healthcare, for my car etc. etc. out of what I make and am not able to clean two houses every day because of the constant scheduling conglicts ( customers switching days) and the size of the homes I clean. I clean weekends in order to schedule more so that I’m available to customers when they need me. I never have two full days off a week. I have no retirement. On the flip side is the little lady I clean for with the small ranch and the same furniture she’s had for 50 years who tips me $100 at Christmas for a monthly $70 job, and gives me homemade cookies. She knows I have no time to bake for my family at Christmas because I’m trying my best to take care of my customers first. Yes….even that one that re-gifts!!!! I still fit her in when she whines at me about her “hard” life and calls me with no notice. I assume she thinks it’s hard because she’s never really experienced hardship and try to cut her some slack. Bottom line is….everyone loves to feel appreciated and deserves some sort of life. If I had money I would tip anyone that seemed like they needed it that was doing their best at providing a service for me and makemy life easier. Because theirs is probably harder! Just out of appreciation for all I had myself! My father taught me as a child that if you can’t afford the tip, you can’t afford the service. If you have a big house and lots of stuff….don’t leave your cleaning person less than the value of a full clean at Christmas because yes, you do look cheap and selfish compared to her other customers…..especially when others with so much less give so much more. And truthfully when I need to drop a job and all other things are equal that expression of appreciation once a year has been what breaks the tie. If you’re out there cleaning for $8 hr….find another job. Your employer is killing you, That is way disproportionate to their share because I know all the large services charge way more than I do! This job is labor intensive. You won’t feel the damage you’re doing to your joints and back until you’re much older. And then you’ll be the one paying the medical bills and doing without any income. If you’re employing someone who works for so little and you want to keep them, tip them weekly. They should be earning more! Everyone should pay a fair wage. If you’re already paying that service way too much encourage them to go somewhere where they receive a decent wage and then change services. You’re allowing that awful employer to stay in business!! (Verify the wages of course.)

    Reply
  • 41. Patty  |  January 15, 2017 at 6:30 PM

    Wow. Sorry that was so crazy long! I should have re-read it before posting!

    Reply
  • 42. Mary  |  April 19, 2017 at 10:17 AM

    Patty – you are exactly right. My mother cleaned houses for a living and she would come home exhausted. She still had to clean and take care of her own family at the end of the day. Think about it, you leave tips for other things less personal so PLEASE, seriously consider giving tips to the people who provide services that mean so much more. I always give a generous tip to my hairdresser so why wouldn’t I do the same for the people who clean my home.

    Reply
  • 43. Suzie  |  May 16, 2017 at 9:09 PM

    Housekeepers are performing a service. A service that you don’t have the time to do or don’t want to. A little $5-10 tip every time is well worth the extra attention and appreciation they will feel. You tip your hairdresser who can charge over $150 for cut and color….tip your housekeeper! They are tackling your ickyness!!!

    Reply
  • 44. M & M  |  August 25, 2017 at 12:17 PM

    Hi, I had never hired anyone to clean any place I’ve lived. I now have R.A & take care of my mother full-time. I’ve struggled for especially the last year Trying to care for her, myself & work @ home p.t with computers. Through a tenant & now friend of mine, her sister-in-law came to our very large 8 room, 1 & a half bath home. $350 3 woman who never seemed to stop (not the entire house) but, the entire 1st floor, deep cleaning kitchen, upstairs (wall to wall carpeting, & a full bath. They did a great job & worked hard 4& 1/2 hours for $350 . I gave them each $20 dollars & felt bad about it. There back today & just do an amazing job. I’m giving them $25.00 each & I’m hoping that is enough! Thoughts? Should I tip more? We will definitely continue to have them come about every 3:months..I’m still not sure if I’m tipping enough! I can’t imagine not tipping at all…

    Reply
  • 45. Jake  |  October 3, 2017 at 3:07 PM

    Thanks. All this information is helpful and I will tip, for sure. My new house cleaning service is here now and doing a great job!!

    Reply

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