Do you tip house cleaners? How much do you tip? The answer depends on who comes to clean your home and the service they perform. Tipping etiquette differs for self-employed house cleaners, independent cleaners, and cleaning services. Weekly, move-out, and deep cleaning also require different tipping strategies.
Should You Tip Your House Cleaner?
Many years ago I hired a cleaning service and asked the Internet for tipping help. I posted these questions to my website:
- Do you tip house cleaners?
- Do you tip a specific amount or a percent of the overall cost of cleaning?
After receiving over one hundred comments, I realized the rules for tipping house cleaners aren’t as straightforward as they seem. You should tip your house cleaner, but how much you tip depends on who comes to clean and what service they perform.
Do You Tip House Cleaners? How Much to Tip?
Is it customary to tip house cleaners? It depends on who you ask. Tipping house cleaners depends on many factors, including how many people clean your home and how often. It also depends on whether the cleaner works for a large company or is self-employed. This post will guide you through the details.
But first, here are some general rules.
|How Much to Tip House Cleaners|
|Cleaner Who Works for Herself||15-20%|
|Self Employed House Cleaner||15-20%|
|Independent House Cleaner||15-20%|
|Cleaners from a Company||15-20%|
|Deep Clean Service||15-20%|
|One Time Cleaning Service||15-20%|
|Multiple House Cleaners||15-20%|
|Move Out Cleaners||15-20%|
|House Cleaners at Christmas||$50 & up|
Most homeowners provide 15% to 20% tips for house cleaning services, which is an excellent place to start. That means a $100 cleaning will cost you $115 to $120. If you need a little help calculating the amount, simply type the cost of your service and the tip percentage into this calculator.
The location of your home will make a difference in how much you pay a house cleaner. A cleaner in NYC will ultimately receive a higher tip than a house cleaner in Chicago, Toronto, or Kansas City. It’s best to pay a percentage of the service rather than a flat rate. Similar to the way you would pay a waitress or server.
How Much Should You Tip House Cleaners?
Before deciding how much to tip, you’ll need to ask yourself a few questions.
First, who is performing the cleaning:
- Self Employed Cleaner (cleaning person who works for herself)
- Cleaners from a Cleaning Service
- Multiple Cleaners
Next, what service are the house cleaners performing? Here is a list of common cleaning services:
- Deep Clean
- Move Out Clean
- Weekly Clean
- One Time Cleaning Service
Let’s walk through each scenario.
Scenario 1: Tipping a Self Employed House Cleaner
An independent house cleaner is a cleaner who works for herself. They are also known as self employed house cleaners. Do you tip a self employed house cleaner? Yes. Tip between 15-20%. A self employed cleaner or owner of a cleaning company can raise prices to cover missing tips, but it’s still important to tip them. Tipping 15-20% is customary.
Tipping a house cleaning service is different from tipping an owner or self employed cleaner. A self employed house cleaner can set prices to the exact amount they want to get paid. They also earn the total amount for each home that they clean.
Tipping a House Cleaner Who Works for Herself
But, a house cleaner who works for herself still deserves a 15-20% tip. Tipping independent cleaners isn’t as important as tipping cleaners who work for large agencies, but it’s nice to provide a tip if you can.
Do you tip independent house cleaners? Yes. If you use a self-employed or independent cleaner to clean your home, save up for a Christmas gift in addition to tipping each time they clean.
Scenario 2: Tipping a House Cleaning Service
How much do you tip a house cleaning service? Believe it or not, the best way to find out is to email, chat, or call the cleaning company directly.
You can ask whether customers should tip and how much to provide. Most cleaning companies will provide a dollar amount or a percentage of your purchased service. Most will suggest a 15-20% tip.
Do You Tip Merry Maids?
House cleaners from big cleaning companies like Amazon, Groupon, Molly Maids, and Merry Maids don’t expect tips, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t leave one. Merry Maids’ prices don’t include tips. If you want to leave a tip, provide a cash bonus or add the bonus to the Merry Maids app.
If you feel unsure of tipping etiquette, call or email the company to ask about their tipping policies. They can tell you whether it is customary to tip and how much to give.
Scenario 3: Tipping Multiple House Cleaners
How much should you tip multiple house cleaners? If a crew of house cleaners arrives at your house, tipping 15-20% of the cleaning service cost is a great way to show your appreciation. If service in your area costs $100, leaving a $15 to $20 cash tip for the entire crew is perfectly acceptable. You don’t need to tip each member individually, but it does help to provide smaller denominations—for example, two $10 bills rather than one $20.
Keep in mind that a professional house cleaning service or maid service may not pay their cleaning crews a living wage. If a house cleaner performs a good job, provide a cash tip or a prepaid gift card because you never know how much cleaning companies pay them.
Scenario 4: Tipping for a Weekly House Cleaning
How much should you tip for a weekly house cleaning? If the same cleaners arrive each week, you can tip them once a month. If you receive a different cleaner or group of cleaners each week, tip every time they clean.
Of course, this is standard practice. If you prefer to tip every single time a cleaning crew finishes, that’s perfectly fine too. A 15% to 20% tip is standard for weekly house cleaners.
Scenario 5: Tipping for a One Time Cleaning Service
Tipping depends on how often you get your house cleaned. How much should you tip for a one time cleaning service? If you hire a company for a one-time cleaning, provide a tip between 15% and 20% of the bill. Present the tip in an envelope marked “tips” or hand it to the crew before they leave.
When to Tip More
Consider the amount of work a cleaner might need to do inside of your home. If you keep your home neat with little dust and dirt, then you might not need to provide a big tip.
On the other hand, if you have lots of children dragging crumbs throughout the house and dogs and cats leaving fur behind, you should consider tipping more. If your home is cleaned weekly, it requires less work than a home that is cleaned less often.
Scenario 6: Tipping House Cleaners for a Deep Clean
How much do you tip house cleaners for a deep clean? Deep cleaning involves more heavy lifting than a regular cleaning, so tip house cleaners for their extra work and effort. Tip house cleaners at least 15 to 20% for a deep clean, if not more.
As part of the deep cleaning process, a house cleaner will scrub appliances, dust the baseboards, polish the doorknobs, and clean windows. Show appreciation with cash tips for the additional work and effort involved.
Scenario 7: Tipping Move Out Cleaners
How much do you tip move out cleaners? If you fail to clean the dirt and grime, your landlord can keep your security deposit. A move-out clean helps you get your money back by making your former rooms look spotless.
If you are moving out of your house or apartment, you’ll need a move-out clean, which includes much more work than a typical cleaning and costs more too.
How much should you tip move-out cleaners? Usually, double your standard tip. If you typically tip $10, provide $20, especially if you left a real mess behind.
Scenario 8: Tipping Cleaners at Christmas Time
How much should you tip your house cleaners or cleaning lady at Christmas? Generosity is always appreciated during the holidays, and many homeowners provide a Christmas bonus or tip to house cleaners before the year ends.
An average Christmas tip is $50. Some homeowners pay double that amount, while others provide a monetary tip plus a small physical gift, including candles, ornaments, or baked goods.
How much you tip your house cleaner at the end of the year depends on how often they clean and how much they charge per week. Remember, $50 is the average tipping amount. Some homeowners tip $20, while others tip $100.
How Much to Tip a House Cleaner at Christmas?
Again, it depends on whether the cleaners are self employed or work for a larger company. It also depends on how many cleaners arrive at your home.
Tipping during the holiday season is always appreciated. If more than one cleaner arrives each week, you’ll probably want to divide the tip among them. Somewhere between $20 and $50, each is appropriate based on the size of your house and how dirty it gets between cleanings.
Leave the Christmas gifts for your house cleaners in a holiday card and make sure to hand it to them directly, or leave a prominent note on your counter if you aren’t home when they clean.
A Christmas bonus is a nice treat for housekeepers and house cleaners. In addition to a cash tip, you can provide a batch of cookies, a gift card, or a nice bottle of wine. It’s not required, but it’s an extra special touch that feels good to give around the holidays.
Final Thoughts: Tipping House Cleaners
The truth is there isn’t a gold standard for tipping house cleaners, but there are general tipping rules you can follow. These rules should apply to any cleaning lady, housekeeper or maid who works hard inside your home.
- When the house cleaners arrive, offer them water and other cold drinks. This rule is especially true for house cleaners performing deep cleans or move-out cleans, which may require a lot of heavy lifting.
- Contact the cleaning company and commend the house cleaners for exceptional cleaning. Doing so doesn’t cost you anything but could result in a raise or promotion for cleaning staff further down the line.
- Thank your house cleaners before they leave.
The bottom line, tipping housekeepers isn’t mandatory, but just because it’s not required doesn’t mean it’s not the nice thing to do. Should you tip house cleaners? Most definitely. Show appreciation for those who are bending over, cleaning your toilets, scrubbing your floors, and shaking out your rugs.
If you find a great cleaner who provides exceptional service and keeps your house sparkling clean, definitely tip them. Cleaning homes for a living isn’t an easy job, and everyone likes to feel rewarded for a job well done.
Do you have any thoughts on this topic? Do you tip house cleaners? If so, how much do you tip them? Please leave your comments below.
Remember, most of the time, tips are greatly appreciated. It’s highly unusual for anyone to complain about unexpected generosity.