Your cleaning company is keeping secrets from you… and I should know because I worked for over 18 years at one of the largest residential cleaning franchises in North America. Now that I’m finally free to dish the dirt, here are all things cleaning companies don’t want you to know!
7 Secrets Your Cleaning Company is Hiding REVEALED!
1. “Clean” is a Matter of Taste
We all like to think that we’re the reasonable ones. The speed we drive on the highway is “just right,” while everyone going faster is a maniac, and those going slower are a bunch of old fuddy-duddies.
Same with cleaning, where we all believe we’re the grand arbiter of what’s clean enough, so if you disagree, you’re gross. The dirty secret in cleaning is that “clean” is a matter of personal taste that varies wildly depending on culture, region, time in history, and more.
If you and your cleaner have different personal tastes about cleaning, that doesn’t make you overly picky or bad at cleaning. Hiring a cleaner is like hiring a private chef, where the cook needs time to learn how salty and spicy you like your food.
Take the moral judgments out your feedback to your cleaner, changing phrases like, “The way you made my bed was too sloppy” to, “The way you made my bed wasn’t my taste. I really prefer everything tucked in tight.” You’ll completely change your relationship with them, getting the results you're looking for drama-free, and make giving more feedback in the future way less uncomfortable for everyone.
2. They Charge Less for Cleaning More
All cleaning companies have the same profitability struggle, which is that it costs a lot more money than their customers realize to land a new client. Online advertising, flyers, office staff answering sales calls, and more all add up to some pretty steep bills, all of which have to be paid for with the money that’s left over after they pay the cleaner to clean your home.
If they only get to clean your home one time, it means they have to charge you for all the costs of finding you all at once, making your bill look pretty steep too. If you commit to recurring services, your cleaning company can spread out the cost of getting your account over time, making your charge per clean far lower.
3. They Clean Better on Light Days
Everyone wants to hire a cleaning service on Fridays so their home is pretty for guests on the weekends. The same goes for people moving, all trying to cram into that last week of the month before their lease runs out.
This means that cleaners from ALL companies, no matter how hard-working, are exhausted and rushed during these key rush hour timeframes. If you want your cleaner refreshed and focused with enough time to give your home the TLC it deserves, ask to book your service on one of their quiet days, like Monday or Tuesday.
4. They Undercut Prices By Cutting Corners
Everyone loves a good bargain, and no one wants to feel like they got suckered into being overcharged. With home cleaning, that means everyone calls around asking for quotes, trying to find the best deal, usually landing on the company that's a couple up from the bottom, which they tell themselves is the perfect balance of low prices and high quality. The problem is that’s not even remotely how house cleaning really works!
Comparing cleaning companies is like comparing apples and oranges because each offers drastically different default service levels. One’s “deep” clean might be the other’s “routine” clean. The cheapest companies aren’t choosing to be less profitable, they're trimming all the things they hope you won’t notice, like rotating cleaning things you don’t look at very often, such as baseboards and ceiling fans.
The most unscrupulous companies will even trim critical stuff, like buying cheap insurance that doesn’t cover their cleaning mistakes and buying garbage supplies from the dollar store that leaves their staff scrubbing to compensate for their stinginess.
If you want to get the true best value, make each company give you a detailed list of what they clean and how long they plan to work at your home so that you can make a true apples-to-apples comparison.
5. They’re More Accountable In Writing
No one likes a confrontation, and everyone feels guilty getting their cleaner in trouble, even when their work is way off the mark. This means when you call to complain, you’ll almost always beat around the bush, understate the issue, and cave at the first hint of defensiveness.
To make matters worse, most small cleaning companies don’t have tracking software to document calls, so your conversation may never reach the right person. When you send a message via email or text, it allows you to collect your thoughts, cut out the fluff, and prioritize the changes needed. It also makes it easier for the company to share your feedback with their trainers and cleaner and follow up to ensure the work was corrected.
6. They Don’t Have to Clean the Whole House
It seems like a given that if you hire a cleaning company to clean your home, they must clean all of it, right? Wrong! One of the best-kept money-saving secrets in house cleaning is actually strategic rotational cleaning.
Many people have way more home space than they actually use regularly, like empty nesters or young professionals that travel a lot. Even if your home is a modest size, there may still be areas that need to be professionally cleaned less often because either you don’t use them or you frequently clean them yourself already, such as people who hate to cook with near pristine stoves or people with a messy dog that mops their entryway all the time out of necessity.
It’s absolutely valid and even encouraged to set up a rotation of rooms with your cleaning company to cut down your cleaning times to fit within your budget. You might have some rooms they clean every time, like the bathrooms, and others that you only need to do every other time, like your office or laundry room.
Some rooms might be easy to maintain if you have them professionally cleaned only once a month. This trick can cut your time by hours and drastically change the cost of professional cleaning. The one key is to make sure they clean the whole room of whichever rooms you pick. Never rotate items within a room, as that always leads to missed items and dirt floating from untouched areas to cleaned ones, ending in shabby results.
7. They Can Clean with Your Supplies
Even though cleaning supplies are a small portion of cleaning companies’ expenses, it doesn’t stop some of them from being stingy. Cleaning companies only spend 2.5%-4% of revenues on chemicals, tools, and equipment combined, so buying high-quality supplies that help their staff clean better and faster should be a no-brainer.
But old habits die hard, and some owners can’t keep themselves from falling for bargain basement deals. Especially in these challenging economic times after the post-pandemic wage correction, many cleaning companies may be tempted to cheap out, forgetting that it’s their cleaners and customers who pay the price, getting less done in the same amount of time by exhausted staff using elbow grease to replace firepower.
If you’re concerned that your cleaner isn’t working as well and quickly as possible, the easiest solution is to have them clean with your own supplies. Cleaning companies won’t tell you unless you ask, but most will gladly use the products you provide them to clean with, which is a great solution for everything from scent allergies to green concerns to even company owner stinginess.
Just grab yourself an Ultimate Microfiber Cleaning Kit, and you can be sure your cleaner will have the highest quality microfiber possible to help them clean every inch of your home deeper and easier than ever!
If your cleaner goes back to their boss raving about the amazing supplies they used at your home, you can email the company a link to our Cleaning Company Starter Kit along with a not-so-subtle reminder that their amazing cleaners work too hard to be slowed down by shoddy supplies.