Should I Hire a Maid Service or an Individual Cleaner?

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Why do some homeowners choose trustworthy house cleaning services while others hire individuals to clean their homes? This choice is not wholly about which is better, but rather about what role YOU want to have in hiring and managing the person doing the cleaning and the cleaning process itself, in addition to how much risk you and your family are willing to take.

Who supplies cleaning products and equipment?

cleaning products

If you hire an individual, they may ask you to supply cleaning products, tools, or equipment. If they bring their products and equipment, you should inquire how they clean their tools to avoid cross-contamination between their customers. Professional house cleaning companies usually have conscientious policies and procedures for sanitizing their cleaning tools between homes and a regular schedule for cleaning and maintaining their equipment.

Depending on their experience, you may find you have to instruct the individual house cleaner on the proper cleaning methods to clean your home. House cleaning companies will supply everything necessary to clean your home, and you can usually count on them to have well-researched, high-quality professional house cleaning tools and equipment. They train their technicians on the devices, products, and processes necessary to maintain your home correctly.

How many risks are you willing to take?

Many do not consider the risks when determining whether an individual or a professional house cleaning company should care for their home. If the person cleaning your home falls, trips, or is injured in some other manner while cleaning your home, who is responsible? Who must make sure the injured worker gets the proper medical treatment. Who will pay for treatment? 

The majority of individual house cleaners do not carry any cleaning service insurance and bonding. If you hire an individual, you, the homeowner, will be responsible for their care and treatment. Check with your insurance company to see if your homeowner’s insurance will cover you if the house cleaner gets injured while cleaning your home. Laws differ from state to state but may require the homeowner to provide workers’ compensation insurance for individuals working in your home. Workers’ compensation insurance offers medical coverage for when someone is injured or becomes ill while cleaning your home. 

If you hire a company, the company will have house cleaning insurance and bonding to ensure the technician receives the proper treatment and care for any injury they sustain while at your residence. If you are looking for a low-cost alternative, your first impulse may be to take your chances. But remember: you are doing just that, taking a chance and putting your family at risk.

What happens if your hardwood floors get scratched and what to do if your cleaning lady breaks something? Who will pay to repair or replace it? Since many individual house cleaners are not insured, the cost of repairing damage or replacing broken items will fall to you. A professional cleaning company will have insurance that will cover repair or replacement costs, removing this burden and risk from your family.

Do you want to be an employer?

The first question to ask is, do you want to be an employer? A professional cleaning company will interview, screen, hire, and train the employees who will be maintaining your home. You will not have to worry if the right product is being used on the surfaces in your home because the cleaning company will handle training. Also, the cleaning company you hire will manage all payroll taxes and federal and state unemployment insurance. 

If you decide that an individual is the best pick to clean your home, you may want to ask them who pays the taxes on their labor because if they don’t pay taxes on the money they receive, you will be responsible for the payroll taxes and withholdings. Publication 926 from the IRS will help you determine whether the housecleaner you hired is a household employee and, if they are, whether you need to pay federal employment taxes (social security tax, Medicare tax, FUTA, and federal income tax withholding). In addition, employers, including families who have hired someone to work in their home, must use Form I-9 to verify each individual’s identity and employment authorization, including citizens and non-citizens, for employment in the United States.

Some homeowners try to get around this by hiring their house cleaners as independent contractors. If you hire an independent contractor, remember to file a 1099 form at year-end for all contract work performed by them. A 1099 form is the equivalent of a W-2 for a worker who is not your direct employee. A note of caution if you take this route – make sure you understand the difference, as defined by the IRS and the U.S. Department of Labor, between an independent contractor and an employee. 

A crucial subject to consider at this point is who exactly are you inviting into your home to clean your most personal spaces? You can call the references they give you and check their Google and Yelp reviews, and ultimately trust your gut when hiring a cleaning lady who works alone, but is that enough? Professional house cleaning companies thoroughly vet all potential employees with extensive background checks from professional companies. If nothing else, you should invest in a professional background check of any individual or independent house cleaner you plan to trust with your home.

The goal of many residential house cleaning services is to make your life easier by removing the effort and time it takes to clean your home from your burdens. But they also do a lot of work in the background to give you peace of mind. While an independent house cleaner may quote you a lower price than a professional house cleaning company, there are many factors, both big and small, that may cost you more time, energy, and money in the long run.

How do I hire the best house cleaning company?

How do I hire the best house cleaning companyCastle Keepers have insured and bonded teams of trained professionals who’ll create a custom package to meet your needs. Minimize risks and save money in the long run by going for top-quality cleaning. 

With dependable equipment and expertise-based techniques, your cleaners will be able to handle a wide range of tasks, including cleaning your TV screen without smudges, efficiently removing pet dander from your space, and eliminating every last trace of spider webs.

Reach out to us to find out other useful tips, like how to spruce up your carpet without damaging it and how to have squeaky clean windows. We’re happy to share our knowledge as well as apply it in your home!

LET US DO THE CLEANING. YOU DO THE RELAXING.​