How Much to Tip House Cleaning Service in 2023

The easiest way to make your house sparkling clean without wasting all your precious free time is to hire a professional cleaning service. Hiring a cleaning service saves you time and energy, but one aspect of working with house cleaners may cause confusion among homeowners: how much should you tip?

The quick answer is that tips are never required though they are very much appreciated. There are different factors that can impact whether to give a tip to your housekeeper or maid and how much to give. Our full guide to tipping your house cleaner will help you in deciding when and how much to tip for a house cleaning service.

House cleaners are always happy when they’re given tips for their quality of work. If you’re impressed by the state of your home and how well it’s been taken care of, giving a tip is a quick and easy way to express your appreciation.

Tipping Statistics in the U.S.

In the United States, tipping is standard practice for many services. When you eat at a restaurant, get your hair cut, or hire a driver, you often leave a tip. Here’s a quick look at American tipping habits from Forbes :

  • 76% of people tip “always” or “often” for a service.
  • Over half of people tip more when they can provide a tip digitally as opposed to cash.
  • Tip amount is mostly impacted by the quality of service, followed by the customer’s personal budget.

Do You Have to Tip a House Cleaner?

In short, you are not required to tip your house cleaner, just like you are not typically required to tip your waiter, hair stylist, or valet. However, house cleaners appreciate tips for high-quality work, just as any other service provider does. If you’re particularly impressed with the service you’ve received, tipping is a good way to show it.

If you decide to give a tip to the housekeeping staff, you may still be wondering how much would be suitable to tip. Here are a few things to consider when coming up with a tip amount.

Agencies vs. Self-Employed House Cleaners

When thinking about tipping, the size of the cleaning company is the first thing to consider. Are you hiring a large cleaning company with many employees, or are you hiring a self-employed individual who manages their own business? Individual house cleaners have the freedom to set their own price and do not concede to a larger company. In this case, they most likely have already included tips in their price and may not expect gratuity on top of their advertised rates. On the other hand, employees of large cleaning companies get only part of your payment, and they cannot change rates, so tips could be helpful for them.

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Housekeeper Tipping Policies

If you think that your house cleaning service provider is doing a good job and deserves to be rewarded, consider leaving a tip for the housekeeper on top of what was agreed upon in advance. Some companies offer an incentive for customers that do tip housekeepers – this could include better rates or other perks like free services as incentives!

A lot of cleaning companies are beginning to pay their employees higher salaries to offset a lack of tips. Many customers won’t leave any extra money if there’s no mention of it beforehand. However, other companies may make up part or all money spent by giving back bonuses to employees after certain milestones are reached. Other cleaning companies may build the tips into their standard rates. In this case, the service agreement should clearly state how the rates are determined and whether the tip is included. Yet, some companies may even prohibit their workers from taking tips. If you are confused about the company’s tipping policy, don’t be scared to ask directly. In doing so, you may also hear about other clients and what tips they give.

tipping cleaner

Work and Quality Cleaning Service

Of course, you should also consider the quality of work you receive from each cleaning service before you decide whether to tip your maid. If your cleaner has provided work that isn’t up to your standards, then a tip should not be given, especially if you have to call the company to request a follow-up cleaning. On the other hand, if your maid has done an extraordinary job and your home is left sparkling clean, you may want to reward their efforts with a bit of extra cash.

The State of Your Home Before Cleaning

Regardless of who you are working with, you should consider the state of your home before a cleaner comes in. For example, you may have a complex task where your kitchen is extremely dirty or your bedroom is very messy. Perhaps your summer house was untouched for many months in a row and is now covered in dust. If this is the case, you may want to tip your house cleaners even if it’s not typical for you.

If your home is already relatively neat, you may not feel the need to leave a large tip. We’ll touch on this more in a moment, but when your home is regularly cleaned, your cleaners’ job isn’t quite as difficult as it is when a space hasn’t been touched for weeks or even months.

Cleaning Frequency

When you are in the process of figuring out how frequently you should tip your cleaner, consider the type of service that you have requested.

If you are hiring a housekeeper or cleaning company for a large, one-time deep cleaning service, then you can justify leaving a larger tip. More effort is involved in the job, and you don’t have to tip on multiple occasions. Otherwise, if you’re investing in regular routine cleanings, you may leave smaller tips each time. The cleaning jobs will not require as much effort if your home or apartment has regular upkeep, and your small tips will add up as your cleaners return.

tipping a housekeeper

Tipping Different Cleaners vs. The Same Cleaner

If you have ordered regular routine cleaning, think about who you are working with. Does the same housekeeper visit your apartment or house for each cleaning? Or does the cleaning agency send different people for different kinds of services, such as deep cleaning or bathroom cleaning?

If a different employee comes each week, you should give a tip every time you think it’s appropriate (because you don’t know if you will see this person next time). Alternatively, you can decide to tip with a larger sum every week or two instead of giving a smaller amount each time.

So How Much Should I Tip My House Cleaner?

Once you’ve decided to leave a tip and how often, you are probably still wondering how much to leave. The location of where you live is important. Those living in big cities or busy areas like New York City may want to leave larger tips than customers who live in less busy locales. Of course, you can also use the factors above to determine how much to tip. If you liked the service, a 15-20% tip from the price that you paid is considered standard. Your tip could be higher if you think that the job was outstanding or if your space was particularly messy to begin with.  

House Cleaner Tipping Best Practices 

You might also wonder how to properly give a tip to housekeepers. Is it appropriate to hand over cash, or is there another method for tipping?

For one-time services, cash is often the most favored form of tipping among homeowners and house cleaners alike. Nevertheless, if the cleaner is a regular person who does the job in your home, you may feel uncomfortable giving them cash each time. It’s great if you know your cleaner well; you may be able to provide a gift card or a small token of your appreciation besides cash. Ordering food while a maid is cleaning? You could offer to order some extra food for lunch to show your gratitude.

If you’ve hired an individual house cleaner directly, consider tipping $10 to $20 per service. House cleaners are particularly busy during high-volume times like the holidays or early spring, so during these times, you may consider increasing your tip amount.

If you’re working with an agency, the tipping procedure may be different. $15-$20 per service is often considered appropriate, but it never hurts to ask. The company may allow their employees to accept cash tips, or you may be able to provide a tip online. Each cleaning company has its own tipping policies and procedures, so don’t be afraid to ask.

Remember that tipping is always up to you, so you shouldn’t feel pressured to provide extra cash. However, a tip of 15% to 20% is always appreciated and is a classic way of showing your appreciation for a job well done. At White Glove Cleaner, our team provides the same high-quality service to every client, every time, regardless of tips. We enjoy what we do and are proud of the job we do. If you receive extraordinary service from members of our team, feel free to offer them a tip. Our cleaners will greatly appreciate it!

P.S. And if you love cinema, probably you have seen this episode about tips from Tarantino.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2022, and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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