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How to select a cleaning service?

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So you would like to hire a cleaning service but you're slightly overwhelmed by the process of finding someone that is right for your situation. We believe that finding and maintaining a quality cleaning service provider begins with a good relationship, good communication, and a commitment to making it work! This responsibility does not fall solely upon your cleaning provider. You share part of the responsibility. Therefore, the first thing we suggest is that you become clear about your needs and expectations. A little preparation makes it much easier to find and establish a long-term working relationship with your service provider. We will then focus on communicating your needs.

Before we begin contacting cleaning companies, let's think about what your need and concerns are.


  1. How often is it necessary to have your property cleaned? Once a week? Twice a month?
  2. How long do you expect your service to take with, let's say, two people cleaning? 2 hours? 3 Hours?
  3. What expectations do you have for pricing? What do you consider to be a fair price per labor hour?
  4. Do you have a list of areas that should be cleaned each time?
  5. What are your cleaning expectations? What details are most important to you? What areas are you most afraid will not be done properly? Are you ready to tell them your expectations?
  6. What safety concerns do you have? Are you concerned about chemicals they will be using? Are you concerned about the liability of having someone in your home?
  7. What time of day do you need to have your property cleaned?
  8. What special services (periodic services such as window washing) will you need?

A Framework for Success

Now that you have given some thought about your needs and expectations, we feel it is very important to communicate these needs to your service provider. From the moment you interview a cleaning company you are establishing a relationship. We (and I suspect you!) want this relationship to be successful and long-term. Hallmarks of this relationship are clarity, openness, comfort, honesty, trust, and reliability. Naturally these qualities develop over time, but you can start-off on the right foot by good communication that establishes your needs and expectations.

We believe that if both you and service provider use the 'relationship framework', the rest is a matter of technical details. After all, you want the cleaning service to be a success and they want you to be happy! Since you don't yet know the person who will be providing cleaning services it is first a good idea to take time to get to know one another. Ask questions. Let them tell you as much as possible about themselves and their services. This way you can determine if they are a match for your circumstances.

Also, we realize that trust is very important to you. After all, they will be in your home and at times out of your supervision. From a good conversation right at the beginning, you will begin to gain a sense of the person (and company) you are dealing with. Below we have listed a multitude of questions you can ask on your first interview.

Remember, the overall objective is to gauge whether or not your comfortable and confident this relationship will be a success. Important questions before you hire a company:

  1. Do they maintain proper liability insurance?
  2. Are they bonded? Why not?
  3. Do they have long-term client references?
  4. How long have they been in business?
  5. How many employees do they have?
  6. Will they maintain the same cleaning crew, or will it be a new provider every week?
  7. How many service providers will be coming to the home?
  8. Are their employees covered in the state "Worker’s Compensation" program? (WC may not be required, but this could be an indication they are paying their employees "under the table".)
  9. Do they acquire criminal background checks on their employees?
  10. Can they give you a detailed description of the services they will be providing at your home? (The more detailed the better! You can help them establish this.)
  11. Will there be onsite management to oversee the work performed?
  12. Do they have a checklist (or job completion list) for each day of service?
  13. Will they arrive at the same time every week?
  14. How long do they expect the service to take?
  15. Do they require a long-term contract? (Can you cancel at any time?)
  16. Do they supply their own cleaning equipment and chemicals? (Hopefully "yes")
  17. Will you be charged for any miscellaneous services, and will you be notified before they implement them?
  18. Do they provide complete (extra) cleaning services such as carpet cleaning, tile waxing, window washing, etc.?

Other things to keep in mind

  • Does the cleaning company present themselves in a professional, respectful manner?
  • Do they dress appropriately?
  • Are they courteous?
  • Do they communicate well?
  • Do you feel you can trust them?
  • Have you received price quotes from a variety of services?


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