There’s nothing like coming home after a hard day’s work to find a sparkling clean home. You’ve done what every busy person dreams of doing: Hired someone to clean your house.
But how do you show your appreciation for a job well done? Should you tip your house cleaner? If you decide to tip, how much should you give?
While there’s no right or wrong answer to this question, there are some things you may not have considered that can help you make your decision.
Read on to learn how much you should tip a house cleaner in New York and more.
Are You Supposed To Tip House Cleaners? (Do you tip house cleaners)
Tipping has long been an issue for customers and workers alike.
Most of the service industry has become accustomed to tips being part of the payment. Restaurants, for example, pay less than the minimum wage because they assume customers will tip their employees regularly.
Meanwhile, others argue that workers should be paid for their work and expect no more from customers. They also argue that tipping should only be given when service exceeds expectations rather than simply meeting them.
In other words, it should be optional.
Regardless of their position, most understand that the industry already includes the consumer in the pay scale for waiters. That’s why most of us tip at least 10% to 15% and more if the service is exceptional.
But what about house cleaners, should they get tips too?
Deciding whether or not to tip a house cleaner is a matter of preference.
If you stick to the principles, you can choose not to tip and only pay for cleaning costs. After all, the cleaner gets paid for the work, even if they don’t get the tip.
Others think they have already paid for the cleaning service agreed in the contract. Therefore, tipping should neither be expected nor encouraged.
But while it is not mandatory, I believe that tipping your house cleaner is both moral and necessary. Cleaning is highly labor intensive, and most house cleaners make less than minimum wage. It’s barely enough to balance them out.
So, tips help them earn extra income to meet their needs and save money. Plus, it strengthens your relationship with your house cleaner and builds loyalty.
Still, it is perfectly acceptable not to tip your house cleaner if you get bad service or don’t wish to.
Recommended Tip For House Cleaner In NYC
You may think it’s normal to tip a cleaner the same as a waiter/waitress in a restaurant or a cab driver, but in some cases, it’s not.
And because there are no set guidelines for tipping, this can often be very confusing.
Typically, you should give your house cleaner between 15% and 20% of the total cleaning fee. If the house cleaning fee is $100, you tip the cleaner $15 to $20.
Of course, the amount of the tip depends entirely on you.
If you feel that the cleaner exceeded your expectations, you can always give more, such as 25% of the total bill. The same applies if the service falls short of your expectations. In this case, you can tip less and even go below 15%.
Tipping is the best way to thank the cleaner or to let them know that you didn’t like the service and expected a better performance.
Things To Consider When Tipping A House Cleaner In NYC
Several factors determine the readiness and performance of a house cleaner. Based on these factors, you can easily determine how much you should tip.
Quality of service
The skills of the cleaner must be perfect and pleasant.
They should systematically clean all parts of your house.
Doorknobs, for example, should be shiny. The windows should be sparkling. There should be a noticeable difference in the look and cleanliness of your kitchen counters and floors. Your bathtub shouldn’t have big rings. Even the toilet should be clean. If this is the case, tip a reasonable amount.
It is equally important to consider if the cleaner used the right cleaning methods, tools, and supplies.
Did the cleaner use clean rags or just clean your counters with the rags they used in the toilet? Did they use water on your wood floors? How about abrasive pads on your stainless steel appliances? Do the cleaning chemicals react with items in your home?
If the answer to these questions is “yes,” that’s not a good sign, and you should consider adjusting the tip amount downward.
The cleaner should be at your home on time. However, arriving on time isn’t the ideal scenario. The cleaner should arrive at least 5 minutes early to ensure everything goes smoothly. If they show up on time, give them a good tip.
Was the cleaner courteous enough?
Ideally, the cleaner should make you feel that your house and possessions are well taken care of and that they are grateful to serve you. Tip them accordingly or don’t tip at all if they have a cold and unpleasant attitude.
In addition to these factors, there are a few more.
Sometimes, a house cleaner will do other tasks that aren’t normally included in the service request. For example, they may organize the house after cleaning or help fold the laundry. If this is the case, you should tip them a little more.
You should also tip your house cleaner well if they come on short notice, especially during peak season.
The cleaner may have rearranged their schedule or been inconvenienced by your request. So it’s only fair to thank them with a bigger tip for accommodating you on such short notice. An additional 5% or 10% to the standard tip amount would be generous in this case.
Generally, many factors come together to determine the amount of tip you should give your house cleaner.
Although the standard in New York (and most urban areas) is 15% to 20%, you can adjust it to your liking based on your own experience.
Do You Tip House Cleaner Every Time?
The answer to this question depends on what type of cleaning service you ordered and whether you get the same cleaner every time.
If you request a one-time cleaning service, such as deep cleaning or post-construction cleaning, you should aim to provide a tip once the cleaning has been completed. You can also skip tipping altogether if you don’t plan on using their services again.
Tip frequency is more flexible with regular cleaning service. However, you should consider whether you are getting the same cleaner or a different one each time.
If it’s a different cleaner every time, it’s only fair that you tip them each time they clean your house and do a good job. This is also necessary as there is no guarantee you’ll see them again.
But if it’s always the same cleaner every time, then it’s okay to alternate tips between cleanings.
For example, if the house cleaner comes weekly, tipping them every two weeks or at the end of the month would suffice. That way, you don’t put too much pressure on yourself to tip for every little task, even if you’re unable. You can also choose to pay a sizable amount every few months.
Then again, if you like your house cleaner and prefer to tip them for every service, that’s fine too.
Do You Tip House Cleaners At Christmas?
You have the option to tip annually if you use the same cleaner consistently over a long period. The Christmas season is perfect for this, as the bonus will brighten your cleaner’s festive mood.
If you decide to give a Christmas bonus as a token of your gratitude and appreciation, it’s a good idea to give it early. The best time is after Thanksgiving. That way, your house cleaner has something extra for Christmas.
You can especially express your gratitude by including a Christmas card and a short thank you note with the tip.
For a holiday tip, it’s often advised to give anywhere from half a day’s to two days’ cleaning wages. So if your normal rate per clean is $100, you might tip $50 – $200 in addition to their typical cleaning fee. You can offer more if you are feeling a little more generous.
Note that a Christmas tip isn’t really required. But it’s a very special gesture for the holiday season.
Does It Have To Be Cash?
With tipping, cold, hard cash is king!
But if you can’t tip in cash, either because the cleaner doesn’t want you to or because you just can’t, there are other options.
A nice bottle of wine, pastries or a simple handwritten note would also be a good way to show your appreciation.
Other House Cleaner Tipping Etiquette
Aside from a tip or gift, it’s good manners to provide your cleaner(s) with drinks and food while they clean your house. This is especially appropriate if the cleaning chores are long and tedious.
If it’s cold outside, provide hot coffee or chocolate. If it’s hot outside, provide cold drinks and water. If the cleaning is in the morning and is expected to take a while, provide breakfast items like donuts and muffins.
In addition, make sure to commend the house cleaner for a job well done every time. Follow this with a positive review on their online platforms.
Generally, a reasonable tip should be given whenever a house cleaner provides good service, good value, and a friendly personality.
In the same way, if the cleaner’s performance does not meet your standards, you should tell them and ask them to improve.
Just remember that in every case, you’re entrusting the cleaner with your personal property, valuables, and your family’s safety and well-being. A lot of responsibility managed well always deserves more praise and gratitude.