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 How to Choose The Right House Cleaning Service

A recent study of 2,000 Americans by the American Cleaning Institute, found that on average, Americans spend 23 hours and 36 minutes on cleaning and housework per month. That comes out to 5 hours and 54 minutes per week and includes chores like laundry, vacuuming and mopping floors, cleaning toilets, making beds, dusting furniture, etc.

On the list of most time-consuming tasks: 50% of respondents said sweeping and dusting took the longest, 48% said cleaning the bathroom was the most time-consuming, and 44% reported laundry to be the time suck of their week. In fact, laundry alone took an average of one hour and 12 minutes per week 

For many families, that’s all the time they can realistically devote to house cleaning chores between working a full-time job, taking care of the kids (and pets), and squeezing in a bit of time to recharge and relax. With so much going on, it’s no wonder that house cleaning often falls to the wayside.

If you can relate and don’t have the time or energy to tackle your own necessary housework,  it may be time to consider hiring a professional house cleaning service. Instead of spending your evenings or weekends scrubbing the bathroom and mopping floors, a cleaning service could help free up more time for you to do the things you truly want to do.   

Since not all house cleaning services are alike, choosing the right one is super important. And with so many options from national franchise players to single employee mom-and-pop operations, it’s easy to get lost in the process of finding the right cleaner for your home. It’s worth doing your due diligence to ensure good results since you don’t want anyone that isn’t going to do their best work or take care while in your home. 

Referrals and reviews

Start the process by asking for house cleaner referrals from family and friends. Which cleaning service do they use and are they happy with their service? The next best thing to recommendations from people you know and trust are reviews and testimonials from online sources such as Google, Yelp, the BBB, and other local review sites. Look for reviews that have positive things to say about their professionalism, punctuality, work ethic, availability, cleaning standards, and trustworthiness. 

No company is perfect, but you should be able to see a pattern of positive reviews. Also keep in mind that one negative review from a disgruntled customer compared to all-positive reviews shouldn’t be a reason to scratch that cleaning service off your list. Especially If they have responded to the negative review in a professional and courteous manner and attempted to resolve the issue.

Ask the right questions   

Before you discuss quotes or schedule a walk-through of your home or a cleaning visit, use the initial contact with the cleaning service to get a feel for how they do business. You should feel at liberty to ask about anything you’re not sure about – you are paying for the service after all. Pay attention to not only their answers but the way they communicate. Do they seem friendly, professional, and genuine? Will you feel comfortable handing over the key to your home? Write down a list of questions to ask, such as:

How long have you been in business?

With cleaning businesses, an estimated 50% will go under within the first year. By the end of the fifth year of business, nearly 90% will have shut their doors. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t go with the newer company, but more established cleaning companies that have been around longer will tend to be more trustworthy, experienced, and professional. Find out how long the company has been in business and how long their employees have been with the company. A brand-new company or an old company with all-new employees may not be the best choice.

How do you set your rates? 

Most cleaning services charge an hourly rate for the initial visit, but may also charge by the project, or by the number of cleaners they send. Request the cleaning service to give you an estimate on how long it will take to clean your home. The cleaning service should be able to give you a flat rate for each subsequent visit depending on your needs and how often you want service, bi-weekly, weekly, bi-monthly, etc.

Are you insured?

Hiring a licensed company that is bonded, insured, and dedicated to quality service and held to those standards is beneficial for a number of reasons. An uninsured cleaning service or an independent cleaner may be able to offer you lower prices, but what are you going to do when you realize that your favorite antique vase was broken or your wood floors have been accidentally damaged beyond repair?

If the cleaner is uninsured, you will be responsible for footing that bill.  Always request some kind of insurance verification before hiring a cleaning service. They should have a written policy they can show you anytime for breakages or damage.  

Do you carry workers’ compensation Insurance?

If you hire an independent cleaner or a smaller business, you run the risk of them not having workers’ compensation insurance. This means that if the cleaner is somehow injured while on the job in your home, you could end up being liable for that.

The risk is even greater with an independent cleaner since technically you are their employer. Cleaning companies that hire employees have them on their payroll and pay federal, state and social security taxes. They also provide their employees with worker’s comp insurance in the event that an employee gets injured, so you as the homeowner won’t be liable.

What services are included?

Ask what cleaning services are included in a standard clean. If you’d prefer to take care of the basic day-to-day cleaning tasks and want a cleaning service to take care of the dusting, window-washing, baseboard cleaning, and floor scrubbing, make sure you let them know as it may affect the cost. Are you looking for general maintenance cleaning every week or a few times a month? Do you need a more thorough deep cleaning in the springtime or a move-out clean?

Make sure you know exactly what services you need before you start making calls. The best cleaning companies will have flexible options that can be tailored to the needs of your home and family.

How do you go about screening your employees?

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for house cleaners to be doing this type of work because they have trouble getting other jobs and may have a criminal history. With this in mind, you should always ask a prospective cleaning service if they run a background check and thoroughly screen their employees before hiring them.

Many cleaning services fail to do either. Others are casual about who they hire and may allow a worker to bring their friend, cousin, or neighbor along on the job. An independent cleaner should also be willing to provide you with a copy of their background check. You need to be smart about who you give access to your home – you don’t want just anyone coming in there.

Who is responsible for cleaning supplies?

Most cleaning services bring their own cleaning supplies and equipment, while others may only bring the equipment, and you are responsible for providing cleaning supplies. In the event that you are unhappy with the provided cleaning supplies, you should be able to substitute your own. Keep in mind that providing supplies for your cleaner can easily add hundreds of dollars a year to your total cleaning bill due to the high volume of products used in a thorough cleaning. 

How will you gain access to my home?

Options include choosing to be home during the cleaning, leaving a key under the mat, and asking the house cleaner to leave it inside when they’re done, or granting access via a keypad  Make sure both you and the cleaning services are comfortable with the option you choose.

What should I do with my pets?

If possible, introduce your pet to the cleaning service before their first cleaning visit, especially if you won’t be home during the appointment. You may also want to crate your pets or ask the cleaner to leave them in a safe spot outside while cleaning and then let them back in before leaving. You should also ask if there’s an additional fee for cleaning a household with pets.

Do you provide a satisfaction guarantee?

A cleaning service should be open to your suggestions and feedback. They should also be able to provide a satisfaction guarantee in the event that you are unhappy with a particular service. You should be able to openly communicate with them by email or phone to ensure your cleaning needs are met. A reputable service should come back immediately and do whatever necessary to rectify the situation or be willing to offer to refund your money.  


The only way to know who you should hire to clean your home is to ask the right questions and receive  satisfactory answers that resonate with you. If something feels “off” or you are just not comfortable, trust your gut and move on to the next house cleaning service on your list.

Make sure the cleaner you chose has a solid reputation, verifiable positive reviews, and good communication skills. They should also be bonded and insured and offer a variety of cleaning services. The best cleaning services are legitimate companies that hire their cleaners as employees  and only after they’ve been thoroughly vetted and background checked. 

Professional House Cleaning Services - Greater Puget Sound

Call Cleanstart today for more information 253-921-2593

Make the right choice with Cleanstart

When you hire Cleanstart, your first cleaning will be a comprehensive deep clean where we touch every inch of your home from top to bottom. After that, you can choose the frequency of maintenance cleanings (bi-weekly, weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly). In addition to tackling all visible dirt, grime, and dust, we will clean the hidden areas that often get missed such as baseboards, underneath furniture, and those hard-to-reach spots.

Our cleaning PROS bring to the job whatever cleaning supplies are needed unless there is something specific you want us to use instead. When we are finished cleaning your home, you will have peace of mind knowing that it has received the highest level of clean possible. Our consistently high standards and attention to detail are what our customers love most about our services, and why they refer us to family and friends.

Worry-free services

You can be assured that each member of our cleaning crew undergoes extensive vetting and receives a background check before they are hired. We train our cleaners in all aspects of professional cleaning including the latest technologies, tools, products, equipment, quality standards, and safety. Cleanstart is fully insured and our cleaning PROS are bonded and covered by worker’s compensation insurance.

Customer satisfaction guarantee 

Simply put, we care about our customers and want to provide the best cleaning services possible. Your satisfaction is extremely important to us, and that is why we offer a customer satisfaction guarantee. If you are unhappy with any aspect of our service, we want you to call us within 24 hours so we can promptly resolve the issue at no additional cost to you.

Whether you need a one-time deep clean or regular, recurring house cleaning services, Cleanstart cleaning PROS are standing by and ready to make your home sparkle and shine! 

We proudly offer: 

✓ Over 25 years of experience in the commercial cleaning and janitorial industry
✓ Thoroughly trained and vetted cleaning professionals
✓ Commitment to the highest quality clean
✓ Local, licensed, insured, & bonded
✓ 24/7 cleaning options & support
✓ Customized cleaning solutions
✓ One-time and recurring office cleaning services
✓ 100% satisfaction guarantee
✓ OSHA, HIPAA, EPA, CDC, AORN compliant
✓  A+ BBB-rating

If you would like to know more about our one-time or recurring house cleaning services or to schedule a cleaning, please give Cleanstart a call today at (253) 921-2593 or request a free online cleaning quote now!  

We service for the following Greater Puget Sound locations: 

Auburn, Bellevue, Bellingham, Bonney Lake, Bremerton, Factoria, Fife, Gig Harbor, Kent, Lakewood, Olympia, Puyallup, Renton, Seattle, Tacoma, Tukwila, University Place, King County, Kitsap County, Pierce County, and Thurston County.

5013 Pacific Hwy E unit 16 Fife, WA 98424 • Phone: 253.921.2593 • Email: Caleb @ thecleanstart.com