"What tasks are typically included when I hire a maid service?"
Maid service tasks vary by region and provider, but the most commonly included tasks – organized by room – include:
All Rooms sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, dusting baseboards, fans, lamps, and blinds.
Bathroom toilets, vanities, mirrors, showers and tubs.
Kitchen wipe down appliances, countertops and cabinet doors, clean sinks and faucets.
Final Touches tidying, removing trash and recycling, restocking toilet paper and paper towels, putting away dishes.
These services may be included, included for an additional fee, or not available at all: cleaning interior windows, cleaning exterior windows, making beds, laundry, washing dishes, cleaning hard-to-reach places, cleaning outlets and switches, dusting inside vents, cleaning pet areas, appliance "deep cleans," household "deep cleans."
Your services will depend on what the cleaning company offers, plus whatever add-ons and agreements you make with them, so be sure you are clear on all duties and expectations before new service begins.
"What should I ask maid services before hiring one?"
References Ask for a list of 3-5 references from people who have used their services recently.
Insurance Make sure they are insured to protect against accidents that could occur on your property.
Background Checks Confirm that the maid service has performed background checks on any and all employees that might enter your home.
Time in Business Companies with a greater length of time in business might be viewed as potentially more reliable. However, this should not be your primary criteria for selection.
Tasks to be Performed Review the FAQ on this page entitled "What tasks are typically included when I hire a maid service?" for a list of tasks that you should discuss with any prospective service provider.
"Is there such a thing as a "
Yes. Some cleaners focus on a green approach. Others use more standard/traditional methods, but can perform an entire cleaning service using green or environmentally friendly products if requested. In a few cases, cleaning may be more effective with products that are not eco-friendly.
Services may also use eco-friendly materials and methods for cleaning the house, like reusable cleaning cloths instead of paper towels, reusable or green garbage bags, and avoidance of disposable wipes for mopping and dusting.
If you have a specific cleaning product or method in mind, discuss it with the cleaning service before work begins.
"Who provides the cleaning supplies, me or the maid service?"
The service will nearly always prefer to provide their own cleaning supplies. Maid services research, test, and use cleaning products to confirm what will do the best job without damaging surfaces in the home. If you prefer (or require) certain supplies or methods, discuss with the maid service before service starts, to understand and resolve any differences. You don't want this issue to arise for the first time on the maids' first day.
Note: The answer is somewhat different when it comes to large cleaning tools, like vacuum cleaners. Some services will prefer to use their own vacuum; others are happy to use yours. You may also have your own POV on allowing a service's vacuum cleaner into your home when it has just come from removing dirt, dust and pet hair at someone else's home.
"What if an employee of the maid service is injured at my house?"
If a maid service employee is injured on your property, you may be held liable for expenses and damages incurred from the injury.
That's why it is best to hire a maid service that can provide up-to-date documentation showing that they are bonded and insured. This provides some measure of protection for the homeowner in case of an incident.
If you really want to be prepared, get legal advice before reaching final agreement with maid service.