Do You Tip House Cleaners? How Much Should You Tip?

Whether the holidays are coming up and you need a clean house, or you regularly use a cleaning service, tipping practices are not always apparent. House cleaners work hard, so should you give them some extra money for their time?

Or is everything already provided by the company they work for? There are a lot of factors to consider, including some things you may not have even thought of. Find out whether or not to tip house cleaners and how much you should tip. 

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Are You Supposed to Tip Maid Service?

The answer to this is not a simple yes or no. Instead, it depends on the situation. First of all, you should not feel obligated to tip for maid service.

The maid is already paid through the company they work for or for the job if they are freelancing. But that doesn’t mean that a tip is never appropriate.

You aren’t required to tip for maid service, but it is sometimes nice to do so, and many people do.

If your housekeeper does well and provides excellent service, tipping is a nice gesture. If they are doing more work than would usually be required for cleaning, for example, polishing silver or deep cleaning the house, a tip is also nice.

But you may choose to tip regardless of whether it’s a regular cleaning or not. In short, while it is not usually expected, it is generally appreciated. In most cases, a tip is a good idea.

If you have a regular house cleaner who cleans weekly or something similar, you might decide to tip them as a bonus at the end of the year. This can save you from needing to tip every time.

You may choose to give this bonus around the holidays, as most people appreciate having extra cash then. 

How Much to Tip Your House Cleaner?

Usually, if you’re going to tip, it’s normal to do a percentage of the price charged for the cleaning. It’s common to tip between 15 and 20 percent of the cost of the cleaning. This percentage helps you know how much is generally expected from tips. 

Obviously, you can tip more than this if you would like to, though tipping less than this is probably not a good idea. If you are going to tip, make sure that it’s an acceptable rate. Otherwise, it isn’t really fair for your house cleaner.

Check out some of the things you should keep in mind when tipping.

What are your location standards?

Tipping expectations can be affected by where you live. If you live in a location that is less expensive and where people don’t need too much money for a living wage, tipping may not be as costly, though percentage rules still apply.

If the town or city where you live is expensive, you may choose to tip large amounts. Or even if you stick to percentages, you will still likely pay a higher rate, meaning the tip will be larger. 

What is your budget?

No matter what, you must always keep your budget in mind when spending. When you hire a house cleaner, know in advance how much everything will cost and whether tipping is generally accepted.

Your budget needs to cover the total amount required to pay for the cleaning, but you should also include a tip in your budget. Tipping is vital for many people who work in the cleaning industry.

If you can’t afford to tip, you should consider whether paying for house cleaning is a good idea. Try to stick with at least the 15 percent mentioned earlier, but if your budget can afford more and the cleaner did a great job, feel free to tip a higher amount.

What is the size of the job?

Use common sense when tipping. If it’s just a regular house cleaning, that might require only a standard tip or just an end-of-the-year tip.

But if you are expecting a more detailed clean than usual, or your home is huge, consider a larger tip, since your house cleaner will be working very hard. And obviously, if you ask them to do anything extra that they don’t normally do, like organizing a room, or laundry, include this in your tip.

If the cleaning is going to take most of the day, preventing the housekeeper from taking on other jobs, you should consider that when tipping.

What is the service?

There are different types of cleaning services. There’s a regular cleaning, which usually happens weekly or biweekly. This might require end-of-year tipping rather than every time.

There’s also special occasion cleaning. This might be cleaning around the holidays. It could also be cleaning to prepare for a party or to clean up after. The level of work for this type of cleaning may be significant, so tips are probably appreciated. 

Another form of house cleaning is deep cleaning. This is usually more detailed work and may require more time. Because of this, tipping is a nice gesture. 

For tips with cleaning services, use your head. If your house cleaner does great work or the cleaning is more than is usually required, common sense says to give them some extra money if you can. They are, after all, going above and beyond.

How many are in the crew?

Some house cleaners work in teams. Somewhere between 10-15 dollars for the whole team is a good amount each time they come.

But it’s essential to think about the level of work required and how long it took to clean your home, too. This can affect tipping.

If the house cleaners spent a long time cleaning or did exceptional work, consider a larger tip. Or, if the crew is more than two people, a larger tip is a good idea, in my opinion.

Do I Tip Merry Maids?

Merry Maids does not include tipping in the cost of the cleaning. So it’s nice to provide a tip for your house cleaner. This is not an obligation, but maids work very hard and will likely appreciate a tip. 

When you hire a house cleaner from a company such as Merry Maids, ask questions about pricing before you decide to use a particular company. Find out what it will cost to clean your home and whether tipping is included for the housekeepers.

Should You Tip a House Cleaner that is Self Employed?

Most people don’t think it’s necessary to tip self-employed business owners. Tipping may be less critical for self-employed individuals, but consider this: they do have costs to keep their business going.

So some of the amount will go towards that, more than likely. They are still probably making more than someone who works for a company, though. As far as tipping, use your own judgment.

Do You Tip Move Out Cleaners?

Moving out of a home may require a deep clean, so it could take your house cleaner some time. Especially if you have special cleaning requirements because you’re trying to get a deposit back.

Because of this, you might consider leaving a nice tip for the house cleaner if they do an excellent job.

 Do You Tip Your House Cleaner Every Time They Clean?

This depends on a few things. If someone frequently comes to do a regular clean for your home, you can give them a tip every time.

But many people may choose to provide a Christmas bonus or set up a system where they tip less frequently. It’s completely up to you how you do this, and tipping is not usually a requirement, but it is a nice gesture.

How Much to Tip for One Time Cleaning?

If you don’t usually hire a maid and use a one-time cleaning, somewhere between $10-$20 is a good amount. But this can vary.

If your housekeeper was excellent or the cleaning was very detailed, a larger tip can be appropriate. You could also stick to the usual 15-20% of the total amount.

This is a widely accepted percentage and is generally a great tipping amount.

How Much to Tip a House Cleaner at Christmas?

Some people have a regular housekeeper, but they like to give a Christmas bonus rather than a tip each time they clean. According to Michelle Fox of CNBC, someone that cleans regularly should get up to a week’s worth of pay in tips, plus a small present, or sometimes you can just buy them a present.

But most house cleaners would probably rather have the cash. It’s fairly common that a weekly housekeeper should be given an extra day’s payment as a Christmas tip. 

Here are the things to know about holiday tipping: first of all, be generous. People that clean your home make your life easier on a daily basis.

Suppose you decide to give a Christmas bonus. In that case, you should budget for it throughout the year if necessary to provide a high amount.

Next, remember that many house cleaners may make an hourly wage, but it’s usually not an extremely high amount. They can likely use the money.

And last, remember to thank your house cleaner any time you can. They work hard and deserve appreciation. 

Even if you do tip regularly throughout the year, it doesn’t mean you can’t give a Christmas bonus if you want. While it isn’t a requirement, cleaners appreciate this gesture, and it’s a nice way to thank them.

How to Budget for House Cleaning Tips

If you want to have a regular house cleaner, you need to include this in your budget. The amount will depend on how frequently the house cleaner works – weekly, biweekly, monthly, etc.

Be sure to get a quote from the company or individual before the cleaning so you can add this to your budget.

Since you may choose to tip in a variety of ways, think about that too. If you want to tip weekly or monthly, add that into your total costs in your budget.

This can be part of the same category as the amount for the house cleaning. Tipping weekly may make it easier to budget because you’re working with smaller amounts of money, though more frequently.

Choose to tip weekly or monthly based on how often you do a budget and your cleaning needs.

For Christmas bonuses, you can do three things. One is to add a small amount to your monthly or weekly budget and set it aside for the end of the year. That way, it builds over time, and you won’t notice it is a considerable amount all at once.

Another way is to begin saving up a few months before Christmas, in September or October. A final way to handle Christmas tipping is simply paying the tip amount in December without saving up before.

This works if your income is high or the tip is not so much that it will throw off your budget. Choose what works best for you when budgeting for house cleaning services and tipping. 

You Should Tip Your House Cleaner Based on a Variety of Considerations

As you now know, tipping a house cleaner is not always the easiest thing to understand. This could depend on the difficulty level of the cleaning or the time of year. There are also several other things to consider.

It’s also worth adding that you might consider tipping more than the usual amount if a house cleaner has a great attitude and does an exceptional job. This may also apply if your housecleaning service works in teams and you need to give a tip to more than one person.

You can provide a tip for the whole group, but it’s also nice to tip individually and give a bit more when you can.

Remember to add tipping into your budget throughout the year and annually. Doing this can make it simpler so you won’t reach December and wonder where the holiday bonus will come from.

Always plan ahead and remember that house cleaning is hard work, so tipping is one of the nicest things you can do.

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Steffa Mantilla

Certified Financial Education Instructor

Steffa is a Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI) and the founder behind Money Tamer. Her 12-year background in operant conditioning and positive behavioral change training is used to help people find effective motivators to change their harmful money behaviors. Steffa explains the reasons “why” behind people’s financial behaviors and how to successfully change them. After paying off over $80,000 in debt through budgeting, she now teaches families how to get their own finances in order. You can learn more about her here.

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