Choosing a company to clean your house, particularly if you’re going to allow them in whilst you’re not there, requires some careful consideration. You need to know you can trust the person in your personal space, and therefore choosing the right cleaning company is something that you shouldn’t rush into.
There are thousands of companies in London offering a house cleaning service. Some are expensive, some not so. There are companies that have many people working for them, and others that are ‘one man bands’.
So which is the best? And how on earth do you choose the right one for you from the many out there? We’ve put together a ‘how to’ guide that should help you narrow down the search, and find the right, trustworthy person to clean your home.
Decide what it is you need
For instance, are you looking for a cleaner to come in on a regular basis? Perhaps once or twice a week for the foreseeable future? Or do you need a one off clean?
Maybe you’re moving in or out of a property. Perhaps you just want a really good spring clean carried out. Do you need the furniture cleaned as well, and maybe even the curtains? What about the oven?
If you’re looking for a one off service, then you may find that one of the larger house cleaning companies or an agency will be your best bet. There are many of these in London. For instance, you could look at Star Domestic Cleaners, Mopp powered by Handy or The Maids.
If you’re looking for a regular cleaner, then of course such companies also provide this service. The only downside with using a large cleaning company is that you may not get the same person every week.
You might be quite happy with such a situation. But if you’d rather have the same person, then it might be more suitable to look at a smaller company.
Ask for references
This is essential. Any cleaning company worth its salt will probably mention these before you do. And you shouldn’t just take these at face value. Actually check out one or two of them.
Another thing you might want to consider is a CRB check (now called DBS checks). This is a criminal record check done mainly to ensure that the individual is clear to work with vulnerable adults and children, as well as ensuring that they haven’t committed any crimes in the past.
Most cleaners who work for an agency will have already had this done and you can ask to see it. Many smaller companies will also have had one done, and will be happy to provide the certificate for you.
Cost isn’t the only factor
Of course, you don’t want to pay over the odds for your cleaning service. However, the cheapest cleaner might not be the best in the long run.
After all, if you have to go around after your cleaner to get the house up to standard, then it’s not good value for money.
Consider an ‘audition’
Once you’ve narrowed down your choice to two or three possibles, you might want to give each one a try. Perhaps get them in for a couple of weeks each, and then decide which one you like the best.
Check out the owners of the cleaning service
If you’re going through an agency or a larger cleaning service, ask the owners some pertinent questions. These should include how they select their cleaners, how do they train them, how they address any problems etc.
Ensure the company is fully insured
Ask to see the insurance certificates. After all, we’re all human and there are instances where things get broken or damaged. You need to know that you’re covered should the cleaner accidentally break something whilst cleaning.
Do you need to provide materials?
Some cleaners provide their own cleaning materials, others use yours. Larger companies often offer a different pricing schedule depending on whether they provide materials.. I
If the company uses their own materials, you might want to ask what they use. If you have kids, pets or any allergies then this is a very important consideration to ensure that you’re not going to have a reaction to any chemicals used.
One of the best ways to choose a cleaner for your house is through personal recommendations. Speak to neighbours and friends, and see who they use or have used in the past.
You’ll also find cleaners advertising on notice boards in shops (such as newsagents) and in local papers. There’s nothing wrong with hiring someone who advertises in such a manner. Just ensure that you carry out your background checks in the same way as you would if hiring a cleaner through an agency.
You need to be very clear about your needs when you hire a cleaner. For instance, if you want your ornaments dusted every week, then say so. But if you don’t mind the blinds not being cleaned every single week, then let the cleaner know.
The more information you give, the more likely you are to get the service you expect. And there’s nothing wrong with writing down exactly what you want and giving the cleaner a copy. They’ll probably be delighted that you’re being so upfront about what it is you expect.
What do house cleaning services cost?
For regular cleaning, such as weekly or bi-weekly, you can expect to pay anything between £10-15 per hour.
When it comes to one off cleans, you’ll usually get a set price. It depends on the size of your house, naturally, and exactly what it is you want carried out. For an average sized 4-bedroom house, expect to pay upwards of £100.
If you’re looking for carpet or oven cleaning services, then you’ll probably find that the larger house-cleaning providers offer this as well. Smaller companies might not do so, but will probably be able to put you in touch with a reliable provider.