Should I Hire a House Cleaner or Housekeeper?

Lisa Gauthier Mitchison
Updated February 10, 2022
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If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your home cleaning list, you may consider hiring a professional house cleaning service to ease the burden. But do you need a house cleaner or a housekeeper?

In general, housekeepers do light cleaning tasks, such as laundry and dishwashing, more regularly, while house cleaners perform deep cleaning services less often. Let’s take a look at the differences between the two types of professionals, and which one to hire for certain tasks.

The Pros and Cons of Hiring a Housekeeper

Housekeeper cleaning the kitchen countertop
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What Does a Housekeeper Do?

A housekeeper is a cleaning professional who typically visits a client’s house frequently to tackle light cleaning, organizing, and upkeep tasks. Homeowners can hire housekeepers on a daily, weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis, depending on their needs. 

Here are some common tasks performed by a housekeeper:

  • Laundry

  • Dishwashing

  • Vacuuming

  • Sweeping

  • Trash removal

  • Dusting

  • Reorganizing

Pros of Hiring a Housekeeper

Whether you hire a house cleaning service or an individual housekeeper, consider these advantages to their services.

Familiarity: Since a housekeeper cleans your home on a regular basis, that person will become familiar with you, your family, and your cleaning preferences. Over time, they will learn where certain items go, what kind of soap you like, and your weekly schedule.

More free time: If you hire a housekeeper to keep your home clean and tidy, you’ll receive increased amounts of free time in return. You can spend more time relaxing or enjoying time with your family instead of stressing about household chores.

Maintain a cleaning schedule: If you’re the kind of person who puts off cleaning until you can’t ignore it anymore, a housekeeper will erase that stress and self-blame. Hiring a pro to complete cleaning tasks on a set schedule will create structure and help you maintain the home between cleanings. 

Reduce allergy symptoms: If anyone in your household suffers from allergies or has asthma, regular dusting and vacuuming can help alleviate your symptoms. Plus, you can talk with your housekeeper about using approved cleaning products and methods to lessen allergy symptoms.

Cons of Hiring a Housekeeper

Keep these disadvantages in mind when deciding whether to hire a housekeeper.

Light cleaning only: While housekeepers tackle various household chores like taking out the trash, ironing clothes, and even cleaning the mailbox, they generally don’t offer extensive cleaning or maintenance services. For example, they typically don’t scrub toilets or deep clean kitchens. However, you might be able to negotiate with them.

Cost: One factor to consider is the price of hiring a housekeeper to visit your home on a daily or weekly schedule. The average cost of hiring a house cleaner or housekeeper is $30 to $50 per hour, depending on your location and the size of your home. 

Must provide cleaning supplies: Since the cleaning supplies and materials stay in your home, you will provide them for your housekeeper to use. Keep this factor in mind when creating your monthly cleaning budget.

The Pros and Cons of Hiring a House Cleaner

A close-up of a woman cleaning with a sponge a bathroom sink
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Main Tasks of a House Cleaner

A house cleaner is a cleaning professional who typically visits a client’s house less frequently to tackle deep-cleaning tasks and more labor-intensive cleaning. Homeowners usually hire house cleaners on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis. Keep in mind that you should collaborate with your house cleaner to create a list of specified cleaning tasks for them to do.

Here are some of the common tasks performed by a house cleaner:

  • Mopping and washing floors

  • Washing windows

  • Scrubbing and sanitizing toilets, showers, and tubs

  • Scrubbing and sanitizing kitchen sink, countertops, and appliances

  • Laundry

  • Dusting

  • Spot cleaning doors and frames

  • Steam cleaning upholstery

Pros of Hiring a House Cleaner

Debating whether to hire a house cleaner? Check out some of the best reasons to find a local house cleaner near you

Deep cleaning services: Since house cleaners specialize in deep cleaning services, you can expect them to tackle the nitty gritty tasks that you’ve been avoiding. This service includes everything from scrubbing and sanitizing bathrooms to vacuuming and mopping floors.

Supplies and equipment included: Your house cleaner or house cleaning team will arrive at your home equipped with all of the proper cleaning supplies, products, and equipment. Unlike housekeepers, the cost of cleaning equipment is included in the service price.

New home cleaning: Before moving your furniture and belongings into your new home, hire a house cleaner to scrub your new house from top to bottom. These pros can also provide these same services when you move out.

Cons of Hiring a House Cleaner

Before moving forward with hiring a house cleaner, consider the following disadvantages.

Lack of personal connection: Since house cleaners are usually hired on an as-needed basis, homeowners may work with a different individual at every appointment. This factor can make it difficult to build a personal connection with the pro or communicate cleaning preferences. That’s why it’s important to properly vet a potential house cleaning service by asking these 17 questions.

Set block of time: When you book a house cleaning service, it’s for a set block of time. The cleaners may or may not finish all of the cleanings, especially if you ask them to redo a task or take time to teach the cleaner how you want certain things done.

Pre-cleaning: To allow the house cleaners to do their jobs, you’ll need to remove clutter so they can access all of the floors and surfaces. If you want the floors underneath the furniture cleaned, you’re responsible for moving those pieces.

Cost: As with a housekeeper, you will have to pay the hourly rate for a house cleaner. As mentioned above, the average price of hiring a house cleaner or housekeeper is $30 to $50 per week.

Housekeeper vs. House Cleaner

 A woman doing the dishes in a kitchen
Photo: bnenin / Adobe Stock

Now that we understand the pros and cons of both types of professional cleaners, let’s look at how they compare in the following categories.

Options and Customizations

While individual cleaners and house cleaning companies offer various services and schedules, housekeepers can typically offer extra tasks for an additional fee. For example, if you would like your housekeeper to clean and organize the refrigerator once per week, you could negotiate that additional service and price with them.

On the other hand, house cleaners hired less frequently for larger jobs are less likely to offer extra service customization. However, this expectation for a cleaning service varies based on the company.

Winner: Housekeepers

Price

As mentioned above, the average cost of hiring a house cleaner or housekeeper is about $0.07 to $0.15 per square foot, depending on the job’s complexity. For example, deep cleaning an entire house before moving out will cost more than a standard cleaning. 

Keep in mind that the rate charged by your cleaning professional varies by your location, size of the home, and any additional requested tasks.

Winner: Tie

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