So you’ve found a cleaner – now how do you bring them on board so that you get the clean you want for your home? Here are my top tips.

Time onboarding your cleaner is time well spent.

Your cleaner is going to be part of your essential team, and so it’s really important that you set expectations and agree a way of working, right from the start. That way, you will avoid problems and misunderstandings later.

Be comfortable about expressing what you need when you are onboarding your cleaner. After all, this is your home, and your clean. 

The grand tour

The best way to introduce your cleaner to your home is to walk them through it. It’s a great opportunity to point out any areas that you would like them to focus on, or areas you want them to avoid. If your teen’s bedroom is off-limits, let them know. If you work from home and your desk is in a state of “organised chaos” and best avoided, explain that too.  This is also a good moment to explain about any delicate surfaces.

Have you agreed how long your cleaner will spend on each visit? A walk through your home gives you an opportunity to discuss how long a full clean might take. 

Your Dream Clean

What are your “must haves” for a great clean? Imagine walking into your newly cleaned home – what do you want to see? That might be sparkling clean bathrooms, or a spotless kitchen. You might prioritise mopping hard floors, or changing bed linen. Make sure you set these priorities with your cleaner. That way, if there isn’t time available to do every cleaning task in your home, your cleaner can ensure these essentials are done. 

It’s a great idea to to create a checklist of tasks and discuss this when you are onboarding your cleaner. Set realistic expectations about which tasks can be completed during each visit. For example, cleaning windows might be a once-a-month task, whilst vacuuming might be a task for every visit. If your dream clean includes vacuuming under all the beds, make sure you show that on the checklist.

Key ingredients

Will you be providing a cleaning kit for your cleaner, or will they be bringing cleaning products with them? You might have particular requirements, or products you want to avoid in your home, so share this when you are onboarding your cleaner. If you have pets, you will want to make sure any products are pet friendly in areas they use. Is there is a fragrance you really don’t like? Tell your cleaner so they can avoid using products with this fragrance in your home. 

If you prefer to provide a cleaning kit, consider the health and safety of your cleaner. Some harsh cleaning products can be harmful so think about eco-friendly, gentler choices. These products are better for your cleaner and for your family. 

Don’t forget to show your cleaner where you keep essential supplies such as toilet rolls, bin liners and the vacuum cleaner. 

Sensitive surfaces

You are the expert on your home, so if there are things your cleaner needs to know to give you a great clean, then share this with them. Using the wrong cleaning product on a sensitive surface can cause damage, so it’s very important that you share this information with your cleaner. How should your wooden kitchen worktops be cleaned? If kitchen cleaner is too harsh, suggest white vinegar as an alternative. Are your bathroom floor tiles made from natural stone? Make sure you explain how to clean it safely, when you are onboarding your cleaner. 

Safety first

What else will your cleaner need to work in your home? If they will be cleaning the tops of cupboards, or removing cobwebs from high ceilings, provide a safe stepladder for them to use. Check that any extension cables are safe too, with no bare wires or visible damage. Don ’t forget to include rubber gloves in your cleaning kit to protect your cleaner’s hands while they work. 

Access granted

If you won’t be at home when your cleaner visits, you will need to discuss access arrangements. If you have a key safe, show your cleaner how to use it and give them the code. Of course, if you have a security alarm, your cleaner will need to know how to turn it off, and how to reset it when they leave. 

Will your cleaner be travelling by car? Make sure you share any parking restrictions so they don’t land a parking ticket, or annoy your neighbours by blocking driveways. 

The basics 

Of course, it’s essential that you agree a rate of pay as part of onboarding your cleaner. Even if you feel awkward talking about money, this conversation is one you really can’t avoid. Do your research on typical rates of pay for cleaning in your area, in advance. The Real Living Wage is a great guide to how much you should pay per hour. And remember, if you pay your cleaner fairly, they are more likely to stick with you for longer. Consider paying sick pay and holiday pay too. Agree how you will pay for your clean (monthly or weekly, cash or direct into their bank) and stick to it.

A perfect team

When you are onboarding your cleaner, make sure you ask for their feedback. Your cleaner is a professional and may have some great suggestions that will help them work more efficiently, and provide you with an even better clean. 

By getting your onboarding meeting right, you can set the foundations for a great working relationship with your cleaner, so you can look forward to the clean you deserve at every visit. 

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I’m Antoinette and the CEO of Just Helpers Cleaning Agency. I’m passionate about social justice and empowering people to find their joy, work from a place of strength and positively impact the world around them. When not trying to save the world 😉 I love cooking up a storm in my kitchen and eating and chatting around a table with friends. Find me at

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