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Vacuums for pet owners | Top 5

In the UK We love our pets – but we don’t love the mess they leave in our homes quite so much.

So here are my top 5 vacuums for pet owners, so you and your furry friends can enjoy a clean and fresh home.

Unless your pet is a goldfish, sharing your home with an animal is a messy business. As well as fur and hair, there are muddy paw prints, food spills, and other little accidents to contend with. Your vacuum has some serious work to do, so it’s a good idea to do your research.

Myth busting

There has been a big rise in the popularity of “doodle” dog breeds in the past few years. As well as looking cute and curly, many of these poodle cross breeds shed their hair less than other dogs. However, not all doodle breeds are low shedders, and this depends on the genes passed down from the parent dogs. So if you have a curly dog, you might find still find hair everywhere.

If allergies are a concern in your family, your vacuum needs to work extra hard. It’s not just the animal hair that causes allergies. The culprit is dander, which includes dried saliva and skin cells, common to both cats and dogs.

Vacuums for pet owners – features to look for

When you’re choosing a vacuum that’s up to this tough challenge, there’s a few things you’ll want to look out for.

Pet hair

If you have a cat or a dog (or even a house rabbit) you will be familiar with those hairs that stick to your carpet, your sofa, your clothes, and your car. They form fluff balls on hard floors and you can even see them floating in the air on a sunny day. Vacuums for pet owners need to be great at lifting hair from all of these surfaces. Look for anti-wrap features that prevent tangles around your vacuum’s roller, and anti-clog brushes to keep your vacuum working efficiently.


A highly effective filter is a must in vacuums for pet owners. Look for a HEPA filter that removes the tiny dander particles which cause allergic reactions. Many vacuums have washable filters, so check how easy it is to remove.


To clean up after your pet in double-quick time, you’ll need a vacuum with a good, strong suction. There’s nothing more frustrating that spotting hair still lingering in the carpet when you’ve finished cleaning.

Bin capacity

Your pet can produce a surprising amount of fluff – so look for a vacuum with a good sized bin so you don’t need to empty it part way through a cleaning session.

Accessories and tools

The most effective vacuums for pet owners come with a range of tools to help you get into all those tricky corners. Look for upholstery brushes, and special motorised pet tools to get deep into carpet.

Here are my top 5 vacuums for pet owners.

Miele CX1 Cat and Dog

I’ve been a huge fan of Miele products for years and their vacuums for pet owners do not disappoint. This model was the favourite for Good Housekeeping too. This is a cylinder vacuum with a retractable cord and a high-performing filter. There is also an upright version which scored well in tests by the Independent.

Dyson V15 Detect Absolute

This upright cordless vacuum is lightweight to carry, but it’s a heavyweight when it comes to cleaning. As well as an impressive range of accessories, it uses “detect” technology to make it easier for you to spot dust and dirt particles you might otherwise miss. This model was a winner in the Forbes test of vacuums for pet owners.

Henry Pet

The Henry vacuum might be bit old skool compared to some of its high tech competitors, but it’s still a high performer. It comes with an Ecobrush turbo tool for shifting pet hair, and an odour-removing charcoal filter to keep your home and vacuum fresh. This model is heavy, and it’s not the quietest, but it does the job well and it deserves its place amongst the best vacuums for pet owners.

iRobot roomba J7+

You may think a robot vacuum and pets would be a bad combination, but technology has made the robot a genuine choice for pet owners. The software which powers this vacuum means it can detect “solid” pet waste and avoid it (although alas, it cannot yet clean it up before you get home). The vacuum is programmable so you can set it to avoid some areas, and spend extra time in areas which need more attention such as around your pets’ beds. This one scored well in the Independent’s testing.

Shark Stratos Anti Hair Wrap Plus Pet Pro

This cordless upright vacuum has an impressive range of accessories including a motorised pet tool to get rid or pet-related hair, dust and debris from every corner in your home. It has a flexible design so it’s easy to reach under furniture, and can transform into a handheld vacuum for stairs and upholstery.

Final thoughts

Choose the right vacuum, and sharing your home with your pets can be a pleasure, not a chore. I hope my top 5 vacuums for pet owners helps you decide.

Best Eco Friendly Laundry Options

Many of us are trying to do our bit for the environment, and that includes making greener choices with our cleaning products.

So I’ve been looking into eco friendly laundry options, and testing out some of the popular choices on the market. Are they really as green as they claim to be, and do they actually get our laundry clean?

Dr Beckmann Magic Leaves

These lightweight laundry sheets use 80% less plastic, and as they are compact and concentrated, they use less packaging and less space. This means less environmental impact from transportation – indeed, the product claims to be carbon-neutral.

Magic Leaves are also effective at lower temperatures so you will use less energy for your load of laundry. And at around £4 for 25 sheets, they are good value for money with each full wash costing 16 pence.

However, eco friendly laundry is not just about the packaging. When I took a closer look at the label, I saw that it includes warnings about ingredients “harmful to aquatic life with long-lasting effects”. This didn’t feel quite as planet-friendly as I had hoped.

The Eco Egg

This eco friendly laundry option is an innovative solution which I was keen to test out. The reusable plastic egg is filled with two types of pellet to get your laundry clean. The white washing pellets break up and remove stains. And the black tourmaline pellets break up the water’s surface tension, to help it to penetrate fibres more effectively.

The pellets last for around 50 loads of laundry, depending on the temperature of your wash. Then it’s easy to refill your egg with new pellets, ready for more laundry.

As well as reducing plastic waste, the Eco Egg scores well on eco friendly laundry ingredients. There are no chlorine bleaches, phosphates, parabens or palm oil – better for the environment, and for your skin. The Eco Egg is allergy approved, and is even kinder to your washing machine as it leaves less pipe-blocking residue than traditional detergent.

I tested the Eco Egg at 40 degrees and my laundry was clean, stain free and smelled fresh. It’s also great value at around £7.00 for a starter kit which includes the Eco Egg and pellets for 50 washes. This works out at £0.14 per wash.

Ocean Saver Laundry Sheets

These laundry sheets are completely plastic free. Even better, their “ocean friendly formula” does not contain ingredients that are harmful to the environment. For every purchase, Ocean Saver donates to the Blue Marine Foundation which helps to restore ocean habitats.

But, do they work? When I tested these eco friendly laundry sheets I found they cleaned my laundry very effectively. They have a very soapy scent which I found a little over-powering, but my washing was fresh and any stains lifted.

At around £6 for 30 full loads of washing, (20 pence per load) Ocean Saver Sheets are a little more expensive, but still a great eco friendly laundry choice in my opinion.

DIY Eco Friendly Laundry Options

As well as off-the-shelf solutions like these, you might want to think about making your own laundry detergent. That way, you will know exactly what ingredients it contains. And you can even choose your own scent by adding essential oils.

Katie Chappell shares a simple recipe for a homemade laundry powder in her blog, using soap, bicarbonate of soda, chlorine free oxygenated bleach, soda crystals and natural Borax substitute, with essential oils to add fragrance.

Another even more natural option is this laundry liquid made from conkers (also known as horse chestnuts). I can’t claim to have tested this one myself but I am definitely intrigued. And of course, this solution is practically free.

Maybe I’ll be collecting conkers in the autumn to give it a go. Would you try it? I would love to know!

How to know if your cleaner is working here legally

Hiring a cleaner for your home is a great way to free up valuable time.

But how can you be sure your cleaner is working here legally? 

People coming to the UK who may have low levels of English or few recognised qualifications often find themselves working in the cleaning sector. While working as a cleaner can be a good source of regular employment, sadly illegal working and exploitation is common.

So if you are hiring a cleaner, it’s vital that you carry out basic checks for your own peace of mind.

The documents

Ask to see your cleaner’s passport. This is a good first step to make sure your cleaner is working here legally. Whatever nationality you believe they have, ask for their passport. That way you avoid getting caught out by incorrect assumptions.

If they have a British or Irish passport, they have the right to work in the UK. If their passport was issued in another country, it should have a stamp from the UK Home Office showing their right to work. Find more information about using passports and immigration documents to check your cleaner is working here legally here.

Your cleaner may be able to provide you with a ‘share code’ to prove their right to work. You can find more information about this here

Hiring a cleaner through an agency

If you use an agency to arrange your cleaning, they should carry out the appropriate checks. This includes ensuring cleaners on their books have the right to work in the UK. However, it is always a good idea to ask how the agency vet their cleaners, so you can be sure your cleaner is working here legally. 

When you are looking for a cleaning agency, ask friends and colleagues for recommendations. Is the agency transparent about the fees they charge, and how much of this they pay to their cleaners? Do their cleaners receive the Real Living Wage? What about sick pay and holiday pay? These are all good indicators that a cleaning agency is reputable, and that they will have ensured that your cleaner is working here legally. 

Exploitation: Spotting the signs

Slavery is not confined to the history books. In fact, modern slavery and exploitation is all around us in our towns and cities. So when you are checking that your cleaner is working here legally, look out for signs of exploitation. People who do not have a legal right to work in the UK are at particular risk of exploitation. They may be in fear of deportation, and this can also make them reluctant to report their situation. 

Here are some common signs which should alert you that something isn’t right. 

  • Someone else has possession of their passport
  • Someone asks you to pay your cleaner’s earnings into a bank account under a different name
  • Someone drops off your cleaner and picks them up from their workplace 
  • Your cleaner is accompanied by someone else when they meet you, and are reluctant to speak for themselves. 
  • They wear clothes that aren’t suitable for the work they are doing. 
  • They are living in overcrowded accommodation and are unable to move. 
  • They seem frightened, or confused.

If you suspect someone is a victim of modern slavery or exploitation, you can report it to Unseen. Unseen is a charity which supports victims and campaigns to end modern slavery. Find out more about how to contact Unseen here.

Peace of mind that your cleaner is working here legally

Employing a cleaner who does not have a legal right to work here can have serious consequences. It could result in you being prosecuted, fined or even jailed. So if you are unsure, it’s important to get expert advice. By carrying out some simple checks, and asking some key questions, you can protect yourself, and also help end modern slavery and exploitation in our communities.

Onboarding your cleaner | How to get the clean you deserve

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. 

Help with cleaning | Why you deserve it

Life as a mum is all about the juggle. And there’s often a good dose of guilt thrown in there too.

But why do we feel guilty about getting help with cleaning at home?

The parent juggle

Whatever age your kids are, the cycle of family, work and the household chores can feel never-ending. We’ve all got to Sunday night and realised there’s nothing to put in the packed lunches. Or the PE kit is still in the bottom of the laundry basket (complete with mud), and there are no clean shirts in the wardrobe.

After a full day of work, school run, negotiating with tantruming toddlers or grumpy teens, and trying to cook up a balanced meal that everyone will eat, no-one wants to start on the cleaning. Throw in an unexpected visit from the in-laws or the neighbour with the pristine home, and you’ve got a recipe for a big portion of guilt (not to mention exhaustion).

Domestic Goddess?

With social media feeding us images of the domestic goddess, making beautiful memories with her beautiful children, it’s easy to think we should be able to handle it all. But the truth is, many parents are struggling under this daily juggle. So don’t you deserve to get some help with the cleaning?

Daily delegating

We might feel we should be able to do all of these tasks ourselves. But actually we delegate all the time. When is the last time you did your own oil change? And many of us are still having nightmares about trying to teach our children. That’s a task that’s definitely best left to the professionals. Hiring a cleaner is just another form of delegating.

Getting help with cleaning

And getting help with cleaning can transform your life.

  • Reduced stress: Imagine coming home to a clean and tidy space. No more last-minute cleaning sprees before guests arrive, or feeling overwhelmed by piles of laundry.
  • More quality time: Instead of spending precious hours scrubbing floors, you can spend more quality time with your family. Settle down to watch a movie. Go for a walk in the park, or just sit and chat – without feeling guilty about the cleaning.
  • Increased productivity: A clean and organised home will actually save you time. It’s easier to focus, and you will waste less time looking for things lost in the chaos. You might even feel more productive at work, knowing you can come home to peace.
  • Teaching valuable lessons: By getting help with cleaning, you can teach your children valuable life lessons about teamwork, responsibility, and appreciating the work of others. And you can still give the kids a few chores of their own, – safe in the knowledge that the professionals are on their way.

Final thoughts

On this Mother’s Day, why not ditch the guilt and be a little kind to yourself. And if that means getting help with cleaning, then you deserve it!

Why so many women in the cleaning industry?

It’s no surprise that woman are over-represented in the cleaning industry. After all, cleaning was traditionally viewed as “women’s work”.

And predictably, it’s often the women who actually have the mops in their hands.  A BICS report found that 63% of “elementary positions” in the cleaning industry are filled by women. At the other end of the cleaning business hierarchy,  56% of managerial and senior positions, and 83% of professional roles are filled by men. 

Why women clean

Research has documented the reasons for the high number of women in the cleaning industry. Cleaning is often flexible and part-time, so fits around family and caring responsibilities. In addition, the low pay and insecure working conditions can make cleaning less attractive to male workers if other choices are available to them. 

Migrant workers also make up a larger share of the cleaning workforce, especially in our cities. Around 55% of people working in cleaning in London were born overseas. The barriers which can trap migrant workers in low-paid work are even more acute for women – barriers such as low language skills or a lack of UK recognised qualifications. 

A chance for change

However, as we approach International Women’s Day, it’s possible to take a different view of this otherwise bleak picture. The cleaning industry does not have to be the means for trapping women in the dirty jobs. Our industry could be a vehicle for change, by leaning into our female focus.

Feminine principles in business

Given the opportunity, women out-perform men in business. A recent Forbes report stated  “Women founders tend to build businesses that generate more revenues, create higher job growth, dream bigger, and execute better”. This is despite the disadvantages female entrepreneurs can face. Gender bias from funders often hinders women’s ability to attract investment for business growth.

The same report cited research which identifies the traits at the heart of female success in business. Female founders are less likely to be over-confident in their own abilities. While they are willing to take risks, they feel losses more acutely. Women operate with greater openness and are more likely foster collaboration. All of these are characteristics more common in successful businesses. 

A female force for good

In addition, female-founded businesses are more likely to look outside of their profit margins when it comes to measuring success. Female founders want to make a difference and contribute to society, as well as make a profit. Businesses founded on feminine principles can be a force for good in their own industry, and in the world. 

There is an adage in development circles that if you change a woman, you change a community. And that can be true in business too. As the late Anita Roddick said “I think all business practices would improve immeasurably if they were guided by ‘feminine’ principles”.

Cleaning industry leading the way

In our own industry, there are so many opportunities to apply these principles. By ensuring our cleaners receive the Living Wage, with decent and fair working conditions, we can make a real difference to the quality of life of our people. Through training and mentoring, we can create opportunities for women in lower paid roles to reach their full potential. And by collaborating and sharing good practice, we can lift up every business in our industry to the standards of the best.

So my hope for International Women’s Day is that women in the cleaning industry lead the way in creating kinder, more collaborative, and more successful businesses. And that other sectors sit up and take notice.

Is cheap cleaning cost effective?

When budgets are tight, it’s tempting to bag the cheapest deal for your workplace cleaning service. But is cheap cleaning really cost effective for your business?

That initial price tag might look appealing, but there are hidden costs and consequences to opting for cheap, lower quality cleaning services.

Productivity and employee wellbeing

Evidence shows that your workforce is more productive in a clean, ordered and pleasant working environment. If your workplace is a nice place to be, employees feel happier and more valued. That’s going to increase productivity and reduce stress levels. It can also contribute to staff retention and reduced turnover too.

Sick days are a big cost to any business. And one study showed that over half of employees survey believed their workplace was making them ill. Dirty kitchens, bathrooms and workstations were all held to blame for spreading germs and causing sickness. So what you’re saving on cheap, poor quality cleaning, you may well be spending on sick pay.

Cutting corners

Is your cheap cleaning service cutting corners on essentials such as training? If the cleaners working in your workplace have not had the right training, it could result in damage to your property or equipment. It is vitally important to use the correct cleaning methods, especially on delicate surfaces. A cheap cleaning service could land you an expensive bill for repairs.

And it’s not just damage to your property that’s at stake. Professional cleaners understand safety protocols and use proper cleaning methods, minimizing the risk of accidents and legal action. Cheap cleaning often overlooks these crucial aspects, putting your business at risk.

First impressions count

In a competitive market, first impressions matter. A clean, well-maintained office speaks volumes about your professionalism and commitment to quality. Bring clients, customers and visitors into a grimy, poorly cleaned environment, and you are risking damage to your brand image and reputation.

Getting to know you

A great cleaning service will intimately understand the needs of your business. And they will make sure their operatives understand that too. But a low quality cleaning service will often experience high turnover of staff, so that relationship doesn’t have time to build. That can mean you are spending time explaining your needs, only to have to repeat yourself just a couple of weeks later, when the new cleaner arrives.

Is cheap cleaning your dirty secret?

Cheap cleaning services, engaged in a never-ending race to the bottom, often means low pay, poor working conditions for their cleaners. Ask yourself – does it align with the values of your business, if you are saving on your cleaning budget at the cost of the person doing the cleaning?

The cost of cheap cleaning

Opting for the cheapest cleaning service might seem like a quick win, but it often leads to hidden costs and negative consequences down the line.

A reputable cleaning company prioritises quality, safety, and professionalism – and that reflects well on your business too. It’s an investment that will pay off in employee well-being, productivity, protected assets, and a positive reputation – all crucial for success for today’s businesses.

How do I live with my messy partner?

Is living with a messy partner starting to feel like a strain?

Let’s face it, even the rosiest relationships can hit a snag when your partner’s definition of “tidy” looks more like the aftermath of a particularly wild party.

But living with a messy partner doesn’t have to mean a daily battle over the breakfast dishes. With a little understanding and communication, you can build a happy, harmonious love-nest that suits you both.

The strain of living with a messy partner

According to a recent survey, 47% of adults in the UK argue with their messy partner every week about untidiness. Some even consider ending their relationship because they can’t cope with the clutter. So what’s the solution?

Ditch the blame game

We all come with our own baggage, and cleaning habits are no different. So before you take your messy partner to task, have an honest, gentle conversation. Try explaining how untidy spaces make you feel, and why cleanliness is important to you. Listen to to your partner’s perspective, too. You might be surprised to learn that they find it hard to get organised, or get feel overwhelmed by cleaning tasks. Maybe they grew up in a happily chaotic home and don’t see the mess as a problem. Either way, it’s important to understand each other’s point of view.

Set your boundaries

We all have our tolerance levels. Maybe you can agree that your messy partner can keep their side of the bedroom “artistically cluttered,” while you need the kitchen clinically clean. Negotiate these personal spaces then try to stick to it. Remember, compromise is key, and a little flexibility can go a long way.

Team up and clean up

Cleaning can be fun – honest! It’s all about how you approach it. So stick on your favourite playlist and tackle the mess together. You’ll have your home sparkling in no time – and working together is great for bonding and communication.

Celebrate small wins

Did your partner finally wash those coffee mugs? Say thank you. Did you clear the ironing basket? Give yourself a pat on the back (and maybe get a cup of tea from your partner). Celebrating successes helps you both stay motivated and keeps your home harmonious.

Progress not perfection

Life is messy, and your home will sometimes be messy too. Don’t get bogged down in unrealistic expectations of your messy partner. Focus on small, sustainable changes, and don’t let a bit of untidyness clutter up a romantic evening.

Get creative

Channel your inner interior designer. Use decorative baskets for quick tidy-ups, and essential oil diffusers to create a calming atmosphere – even if there’s a sock or two hiding under the sofa.

Bring in the professionals

If the cleaning is getting in the way of an otherwise perfect relationship with your messy partner, maybe it’s time to get professional help. An expert cleaning service can restore order, cleanliness and calm to your space – and leave you more room for the romance.

Love your messy partner

Ultimately, remember that a loving relationship is about more than spotless counters and folded laundry. It’s about understanding, compromise, and finding a balance that works for both of you. So, put down the broom (for a moment!), grab your lovebug, and focus on creating a home filled with love, laughter, and maybe just a sprinkling of dust bunnies – because hey, even Cupid can’t conquer them all!

My cleaner is stealing from me | What should I do?

When you bring a cleaner into your home, trust is a big issue. So what do you do if that trust is broken?

If you think your cleaner is stealing from you, it can be a really difficult situation to handle. 

Sarah’s Story

Sarah* noticed first that a bottle of perfume was missing. She thought maybe she had misplaced it.

Then, she couldn’t find a bag containing a new top and some receipts. She was sure she had left it on her bed.

She asked her cleaner if she had seen the bag. The cleaner said the bag only had receipts in it, so she thought it was rubbish and threw it away.

Sarah found the bag in the bin – but the top was missing. 

When Sarah started to look, she realised quite a lot of her clothes were missing – around £500 worth.

Then, she saw a picture of her cleaner on Facebook – wearing her dress. 

Friends said she should go to the Police. But Sarah didn’t know her cleaner’s address, and didn’t think the Police would take any action. She didn’t feel comfortable confronting her cleaner. So she stopped the cleans, and changed the locks. 

But it left Sarah feeling upset and let down. 

If you suspect your cleaner is stealing from you, what should you do?

You suspect your cleaner is stealing

When something seems to have gone missing in your home, it’s easy jump to the conclusion that your cleaner is stealing from you.  But it’s worth taking a minute to consider the alternatives:

  • Is the the item definitely missing?
  • Could it be simply misplaced? Search thoroughly and check with other family members to see if the item can be found
  • Who else has been in your home? Could other contractors or visitors have picked up the item, accidentally or deliberately?

Make extra sure of your facts before concluding that your cleaner is stealing. 

Agency Cleaners

If you have arranged your cleaning through an agency, you should let them know straight away that you think your cleaner is stealing from you.

You can expect the agency to respond with sympathy and understanding, and they should remove the cleaner from your home. 

When you are looking for a cleaning agency it’s essential to make sure they have robust insurance to cover losses in this type of situation. 

Individual cleaners

If you have a direct arrangement with your cleaner, and you think they are stealing, you should go to the Police straight away. Contact your household insurer to make a claim. 

It’s a good idea to check your insurance policy to make sure you are covered for theft by someone who you have allowed into your home. We recommend policies underwritten by Hiscox.

Don’t be afraid to terminate your cleaning if you are in any doubt. It is so important that you trust people who are coming into your home – especially if you are not always present when they clean.

A note of reassurance

When you invite a cleaner into your home, trust is at the forefront of your mind. And the vast majority of cleaners are trustworthy. As a cleaner, it is simply not worth breaking that trust and risking your whole livelihood. 

In eleven years working in the cleaning industry, over 99% of the people I have worked with, have proved to be honest and trustworthy.

So with some sensible precautions, you can have confidence in your cleaner, peace of mind, and a clean home. 

*true story of a client before they came to us. Names have been changed

How to pay your cleaner

Hiring a cleaner can be a great way to free up your time and take care of your home.

But you might be worrying about how to pay your cleaner. How much should you pay – and how can you make sure you are paying your cleaner fairly? Here are my tips.

Do your research

Find out the going rate for cleaning in your area. Remember that the cost of cleaning will vary from area to area. If you live in a city, you can expect to pay more per hour than in more rural areas. In London, costs are higher still.

Offer a fair rate for your cleaning and you are more likely to attract a great cleaner to work in your home – and they will stay for longer. By paying your cleaner the Real Living Wage, you can be confident you are paying a fair hourly rate. Check here for the latest rates.

What’s included?

As well as the time spent cleaning your home, when you are working out how to pay your cleaner, there are other considerations to include.

You can expect to pay for travel time to your home, so make sure you include this.
Will you pay holiday pay? Choosing to do this will make a huge difference to your cleaner. You can read the government guidance on how to calculate holiday pay here. This guide from ACAS is also helpful.

Have you considered how to pay your cleaner if they are sick? Research shows that many cleaners feel they have to work when they are unwell, because they do not qualify for Statutory Sick Pay. By paying your cleaner sick pay, you will be contributing hugely to their wellbeing.

Arranging your cleaning through an agency eliminates the hassle of working out how to pay your cleaner. A reputable agency will deal with all of this for you, so you can relax and enjoy your clean, calm home.

What’s the budget?

How much can you afford to pay for your cleaning? If you have a budget in mind, and you know the hourly rate for cleaning in your area, you will be able to work out how many hours of cleaning you can afford.

Then it’s time to contact potential cleaners to see if they are a good fit for you and your home.

Talking about pay

Many of us feel awkward talking about money. And discussing pay with a potential cleaner is no exception. But by making sure everyone is clear about the pay rate from the beginning, you will avoid problems and misunderstandings down the track.

Agree the number of hours your cleaner will spend on each visit, or which tasks they will complete – and how much you will pay for the work.

Talk to your cleaner about whether monthly or weekly payment is best. Agree how you will pay your cleaner (cash, cheque, or via your bank) and stick to it. One thing I insist on with my Helper is paying them at the beginning of the month rather than the end. This gives them cashflow security and peace of mind.

Of course, you should always pay your cleaner on time. This will help you maintain a great working relationship, as well as being a sign of your respect for them and their work.

Gifting and tipping

You may feel you would like to recognise religious festivals or special occasions with a gift for your cleaner. This is a lovely way to show your appreciation for their work.

Instead of giving wine or flowers, consider paying your cleaner a cash bonus. If you would prefer to give a voucher, Post Office Gift Cards are a great option as they can be used in a wide range of shops.

Final thoughts

When you are deciding how to pay your cleaner, there’s a lot to think about. But get it right, and you can be confident you can enjoy a clean conscience as well as a clean home.

Need a hand cleaning your home?

Life in London is demanding and time is at a premium. Get some sparkle back into your life and home with one of our domestic cleaning packages.

Looking for commercial cleaning?

We provide a regular cleaning service for offices and commercial premises in the Greater London area, helping you maintain a professional, healthy and productive work and business environment.

We’d love to chat with you, see your space and walk you through our process.

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020 3995 4810 - Clients
020 3995 4821 - Helpers

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71-75 Shelton Street, Covent Garden, WC2H 9JQ

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