You’re thinking of taking the plunge. You have never had a cleaner before at home, but now you decide it’s finally time. You ask around and see if anyone has any recommendations and straight away are bombarded with so many options. How do you choose the right cleaner for you?

Here is a list that can help you make the decision:
• What services do you need help with?
Is it a full clean (including making beds, ironing, oven cleaning etc.), or a regular tidy up (vacuum, dusting etc.). Do you have kids, pets? You will need to have an idea of these items to ask about when speaking to prospective cleaners. Keep in mind that additional tasks outside of a regular scope of works will often incur an additional charge.

• Does the company have insurance?
It is important to make sure you ask your prospective cleaner for their insurance details prior to commencing in case anything goes wrong, otherwise you will be liable as the homeowner. The company should be covered for Public Liability insurance and Worker’s Compensation insurance, and willing to provide you a copy of these documents upon request.

• Who will be carrying out the work?
Ask about the company’s screening process. Do their employees have Police Clearance Checks, do they meet visa requirements, does the company pay all appropriate wages and benefits to their employees? In addition, you have the right to expect that one regular cleaner will be coming to do the work. As a client, it can be an intrusion into your privacy to constantly have a stream of different people coming through your home. Ask in advance if you will have one regular cleaner.

• What is the contingency if their regular cleaner is away?
Some smaller companies remain profitable and are able to charge less as they have less staff and less overheads. Unfortunately, this means that their staff can get run down easily and may get sick more frequently. If they are sick or away, they might not be able to find a replacement to cover their work and you as a client will miss out.

• Ask what products the cleaners will use.
Your cleaning company should not be using household detergents that you would find at a supermarket, unless by your request. They should have access to commercial-graded products that are labelled and stored correctly. These items should look clean at the beginning of each shift, with cloths, sponges and mops changed regularly. Additionally, cloths used to clean furniture should not be used to clean kitchens, bathrooms or toilets. Ask the company about their policies in this area and what they do to ensure cross-contamination does not occur.

With all of this in mind, you may find that the company you choose might not be the cheapest, but the reason for this is that they will be meeting their legal requirements, will have policies around ensuring the utmost care for your home and family, and will be dedicated to providing you with a quality service. Communication is the key to developing a respectful and trusting relationship between you and your cleaner, that will be beneficial for you for a long time to come.