15 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Using a Maid Service

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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Hiring cleaning services for your home can save you time and give you peace of mind. But making the wrong decisions when choosing a maid service can lead to wasted money, subpar cleaning, and even damaged belongings. Avoid these common mistakes when using a house cleaning service so you end up with sparkling results.

1. Failing to do your research

The first step to finding the right cleaning service is doing thorough research. Don’t just go with the first company you find or the one with the lowest advertised rates. Taking time to research will save you money, stress, and trouble down the road.

2. Not asking for references

One mistake many people need to pay more attention to asking maid services for references. Reputable companies will happily provide references to back up their credentials. Speaking to past clients gives insight into the quality of cleaning you can expect.

Pay attention to what past clients say about the thoroughness of cleaning, whether employees are trustworthy, and overall professionalism. This research helps avoid hiring a service that cuts corners or has a history of customer complaints.

3. Failing to check credentials and licenses

Along with references, verify licenses, bonding, and insurance before hiring. Credentials and licenses prove a service operates legally according to regulations in your state.

Insurance coverage is also crucial because it provides compensation if employees damage their belongings. Avoid taking chances with fly-by-night operations—do diligent research upfront.

4. Basing decisions on cost alone

It’s tempting to hire the maid service advertising the lowest house cleaning prices. However, low-priced services often lead to disappointing results and higher costs long term. Here is why making decisions purely based on initial rates is a mistake:

Sacrificing quality of cleaning

  • To offer ultra-low fees, some maid services cut corners on cleaning methods and supplies. As a result, you sacrifice quality of cleaning throughout your home. Surfaces and belongings simply won’t get as clean.
  • Paying a bit more upfront ensures a service invests time into doing thorough cleaning. Your home stays cleaner week after week, saving you the hassle.

Lack of professionalism

  • Along with subpar cleaning, rock-bottom rates can reflect a lack of professionalism. Low-priced services often don’t invest in employee screening and training. Workers may be unreliable or provide inconsistent cleaning.
  • Opting for cost-effective rather than the absolute cheapest rates generally means working with a more professional, reliable team. Your peace of mind has value for the extra few dollars per cleaning.

5. Not asking the right questions

Failing to clarify important details upfront can mean trouble once a house cleaning service gets started in your home. These are crucial questions to ask so you know exactly what to expect.

How often do rate increases occur?

  • When comparing rates between maid services, remember to ask about the frequency of rate increases. The initial rate means little if it suddenly shoots up after just a few months.
  • Clarify the typical length between rate increases, average percentage boosted, and what factors determine changes. This helps prevent surprise rate hikes.

Are there additional fees I should know about?

  • An advertised base rate generally doesn’t reflect your final total for ongoing service. Make sure to clarify additional fees that cause final rates to inflate.
  • For example, some companies charge extra for cleaning appliances, windows, and a certain number of bathrooms. Know exactly what extras apply to your home.

What is your cancellation/scheduling flexibility policy?

  • Understand each service’s policies related to scheduling changes and cancellations. As life throws curveballs, you don’t want to lose money for needing to adjust cleanings.
  • Also, ask how far out you must schedule recurring service. Good home cleaning services accommodate unexpected events.

As experts at HomeAdvisor recommend, taking time to ask detailed questions and evaluate communication standards helps set clear expectations from the start to ensure you choose a trustworthy home cleaning service that fits your precise needs and preferences.

6. Selecting the wrong cleaning methods

Every home and family has unique needs regarding cleaning routines and habits. Failing to clarify preferences upfront or control decisions about methods can mean frustration and extra work.

7. Neglecting certain places

Do you need special attention paid to stainless steel appliances? Do you want ceiling fans and lamp shades dusted each visit? Share unique places neglected during normal cleans that are important in your home.

Without this guidance, cleaners default to their usual routine which may ignore areas important to your family. Speak up initially so the entire house sparkles each visit.

8. Using wrong techniques

Do you prefer dry dusting versus dusting with polish? Certain types of mops or vacuum cleaners used? Have delicate surfaces needing special care? Provide input about your preferred cleaning techniques.

Just because a method works in their other clients’ homes doesn’t mean it fits best for your living space and belongings. Prevent possible damage by speaking up.

9. Choosing the wrong ongoing service level

When selecting a recurring cleaning service, it pays to think about how the frequency of visits aligns with your family’s needs. Blindly assuming you need a certain cadence without considering lifestyle factors can mean overpaying or still dealing with a messy house.

Paying for more than needed

  • Young couples or seniors living alone rarely need weekly cleaning like busy families do. But some book a full-service house cleaner without considering if it aligns with dirt level accumulating.
  • Consider how quickly clutter and messes pile up given your lifestyle and household size before committing to recurring visits. Overpaying for unneeded visits wastes money long-term.

Having spotty success with consistency

  • On the other hand, only scheduling a cleaning service once a month or every couple of weeks can mean fighting grime or clutter between visits. When the mess seems like too much to tackle yourself, it builds stress.
  • Evaluate your household’s pace and standards of tidiness to pick the right frequency of visits. Figure out the optimal balance between effort on your end and hiring help that yields consistent success keeping chaos at bay.

Formalizing agreements in an official cleaning contract rather than an informal handshake deal helps provide legal protection and accountability if disputes ever arise with a maid service provider.

10. Failing to establish long-term relationships

For the best quality cleaning and reliability over months and years of using a home cleaning service, it pays to focus on relationship building. Failing to establish mutual understanding or spending time vetting candidates as a partner means a rocky road ahead. 

Consider these tips for nurturing a positive, long-lasting partnership.

Not giving clear ongoing instructions

  • After that first cleaning appointment, don’t assume the same person or team returns each time without your needing to provide feedback. Clarify evolving preferences instead of expecting perfect mind reading!
  • Document a running list of places needing extra attention, preferred products to use or avoid for sensitive areas, and special techniques proving effective over time. Giving clear instructions ongoing saves frustration and yields the best home cleaning results visit after visit.

Not giving performance feedback

  • Similarly, speak up about performance feedback as you notice what works versus not working over initial cleanings instead of suddenly firing a company after months of paying for subpar service.
  • Provide constructive input on things like thoroughness or missed tasks in a thoughtful, positive tone so good habits strengthen and problems get addressed early. You want this to feel like an open, communicative relationship instead of a formal business transaction.

11. Not Communicating Allergies or Other Special Requests

Failing to mention any allergies, sensitivities, or special accommodations you require can lead to a service using harmful or irritating cleaning products in your home. Communicate all needs upfront to ensure safety.

12. Not Providing Enough Time for Thorough Cleaning

Expecting a maid service to provide a top-to-bottom cleaning in an unrealistic time frame like 1 hour can mean missed tasks, rushed results, and frustration between you and the team. Provide ample time for the level of cleaning you desire.

13. Forgetting About Incidentals

From extra dirt tracked in around the holidays to higher square footage in spring when you clean out closets, incidental factors can impact the amount of time and supplies needed to clean well. Not accounting for these means unexpected costs or superficial cleans.

14. Overlooking Cultural Compatibility

Hiring a service without considering cultural values and customs around hospitality and respect can create awkwardness or unsatisfactory cleaning. Ask probing questions upfront and decide if a relationship seems like a good fit.

15. Choosing Based on Flashy Advertisements

Getting lured in by fancy websites and polished advertising says little about the actual quality of cleaning you will receive. Rely more on word-of-mouth, reviews, and customer experiences when evaluating rather than flashy gimmicks without substance.


What questions should I ask a maid service before hiring them?

When interviewing a new house cleaning service, make sure to ask for references from past clients. Speaking to references checks on the quality and thoroughness of cleaning you can expect. Also ask about licenses, bonding, insurance coverage, employee screening practices, cancellation flexibility policies, rates and additional fees, and scheduling options to avoid surprises down the road. Knowing the right questions to ask upfront ensures you choose a professional, reliable cleaning service.

How do I set clear expectations with a maid service?

Good communication is key to getting the best results from a home cleaning service over the long haul. Provide detailed instructions on any areas needing special attention, preferred cleaning techniques and products for delicate items, ideal time needed to complete cleaning properly each visit, and expectations around addressing performance issues. Giving clear direction instead of assuming a service will satisfy your needs means less frustration about missed tasks or cleaning methods that don’t suit your home.

Should I hire the maid service with the lowest price?

While tempting to save money upfront, ultra-low-priced cleaning services often lead to headaches and hidden costs over time. To offer rock-bottom rates, some companies cut corners on cleaning methods, supplies, and employee training which leads to lower-quality results. Opting for cost-effective rather than the absolute cheapest service generally equates to better-trained staff and more attention to detail during each cleaning. Your peace of mind is worth a few extra dollars to prevent unreliable service or potential property damage from inexperienced employees.

What’s better: Individual cleaners or large cleaning companies?

Both independent house cleaners and big cleaning franchisees have upsides and downsides to weigh based on your priorities. Single cleaners often offer greater flexibility and customization since they rely on client happiness for incoHowever large established brands tend to have rigorous recruitment and training standards yielding consistent, professional service. Assess factors like cost, quality control, bonding protection, and cancelation policies when deciding what makes the most sense long-term.

Should I be home during cleanings or leave workers alone?

Deciding whether to be home during cleanings depends on personal comfort level. Being around allows monitoring work for peace of mind. But some find hovering makes cleaners nervous and prefer leaving the house for greater productivity. Workers from reputable services undergo background checks before getting hired for safety. Discuss expectations around property access upfront so policies are clearly defined in either case. Both options work fine— it comes down to the trust established with a given provider.


Though a professional cleaning company seems like a straightforward solution to lighten your domestic workload, it pays to take time to vet providers upfront to secure satisfactory service long-term. Several key pitfalls—from judging only by low fees to failing communication needs—can undermine positive outcomes if not proactively addressed before welcoming strangers into your home. Doing diligent (research understanding normal rates (and asking the right questions averts most headaches. By avoiding tendencies to passively assume or sign contracts blindly, the extra time passed initially saves bountiful hours ahead rest assured that well-supervised officers respectfully care for your sacred spaces and belongings inside out.

In essence, the legwork of making an aligned match with a maid service directly ties to consistent happiness as the relationship unfolds across months and years ahead. But when you put in the work discerning quality team fit the first time around, the ease of delegating that dreaded grunt work feels priceless for precious free hours recouped. So stay patient resisting the urge to rush into rocky partnerships. Nothing quite compares to arriving back home where not a speck catches your eye, thanks to a dream cleaner who understands your unique abode like their own.


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