You’re in the process of finishing a hectic project at work, and the burnout isn’t letting you tackle the mess in your house.

Or your little ones are being extra cranky this week, and you don’t have the time or energy to keep everything tidy.

So, you’ve decided to hire a cleaning service. That’s an excellent investment in self-care. But how much to tip cleaning lady, and should you even tip in the first place?

Now that professional cleaners have become a norm, more and more people are asking this question. In this guide, we’ll discuss how much to tip cleaning lady based on several factors.

cleaning process for a cleaning lady - how much to tip a cleaning lady


Why Tip House Cleaners 

The same reason you tip other service providers: to show your appreciation for a job well done. In one of their older articles, the NY Times discussed a restaurant owner who said that people tip as an incentive for better service. 

But we’d say things are different now. All service providers are fighting to stand out from the crowd and earn customers’ trust. So, they’re all already providing stellar service. 

Tipping is now more of a customary courtesy. It’s a way to show a service provider that you value their work and thank them for their time providing a particular service to you. 

Some people also feel that tipping has almost become mandatory because most service providers now rely on tips as a significant source of income. That’s why frequent debates exist on how much to tip cleaning professionals. 

regular vs standard cleaning / weekly cleaning of apartment & living room


How Much to Tip Cleaning Lady: The Standard

It is standard practice to tip a cleaning lady 15 to 20%. As evident, it is similar to the tipping etiquette for other services like delivery, hairdressers, nail tech, and massage therapists. 

Let’s say you hired a cleaning professional to clean your apartment. They charged you $100 for the task. The tip should be anywhere between $15 and $20. 

However, in some cases, you may have to consider the cleaning service’s policy. Some cleaning services may not accept tips or may have a guideline in place for tipping. 

If the cleaning service you hired has such policies, follow their rules. Talking to them about tipping beforehand is best to avoid awkward situations later. 


move in move out floor cleaning - how much to tip a cleaning lady


When to Tip More? 

By now, you know how much to tip housing cleaning service as a general rule of thumb. But there are certain cases when you should consider giving more than 15 to 20%. 

For instance, if your cleaning service has done an outstanding job and exceeded your expectations, you should show appreciation by tipping more. 

In some cases, cleaning services may do additional tasks that aren’t even their responsibility. For example, if you hire a cleaning professional for your kitchen, they may take out your trash or clean the dog’s food and water bowls. 

You can then tip them extra for taking the initiative to do something beyond their duties. 

Apart from this, you should also consider the number of cleaners that come to clean your house. If you have a bigger place, the cleaning company might send 3 or 4 cleaners. 

If the total is $300 and you decide to tip 20%, it will be $60. While this is fair, it’s not enough when distributed between 4 people. If you’re up for it, you can always tip a little more, such as $100, to ensure everyone gets a decent tip. 

cleaning process

How Much to Tip Cleaning Lady: Cleaning Companies vs. Self-Employed Cleaners 

There’s a difference in tipping practices for cleaners employed by a company and those who work independently. 

Self-employed cleaners set their own rates. That means they don’t expect tips as they already include them in their service fee. However, if you’re delighted with the job they did, you can still tip them.

When it comes to cleaners employed by a company, they don’t get paid as much. Part of the reason is that the company also keeps a share of every cleaning. Due to this, the cleaner doesn’t keep 100% of what you pay. Instead, the money goes to the company, which further pays the cleaners based on their per-hour rate. 

So, if you’re hiring from a cleaning company, you can consider tipping more. 

how much to tip for cleaning services and cleaning lady in NYC

How Much to Tip For One-Time Cleaning Service? 

Another common concern is how much to tip cleaning service if they only come in for a one-time job. The answer is still the same. 

In fact, you should make sure to tip them even more, considering the fact that they’re not coming in regularly. On the other hand, cleaners who come in every week or month do not expect a tip every time. 

Sure enough, you can tip them every once in a while, but it’s not necessary. For example, if a cleaning lady comes in every week, you can tip them at the end of the month. 

If different cleaners come in every week, you can tip at the end of every cleaning. Again, the key is to stay within your budget. If you cannot afford to tip every month, the cleaner will appreciate a bi-annual or annual cash bonus. 

Tipping doesn’t always have to be cash, either. If you have a gift card, you don’t need or an extra bottle of wine, you can always give it away as a token of appreciation.

How Much to Tip Cleaning Lady for Deep Clean Sessions?

Spring cleaning or moving-in/out cleaning can be pretty overwhelming. It’s always good to have a professional helping hand. 

Is there a different etiquette for tipping a cleaning lady for deep cleaning than regular, weekly cleanings? 

The answer is yes. Deep cleaning usually requires more work and time, so it’s customary to offer a higher tip than usual. 

A good rule of thumb is to aim for 25% to 30% of the cleaning fee, depending on how satisfied you are with the service. Since multiple cleaners come for deep cleaning, you should divide the tip accordingly. 

How to Tip a House Cleaner?

Now that we’ve explained how much to tip cleaning lady, let’s move on to the actual method. The safest and most universal way to give a tip is cash. 

If the cleaner has given you their phone number, you can also use online payment methods such as Venmo or PayPal. But if the cleaner is employed by a cleaning company, it’s best to give them cash instead of transferring money through an app. 

Most importantly, make sure you have the cash on hand when they’re coming in for the job and present it to them in an envelope. As always, the amount of money should be based on your budget and personal preferences. 

While you’re at it, thank the cleaners for their service. If you have any feedback, share it with them so that they can improve their service in the future. 

when the customers smile after cleaning & how much to tip a cleaning lady

Other Ways to Appreciate Cleaners

Yes, tipping is the first thing that comes to mind when showing appreciation to cleaning professionals. But you can also go the extra mile and make the cleaners feel appreciated in other ways.

Offer Snacks 

If you’re at home while the cleaners come in, offer them snacks like sandwiches, coffee, cookies, or tea. The gesture shows that you care about their well-being and makes them feel welcome in your home. 

Similarly, if you won’t be home during the cleaning session, leave snacks for them on the kitchen counter or the living room table. Don’t forget about water and other refreshments. 

Declutter Your Home 

It’s always a much-appreciated gesture for cleaners if the home is decluttered. It saves them the time they’d otherwise have to spend putting your belongings in their designated places and reduces the risk of them damaging something.

For instance, put all your belongings away in cabinets or closets so the cleaners can access hard-to-reach areas more easily. 

Leave Reviews

We live in the era of social proof. Whether it’s Amazon shopping or Airbnb stays, customers rely heavily on reviews when making a decision. 

So, take the time to write a review about your cleaner and their services on platforms like Yelp or Google Business. It’s an invaluable way of showing appreciation for their hard work and helps them find more clients in the future. 

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Hire Reliable Cleaners for Your New York Apartment 

Do you live in New York? You might wonder: how much to tip cleaning lady NYC at home? If you hire us at Sunlight Cleaning NY, we’d say it’s up to you. 

When we arrive at your address, we come with one thing in mind: to provide you with a service that exceeds your expectations. As appreciative as we are of gratuity, we don’t expect it. 

We just want to make your home shine with spotless cleanliness — nothing more. Get in touch with us today to book your first cleaning. 

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