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15 Signs of a Bad Cleaning Person

Getting a cleaner in on a weekly basis is an excellent way of making sure your home stays in tip-top form. You’ve got more time to do things that really matter, and it’s just an overall weight off your shoulders. 

That is until the cleaning person starts to get a little unenthusiastic about their work and you have to pick up their tasks. 

It’s not ideal at all, especially when you’re handing over your hard-earned cash to a cleaner that doesn’t clean your home properly.  

So, what are the tell-tale signs of a bad cleaning person? Keep on reading to discover the signs of a poor cleaner below, so you can say farewell to them before you part with more cash. 


1. Cleaner Keeps Charging You for Extra Work

extra cleaning charges

Generally, before a cleaner arrives at your home, you’ll have talked to them (or to the company they work for) on the phone, and you’ll have discussed what cleaning tasks you have, and what fee you’ll be charged. 

So, when it comes to paying for the cleaning work there shouldn’t be any surprises. 

However, a sure sign of a bad cleaning person is if they charge you for itty-bitty cleaning tasks that weren’t highlighted to you during the initial phone call. 

If you’re being charged for extra tasks, like emptying the bin or hoovering the bathroom, you need to have a chat with the cleaner to see why you are being charged. 

If they can provide you with evidence, or they can justify why you’ve got extra fees to cover, then it’s up to you to decide if you want to continue working with the cleaner. 

If, on the other hand, these additional costs cannot be justified, and you had outlined said tasks in the original contract, the cleaner may be trying to get extra money out of you.


2. Not Respecting the Security Side of Your Home

unlocked or open front door

If you’re giving a cleaner access to your home, you expect them to be reliable, trustworthy and competent. So, naturally you expect them to make sure your home is secure when they leave. 

That is, they should come into your home, complete their tasks, and leave your home and items in a safe but cleaner way. 

Your cleaner, therefore, shouldn’t go home and leave your front door unlocked or leave the windows wide open, unless someone is at home. 

Leaving your home in such a condition means that it’s unsafe, and anybody could walk into your house. 

If a cleaner isn’t respecting your home’s security, you should talk to them and tell them how you feel. And if they continue to leave doors unlocked, you don’t really want them cleaning your home unsupervised because they’re not paying attention to detail. 


3. Lack of Communication

cleaning checklist

Until you get to know your cleaner, you’re effectively leaving a stranger into your home. The only comfort is that if they are part of an agency, they should’ve been checked beforehand. 

One very simple way of getting to know your cleaner is to communicate with them. You start a conversation with them and you build your relationship up from here. 

If your cleaner isn’t very communicative with you, you should try and find out how they like to communicate. 

For example, if your cleaner is shy, they might prefer to work in silence, and they may ask you to leave a list of tasks for them. You can then do this, so you build a better working relationship with them that’s built on mutual respect.  

But if it’s just a case of your cleaner being rude to you by ignoring or dismissing you when you speak to them, you’re not really building a relationship. 

You’re actually doing the opposite and it’ll be really difficult for you to communicate feedback to them in the future. 

It might be time to say farewell to them before problems escalate. 


4. Disrespecting You and Other Family Members

bad cleaner

A cleaner comes into your home, so they should be respectful to you and your family, no matter who they are. 

If this isn’t the case, and you hear them being short to your kids, swearing at your nan and pushing your dad out of the way, for example, you should discuss your concerns with them. 

And if the problem persists, and no amount of feedback helps, you should start looking for a new cleaner that isn’t rude. 


5. Not Listening to Your Instructions or Feedback

angry cleaner

If you’ve picked up on a few problems with your cleaner and you’ve tried to give them feedback, but this hasn’t been revived well, or it’s been dismissed, you should consider either changing the cleaner’s tasks, or find someone else. 

Similarly, if you’ve told your cleaner that you’d prefer to use specific products because someone in the house has allergies, for example. 

If the cleaner doesn’t listen to your comments, they’re obviously ignoring you, endangering your family, and should be removed from the house. 


6. Misusing Cleaning Tools and Supplies

cleaner with empty cleaning supplies

An experienced cleaner should know what tools to use where, and how much of a product should be used to get the best result.

If your cleaner is using the wrong cleaning tools, your alarm bells should be ringing. 

Sometimes it can be a lapse in concentration and they might’ve picked up the wrong tool. But if they continue to choose the wrong gadgets, you need to question if they’re a competent cleaner. 

On a similar note, if the cleaner is constantly running out of cleaning solutions, unless your home is seriously dirty, they’re clearly overusing the products. And this could be very dangerous for you and your family. 

So, start off by explaining to the cleaner that products are being overused, and hope that they reduce how much they use. If the problem persists, you’ll either be wasting a lot of money on cleaning supplies, or you’ll have to seek out a new cleaner. 


7. Not Cleaning Very Much in the Time Allotted

cleaner on idle

It’s likely that your cleaner has an allotted amount of time to clean your house, and you should have a rough idea about what can be cleaned in this time. 

If you find that some weeks your cleaner manages to clean everything listed in the time, but fails to do so other weeks, have a quick chat with them to find out what’s wrong. 

It could be that your house is a little grubbier some weeks. But, if the cleaner cannot explain why they’re not achieving good results in their allotted time, you should ask yourself if your cleaner is getting a little lazy. 

And if this is the case, you should open a discussion with them about your concerns. Try and find a solution and if not, you should let them go. 

If you keep this cleaner on, but they don’t clean your house to the standard you expect, you’ll be paying them and cleaning the house yourself. Which seems pointless. 

For more information on what to expect from an allotted cleaning session, see the questions below. 


8. Skipping Tasks

skipping cleaning tasks

You should have come to an agreement with your cleaner about what tasks you expect them to achieve in a set amount of time. 

If you find that your cleaner is actively skipping tasks, or not completing more demanding tasks, you should question their commitment to the job, and whether or not you want to continue working with them. 

After all, if you’ve given your cleaner a list, unless they can justify why they shouldn’t or can’t do something with you beforehand, they should complete the tasks. 

In the end you could end up paying a cleaner, but they haven’t done the work. 


9. Not Following a Schedule

not following cleaning schedule

It’s likely that you’ll have discussed what day and what time your cleaner will come each week. So, there shouldn’t be any confusion about when they need to be at your house to clean. 

Of course, there may be occasions when a cleaner runs later. But in this case, they should phone ahead and let you know. 

However, if your cleaner continues to disregard your schedule and turns up late or on the wrong day, this probably isn’t working out for you. 

If you’re happy with the cleaner and the work they carry out, you should ask them about changing the day/time they come to suit their working life better, if the current schedule you’ve got in place isn’t working out well for them. 

Otherwise, you should start looking for a cleaner that’ll follow your schedule and turn up on time. 


10. Cleaner Is Just Reorganising Rather Than Cleaning

cleaner moving furniture

A sign of a bad cleaning person is when they start rearranging your home to cover dirty spots. Rather than actually cleaning the mucky surfaces! 

This is a sure sign that your cleaner doesn’t really want to be at your house cleaning, and they’re looking at ways of cutting corners! 

Steer clear! 


11. Breaking Items in Your Home

broken glass

If your cleaner breaks an item in your home, they should be open and honest with you about it, so you can rectify the issue.

Of course, if this happens once, maybe twice, you can forgive and move on. 

But if damaging items, precious and valuable, becomes a regular thing you really need to talk this over with your cleaner to find out what’s going on. 

If your cleaner can give you a legitimate reason for the damages, say they stumbled or they feel dizzy when they come down off a ladder, you can find a work-around for these things. 

However, if your cleaner shows complete disregard for your stuff, and couldn’t care less where they throw or put your belongings as they clean, they’re not the type of person you want in your home. 

In the end the damage could cost you hundreds or thousands of pounds! Plus, it’s completely disrespectful to you. 


12. A Random Person Turns Up Instead of Your Regular Cleaner

cleaner entering door

When you first agreed to have a cleaning person, you were told who it would be. As expected, they should turn up and carry out the cleaning for you. 

If you notice after a few weeks your cleaning person changes, but you haven’t been notified of this, you should question what’s going on. 

You should ask your usual cleaner what’s happening, or speak to the agency that sent the cleaner. If you find out why the cleaner has been changed, and you’re happy with the answer, you can continue with the service. 

But if the response you get is a tad odd and unconvincing, you should think about discontinuing your relationship with your cleaner, and find a new and reputable one. 

Your original cleaner could be outsourcing their job to another person, who might not be a professional cleaner! This is unacceptable. 


13. Wasting Time on Their Phone

cleaner wasting time on phone

When a cleaner arrives at your house, they’re there to carry out cleaning work for you. So, if you continuously see your cleaner on their phone texting, calling people or scrolling through social media, you need to have a quick word with them.

Sometimes people don’t realise they’re actually on their phone so much. So, by giving them some feedback, they can remedy the situation and get back to the tasks at hand. 

However, if you try telling your cleaner that you’re unhappy, but they’re not interested in what you have to say, and continue to use their phone at work, they’re giving you a pretty clear sign that they’re a bad cleaning person. 


14. Bringing People into Your Home Without Asking

receiving cleaners at home

It’s very unprofessional for a single cleaner to turn up with another person in tow if they haven’t told you about this first. 

If the second person is a new cleaner and is shadowing your cleaner, for example, this is understandable. 

But if you haven’t been informed about an additional person coming around, you don’t know anything about them or why they’re in your house, you’d be within your right to ask them to leave the premises. 

You should chat with your actual cleaner about the problem, and then you can decide whether or not you want them back in your home. 

If your cleaner intentionally withholds information about this extra person from you during your chat, it’s likely that you’ll feel uncomfortable about having them in your home. 

Also, you should ask yourself if this kind of behaviour is a sign that your cleaner is susceptible to other bad behaviours. 


15. Things Are Going Missing from Your Home

checking kitchen

If you notice items, like food, are going missing from your home, and you suspect your cleaner is pinching things, you need to deal with this matter very carefully. 

Ideally, you need to do your research into the matter, and get proof that the cleaner is at fault before you confront them. Otherwise, you could accuse them of something and it had nothing to do with them. 

Once you’ve gathered your evidence, and you know for definite the cleaner has been taking your stuff, you can deal with the matter. What steps you take is up to you. 


Final Thoughts…

Inviting a cleaner into your home can be a very tense time. After all, a cleaner is going to get a glimpse of your personal life, so it’s important that you have the right person. 

If ever you feel that there’s something not sitting right with your cleaner, have a chat with them. In a lot of cases, having a direct conversation can do the world of good and it can really improve a working relationship. 

On the flip slide, if your concerns are major and you’ve noticed multiple bad points with your cleaner, you should tell them about your worries and end your agreement. 


What Can a Cleaner Do in 1 Hour?

What Can a Cleaner Do in 1 Hour

An hour isn’t a long time, so a cleaner won’t be able to do a huge amount in this 60-minute period. Here are some tasks they might be able to carry out: 

  • Dusting 
  • Hoovering
  • Mop the floor
  • Clean countertops 

Read our full article for an in depth guide on what a cleaner can clean in one hour.


What Can a Cleaner Do in 2 Hours?

In a two-hour period, a cleaner should be able to carry out the following cleaning tasks:

  • Mop the kitchen floor
  • Hoover the main floors in the whole house
  • Clean a toilet 
  • Wipe the taps 

Read our article for an in depth guide on what a cleaner can clean in two hours


What Can a Cleaner Do in 3 Hours?

What Can a Cleaner Do in 3 Hours

Three hours is ample time to clean a home to a good standard. You can expect a cleaner to carry out the following tasks:

  • Hoover
  • Clean counters
  • Clean the toilet
  • Dust 
  • Change bedding 
  • Clean floors

Read our article for an in depth guide on what a cleaner can clean in three hours