Question about having cleaning service for your house

Well, it looks like my wife got a promotion at work (yay). I told her last night that if she wanted to get a cleaning service for the house, particularly during the warm months when I’m busy working and playing outside that it would be OK with me.

We started talking about it and one aspect struck me. My wife tells me that we need to supply the cleaning service with chemicals and tools, like vaccuum.

I kinda figured they’d provide that stuff. If you are being judged by how well you clean a house, then wouldn’t it behoove you to use equipment that you trust and are comfortable with? What if I bought you the absolute bargain basement crap and then fired you because you weren’t getting the house clean and then told all my neighbors and friends not to hire you.

That’s a hell of a way to run a small business. It seems like the person who owns the small business would want to be in complete control of the finished product and leave nothing to chance.

Is this the way it’s always done?? Thanks

We have a cleaning service and they provide their own stuff, but we’ve used others in the past that have required the customer to provide products. I think it is more common that the customer provides products and equipment, but both options seem common.

ETA: This is in Washington, DC, if it matters.

Congrats on Mrs Diggerwam’s promotion!

All cleaners I have ever had used the stuff we have at home. Surely you already have cleaning equipment? If they wanted a particular product they would usually just say: “BTW, brand X spray is finished, but if you’re picking up more, get brand Y spray, I use that one and it’s much better!” I can’t really imagine a situation where a cleaner wouldn’t get the house sufficiently clean due to using bad products, after which you would fire them.

Maybe if you get some sort of huge company they bring their own equipment, but I’ve never heard of that.

(Also, I do hope you were somewhat involved in the cleaning before you so graciously allowed Mrs Diggerwam a cleaner, not just playing outside while she polished the floors…??)

My mom’s old cleaning lady had her own vacuum and products, though she would use yours if you had a reason (like a wood floor that has to be polished with a certain type of wax, or allergies, or whatever). Same for the cleaning company my current LL trialed (before deciding she didn’t need it enough to justify the cost).

Ask the cleaning company which way they do it. I’m sure they all have their own policies. If you want them to bring their own products though, it will probably be a bit more costly to account for that.

Of course I already help out with cleaning. My wife commutes 45-60 minutes each way. It’s just during the summer months I don’t have as much time to work inside and outside the house. During the winter when we are shut-ins, we can handle the house ourselves.

I suppose I’m a control freak (no, there is no supposing about it) if this was my business I’d want to be in complete control of the finished product, that means using equipment and chemicals that I’m used to. Not what my employer provides.

I bet there is a liablilty issue: if I use your cleaner on your stove, you can’t claim I ruined the finish and need to buy you a new one.

When I’ve used large services, they’ve always had their own supplies.

But if you have a freelance housekeeper, they might use yours.

People are particular about what’s used in their homes, in truth. Easiest just to let them buy the product they are comfortable with. If they want to splash out on expensive stuff, let them. As for the vacuum, etc. Chances are most people have such equipment in their homes, and, like any business it comes down to time. Are the cleaners spending time, each visit, loading and unloading cleaning supplies and equipment? Or are they in and out, just a little quicker, because they don’t?

Plus house cleaning is the sort of small business one can start up with little overhead, makes for a micro business pretty easily.


I’ve almost always had a cleaning lady (my mother taught me well - when she went back to work when I was 15, she told me “if you work full time, you get a cleaning lady. You don’t want to spend your nights/weekends cleaning.”) and they’ve always used my products. I don’t think it makes any sense for them to bring their own; every house has its own particular needs, and people have particular opinions. For example, I don’t want furniture polish on most of my furniture, and my fake-wood floor tends to streak unless you use a particular type of cleaner on it. Seems like it would be expensive and a hassle for the cleaning person to have to stock all the various products each person wants, and keep track of them all. Much easier just to have the stuff in the house.

That’s precisely why our current cleaning lady flatly refuses to do windows and generally declines to deal with people’s china cabinets. She doesn’t want to be held responsible for potential breakage.

She has clients provide supplies and equipment and if you don’t have strong preferences for a product, she’ll provide suggestions about what she likes to work with. The lady we had at our old house brought in her own stuff and charged a little more to cover the cost of the supplies.

I think if this was your business you’d want to provide the customer with satisfaction, and that means not using any cleaning product except those the customer has consented that you use. The easiest way to know what the customer consents to, is to have the customer provide products of their choosing.

If you go around using pure bleach when the customer has requested only biodegradable and non-caustic products, you won’t have a second call from that customer.

I’ll use the client’s product if they ask. (Ugh, Simple Green, blaugh.) But I can’t imagine walking in empty-handed and saying “Whaddya got for me?” Some clients don’t have a vacuum cleaner; that’s why I do.

I use a green cleaning company. They bring their own environmentally-friendly products. Not sure if they used their own vacuum or not.

I would recommend looking into green cleaning services, by the way. I have been very happy with their work.

Usually cleaning companies provide the materials, the tools and cleaning agents especially if larger or has been in cleaning industry for long time. Personally, I used services like the
commercial janitorial services ca.