Tipping a House Cleaner: A Complete Guide (2023)

Hiring a house cleaner – especially the first time – can be an intimidating process. First of all, you’re planning to invite a stranger into your home, to see your personal space at its dirtiest. We typically don’t invite guests over to a dirty home, so bringing in someone you’ve never met can be even more anxiety-provoking.

Secondly, there is a lot of etiquette around house cleaning. You’ll need to learn to communicate with your house cleaner, offer them guidance and feedback, make their job easier in small ways, and hopefully build a mutually-beneficial long-term relationship that leaves you satisfied and proud of your home – and your cleaner satisfied and proud of their work in helping you keep it tidy.

In this post, we’re diving deep into one big question we receive a lot when new clients come onboard for their first cleaning: tipping your house cleaner. After all, we want to reward cleaners who do a great job – and we at Summit Maids have lots of incentives on our end to help make that happen. But you as a client might also want to reward your cleaner… this can bring up even more questions and uncertainty though!

Below you’ll find a guide to tipping your house cleaner, including whether you should, how much to tip, and how often. A quick read will answer all your questions and leave you feeling more confident for that first clean (of hopefully many).

Do You Tip House Cleaners?

One of the first questions you have when hiring cleaning services is: do you tip house cleaners? 

In the realm of services, tipping a house cleaner is definitely a gray area. There’s no right or wrong answer here, mainly because giving tips to a cleaner isn’t such a culturally-embedded practice everyone follows – like tipping a restaurant server, for example. 

However, even if it’s not as common as tipping a restaurant server, tipping your house cleaner is something that happens and it’s heavily dependent on you as the homeowner, how frequently you tip service providers of any kind, and – of course – how satisfied you are with the cleaning service you receive. 

Another thing worth noting is that it’s dependent on the cleaning company you hire as some of them have specific policies regarding tips. It’s always a good idea to ask your cleaning company if they have any advice – like this article! – specific to their service and cleaners.

How Much to Tip Your House Cleaner

So your cleaner has done an excellent job. Everything is sparkling clean; not a single particle of dust is visible in the air. Hence, you want to show your gratitude. Next question: how much do you tip a house cleaner?

The standard tip amount is 15%-20% of the total you paid for the service, just as you would for other services. However, if you use a regular cleaning service, you could show your appreciation with different gestures: a monthly bonus, baked cookies, a gift card, tickets to a baseball game, you get the idea. (Generally though, we at Summit Maids like to suggest just tipping since that allows your cleaner to treat themselves however they like with the tips they receive.) One of our regular clients is a world-class concert pianist and often gives tickets to his performances to his regular cleaner!

Other FAQ About Tipping a House Cleaner

We know this is a tricky topic, so we’ve got more answers to all your questions about tipping house cleaners below. Keep reading so nothing catches you off guard!  

Do You Have to Tip Your House Cleaner?

No, you don’t have to tip a house cleaner. As we said before, it’s a gesture (but a very welcomed one!).

Nonetheless, some companies only pay the minimum wage and their house cleaners rely heavily on tips to make a decent income. If your budget allows it, and you consider your house cleaner is doing a good job, it doesn’t hurt to show your gratitude. Here at Summit Maids, we pay our team very well so that they are able to live on their income without having to rely on tips. We also provide extra bonuses for our team when they get good reviews from their clients – so if you aren’t able to tip your cleaner, just make sure to give them a good review and they’ll get a little extra something anyway!

When deciding if you tip or not, it can help to evaluate a few variables:

  • Is house cleaning an occasional service or does the cleaner come at least once a week?  (You might adjust your tip – or what tip/reward you give – based on the frequency of cleans.)
  • If it was a one-time cleaning service, did the cleaner leave it impeccable? (Often one-time cleans are more intense, so might be more worthy of a tip.)

All these factors will help you decide when and how much to tip a house cleaner. 

Do You Tip House Cleaners Every Time?

Following on a point in the last section, this question is for homeowners who have a person help them weekly: do you tip house cleaners every time they come? 

Not necessarily. Tipping a house cleaner is a detail, a way of showing appreciation for the job they’ve done. You can save it for occasions when you notice that your house cleaner has exceeded your expectations. You can also give a big tip at the end of the year for the holidays. 

Again, there are many ways in which you can show your gratitude besides tipping, too.  

Who Do You Give Your House Cleaner’s Tip To?

When hiring a cleaner from Summit Maids, you should tip your cleaner directly. However, this might vary depending on the service you use and the house cleaner’s preferred method. You may have to add a tip in an app later or it can be included in the company’s quote for the service you booked. 

Here at Summit, we are happy to add your tip on to your bill if you’d prefer that we charge it to a card or if you forgot on the day of service.

Have any other questions about tipping your house cleaner, how much to tip, or something else?


  • Jacob W. Bailey

    Jacob is the Cleveland-based founder and CEO of Summit Maids, a local cleaning company with a mission to make a mark on its community by providing good jobs to more than 1,000 people.