Should I bring my own cleaning supplies to clean a client’s house? YES!!!! Keep reading to learn why.
Most new house cleaners ask this question. It is an investment to purchase cleaning supplies for your new cleaning business. And what happens if the business doesn’t work out?
But on the flip side, if you use your own cleaning supplies, there is no learning curve. You already know how all the equipment works. You can clean faster and know what to grab for each surface.
If using your client’s supplies, you will have to read labels and learn how to use the equipment.
Download this Cleaning Supplies checklist.
I did a survey of my email subscribers to get their answers to this as well. And it turns out 91% bring their own cleaning supplies to their client’s house.
This falls in line with the business model I teach. It’s what I recommend for those that are building a business and not just planning on cleaning part-time here and there. This post will help you decide which is best for your business.
When the Maid should bring the Cleaning Supplies
Bringing the cleaning supplies for cleaning jobs will work best for the following business models:
- For cleaning persons that will be cleaning full time on their own.
- Business owners who will be cleaning and eventually hiring employees to help clean.
- Businesses that will only be hiring employees to do the cleaning.
It is easier to clean more efficiently and to maintain a consistent service when maid services bring their own cleaning supplies and equipment. When cleaning multiple homes a day the importance of cleaning efficiently becomes more important because when you save 15 minutes in one home that can translate to an hour a day or 5 hours a week. That’s like cleaning 1 to 2 houses in waisted time.
So here are my why’s to bringing your own equipment and supplies to each home you clean:
You can ensure that you know how to use the products and equipment
The more you use the same cleaning supplies and equipment, the more your cleaning routine becomes second nature. You’ll be able to clean with your eyes closed (NOT recommended though!).
When you use the same cleaning supplies over and over, you naturally get faster at cleaning. When you clean faster, you can clean more houses in a day and you will make more money.
You know that the equipment is properly maintained and will work
When bringing your own house cleaning supplies, you know the equipment is being taken care of. (Hopefully, you are servicing your cleaning equipment each evening and washing your towels.) With proper maintenance, you know that your cleaning equipment will be working properly….hopefully with no surprise breakdowns!
What if you get to the client’s home and their vacuum breaks, maybe the motor goes out or the electric source becomes loose and no longer works? You will be left without the proper equipment to finish the job.
Or, what if you get to the house and the homeowner is all out of bathroom cleaner. Maybe they forgot to pick some up before Cleaning Day. Or all they have is Windex. Have you ever tried to clean a shower with Windex? I don’t want to! I can’t imagine the soap scum will come off.
When a house cleaning service brings their own equipment they will have control over how well the equipment will work and ensure they have enough cleaning supplies to get the job done.
You know that you are using cleaning products that work effectively
Why do you purchase the All Purpose cleaner that you bought? More than likely, it is because you know it works, and it works well!
Your client may purchase cleaning products because of some fancy marketing, but it could be crap to clean with. Imagine scrubbing a shower and the soap scum doesn’t budge.
Your arm will hate you, and you will have wasted time cleaning that shower. If you had YOUR cleaner and maybe a razor blade, you could have had that shower cleaned in half the time…Am I right?
You become familiar with how the products work with the cleaning process that you have built and designed
You’ll know what products to use in the kitchen, and which products work better in the bathroom. Or think about your cleaning towels, do you have a favorite kind to use for bathrooms versus dusting? Do you like to use a feather duster, hand cloth, or hand-held micro-duster?
What about a long duster that is versatile, where you can extend to clean the tops of ceilings, but then bend it to dust the ceiling fans without getting a new tool?
By bringing your own house cleaning supplies and equipment, you’ll be able to build the cleaning process that you can use for each house you clean.
You can control the size of the bottles so that they fit into your apron
Your client is not purchasing cleaning supplies with your cleaning apron in mind. When you buy cleaning supplies, you should be buying in bulk and then filling smaller bottles that will fit neatly on hooks attached to your apron.
I recommend purchasing 16oz reusable spray bottles and filling them. Make sure to label them well with a printed label covered in tape. I tried using a permanent marker, but it has a tendency to rub off quickly from the cleaning supplies.
It shows professionalism
Most professional house cleaning businesses and cleaning ladies come equipped with their own cleaning supplies. You are providing a full house cleaning service. Your client is hiring you to do the cleaning and buy the supplies.
You wouldn’t hire a plumber and expect to provide the tools? You probably don’t even own the tools he would need to do the work. This is the same with your clients and house cleaning.
It allows you to charge more for the cleaning services
This is my favorite reason, it allows me to charge what other large cleaning services are charging. My clients will see me as a legit cleaning business and not just a lady that cleans their house for them.
By bringing your own supplies and equipment, you are investing in your business. You are saving your clients the time and money it would take for them to purchase the supplies. This equals a higher level of service and so, you are able to charge more to cover the cost to supply the equipment.
When the Homeowner should supply the cleaning supplies
If you are getting into cleaning as a part-time gig
For those starting a side hustle and only planning on cleaning for 5 or fewer clients, then I recommend using your client’s supplies. At 5 clients or less, it does not make sense to purchase the cleaning equipment (vacuum, mop, and cleaning supplies). It will take you longer to recoup the costs of purchasing the supplies and equipment.
If you are going to charge by the hour
If you are charging by the hour for cleaning tasks then it is ok to use your client’s supplies. Charging by the hour will ensure you are paid for the additional time it will take to learn how to use your client’s cleaning supplies and adjust to different products.
If you provide the client with a list of cleaning supplies to purchase
Some cleaning ladies/companies may decide to provide a list to the client on what cleaning supplies to purchase for them to provide for each cleaning. This is not a common practice. Many homeowners will not want to do this.
If you are part of the 9% who use their client’s supplies, make sure you follow these tips:
Give your client a list of the products that you use. This way at least you will be familiar with the products you will be using.
Charge an hourly rate rather than a flat fee for your cleaning services. You will not be able to replicate your cleaning system, therefore each home will be cleaned differently and will vary in how long it takes you to clean.
Etiquette when bringing cleaning supplies to your client’s house
Make sure the equipment is in tip-top shape.
Don’t bring broken down or dirty vacuums, in fact, you should be cleaning your vacuum filters out each day. I always kept extra filters for each vacuum that we had. This way I would wash one and while it dried, I would use another one.
Have the right supplies
Make sure you’re stalked with the right cleaning products to clean your client’s surfaces (stone countertops, stainless steel appliances, grout, and specialty surfaces). The best approach here is to purchase a safe All Purpose Cleaner that you can use on all surfaces.
Don’t run out of supplies
Stock your car each day so you don’t run out of cleaning supplies halfway through the day. In my business, we purchased most of our cleaning supplies in gallon quantities. So I kept a gallon of the cleaner in the car, and when we were packing up the car after a house, we topped off each cleaning bottle. This way we had plenty for the next house.
Keep your cleaning caddy neat and organized
Don’t bring a dirty cleaning caddy to your client’s home. Your equipment and supplies will be a reflection on you and your business and you don’t want to appear messy and unorganized. It’s best to wipe out your caddy each night as part of your end-of-day tasks. This way it is clean and ready to go for the next day.