12 May 2022

Once the scrub job packs the ‘wow’ factor, or it’s become immediately obvious that cleaners may have gone over and above in service delivery, for most people, uncertainty sets in as they ponder on whether or not to tip. Here, we address the topic of tipping while leaving some dos & don’ts.

All You Need To Know About Tipping Your House Cleaners

Congratulations! Your cleaners have successfully put in the shift, paying nitpicky attention to detail in ensuring your space is as clean as you’ve always dreamt of. In equally clean, clear conscience, you are unsure about whether to tip them, and if ‘yes,’ then how much?

Let’s face it — nobody wants to live in unclean conditions. For most, especially the upwardly mobile, there’s hardly enough time to commit to domestic chores. Owing largely to this, outsourced cleaning services have featured regularly in modern life.

However, despite it being a decade’s old industry, there’s still some lingering debate on the good ‘ol practice of tipping. While there are no hard and fast rules surrounding tipping house cleaners in Seattle, it certainly helps to know the consensus on some of these questions.

But first off, Need a quick answer that reflects local customs and habits when it comes to tipping house cleaners in Bellevue, Redmond, or anywhere in the Seattle area?

Here’s a guide: $50 to $100 for a full day of work per cleaner. Once a cleaner maintains your home periodically (weekly, monthly, etc.), tipping $20 to $40 per cleaning session is common with Seattleites.

Moving on, you can get your peepers at the ready as we explore all you need to know about tipping a cleaner in Seattle.

To tip or not to tip?

Now, when it comes to house cleaners, there’s a flurry of conflicting opinions about whether or not you should tip them.

Some clients run the hard line to claim it’s not their cup of tea. Some say that it's not entirely necessary, while others believe it's always appreciated. So, what side of the argument is the ‘real Mccoy’ here?!

In the spirit of fairness, this post dabbles into the longstanding debate with both sides—the clients and the cleaners—in mind to give a more balanced, nuanced perspective.

— The clients’ POV

Generally speaking, if you're happy with your house cleaner's job, then a tip is always a nice gesture. It shows that you appreciate their hard work and extra efforts in keeping your home clean and tidy.

However, there's no rule in the client book that goes: “you MUST tip your house cleaner.” The shift in cultural norms is leaning towards a revard model of service delivery where tipping is expected.

So, If you don't have the extra money to spare or simply don't feel that you receive a five star service, then don’t. Remember, there's no shame in not tipping house cleaners in Seattle!

Cleaners get close and personal, cleaning bathrooms, under the beds, or sorting through your cherished and personal elongings to make room for cleaning, you want to feel safe and anticipate discretion and confidentiality.

Just like other professionals coming up close and personal during service delivery, cleaners should be tipped. It makes them feel wanted, valued, and more unlikely to betray your trust, which reduces the risk value to the barest minimum.

This explains why some clients would develop a special bond and treat their cleaners as extended families.

—A cleaner’s perspective

Cleaning technicians are a bundle of passion, which means they are more likely to want to get feedback on their performance to see if the client or homeowner was satisfied.

Tipping a cleaner in Seattle is a good way to give them your unofficial stamp of satisfaction as it remains the only way they can feel that you’re happy with their work. To be fair, the decision to tip ultimately falls at your feet. Where the cleaner performed subpar, then a smile would suffice.

For cleaners, tips are also motivational. The case for tipping being the best possible motivator is rooted in the basic psychology of the human reward system.

Besides just vacuuming and cleaning your space, there will be times when your cleaner gives that extra 10%. It could be something extraordinary — think cleaning harder-to-reach or easily-overlooked areas like your keyboard cracks, remote, ceiling fan, or shower head with acute attention to detail — that prods your gut feeling to reward.

Now, think about it: Once impressed, wouldn’t a gratuitous tip nudge them to not only come back in the future but also continue their exceptional service delivery? In psychological terms, tipping exposes cleaners to a “rewarding stimulus” of sorts to maintain these peak-level performances.

Put simply, tipping pulls double duty — both as compensation (for their elbow grease) and motivator (to keep up the good work). This suggests that the benefits for you (the client) far outweigh the stipend as they go outside their usual scope.

Our experience working with hundreds of cleaners over the years has shown us that indeed, clients who tip receive more attention, time, and scheduling flexibility, are more gentle with their belongings, and get a little bit of extra care.

We can say for sure that these tips are greatly appreciated by all cleaners and not taken for granted.

Things to consider before deciding to tip

As we’ve said earlier, tipping has become sandwiched in modern culture. A little cash here, a “keep the change” there, helps inform hospitality personnel like doormen, waiters, and maintenance personnel like house cleaners that they are valued and appreciated.

Besides, tips are also a significant source of income for these workers. However, we know that, for several reasons, some organizations forbid tipping their staff. But, as an agency, we don’t directly employ cleaners.

We only connect you to our vast pool of cleaning technicians, which means they are independent agents. Not an employee. As such, it’s entirely up to you, the client, to tip as you please.

To help you make the right decision, we list below a few issues you might want to tick off your checklist before tipping house cleaners in Seattle:

  1. Do you really want to?

    To be fair, this sounds like one of those ‘DUHH’ recommendations. But since tipping is a non-obligatory act of service ideally done out of your generosity of heart, your emotional readiness is the first thing you need to consider carefully.

    The key here is to refrain from making impulsive decisions. You want to dispassionately assess whether you truly wish to tip and whether you have the resources to.

    Tipping house cleaners in Seattle is not mandatory, so you don’t want to force the issue, scrounging up your last penny if all your stars are not aligned for a tip. If you’re unable to, a simple “thank you” or a water bottle just might suffice.

  2. What is the norm in your locale?

    Yes, tipping is generally cultural in the country, but it still varies somewhat—depending on your location. While tipping $10 in a small town in Mississippi might not seem out of place, it might seem condescending to a cleaner in downtown Manhattan.

    On the flip side, it’s possible that tipping is an entirely foreign idea in your location. So, you must inquire from your neighbors beforehand to get a picture of what the cleaners may expect.

  3. What is the size of your home?

    Larger spaces take more time and effort to clean, and we advise that you reflect that in your tips.

    If your home is 5,000 square feet, tipping house cleaners in Seattle just as much as they would be tipped for cleaning a 2,000 square feet space may not reflect well.

  4. How well did they deliver?

    Tipping a cleaner in Seattle, at its core, is a non-obligatory form of appreciation to service workers for services rendered. It should depend on the quality of the service.

    If you feel unsatisfied with what they’ve done, you shouldn’t have to tip. On the other hand, if you think you got excellent results, feel free to tip generously.

  5. What are the cleaner’s wages?

    For many service workers, tips constitute a significant bulk of their income. Studies show that tips make up more than half the hourly income of some service workers, waiters and bartenders specifically.

    So, if you feel concerned about how much your cleaners take home, you can inquire from the agency, and you can choose to shore it up with whatever amount you think is reasonable in tips.

  6. How often do you want to tip?

    If you have cleaners coming around multiple times a week, tipping them in large sums might not be very sustainable. So, it might be helpful to decide whether you want to tip after every cleaning session, or weekly, or monthly. It’s best for you, as it helps you plan your finances well and the cleaners for the same reason.

  7. How many cleaners are involved?

    Depending on the size of your home and the intensity of cleaning needed, you may get one or multiple cleaners. This factor should also weigh in on your decision to tip.

    While giving $50 tips to a single cleaner might be comfortable, that could quickly multiply when you have to request multiple cleaners. In such a case, it’s usually a wise decision to tip them as a whole (group) rather than individually.

How much should you tip?

A fairly universal expected percentage is 15-20% of the total service fee. This is what is usually considered minimally acceptable.

Your tip is supposed to reflect your level of satisfaction with the service offered. So, you should do just that - tip generously when satisfied, and vice versa.

That said, depending on the factors that we’ve listed in the above section, you can review how much you wish to tip, as necessary.

How to tip

There are a thousand and one ways to tip your cleaners. You can hand them extra cash or reward them with event tickets. You can add it to the service fee paid directly to the agency.

However, it’s safe to say the preference for direct cash tips is a consensus among cleaners. However, you remain respectful in handing out tips. No one appreciates having money thrown at them dismissively, regardless of how much you feel they need it.

Benefits of tipping?

Tipping became such a widespread culture for many reasons, some of which we’ve mentioned above. But, to put everything in perspective, we outline some benefits:

  1. Appreciation

    First off, tips are a pat on the back to the cleaners who go the extra mile when keeping your home tidy. Service workers are often underappreciated; tipping house cleaners in Seattle helps to remedy some of that, tangibly too!

  2. It augments cleaners’ incomes

    Cleaners — blue-collar workers - don’t earn nearly as much as highly skilled or white-collar workers do. Some hope not to and would rather bask in the glee and fulfillment of your gussied-up space being back to its spick and span, hygienic self.

    However, they have to endure similar economic conditions. For the most part, tipping house cleaners in Seattle helps them keep their heads above water.

  3. Improved service

    Not all benefits of tipping are altruistic. There’s something in it for you as well! Tipping a cleaner in Seattle impacts their motivation. So, once you tip well, you’re indirectly ensuring that you’ll continue to receive that extra 1% in the cleaning — even without you asking.


Tipping is a subjective activity. Different agencies, cleaners, and clients have different views about it. But with the few pointers that we’ve outlined in this article, we hope we’ve made it much easier for you to navigate it fairly comfortably.

Remember, tipping house cleaners in Seattle is not obligatory. You should only tip if you feel like it. Ask around to know what obtains. And then, anchor your decision on the cleaner’s service delivery and other factors (most of which we’ve harped on above.) Taking on board these considerations, you can now decide if or how much you want to tip. You just might get an even better quality of service on your next appointments.

As always, stay respectful and treat your cleaning staff civilly. If you still have any questions, you can always ask them through our customer service lines—we’d be happy to provide answers!

We have spent many years in the business of connecting our clients with some of the best cleaning technicians in the state, and these professionals we work with our darn good at it, too, even if we say so ourselves!

Your space is your sacred sanctuary. You should treat it as such. Outsourcing your cleaning to professionals means hiring experts who know just what is needed to give your space the clean environment it craves. That way, you can focus on the more important stuff.