The term cleaner, and housekeeper are often used synonymously – but in reality they are not the same. This article will explain the differences, and clarify any doubts as to what is meant by each term.

One of the biggest difference between a Cleaner, and a Housekeeper is how long they are going to work for you. Are they going to work on a regular schedule – or maybe live in your home – or are they going to come over only as needed to do some deep cleaning and heavy work?

In other words, a cleaner is someone you call when you have a big task on hand and you want to get it done in a hurry or by professionals. For instance, you have a summer home that you only visit for a week each year. It needs a complete going over before you arrive so it’s ready for your stay. In that case, a cleaner may be the best option.

A cleaner may be one person, but they also may be a team of people who come in and get a lot of work done in a short period of time and then leave until you need them again.

Jobs for a cleaner would be:

  • Heavy cleaning of complete kitchens, including cabinets and drawers, interior and exterior of appliances, countertops, sinks, light switch covers, inside and outside of ovens and microwaves, vacuuming and mopping, cleaning tables and chairs
  • Scrubbing and deep-cleaning of countertops, sinks, interior or exterior walls, tubs, toilets, floors
  • Scrubbing, polishing, and sanitizing bathrooms, toilets, tubs, showers, sinks, chrome, brass, stainless steel, and drains
  • Dusting baseboards, doors, picture frames, light fixtures, cabinet and furniture tops
  • Cleaning windows and sills
  • Vacuuming or steam-cleaning upholstery and carpets
  • Vacuuming, mopping and sealing all types of floors

A housekeeper on the other hand, is someone who becomes closer and more integrated with your home and family. She typically may come to your home 4-6 days a week, and work for 35-40 hours, but may also live in. She is not there for the short-term, and typically will do her work on a daily basis – keeping things that get dirty quickly clean and in-order all the time. For instance she will wipe down the sink-tops, dust the furniture, and make the beds every day. As a matter of fact, a good housekeeper will do everything from cooking to walking the dog. She takes care of the details that make a house a home.

Jobs for a housekeeper are:

  • Dusting, sweeping, and mopping
  • Washing, folding and ironing clothes
  • Washing, drying and putting away dishes
  • Making beds and changing the linens
  • Restocking personal care products, toilet paper, etc.
  • Picking up toys and clutter
  • General organising
  • Running errands
  • Grocery shopping
  • Preparing healthy meals
  • Walking and taking care of pets
  • Rubbish and recycling

Now that we’ve outlined the differences; do you need a cleaner or a housekeeper?