Pros, Cons and Costs: Maid Services

By HomeAdvisor

Updated October 10, 2018

Pros and Cons of a Maid Service

In today’s high-paced world, more and more homeowners are turning to maid services to help free up valuable time and keep their home looking neat. National chains like Merry Maids and the Maid Brigade make finding maid services easy to find for anyone who is looking for some house cleaning help, while thousands of smaller companies and individuals make maid services readily available for homeowners who prefer to stay local. That said, are maid services everything they’re cracked up to be? Here are the essentials to consider when choosing to hire a maid service.

Maid Services: The Pros

We’ve talked to several homeowners who have used home cleaning services in the past, about what they see as the main advantages of contracting their housecleaning out to the pros.

  • Peace of Mind—Ellen Enns is a retired school principal and mother of 5 who used maid services for 20 years during the time that she balanced a heavy work load and a growing family. According to Enns, the biggest benefit of hiring a maid service was peace of mind. In her own words: “I’d come home from work after a busy day and the house was already clean!” Between staff meetings, making her son’s track meets, and attending her daughter’s piano recitals, cleaning the house was one less thing she had to worry about.
  • Free Time—Everyone knows that cleaning takes time, a luxury that comes with a heavy price these days. “Time is money,” says Enns, “a maid service gives you time to do what you want to do, instead of slaving away in your spare time to try to keep your home clean.”
  • Routine Maintenance—Finally, Enns notes that scheduling a regular cleaning date, be it weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly, helps ensure that other regular maintenance chores get done around the home. By straightening up and keeping things clean, she always knew that her sinks, toilets, and other home appliances were in prime shape and operating at peak efficiency.
  • Emergency! —Regular cleanings aren’t the only time maid services come in handy. When pediatric nurse Sadie Sims moved into her new home, she didn’t have the time to do the thorough cleaning she wanted to do before the moving truck was set to arrive. “Instead we hired a maid service to come in and cover the bases for us,” she says. “They sent two employees who spent several hours scrubbing the home from top to bottom. I don’t know how we would have done it without them.”
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Maid Services: The Cons

Like any other service, seeking out the help of a maid service isn’t without its potential pitfalls. Here’s the Cons, and more specifically, how to avoid them.

  • Be Specific—”Don’t assume that your maid knows exactly what you want them to do,” says Enns, who says the best way to ensure you get the service you expect is to be straightforward about what you want done. “Be specific,” Enns advises, “tell them to be sure to get into the corners, move furniture, and stuff like that.” Just because they’re pros doesn’t mean they won’t try to cut some corners now and then!
  • Temper Your Expectations—If you contract out to a cleaning service, beware of expecting too much. “In my experience, they don’t clean as thoroughly as I would,” says Enns, a self-proclaimed perfectionist. Sadie Sims adds that while the emergency clean she paid for during her move was a lifesaver, there was still plenty of cleaning to be done after her family moved in.
  • Beware of the Revolving Door—If Enns had to choose one bit of advice to give homeowners, it would be to find one person to clean your home, and stick with them. “I used the same cleaning lady for nearly all of the 20 years I hired a maid service to clean my home,” she says. It allowed her and her cleaning lady to build a trust between one another, especially since both parties knew what to expect as the years rolled by.

Maid Service: Costs

Just what does a good maid service charge? Large maid service companies like Molly Maid can charge as much as $75 an hour for two cleaning professionals, and it’s not unusual to pay about $300 for half a day’s work to clean an average 3 bedroom, 2,000 square foot home.

As always, be sure to talk to several contractors in your area so that you can compare prices, and always ask for, and check references, before you hire to ensure that the cleaning services you get are the ones you deserve.


  1. Melba Kalaher, May 26:

    I need the it cleaned so I cane come home

  2. Claudia, December 30:

    House cleaning every other week for approximately 2700 ft.²

  3. Meosha Dinwiddie, February 11:

    How much would a deep cleaning cost for a three bedroom?

  4. Rick, March 21:

    I noticed on your page “Pros, Cons and Costs: Maid Service” that you mentioned $75/hr but you did not say if it was 2 person ( which is what it should be) . Might want to make the correction. Also, it says, ” And it’s not unusual to pay $75 to $80 for half a day’s work to clean an average 3 bedroom, 2,000 square foot home.” That is really low for a half days work because 4 hrs would be $300 at $75 Just a little unclear FYI

  5. Constance Meister, September 5:

    700sqft. I bedroom , one bathroom, living room , dining room and kitchen, tile floors sweep mopclean all floors, kitchen cabinets, clean ceilings fans , dust all areas, bathroom clean shower, sinks, towel, sweep, mop, make bed, empty out trash cans, bring own supplies, clean all outside of appliances, inside besides microwave extra?

  6. Susan, September 9:

    I had one clean really bad I had to explain it to them in great detail to get it right. They even sent out another person to help correct the problems. I paid good money and got them to cover the additional time.

  7. Julie Young, October 5:

    I am an individual housekeeper. I usually charge by the job not by the hour although I average between $30 – $35 an hour.
    I supply all the chemicals and equipment, some clients prefer special chemicals which they supply, most of my cleaning is done biweekly or monthly.
    I do all the work, generally an average size home up to 2000 sq ft biweekly or monthly would cost $100 to $120 – 3 to 3.5 hours, larger homes usually around $130 to $150 – 4 to 5 hours if the job is an all day job then it would be a weekend project or a two day project no difference in the cost just that it is only me doing the work. I work full time at the university and do not have the time to complete larger homes during the week days. This is basically the average cost to have a cleaning service clean a home biweekly or monthly, some are higher for one time cleaning or make readys. Hope this information will help.

  8. Mark, November 3:

    This page omits some important things. First of all, national chains like You’ve Got Maids are locally owned and operated by a franchisee and are not managed by a large corporation. In addition, one of the most important things omitted is that homeowners should hire a maid service that is fully licensed, bonded and insured. Accidents happen and a maid could get injured in a home. An insured maid service will have worker’s compensation insurance and the homeowner will not be subject to costly litigation. Moreover, maids are human and may accidently break something valuable. A reputable, insured company will replace the item or repair damage caused by them while an unlicensed, uninsured maid service may not be in a financial position to replace breakage or repair damage caused. Insurance adds overhead to a maid service and increases the price charged to the homeowner, but also offers the homeowner piece of mind. In addition, you should know that the maids entering your home are not criminals or drug addicts. Ask the maid service if they vet their maids with a criminal background check and drug screening. If not, you could be taking a big, avoidable gamble.

  9. Inder Bhullar, December 14:

    Considering hiring cleaning help

  10. Jeanne Corrado, January 14:

    What is best way to hire maid service for same day or short turnovers (less than a week) to include dropping off and picking up and delivering bed linens at local wash, dry, fold laundry service?

  11. fred, January 18:

    Instead of asking about criminal record etc just ask if they are bonded meaning if something stolen the cleaning companies insurance (if bonded) will cover the cost of stolen or broken items.

  12. Barbara P., March 1:

    Is it customary to tip the maids from a cleaning service like Molly Maids if you are pleased with their work? I am using a cleaning service for the first time tomorrow.

  13. Gary L. Thomas, March 25:

    Used several individual house cleaners over my working career years. Some proved better than others but most simply didn’t deep clean like I would do when I could. Generally paid $20 an hour with me providing all the equipment and cleaning supplies. Took usually about 6 hours to do 2,100 square feet. Been retired for 2 years and trying to now handle the job between my partially disabled wife and me but can take a couple of days every 2 weeks spending about 3-4 hours each day but we’re perfectionists and handle deep cleaning like toilets and complete dusting of everything. Problem is both of us just aren’t as spry as we once were and can’t work very hard for much more than a hour at a time without taking a break so will probably be seeking another housekeeper within the next few months. From what I’ve read here it looks like we may have to pay more than we used to but we’re getting ready to start the search for a new house keeper we’d like to hang onto for at least the next 10 years. Agree that building a bond with trust is important. We became friends with most of them in the past except when they could not accept constructive criticism which definitely can occur. Agree that spelling out expectations before the first cleaning is the best way to begin.

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