Ask a House Cleaner, Maid Left Behind Cleaning Supplies, Savvy Cleaner

Maid Left Behind Cleaning Supplies

Left behind cleaning supplies? Forgot to do an inspection of your work?

A growing trend in house cleaner education is to teach house cleaners and housekeepers to use a house cleaning worksheet.

It’s time-consuming and costly to realize you left behind cleaning supplies at the last customer’s house.

And The House Cleaning Guru Angela Brown is ruthless and tells homeowners to keep left behind cleaning supplies.

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Listen: Maid Left Behind Cleaning Supplies

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Watch: Maid Left Behind Cleaning Supplies

Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer.

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Question(s): My Maid Left Behind Cleaning Supplies – Should I Give Them Back?


This question comes from a homeowner who wrote in and she wants to know: “My housecleaner left a bottle of Windex in my bathroom.
What am I supposed to do with a bottle of Windex?
Am I supposed to call her and tell her that she forgot it?
Am I supposed to take it over and drop it off?
Is she supposed to come back and pick it up?
Am I supposed to hang on to it for a couple of weeks until she comes back?
Does she need this bottle of Windex for other houses that she’s cleaning?”

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Answer: Maid Left Behind Cleaning Supplies – And That’s On Her, Not You

left behind cleaning supplies, WindexOkay, that’s a great question and if you are cleaning houses at some point or another during the course of your job you will leave something behind.
And the customers do have questions. And the questions are “do you need that for the next house, and why did you leave it behind?”

House cleaners, this one is for you. Listen up:

When you’re doing your final walk-through and you’re inspecting your houses and you have a check sheet.
One of the things that you’re checking off that worksheet is you’re making sure as you inspect the house that you left nothing behind.
Because it does throw up weird questions and it looks like you were just distracted and you just left a roll of paper towels behind. Or you just left some Windex behind. Or you left some rags or some microfiber cloths or whatever you use.
There are maids that have left mops and brooms behind.

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“Left Behind Cleaning Supplies” Means A Sloppy Inspection

Guys, what are you doing? On your final inspection go through and look at the house. Is anything out of place? When the customer comes home you want them to have a wonderful customer experience. You don’t want them to come home to your dirty rags.
Make sure that on your way out the door that you take all your stuff with you.

Another thing that I might recommend is right at their door this is either on the front door as you’re leaving or the garage door as you’re leaving, do a quick inventory.
You probably brought in one cleaning caddy that has eight or nine bottles of spray in it. I don’t know what you carry but look, are they all there?
If you’re organized you’ll be able to see at a quick glance, “yes they’re all there.” Or “no there’s a hole where one of my spray bottles is missing.”

And you’ll know did you throw it out during the cleaning process because it was empty? Or is it missing because you left and somebody shower?
So, you’ll be able to tell very quickly.

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Do A Quick Inventory Of Your Supplies Before You Leave The Customer’s House

Then you probably have a mop bucket. In that mop bucket, you probably have your rags and your paper towels and your gloves and your shoe covers and all those other things.left behind cleaning supplies, Quick Inventory 
Is all that stuff still there? You can just tell by looking at it really quickly.

And after you do this over and over again if something’s missing you’re going to go “Whoa something’s missing.” And you’ll be able to tell really quickly if you do inventory right there at the customer’s house before you leave.

Then you’ll know, did you take anything accidentally? Did you have a vacuum attachment, is there something that has fallen in your cleaning caddy that you’re unaware of?
And then you’ll be able to leave it with a customer so that you don’t walk out the door accidentally with something that’s in your cleaning caddy.
Now, I know it’s an honest mistake, it’s happened to every cleaning service provider at least once.

Make Sure You Didn’t Accidentally Take Any of the Customer’s Stuff

You’re inside their house either there’s a kid in the room, something happens, you move something around, it falls in your cleaning caddy. Stuff gets in the cleaning caddy that you’re unaware of.
But if you stop right there at the door and you do a fast inventory you will not be known as the person that leaves and takes some of the customer’s stuff on the way out the door. (Even if it was an accident.)

When you get back to your establishment, and I don’t know if that’s the back of your car. If that’s your laundry room or if you have an office or a warehouse that you go to when you’re done with the end of your cleaning that day.
Do an inventory of every single thing that’s in your cleaning caddy and in your bucket.

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Inventory Guarantees All Your Supplies Are Ready For Your Next Cleaning

Fill up all of your, empty jugs or bottles that are almost empty. This ensures you’re ready to rock and roll for tomorrow. So that you’re not waking up tomorrow and scrambling trying to get cleaning supplies at the last minute because you’re in a hurry.
Reset your cleaning caddy’s and mop bucket the night before your next cleaning.
Every evening as you close out all your accounts for the day you’ll be able to quickly tell if you left behind cleaning supplies? Because the worst thing is you showing up at a house first thing tomorrow morning and you have no bottle of Windex if Windex is what you use.

I don’t want you to go all day and not have one of your main staples.
If you left it at the last customer’s house you don’t have time to stop what you’re doing and run back and pick it up.

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Homeowners, You Can Keep Left Behind Cleaning Supplies

Most house cleaning companies have multiple sets of things. So, if they leave a bottle of Windex at your house, too bad it’s now yours.

I wouldn’t call them, I wouldn’t remind them. I wouldn’t say “oh, I have your Windex or whatever.”

They have multiple sets of supplies. When they do their close out for the night they’ll realize because you’re the last house they cleaned,
“Oh, I must have left my Windex at Mrs. Jones house,” and they’re going to know that. If they want that particular bottle back, they can call you and ask you to leave it on the porch for them to come pick up. 

But if they don’t call it’s yours. It’s their loss. They’re going to have to write it off. It’s not your job to go chasing down the housekeeper to give them things back that they forgot. That’s high maintenance for you as a customer.

And so, if you’re housecleaning person was distracted enough that they didn’t do a final walk-through. And they didn’t do an inspection, and they didn’t see that they left behind cleaning supplies – you’re welcome to save it for them until next time or just keep it. 

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Maids, The Loss Is Yours if You Left Behind Cleaning Supplies

And then my suggestion to you as the house cleaner is to make sure you don’t leave anything. Because that is a company expense that comes out of your pocket. When you do your daily inventory if you discover you’ve lost four bottles of cleaning supplies, that is money out of your pocket.

That’s those are extra cleaning materials you have to replace.
And it’s not worth your time and effort to run back to everybody and knock on their door and spend five minutes visiting to reclaim a bottle of Windex. It’s not worth your time.
So don’t leave anything behind.

All right so that’s my tip for today. And until we meet again, leave the world a cleaner place than when you found it.

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