What do you call a house cleaner? Is the politically correct term a cleaning lady or cleaning man? Or is it cleaning technician or housekeeper or maid? Check out the right way to address the person in your life who cleans your house.
Listen: What Do You Call a House Cleaner?
Watch: What Do You Call a House Cleaner?
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. You can find this and 400 other answered questions in this series on our YouTube channel.
What Do You Call a House Cleaner?
What do you call a house cleaner? What is the proper and politically correct term? We had somebody who wrote into the show and they asked this question, “What is the proper way to identify the women and men whom we hire to tidy our homes to others? What terms are not only politically correct but respectful? Most deeply, what terms honor the vital work that is done for us and what is preferred? How do you identify your work? Is it a maid service cleaner, housekeepers, tidying folks for me, or maids?”
There is a Lot of Confusion About What to Call Cleaners
I love this question because there’s a lot of confusion out there. And there are a lot of fancy titles that have been made up to add flair to the house cleaning industry. So your job sounds more important than it actually is.
Now, house cleaning is actually a very important job and there’s no shame in calling it straight-up house cleaning, right? You can call it all kinds of things. There’s a girl in my network and she calls herself a dust inspector specialist.
What is that? And nobody knows what it is and it has created this weird aura of confusion around her job and what she does for a living. I think she would get more business if she actually called herself a house cleaner because that’s what she is. She’s a house cleaner. She doesn’t inspect dust, she also removes it.
My First Job as a Paperboy was Similar
I remember getting one of my very first jobs as a paperboy, but instead of them calling it a paperboy or a paper deliverer, they called it a delivery specialist. And I had no idea what that was. And then when I went to get a job as wait staff, they had two job openings, they had a sanitization specialist and they had a waiter.
And I hired on as a waiter because I knew what a waiter was, but I didn’t notice the sanitization specialist was and it turns out it’s a dishwasher.
They could have said a dishwasher or a wait staff, right? I know what both of those things are, but the fancy title drew me to the other one that I understood because I felt stupid. And I didn’t want to say, “Hey, what is the sanitization specialist?” That actually paid more money per hour than the wait staff, right?
Titles Can Be Confusing
So titles can be confusing. Now, we are in an era where there are a lot, a lot of house cleaners that will get their feelings hurt if you call them by the wrong name. And so some house cleaners like to be referred to as cleaning technicians, but what is that? What is a cleaning technician?
And is someone going to recommend a cleaning technician to their friend? “Oh, you should hire my cleaning technician because they can sweep like nobody’s business.” They’re not going to do that. Okay? They’re going to say, “You ought to call my maid or my house cleaner.” That’s how people refer to maids and house cleaners.
Call Yourself What Other People Call You
And some people say, “I’m not a maid. Don’t call me a maid.” Well, okay. So here’s the thing, call yourself whatever other people are calling you. So if they’re calling you a maid, then you’re a maid. If they’re calling you a house cleaner, then you are a house cleaner.
If they’re calling you a housekeeper, then you are a housekeeper. Are there differences? Slight differences, yes, but there’s also confusion as to what the job titles include. Now, a housekeeper comes from the housekeeping industry, which is hotels primarily, and the housekeeping checks in on you once a day, they do the turndown service at night. They put little caramels on your pillows or what have you. And they refreshen your soaps and things like that. House cleaners don’t do that primarily.
They don’t do the daily chores. They come in and do weekly or bi-weekly chores and they clean. They scrub out toilets. They scrub out baths and showers and sinks, and they mop floors and things like that. They clean houses. So to say you are a house cleaner is super easy.
Go With the Simplest Term
So I’ve always decided to go with the simplest term because it requires the least amount of explanation. Here’s the psychology behind that. If I’m a cleaning technician and I have this fancy title and no one else knows what it means, they’re not going to turn around and recommend you to their friends.
But if I say I’m a house cleaner and I own it and I’m proud of it, then they say, “Oh, she owns it and she’s proud of it.” I own it and I’m proud of it too. And they’ll turn around and recommend you to their friends because you are a house cleaner and that’s easy to say, right?
House Cleaner is Easy to Say and Remember
My name is Angela Oberer, right? I got married 19 years ago and I took on my husband’s name, which is Oberer, but my maiden name is Brown. I’ve been Angela Brown my entire life and Brown was easier to say than Oberer. So I stayed with Brown. I’m Angela Brown.
It’s easy to say. It’s easy to remember. House cleaner is easy to remember. When people can say Angela Brown house cleaner, it’s easy for them to recommend you. Right? So pick a name. It doesn’t matter what the name is, but pick a name that is easy to remember and that people understand what it means.
Make a Title So Your Kids Can Explain It
If you take a five-year-old, a five-year-old is going to school and they say, “What does your mommy or daddy do?” And the kid can’t come up with a fancy title and they don’t know what it means. They’re not going to be able to communicate it to their friends.
You want to make it that simple. So that when the kid is at school, “My mommy cleans houses” and other mommies in the room will say, “What? I need a house cleaner. I should hire your mom.”
Do you see how that goes? So just people talking about you in terms of what you do can promote you. So make it so simple that people know who you are and they know what you do.
I was Called the House Cleaning Guru
When I moved my business online in 2016, many of my friends had called me the house cleaning guru. Well, guess what? The house cleaning is a keyword for SEO that goes great with Angela Brown.
And so I wanted to keep that title together so people still knew what I did. So even though my title could be consultant or I don’t know, trainer or coach or whatever it might be. The house cleaning guru still said, “I do house cleaning.” It was very easy to manage and easy for people to recommend.
Your Title Really Doesn’t Matter
So I don’t care what your title is. It really doesn’t matter. What matters is that people remember it and that the search engines can find you when they’re looking for a house cleaner. So use whatever terms are available to you that are easy to find and easy to remember.
So maids, yes. Housekeeping, yes. Housekeeper, yes. Housecleaner, yes. Cleaning technician … okay. People will still find you that way. Dust inspector … maybe. Stick with things that are easy to remember and easy to recommend. Okay?
What do you call a house cleaner? A house cleaner.
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