Cleaners — Commonly Asked Questions

What are some of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to finding a cleaner in Singapore? In this FAQ list we cover over a dozen of commonly-asked questions when it comes to selecting and hiring a cleaner in Singapore.

 

Table of Contents

General Questions

What is a housekeeping cleaner?

A housekeeping cleaner is someone who does general cleaning tasks, such as sweeping the floor, dusting, vacuuming, making beds, cleaning bathrooms and kitchens. This can be done in either private homes or commercial establishments.
What does a Housekeeping Cleaner do?
A housekeeping cleaner typically does the following:

  • Cleans the home (sweeping and mopping) and keeping the living area clean
  • Changes sheets and towels; makes beds; washes, folds, and irons clothes
  • Empties wastebaskets and takes trash to disposal areas
  • Replenishes supplies, such as soap and toilet paper
  • Dusts and polishes furniture and equipment
  • Sweeps, waxes, or polishes floors using brooms, mops, and other floor-cleaning equipment
  • Vacuums rugs, carpets, and upholstered furniture
  • Cleans or polishes windows, walls, and woodwork

Link: Find reliable part time home cleaners in Singapore for your home.

 

What cleaning services are available in Singapore?

Bedrooms and living room
• Sweeping, mopping and vacuuming the floor
• Clean all mirrors, glasses, doors
• Dusting of furniture, sofa, objects at home
• Changing bed linen

Bathroom
• Clean and disinfect bathtub, basin and toilet bowl
• Wash toilet floor and walls
• Clean all mirrors

Kitchen
• Sweeping and mopping floor
• Wipe cooking stove and exterior electrical appliances
• Wipe exterior surface of all cabinets
• Wash basin

Others
• Empty trash
• Clean windows and grills
• Clean doors and metal gate
• Ironing
• Folding clothes

What are some of the additional services the cleaners can provide?

This will be subjected to the contractors or cleaning companies, but generally they offer the following:
• Ironing services
• Oven cleaning
• Fridge cleaning
• Closet cleaning
• Interior window cleaning
• Spring cleaning

Must the cleaning company be licensed in Singapore?

We refer you to look at https://www.nea.gov.sg/our-services/public-cleanliness/cleaning-industry/cleaning-business-licence/cleaning-business-licence-faq for more accurate information.

The cleaning business licensing regime was introduced to impose higher standards of employment across the cleaning industry and lead to more professional and reliable services.

All general cleaning businesses in Singapore, even if these services form only part of their overall business, will have to be licensed since 1 September 2014.

Scope of cleaner license in Singapore
We refer you to look at https://www.nea.gov.sg/our-services/public-cleanliness/cleaning-industry/cleaning-business-licence/cleaning-business-licence-faq for more accurate information.

Who is required to be licensed?

Businesses offering general cleaning services (to either public or private sectors or both) at premises or any public places in Singapore will need to be licensed (even if these services are only a part of the overall business), with the exception of those that are under the list of excluded cleaning works. Please refer to Excluded Cleaning Work for more information.

Do cleaning businesses providing housekeeping services need to be licensed?

Cleaning businesses providing housekeeping services to hotels, hostels, serviced apartments and other premises or public places are required to be licensed.

Cleaning businesses providing domestic cleaning services at premises occupied as a private residence (but not including any common property of any condominium) do not need to be licensed.

Companies employing in-house cleaners to clean their premises are not required to be licensed and hence, are not subjected to the wage requirement.

Is a cleaning license the same as Clean Mark Accreditation?

There is a difference between cleaning license and Clean Mark accreditation.

Licensing sets the entry-level standards for cleaning businesses, while accreditation which has more stringent criteria aims to differentiate the quality of services provided by cleaning businesses.

You can see it as a must-have for cleaning companies to have the license, but a good-to-have for the Clean Mark Accreditation (like ISO 9001).

Accredited cleaning businesses will still be required to apply for a cleaning business licence. The criteria for accreditation are more stringent than licensing, so accredited businesses should be able to comply with the licensing requirements.

How long does it take to find me a cleaner?

In Singapore, agencies typically are able to allocate you immediately, if not within a day upon confirmation.

Link: Find reliable part time home cleaners in Singapore for your home.

 

Do I need to inform in advance for cleaning service?

In Singapore, cleaning companies typically require 2-3 days in advance. However, you can find our cleaning companies in Singapore to talk to immediately if you have an urgent need.

Can I make a last-minute booking to get a cleaning service on the same day?

In Singapore, cleaning companies typically require 2-3 days in advance. However, you can find our cleaning companies in Singapore to talk to immediately if you have an urgent need.

What do I need to prepare for the cleaner?

Most cleaning companies in Singapore advice customers to have basic cleaning equipment such as vacuum cleaner or broom, mop, wipe cloth, pails and cleaning detergent. Most importantly, there must be water at home.

What is the required cleaning equipment and detergents I need to provide?

Owners typically needs to provide cleaning aids and agents (eg: broom, vacuum cleaner, mop & bucket, sponge, brushes, clothes to wipe, all in one cleaner, bleach for toilet cleaning and floor, etc….) for the cleaners. We have standard list of house cleaning equipment and detergents. We will give you the list for your reference after cleaning date confirmation.

If you require cleaning companies to provide these cleaning equipment, let them know. There usually will be additional charges, the average in market around 20 SGD.

Can I prioritize my home cleaning service requirements instead of following the cleaning checklist?

Most if not all cleaning companies are able to provide this prioritization. You can customize the home cleaning job scopes according to your requirement and inform the cleaning companies and cleaners.

Do I have to be at home when the cleaners come?

It is generally advisable to do so. Though cleaners go through thorough checks, accidents and misunderstandings do occur.

Once you feel comfortable with the cleaner, it is at your own discretion to leave your house keys with him/her while you are away. Nevertheless, owners are urged to keep valuable items away to prevent any misunderstandings.

Can I leave my house keys with the cleaners?

We recommend you to be around while the cleaning is in progress. Once you feel comfortable with the cleaner, it is at your own discretion to leave your house keys with him/her while you are away. Nevertheless, owners are urged to keep valuable items away to prevent any misunderstandings.

Can I have replacement house cleaner if I am not satisfied with the current part time cleaner?

Most cleaning companies in Singapore allows for a replacement if the service is unsatisfactory.

However, it is generally recommended to give the cleaner at least 2-3 times to try before finding another replacement.

Most replacements are subject to availability, home cleaning service will be stopped or postponed if there is no replacement part time cleaner.

How can I ensure the cleaners will turn up after paying the down payment?

When you deal with the cleaning company, make sure you get a standard official invoice (hard copy or soft copy via email). Ensure that the following particulars are correct: company/individual name, registration number, contact details, house cleaning package and rates. Receipt will be emailed too upon receiving of down payment.

Will I be held responsible should the cleaner injure herself while performing her duties?

We refer you to http://www.mom.gov.sg/workplace-safety-and-health/work-injury-compensation/who-is-covered to understand more about MOM laws governing this area.

Under the Work Injury Compensation Act (replaces the Workmen’s Compensation Act with effect from 1 April 2008), domestic workers are not covered by the Act. In other words, you are not liable for any forms of compensation benefits if the cleaner injures herself during the course of work.

Is there additional charges if house cleaning service is during weekend?

In Singapore, most cleaning companies charge an additional 10 SGD per cleaner for a one-time cleaning on the weekend.

Is there any contract for house cleaning service?

You can choose to get with or without contract. Some agencies require a number of sessions for weekly/bi-weekly sign ups, used over a period of time.

Link: Find reliable part time home cleaners in Singapore for your home.

 

Specific Questions To Ask Cleaning Professionals

Are you a licensed cleaning contractor?

We refer you to look at http://www.nea.gov.sg/public-health/public-cleanliness/cleaning-industry/cleaning-business-licence-faq for more accurate information.

“Do cleaning businesses providing housekeeping services need to be licensed?”
Cleaning businesses providing housekeeping services to hotels, hostels, serviced apartments and other premises or public places are required to be licensed.

Cleaning businesses providing domestic cleaning services at premises occupied as a private residence (but not including any common property of any condominium) do not need to be licensed.”

Are the domestic cleaners independent contractors or your employees?

Some cleaning companies hire independent contractors, whilst some employ them. It is important to clarify with the company and ensure responsibilities and liabilities are made clear.

For example, for NTUC Income Home Services, the domestic cleaners are independent contractors and are not employed by nor an agent of NTUC Income Home Services. Any dispute about the quality, performance, loss or damage caused by the domestic cleaner must be resolved directly with the domestic cleaner. NTUC Income Home Services is not liable in any way for any loss or damage, costs and expenses suffered arising from the use of their referral services or from any act, default or omission of the domestic cleaners.

Where are your cleaners from?

Some companies employ foreign workers, some employ only Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents, while others have a mixture. It is important to view the cleaner’s identification documents on the first session.

Can I change my scheduled timings on weeks I’m busy?

You will usually have to inform them at least 3 days in advance to make arrangements with your part time maid.

Some cleaning companies may charge an admin fees, thus it is important to clarify before engaging the cleaning company.

Are there any charges for rescheduling or cancelling a booking?

This is an important questions to clarify with the cleaning company.

Some if not most cleaning companies charge a one time administrative fees (around $50) for the re-scheduling in less than 24 or 48 hrs prior to the appointment.

Deposit may be forfeited if you inform them too last minute.

For the actual details, please confirm with the cleaning company you are engaging.

Do I get the same cleaner’s service every session?

If you are satisfied with the cleaner’s service, you can inform the cleaning company to arrange to have the same cleaner every session.

Can I extend the cleaning hours?

It varies depending on circumstances. Some cleaning companies do not allow extension, whilst some allow depending on the schedule of the cleaners.
Job Specific Questions

Is there any contract for regular/weekly house cleaning service if I want to get the service from?

It will be useful to clarify this before engaging the company. While most don’t require a contract, some require to take a minimum duration of cleaning service.

Am I liable to any contract or must I commit to a long term service?

It depends on whether you sign any contract with the cleaning company, and the specifics of the contract.

What is the termination notice period?

In Singapore, the typical termination notice is about a month in advance.

How many house cleaners will you be sending for my house cleaning?

Providing house cleaners always vary. Minimum 1 cleaner for studio apartment cleaning service. 2 cleaners for 3 or 4 room HDB flats. And cleaning time taken will not be the same. The bigger the house, the longer hour and more cleaners will be required.

Payment

Any hidden costs or contractual obligations?

It is important to clarify any hidden costs with the company you are engaging. Some may require an agency fee, while others require a minimum duration.

Do I need to pay agent fees if I want to get service?

Some cleaning companies do collect, some companies do not. It is important to clarify beforehand to prevent any miscommunication.

Do I need to pay any upfront payments or deposits?

To our knowledge, some companies require upfront deposit or payment. It is important to clarify before engaging the cleaning company.

How can I make payment for my house cleaning service booking?

Most cleaning companies accept cheques or internet banking, but paying cash to their service crew is usually prohibited.

However, it is important to clarify when they need the payment made. Some requires a day before, others require deposit and paying the balance after the cleaning is done.

What is the house cleaning payment procedure?

The typical house cleaning payment procedure goes like this:

Booking is required for your preferred cleaning date and time. Booking can be done by making down payment and it can be transferred by bank transfer (ATM transfer, ibanking transfer, cheque). Balance cash can be paid to cleaners after cleaning done (for one time house cleaning service)

Damage and lost

What if something lost from the house?

We advise you not to put any valuable item while there is house cleaning.

However, if there are any property lost, most cleaning companies in Singapore will be liable for the maximum amount of 100 SGD, if reported within 24 hours.

Anything above 100 SGD, you can get help from the police to investigate the cleaner.
We advise you to clarify with your cleaning company with regards to this amount.

Is there any compensation if something in my home gets damaged?

We advise you not to put any valuable item while there is house cleaning.

In Singapore, most cleaning companies are liable for up to 100SGD worth of property damage, if reported within 24 hours.

If it’s due to wear and tear, most if not all cleaning companies will not be liable.
We advise you to clarify with your cleaning company with regards to this amount.

Common FAQs

  • What is your operating hour?
  • Have your service crews undergone any background checks?
  • Does your cleaning package include marble floor polishing?
  • Does your cleaning package include cleaning of all windows and window grills?
  • Are the cleaners trained?
  • How are you different from part time maid agencies?
  • How do you ensure quality?

 

Find reliable cleaners in Singapore

SGHomeNeeds provides a list of cleaning professionals in Singapore. If your project is customised and would like to speak to a few reliable cleaners to compare their service, SGHomeNeeds can also match you to reliable cleaners with your personalised requirements quickly and fuss-free.

You can find other specific cleaning professionals, such as:

 

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SGHomeNeeds’ vision is to provide comprehensive, unaltered and honest feedback about all home service providers in Singapore. Our platform aims to empower homeowners to select the home service providers which can best suit their needs.

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