In many cases, people use the terms housekeeping and cleaning interchangeably. However, there are several distinct differences between those services.
It is essential to know them for customers and professionals considering careers in these fields.
It helps to know what responsibilities you might have when doing housekeeping cleaning part time as well as be more aware of the salary expectations.
Together with Jooble experts, we’ve created this complete guide on the differences and similarities between these two options.
What’s the Difference between Housekeeping and Cleaning?
Whether you need a little bit of help with your residence or looking for new job opportunities, it is important to understand the main factors that make the difference between housekeeping and cleaning.
They include the time a professional spends in the house, their responsibilities, and how they do it. Let’s go into each factor in detail.
1. Working Hours
Housekeeping is a full-time job in most cases. Some professionals work about 35-40 hours per week for one client (a household or a hotel, for example).
It is not a rare occasion for such employees to live with a family as they need to perform their duties for a whole day.
Indeed, the working hours depend on the territory one needs to work on. Huge households or hotels need more than one housekeeper.
Cleaners work for a multitude of clients. They spend a couple of hours in one home. They also often work in teams to perform cleaning fast and efficiently.
Cleaners visit a household once or twice a week for a couple of hours. Then they move to another client.
2. Cleaning Products and Equipment
The responsibility to provide the cleaning products and necessary equipment for housekeepers lies on the client. All of these things stay in their homes/residences as well.
Employees can do restocking on demand.
This gives clients more flexibility regarding what products are used, for instance, if they prefer to stay eco-friendly. Cleaners bring their tools and products with them.
In most cases, clients do not have much to say about it. They can ask for specific things, but there is no guarantee cleaning team has them.
3. Cleaner Responsibilities
The main difference is that cleaners do precisely what the title suggests – cleaning. Housekeepers perform a much more comprehensive range of services, including tidying up and making space look welcoming.
The typical responsibilities of a cleaner/cleaning team are:
- Heavy cleaning of specific areas, like the kitchen or bathroom;
- Work on surfaces, sinks, countertops, etc.;
- Vacuuming and mopping the floor;
- Deep-cleaning and sanitizing bathrooms, toilets, and tubs;
- Polishing, scrubbing, steam-cleaning;
- Dusting doors, frames, cabinets, and furniture tops;
- Cleaning windows;
- Sealing all types of floors.
Cleaners do not tidy up spaces or organize things. They do not need plush cushions and do not put away toys or shoes lying around.
Also, if a client needs a deep cleaning, they need to talk about it beforehand, as it is usually treated as a separate service. Deep cleaning takes much more time and effort and requires additional products.
4. Housekeeper Duties
Housekeepers are more integrated into the daily life of a household or residence. Their responsibilities include:
- Dusting, mopping, sweeping, the everyday performance of all the things cleaners do;
- Tidying up;
- Shopping and running errands;
- Doing the laundry and ironing;
- Doing the dishes and putting them in place;
- Making beds and changing bed sheets;
- Ordering and restocking various care products, like soap, shampoo, or toilet paper;
- Picking up things that are out of place and putting them where they belong (toys, shoes, clutter, etc.);
- Organization of space;
- Meal preparation;
- Taking care of trash and recycling.
In some cases, housekeepers living with families might do light babysitting or walk the pets. However, it is rather an additional service that depends on the contract.
Housekeeping is much more than cleaning. So it is not a surprise that it is more expensive.
5. Different Situations
Generally speaking, these are different services in what they are used for. Cleaning can be a one-time fix, for example, if someone needs a new residence to be taken care of.
Or it can be ordered for weekly purposes of general tidiness.
Housekeeping is a good decision for hotels, significant residences, or corporate needs. It rather has a person who takes care of basic tidiness and makes a space more welcoming, on-brand, and organized.
Housekeepers are more integrated into family life, especially if they work for one client. Or they are integrated with the environment they are employed in if it is a company.
But both of those careers can be started individually or via an agency. They also require an eye for detail, strong organizing skills and communication.
Cleaning and housekeeping are not interchangeable as they differ massively in their responsibilities and required skills.
Housekeepers offer a more comprehensive range of services and perform all the duties of cleaners daily as well. And they are paid for it accordingly.