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I’ve owned and operated a professional house cleaning company for over 13 years. The things I’ve seen would shock and disgust most people. Some would say it’s part of the job you signed up for, and although true, I can’t help but wonder why some people would leave behind some of the things they do.
For the most part, I’ve had lovely clients who treated me and the girls cleaning their home with respect. But over the years I’d be lying if I didn’t say some treated us more like indentured servants rather than house cleaners.
Their expectations were so skewed it left us scratching our heads.
Common respect and decency dictate a certain level of preparedness when you hire professional house cleaners. You know the girls are coming, so you put away the things you don’t want others to see or you “clean up” a mess that should be cleaned by someone in your household.
Fortunately, I can see it from both sides as not only have I cleaned professionally, but I have my own home cleaned weekly.
What Not To Leave Behind For the House Cleaner
1. Dirty Underwear
Nothing is grosser than walking into a room and seeing someone’s dirty underwear on the bed you’ve got to make or on the floor you’ll need to vacuum. Why people do this makes no sense to me. Why would you want others to see your tidy whiteys, skid marks and all? Or your underwear with your panty liner still adhered to the inside of your bikini’s. Why aren’t they embarrassed for themselves? They should be.
Is it really that difficult to bend over and pick up your underwear and put them in the laundry? Are you that lazy? Or is it you just can’t be bothered?
I guess it doesn’t really matter the reason. The unsuspecting house cleaner just learned a whole lot of nasty about you – stuff we’d rather not know.
2. Feces ON the Toilet
I get it, people, it’s our job to clean up these messes but here’s where the logic fails me. What about all the other people in the house that have to use that toilet? Do you have no regard for them? You just left feces on the toilet, not to mention in your underwear and you just pull up your pants and go about your day? If we’re there only once a week or worse, once every other week, who is going to clean it up in between? The reality is they don’t. Nowhere to be found is there a Clorox wipe to clean the toilet seat. So it doesn’t get done. It stays there until we show up and clean the seat.
No one cares that lives there? If that was my family member, I’d stuff the Clorox wipes up their backside until they got the message to clean the s*it off the seat!
3. Feces and/or Urine IN the Toilet
The sequence of events goes something like this: Sit, pee or poop or both, wipe, flush. Give or take the pulling down and up of pants, that pretty much sums it up. So how does someone forget to flush? It’s almost automatic except in some of the house we’ve cleaned.
We had this client who, without fail, would leave their morning dump in the toilet every time we cleaned. After a while, we just automatically flushed the toilet before we opened the lid. Better safe than sorry.
4. A Clogged Toilet
One day I got this call from the staff about a note that was left in the bathroom. I wasn’t following what they were telling me so I headed over to the house to see for myself what they were talking about.
In the bathroom, a note was attached to a plunger that read: “The toilet is clogged, you’ll need to plunge it before you clean it.” I then lifted the toilet bowl cover to reveal the nastiest smelling, clogged toilet I had ever seen. I put the lid down and wrote the client a reply. It said, “We’re house cleaners, not plumbers. Please make sure the toilets you want to be cleaned are in proper working condition and can be flushed.”
It makes you wonder who in their right mind would expect a house cleaner to have to plunge a stopped up, foul-smelling, disgusting looking mess?
Plunge your own toilet people.
5. Pet Excrement
Let me start by saying I love animals. I have three cats myself and have had several dogs over the course of my life. I’ve let out many a dog that needed to relieve itself, and have even picked up messes when their dog or cat was sick. But when a client leaves dog or cat feces that is clearly not “fresh” for the house cleaners to take care of, that’s where I draw the line.
These are your pets, not mine and as such, if the dog poops on the rug before you leave for work, you should be picking up the mess, not leaving it for us.
6. Filthy Dish/Hand Towels
We had this client that would throw away the hand towels and buy new ones instead of washing the towels. The problem was she only did this once or twice a year. Her hand towels were so dirty and disgusting, I’m surprised anyone used them.
The same went for her dish towels. The idea that she would dry clean dishes with those towels was thoroughly disgusting to me. And the fact we had to touch them and hang them up was more than we could deal with. The smell was even worse.
Once I threw them in the laundry in the hopes she’d get the hint. I swear she dug them out of the laundry and hung them back up because the next time we were there, which was three days later, the towels were back in the kitchen and were still filthy.
7. Sex Toys
Hooray, you’re having sex, but do we all need to know it?
If you expect the house cleaners to change the sheets, then make sure you’ve checked the bed for your sex toys and put them away. Don’t leave them there for us to have to deal with. Most of the clients who’ve made this mistake never repeated it again when they came home, pulled back their covers to find their dildo, vibrator, whip, clamps, oils, lubricants and the like, placed on their pillows.
That pretty much cured them of ever leaving their toys out again.
8. Used Condoms
Again, I’ll give you a yahoo, you’re having sex, but for the love of Pete, please dispose of your used condoms appropriately.
Don’t leave them in the garbage just thrown in there unwrapped, not properly disposed of in a tissue. Here’s a disgusting news flash: they get stuck to the inside of the trash can and we’re not yanking them out.
9. Dirty Bathroom Rugs
Last but certainly not least are the nasty bathroom rugs that are in desperate need of being cleaned but never get thrown in the wash.
They stink of urine and god knows what else and should be thrown away instead of washed. But the owners never, and I mean never, wash them. We can smell how dirty they are when we walk in the bathroom, so why can’t they? I wouldn’t put my feet on these rugs if you paid me a million dollars.
We’ve been tempted on more than one occasion to throw them away, but for obvious reasons never did.
What a house cleaner sees is unbelievable.
I struggled with writing this post because I know a lot of people will think it’s just part of the job. What I’m really advocating for here is some respect for the people who come to your home each week to assist you with your household chores. The list is not endless and inclusive of everything and anything you don’t want to do. It’s based on the basic cleaning tasks that need to be done each time the house is cleaned.
This is the tip of the iceberg of the things I’ve seen and had to deal with in my years of owning the cleaning business. There’s not a day that doesn’t go by that the girls don’t come to me to tell me yet another story of something they had to deal with.
If you are lucky enough to have a house cleaner, please keep these things in mind and take care of them before they come to clean your home, or someday, you just might end up in a blog post.