Recommendations for a Seattle cleaning service
November 10, 2008 4:29 PM   Subscribe

Looking for a service to clean my Seattle apartment. Any recommendations? General recommendations on how to pick a cleaner or service are welcome.

I don't have a vacuum cleaner or a lot of cleaning equipment and chemicals yet, so a service that would bring all of these things would be best for now. But I'd also be happy with recommendations for services or cleaners where I supply the equipment and chemicals, for later on.

The only Seattle recommendation I saw in searching previous AskMes was for Dana's. Of course, I can't use them since I don't have my own equipment yet. I searched on Yelp, but didn't find many services with multiple reviews, and I'm not sure I trust a single anonymous Yelper. I've heard all about the evils of Merrie Maids, so if I go with a service it will probably be a more local one.

If you don't have specific Seattle references, feel free to chime in with general advice. I've read through some of the older general questions on this. If I go with an individual, what is a good way to check references? There is an incredible variance in prices for individuals seen on Craigslist, ranging from $13 to $30/hour, and services go up to $40. I suppose for a service I can check with the BBB.
posted by grouse to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
We used Dana's here in Seattle until we found our own person, who runs her own company. We found her through recommendations at work. We didn't check references because we trusted our co-workers who recommended her. She didn't charge by the hour, but instead looks at the house and how long it takes her to do what she considers a thorough job, and charges the same every week. We don't tip her because she runs the whole company. We did tip the Dana's cleaners because they were employees.
posted by GaelFC at 5:41 PM on November 10, 2008

Stay away from Dana's, seriously. I know from experience. I can give you more info privately if you want.

We use Four Seasons cleaners now, they are solidly mid range (maybe a little cheaper) as far as price but we have been very happy with them. Attentive to small details, no last minute cancellations, very receptive to special requests, just absolutely great.

We were much more comfortable going with a company rather than an individual. We wanted to know that their workers were insured, that they'd be able to cover us in case of illness, that we would have a third party to contact if there was a problem with an individual. That puts about a 20% premium on the cost.

If you can find someone who is self employed it will certainly be cheaper but you really have to be lucky. Good cleaners who are self employed are busy and don't often take new clients. I will ask around with my friends and MeMail you if anything comes up.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:02 PM on November 10, 2008 [1 favorite]

PS. This is the kind of question for which Angie's List is very helpful.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:05 PM on November 10, 2008

Molly Maid and Merry Maids both serve Seattle. I recommend both. Molly Maid is a bit cheaper, but Merry Maids has a service where on each visit, they isolate one room and clean the hell out of it (in addition to normal service on the rest of the house), and then rotate to the next room on the next visit, and so forth.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:09 PM on November 10, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks for the comments, guys.

Angie's list costs $15.25 to sign up for a month or $50 for a year. That seems pretty steep if I am only using it for this question. I guess it is a small amount when compared to how much a cleaning would cost. I'm not sure what I'd be getting either, but I'll take your word on it that it is useful.
posted by grouse at 9:20 PM on November 10, 2008

Joy of Living. We've had a few different cleaners from them, and they've all made our house beautiful against all odds. It's a small company, locally owned, and has great customer service. (206) 551-0932.
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:42 AM on November 11, 2008

Response by poster: I called Joy of Living but no one answered the phone. So Four Seasons is coming out to walk through the place today. They said their minimum charge was $95, and that this would probably be adequate for an apartment. This is cheaper than any of the other services I looked into.

Do you tip your cleaners? How much? If there are two cleaners, do you tip them individually?
posted by grouse at 12:42 PM on November 11, 2008

An e-mail address for Joy of Living, if anyone else is looking: rebecca-JOL at hotmail.

I've given a tip at Christmas, but I don't do it every time they come because that never crossed my mind. Whoops...
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:15 PM on November 11, 2008

We only tip at Christmas. Four Seasons asks that you pay with an automatic debit or with a check in an envelope and I think they officially don't encourage tipping. If you are happy with $95, that would be plenty to clean an apartment. We have a 2200 square foot house with 2 cats and that house is really spic and span after they're done and we only pay $105.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:33 PM on November 11, 2008

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