Housekeeper vs. a Professional Cleaner: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to housekeeping, many people are unsure of the difference between a housekeeper and a professional cleaner. In this article, we will explore the similarities and differences between the two professions in order to help clarify the roles and clear up any questions.


What Is a Housekeeper?

First, let’s define what a housekeeper is and what that person does: A housekeeper is someone who is responsible for the cleaning and general maintenance of a home. Housekeepers typically have extensive experience caring for a home or living space and, in addition to cleaning, often take care of laundry, cooking, and pet care needs. Many housekeepers also serve as caretakers when owners are absent. And, in addition, some housekeepers also help care for any children in the home.


What Is a Professional Cleaner?

Now that we’ve defined what a housekeeper does, let’s take a look at professional cleaners. Professional cleaners are individuals who are hired to clean homes and/or businesses. While housekeepers most often serve in houses, cleaners are most often responsible for office cleaning, which can include: moving furniture, trash and garbage removal, office kitchen cleaning and cleaning of bathrooms on site. Tasks such as vacuuming, dusting, and mopping may be done every evening after work hours, while cleaning the office kitchen may be done once a week. Each office has its own workload and professional cleaners must adapt and follow the protocols for each client. The same is true of professional cleaners who work in homes: tasks are completed on a regular basis and include vacuuming, dusting, cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms, removal of trash and garbage, and possibly additional chores as assigned. 


What are the Major Differences Between the Two?

So, what are the major differences between housekeepers and professional cleaners? The biggest differences are found in work locations, responsibility loads, and general conditions of each position. 

For example, housekeepers typically work each day of the week in a home (or live in the home), have a great deal of interaction with the family whom they serve, carry responsibility for a wide variety of household duties and may care for children in addition. Professional cleaners typically work after hours in a business location, have little interaction with the client, carry responsibility for agreed-upon tasks and work an agreed-upon number of hours or per project as defined. 

One additional difference between a housekeeper and a professional cleaner may be found in the pay of each. A housekeeper is generally paid a monthly salary and is given bonuses each year. A professional cleaner is typically paid on an hourly basis and may be part-time or full-time, depending on the position and the business owner’s needs. The salary of a housekeeper is therefore, usually higher than that of a professional cleaner. 



So, what’s the difference between a housekeeper and a professional cleaner? The biggest differences are found in the varied work locations, general responsibilities and client expectations. A housekeeper works in a home, maintaining the organization of the home, while a professional cleaner works in an office or building, maintaining the cleanliness and comfort of the organization. 

Hopefully, this article has helped you understand the similarities and differences between housekeepers and professional cleaners and the clients they serve.