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Maid Training Academy

Level 1

Professional Home Cleaners

Ethics Class for Professional Home Cleaners
1st Edition, Copyright 2019, Maid Training Academy






Golden Rules of Cleaning


Customer Privacy & Security


The Most Common Customer Complaints


Checking Your Work


Cleaning Supplies & Equipment


Your Apron


Entering the customer’s home




High Dusting








Mopping Bathroom Floors


Legal Disclaimer

The instructions and comments in this manual do not represent legal advice. The instructions do not include everything you should know as a professional cleaner. This is core training. It is a great foundation to start your journey. As with any profession, you should continue your education your entire career.


Congratulations on your decision to become a Certified Professional Cleaner (CPC). As a CPC, you will be expected to know everything in this book and perform to specific standards.

Becoming a CPC is more than just passing your classes. It’s about mastering all the instructions in these classes. Your reading will introduce you to a wide range of conditions and experiences. We encourage you to take notes.

Practice these techniques at home.

You always get better the more you practice. This class introduces you to cleaning techniques, but ultimately you have to demonstrate that you can physically do them. Knowing the answer or technique is only half the battle. You will have to apply them in the field.

You can practice these tasks at home. There is no better training ground than your own home. What may seem easy as you read it may be a little tricky the first few times you try the technique.

Don’t drift back to old habits

If you have experience, you may find it harder to learn new techniques. You may have to break some old habits and replace them with new habits. Your old habits are not wrong. There are a lot of ways to clean a home. It’s about these techniques being slightly better or substantially better than how you currently clean a home. The other advantage of forming these new habits is that all certified professional cleaners clean the same way. Everyone being on the same page is extraordinarily powerful. That is why all professions have standards.



Your safety, the safety of your cleaning partners, and the safety of your customers are critically important. Every section of your training contains safety instructions. Safety is not just how you work safely; it’s about not doing certain things because they risk injury or damage. You don’t have to take risks to clean at a high quality and professional pace.


This is the oldest and most common instruction in cleaning. It applies to everything.

Dirt, dust, and even cleaning solutions will fall as you clean. Cleaning top to bottom ensures you don’t have to clean the same place twice, and it will prevent complaints. If you clean the bottom and then the top, stuff will fall back on the bottom area you just cleaned, requiring you to clean that area again or get a complaint about a new mess on the bottom section.

This rule applies to everything. You clean a room top to bottom, starting with high dusting and finishing with the floors. You dust a lamp sitting on a counter from the top of the lamp down to the bottom. This rule applies to everything you clean; Blinds, Showers, Mirrors, everything.

After you clean top to bottom, move to the right and clean the next section, top to bottom. This is critically important to prevent skipping or missing an area and not cleaning the same place twice. Left-handed cleaners may find it better to move to the left because they lead with their dominant left hand. It doesn’t make a difference, as long as you stay on track, in the same direction, so you don’t miss anything as you travel around the room.


If you follow the instructions in your training, your customers are going to love your cleaning. If customers love the way their home looks after you clean, you will benefit in many ways. You will keep customers long-term, get more tips, have less stress, and be in a better position to ask for a price increase in the future.


Never take a customer for granted. Even the nicest customer will fire you after one mistake. Maid service is expensive, and the customer expects the job to be done right every time. It also takes money and time to get a new customer. You may not replace that customer for a long time, and advertising/leads are expensive.


You will learn in your classes that little things are big things. Customers notice the details. They expect you to clean better than they clean. That means the details.

If your cleaning is not good, your customer will fire you. Even if you clean a customer’s home multiple times with no complaints, the first time you do a poor-quality job, the customer may terminate service. Remember, you are hired to get the home clean and not just cleaner.


Cleaning a home requires you to pay attention to your work. This is detailed work. You must concentrate on everything you do. People who say cleaning is easy have no idea what they are saying. Being an excellent cleaner requires endurance and concentration. When you gain experience, this job gets easier but never lose your concentration.

Read the customer Work Order/Job Checklist EVERY time you clean, even on Recurring Customers.

The work order has all the information about the cleaning and often contains specific requests from the customer. Never skip reading the entire work order. Work orders often change on recurring customers. Even if you have visited the customer’s home many times before, you must read the work order because customers often call the office to request something different. (Different ways to enter the house, added or deleted tasks, different cleaning solutions, and many other variations.) These changes are entered into the work order and not always verbally communicated to you. You may not get an alert that the job has changed.

If you make a mistake because you didn’t read the work order, the customer will fire your cleaning service or complain. Because this is such a critical and EASY step in cleaning a home, most maid companies will discipline you the very first time it happens. Some employers (and customers) will terminate your employment the first time it happens because there is never an excuse for not reading the work order.


We are humans, so we do make mistakes. That is why it is critically important to check your work. Your training will instruct you on how and when to check, but the biggest challenge of conducting your check is simply doing it. Every complaint from a customer is preventable if you do your checks. There is never a good excuse for skipping a check, even if you are running late. Never skip your checks.


You must have good speed to be an effective cleaner. Even if you work for yourself, you will cheat yourself out of money if you are slow, and most customers don’t like cleaners in their homes for long periods. That is why some customers prefer teams over individuals.

Being a slow cleaner is a drain on your cleaning partner(s). If you are moving slow, you are cleaning less of the house than your partner, who moves at an appropriate speed. You will be a little slow at first. Your Team Leader and Veteran Partner understand because they’ve been there before. What everyone expects is that you improve every day and eventually get there.

The best advice for good speed is to know what you are doing and the next step in the process. If you have to stop and think, “what’s the next step?” your speed is not where it needs to be. Re-read your training until you have your steps memorized.

Check yourself against the timetables in this manual. Within 30 days or less, your speed should be at acceptable levels. If you are not making good time, then you have to work faster. Watch the videos on the Maid Training Academy website (or on the video section of this dashboard) to see acceptable speeds. They don’t look like they are going fast, but they are fast because they transition from one task to the next without interruption. They don’t look rushed, and customers do not want people cleaning their homes recklessly.

It gets easier after 30 days or less because you have formed habits, and it’s less stressful because your confidence is high. Some new cleaners get appropriate speed in 2 weeks. Seasoned veterans can get to proper speeds in a few days. Even seasoned veterans will have to learn new cleaning packages with new employers. Knowledge = Speed. That is why cleaning the same recurring customer, over and over again, gets a little faster.


A fast cleaner with sloppy work will not be employed very long or keep a customer.


Work orders typically include an estimated time of completion. Keep this in mind while you’re working because getting done on time impacts the rest of the day’s appointments.


Many new cleaners will wonder or ask, “what do I clean?” The typical answer is…EVERYTHING you can reach with both hands, including using a stepladder. Each customer will have their unique list, so make sure you look at the job checklist.


Practicing these core values will enhance your ratings and skills:






Get familiar with your cleaning solvents and what they do, and any warnings about their uses. You will use multiple cleaning solvents, and it is crucial to know when and how to use them. You can damage a customer’s property and put yourself in danger if you are not careful. Always read directions and warnings on all cleaning solutions.


To ensure the highest quality cleaning AND save time, use your sponge. The sponge is used to loosen and lift messes, so you can wipe them clean and streak-free with a rag.


A stepladder is one of your best tools, but you have to use it. Unless you are 7 feet tall, you will need the stepladder to clean numerous areas in the home like the top of the refrigerator, bookshelves, ceiling fans, and too many more to mention. Don’t try to reach on your tippy toes; get the stepladder.


Once you are finished using a tool, replace it right away in your apron or caddy and the same spot every time. This will increase your speed and efficiency. It also eliminates the mistake of leaving any rags or tools in the customer’s home when you leave. Don’t leave equipment lying around on the floor or vacuums plugged in if you are not using them. Keep all your supplies and equipment in an orderly fashion as you clean a home. It looks more professional and reduces the chances of tripping for you, your partners, and the customer.


Using both hands is faster and safer. Many damage claims, even slips, and falls can be avoided by using both hands. It also helps in fatigue and stress. Don’t always vacuum with your right hand. Use your left hand from time to time. It may feel weird at first but stay with it because it gives your right arm and shoulder a well-deserved rest. When you get better with your opposite hand, you can switch on the fly. That will improve your ability to maneuver around furniture. Same with using a rag. Using both hands benefit all your cleaning tasks.


Be careful when you vacuum and move throughout the home. Although most commercial vacuums have rubber guards, they can still chip paint, leave dints and skid marks. This is a costly damage claim. Vacuum all the time carefully.


When you enter a home, carefully place items on the floor. You never drop them. Dropping items can damage the floor, including carpet, and it sounds horrible to the customer and is a sign of disrespect. Be careful with how much you carry from the car to the home. Don’t carry too much, or you may trip and fall. If you carry too much at one time, you are also more inclined to drop items rather than lay them down carefully.


Many of the cleaning solutions and products you use can stain or damage the carpet and floors if they spill. Use great caution when carrying solutions (in your caddy) from room to room or when you are using them at any time. Always place the spray nozzles toward the inside of the caddie, so any drips stay in the caddy and not out onto the customer’s floors.


You may be tempted to bring your favorite cleaning solvent from home. NEVER do this. There are numerous reasons why you must only use the company-provided or approved solvents or tools. Breaking this rule can lead to immediate termination of your job because the damage to a customer’s home could be gigantic, and it could put yourself, your cleaning partners, and even the customer in danger.


Don’t hide anything you break or damage from the customer or the office. Your employer and, yes, even the customer understand that accidents happen. However, if you try to hide it, it is typically grounds for termination. If anything is broken or damaged, notify your supervisor or the office right away. Don’t leave the home until you have contacted your employer and received instructions on what you should do before leaving the customer’s home.


The office and your supervisor are there to support you with any question or problem. If you run into something you are not 100% sure about, call someone right away. Don’t wait too long. The longer you wait, the worse a problem can get, including going over on time in a home.


You move items the entire time you are cleaning. Pay attention to where things were sitting, so you place them back where they were. Don’t re-arrange a customer’s home. Homeowners get aggravated when they have to take time to put things back where they belong. This includes window blinds. Customers can be ultra-sensitive to blinds, which is why customers terminating service—blinds affect privacy, plants, heating, and cooling.


Put things back where you found them and organize them, so everything looks beautiful. This has to do with spacing and making sure all the labels on bottles are facing out. You will encounter areas that are unorganized and need to be put back in an orderly fashion. Toiletries in a shower are often all over the shower; bathroom counters will have items all over the place, kitchens will have items moved out of order. Reassemble these items in some orderly fashion, labels facing out. Customers LOVE this type of attention to detail. It’s a mess when they leave, they come back, and it looks beautiful. This occurs in every room: Kitchen, Bathroom, Family Room, everywhere.


When it’s time to plug in your vacuum, there may not be open outlets in the immediate area. It’s always best to find an outlet that is open than to unplug anything. Because your vacuum cord is long, you can go into another room or down the hall. If you unplug a child safety plug and forget to replace it, you can count on the customer terminating service even one time. It can be viewed as that serious by the customer and parents of the child they are trying to protect. Don’t unplug an air freshener because it can spill when laid on their sides, resulting in a stain on the carpets or floors.


This includes televisions, radios, or any other electrical devices.


A slow-dripping faucet can overflow a sink, basin, or tub. Some houses will go for weeks before a person is in the home, like Move-Out cleans or people on vacation. Plus, you don’t want the drain stem left pulled up on the faucet because it looks odd and not pretty.


Most maid companies allow their cleaners to bring a water bottle into the home but no soft drinks or colored liquids, including coffee.


You may find items in the trash can from time to time that you may want. Do not take anything from the customer’s home. Do not ask the customer if you can take something out of the trash. If the customer offers you something, you should decline. There are several problems with accepting gifts from customers, including not having enough room in the car, sharing with other team members, customers asking for cleaning favors because of the gift, to name a few.


As you walk around a home cleaning room by room, you need to open every door. Some 1⁄2 bathrooms have small doors and can easily look like a closet or linen closet. Most maid companies will have you vacuum or mop the floors in the closet, so open every door.


Most homeowners are sensitive to ANY comment made about their home. A simple remark made from one cleaner to another in a home can lead to disaster. Customers have asked cleaners to leave their homes immediately based on comments overheard. Never say, “this house is “filthy or “this is nasty”. Customers can be home when you least expect it.


Never yell in a customer’s house. Many of your customers are at home when you clean, and many are working from home. Yelling or being loud is annoying, unprofessional, and disruptive to customers.


Check with your employer on rules on communicating with the customer; however, if you leave anything less than perfect, it’s essential to leave a note explaining why.


Everyone gets sick or has a last-minute reason to miss work, but it genuinely hurts the business. Same-day call-outs can result in customers getting bumped to another day, and sometimes the customer cannot reschedule. This is when you are likely to lose a customer even the first time.

If you work on a team, calling out the day you are expected to work puts stress on your partner and other teams working that day to pick up your customers. Same-day call-outs happen, but they need to be limited. Take good care of your health and your loved ones.

All customers want dependable and reliable maid service.

Customer Privacy & Security

It is vital to protect the privacy of your customers. When a customer and homeowner invite you into their home, they trust that you respect their privacy and keep their home secure.

  • Lock the doors while you are cleaning the home

If you enter a customer’s home using a key, garage door code, hidden key, or any other method, you must protect their security after entering the home. If you enter through a garage door, then close it while you are in the house. If you enter the house through the front door using a key, lock the door once you have brought all the equipment into the house.

  •  Never go through medicine cabinets

Never assume it is ok to look for aspirin in a customer’s home if you have a headache. Customers have zero tolerance for people going through their stuff. Most people can tell if anything is out of place in their medicine cabinet or medicine that may be on a countertop.

  •  Never open drawers to see what is inside

You may encounter dresser drawers that are left open by the customer. Something in that open drawer may attract your attention. It will happen. Simply close the drawer and keep moving on with your cleaning.

If you are ever seen opening a drawer and going through a person’s stuff, you will get fired by the customer and your employer.

If a sock is preventing the dresser drawer from closing, open the drawer a little and push the item back into the drawer so that you can close the drawer.

  •  Never discuss a customer…by name…outside of work

Most cleaners and maids have good stories about strange customers. You will be servicing all kinds of people that live all different types of lifestyles. You will see things that will be interesting. Never mention the name of the customer, even to friends or family. Not only is it common courtesy, but it could also be a legal matter. If you disclose private information about a customer by name, you may have a legal problem.

  •  If you are uncomfortable cleaning a home, report it immediately to your employer. If you are not comfortable around specific customers for whatever reason, tell your employer.

The Most Common Customer Complaints

To be an excellent cleaner, you need to do excellent work all the time, in all areas of the home. However, you need to be 100% sure the following areas look perfect. Not just good, but perfect.

Regardless of the size of a home, the homeowner spends 90% of their time in just four rooms. As a result, the most common complaints come from these four rooms.

  1. Kitchen | 2. Master Bathroom | 3. Master Bedroom | 4. TV Room / Family Room

This manual will explain in detail how you accomplish cleaning these four rooms perfectly, every time. Within these rooms, the following areas are most likely to receive a complaint.

  •  Kitchen Floors

The #1 complaint from customers comes from doing a poor job on the kitchen floors. Why? Because kitchen floors are always dirty, and you have to mop the floors several times before they are truly clean. Check corners, edges, and under the kitchen bottom cabinets. Crumbs will be in the corners every time you clean.

  •  Kitchen Countertops

Crumbs left on the counter are a common complaint. Why? Once again, because every time you clean, there will be crumbs, smudges, etc., and you have to get them all off. You feel with your hand and get eye level with the counter to get it perfect. Clean all items on the countertop and under them in that order, or you will put crumbs back on the counter. Sloppy cleaners clean around items. Most customers will fire you the first time that happens, and all of them will fire you the second time it happens.

  •  Master Bathroom Toilet

Like the kitchen, the entire Master Bathroom gets used, and it is always dirty. The toilet is one of the main reasons people purchase maid service. As a CPC, you will become a toilet cleaning master. It’s NOT as easy as you think. And cleaning the toilet includes the areas immediately around the toilet, which are often part of the complaint about toilets.

  •  Master Bathroom Floors

During personal grooming, hair will fall to the floor. Every time you clean a used bathroom, there will be hair on the floor (and everywhere). It’s not easy getting hair removed, and it can be hard to see. Bathroom floors in the Master Bathroom will most often have sticky floors because of hairspray and other products that land on the floor (and mirrors).

  •  Master Bathroom Shower

Customers are in their showers every day. Showers always have soap scum. A cleaner can easily miss soap scum, and soap scum can be hard to get completely clean unless you know what you are doing. This manual teaches how to get showers truly clean.

  •  Master Bed is Sloppy

One of the joys for a homeowner is coming home to their bed looking beautiful. You will learn how to make a bed to perfection in just a few minutes. But suppose you make a bed sloppy in any way like uneven sheets. In that case, pillow arrangements not tight and crisp, wrinkles in the bedcovers, and even the pillowcase openings not being on the inside of the bed, they will assume the entire home was cleaned in the same sloppy manner. Do not underestimate the power of making all beds to perfection.

  •  Nightstands on Either Side of the Bed

Customers look at this area every night when they go to bed. Enough said.

  •  Family Room Dusting and Staging

Most people spend most of their evenings in the Family Room. Sitting in this room for long periods gives homeowners more time to look around. In a bathroom and kitchen, the customer is moving around the room, busy doing their thing. They are not hanging out in the bathroom or kitchen (sometimes). In the Family Room, homeowners hang out for hours AND entertain guests.

Although most of that time is looking at the TV or talking with the other people in the room, they still have a long time looking and seeing the room. If you miss something, they will find it.

These rooms are typically dirty because many people eat and drink in these rooms. You are not only dusting this room; you are cleaning spots off end tables, wiping down coffee tables like a kitchen table, and cleaning spills on non-carpeted floors.

  •  Staging Rooms and Areas

Staging is the act of putting items you have cleaned (or items out of place) back into some organized fashion. Staging is essential in every room you clean. You will learn about staging every room, so the customer is thrilled with the way the room looks. Walking in a room that looks beautiful is the treat and pleasure homeowners expect as part of their maid service.

If you put items back in a sloppy manner, the customer will think the entire home was cleaned poorly. A room that is not staged well will give the impression that you raced through the room and didn’t care.


Checking your work is critically important. No one is perfect. You will make mistakes. Checking your work allows you to catch errors before your customer does.

There are four checks conducted:

  •  Cleaner checks while cleaning
  •  Cleaner checks before you they leave the room
  •  Team Leader checks the entire home, including their tasks, at the end of the job
  •  Customer checks your work when they get home or after you leave

If you do everything as instructed, you should not make mistakes. You don’t have to wonder, “will I get a complaint?” You can leave a home knowing it looks fantastic because you checked your work.

As a Cleaning Partner, you complete two of the three checks conducted by the cleaning service, so you are the primary quality control.

If you are working on a team, don’t rely on the Team Leader to catch the mistake. The Team Leader completes the 3rd check quickly, so they cannot look at everything as close as the person who cleaned it. If a Team Leader misses a mistake and a customer complains about an area you cleaned, you get charged with the complaint, as well as the Team Leader.

Customers will check your work. They will walk the home inspecting everything, and if you left a checklist, they would have that in their hand. If you missed something, they would find it. Don’t be fooled by the customer at home that casually says, “everything looks great.” These same customers call the office complaining because they checked after you left and found something wrong.

How many complaints can a cleaner get before they get terminated?

Customers may terminate service with just one complaint. It happens all the time. If your customer is understanding, they may terminate on the 3rd complaint. Customers pay a lot for maid service, and they have endless options, including cleaning their home by themselves.

Every maid company has its own rules and with different degrees of complaints. Minor, Major, and Gross Misconduct. We will inform you of our rules upfront. If we don’t tell you upfront, ask. It’s ok to ask because you need to know how to keep score. Your job depends on it.

How many customer complaints does a good cleaner get?

If you clean 3 homes a day, 5 days a week, for 3 months, you will clean approximately 200 houses. A good team will not get more than 2 complaints for every 200 jobs. That is just 1%. That sounds impossible! It’s not. Many cleaners go years without a complaint.


Cleaning is a constant act of cleaning and checking at the same time.

Use Your Hand to Feel if an Area is Clean

You do use your eye to find spots and messes, but dirt can fool your eye. An area may look clean, but it may not be clean. Use your hand to feel countertops, cabinets, tubs, sinks, the corners of floors in the kitchen, and other areas that you clean.

Marble, granite, and other patterned areas make it hard to see messes, so use your hand to feel if a site is clean before moving on to your next cleaning task. Get in the habit of moving your hand over surfaces as you clean and when you conduct a check.

With one hand, wipe a countertop, and the other hand, you will feel the area you just cleaned. You will be amazed at what you find. Once you find the spot by feeling, you may be able to see the spot. This process will help train your eye to spot messes visually, but never stop using your hand.

Check Your Work from Different Angles

Move your head and your body to find streaks on floors and mirrors. If you don’t, you won’t see it. You can look at a mirror straight on and not see a smudge or streak. Move your head and body to the side, or down and like magic, it will appear.

Get eye level with the countertop. You can see the entire counter by getting eye level with the counter to see bumps, crumbs, or anything on the counter you may have missed. Don’t just look at the open area, look back to the backsplash and past items on the counter.

Step Back and Get the Big Picture

After you clean an area, like a counter, step back and look at everything to see if anything seems out of place. This is when you make minor adjustments that are critical to long-term customer happiness.

Drop to Your Knee to Check Under Cabinets, Furniture, and for Better Angles

This job requires you to get down on a knee, or both knees, in certain areas of the home and at different times. It is one of the hardest things to do because most people don’t love bending or getting down on a knee, but as a professional cleaner, it is required in many situations and places in the home.

It is easier to get down on one knee if you hold on to something. If it’s easier to do, you will do it every time you need to.

When you need to take a knee, use something stable to help you get down and then back up.

In the kitchen, use the countertop to help you get down and back up. The same goes in the bathroom: using a bathroom counter or even the toilet to get up and down (NOT the toilet paper holder). If you are in the family room, use the couch or a sturdy chair.

Be careful with chairs because they can tip over or slide if you are not careful.

When you get back up from a kneeling position, don’t come up too fast. This can make you dizzy. You will be surprised how much easier and quicker you can get up from a kneeling position, but don’t come up too fast.

Turn off the lights for the final visual check on Mirrors, Glass, and Floors

It seems obvious to clean with the lights on. Of course, you must turn on the lights in any room you are cleaning but turning off the lights may reveal smudges and spots only visible with natural lighting.

Turn off the light to check a mirror and glass shower door. You will be amazed at what you will see. Mirrors that may be sticky from hairspray or glass shower doors with heavy soap scum may look clean under the bright lights often found in a bathroom but will look different under natural lighting.

The same goes for hardwood floors. Customers do see their rooms under natural light or low light. The shine of a floor can blind you from seeing a spot, and that is why you also move your head and body from side to side to see those floors from different angles and under natural light. Getting down on one knee to look at the floors with the lights off and under natural light may reveal spots you would have sworn were not there before.


You will get a different perspective standing in the doorway. Also, every customer will be in that same position since everyone has to walk through that same door. Since most of your checking is completed close up, this perspective will reveal things you may have missed up close.

Before you leave a room, stand at the doorway and look around the room. This only takes a few seconds, so don’t skip it. Your eye should go around the room, top to bottom and left to right.

Make sure all the items hanging on the wall are perfectly horizontal and balanced. Knick-knacks and items on counters and shelves should be balanced, aligned with labels out. This is where staging is best viewed and checked from afar and where the customer enters a room.

This is also the time to turn off the lights in bathrooms and kitchens, to check under natural light since you are standing at the door, and that is where you find the light switch.


There are many tools and supplies used to clean a house. Respect the decision on what we use or don’t use. Never bring your equipment or supplies without written permission from your employer. There are many serious problems with using non-approved supplies, and it is usually grounds for immediate termination.

If you are assigned a caddy, take care of it and clean it out periodically, usually weekly or daily.

Tools and Supplies for a 2 Person Team*

*Supplies vary depending on job/location/team members

Caddy (2)

Common Bag in Vehicle

All-purpose spray bottle

Webster dusting head

Glass cleaner spray bottle

Chenille (flat) dusting head

Degreaser spray bottle

2 Buckets

Disinfectant spray bottle


Bleach-based spray bottle

Attachments for the vacuum

Furniture dusting spray

2 Poles 1-extension and 1- 4 ft. pole

Powdered cleanser

Broom & dustpan

Plastic cup for rinsing

Shoe covers

2 Sponges 1-Kitchen 1-Bathroom(s)

Latex-free gloves

Scrub brush

Whisk broom

2 Toothbrushes 1-Toilet 1-One for all others

Disposable air masks

Tile brush

Hand Sanitizer & Hand Lotion

Plastic scraper

2 Stepladders

Toilet brush and storage cup


SOS pads, in a Ziploc bag



Rag Bag

Floor cleaner dispensing bottle

Gray Rags for Normal Cleaning

Spare vacuum cleaner belts

Blue Rags for Glass Cleaner

Screwdriver for basic vacuum repairs

Mop heads

2 Aprons

Dirty rag bag

These tools and supplies will be reviewed and referenced in more detail throughout your reading. However, the following items are more global and not discussed in detail anywhere else in your lesson.

“Rags” Are Much More Than Their Name Implies

Professional maids use microfiber cloths. They work better than anything else, and they are the standard in the industry. Most professionals still refer to them as “rags” because it is easier to say, and you use the word all the time when you talk to your partner, the office, and in training, including these classes.

Shoe Covers

Shoe covers are worn over shoes to protect floors from scratches and cultural reasons. They are disposable, made of lightweight cloth, and have a few rubber lines on the bottom to prevent slipping.

Respect this request and the homeowner. Don’t act inconvenienced or laugh when asked to wear shoe covers because that reaction can immediately result in the customer terminating service. Some families, and many cultures, never wear shoes in the home. If the customer is at home, they may be in socks or slippers. If the customer is not at home, you better wear your shoe covers (if in the work order) because if a customer walks in on you not wearing shoe covers, they will often fire you on the spot.

These customers expect you to wear shoe covers the entire time in the home, starting as soon as you walk in the door. Customers will refuse to let cleaners in their homes if they forget their shoe covers. They will not accept washing the bottom of your shoes, and you cannot wear just socks because the customer may refuse that request, which is a significant safety problem because you will slip in socks. And never use grocery bags over your shoes. That’s more dangerous than socks.

Some customers may not reveal this request until you show up at the door. Make sure you always have a small supply in your car, and then tell your office so that they can put that requirement in future work orders.

Be careful. The rubber lines on the bottom of shoe covers do not provide much slip prevention compared to rubber-soled shoes. If you get them wet when cleaning a shower or mopping floors, they will tear, but you have to wear them in the shower. You typically never take your shoe covers off at any time in the home. Suppose your shoe cover rips or gets torn, put on another cover.

Latex-Free Gloves

Wearing gloves is not a suggestion, it is a legal requirement in the United States and many other countries. Some maids choose to wear gloves during the entire job, but some cleaners wear them only when needed.

You should wear gloves anytime you use harsh chemicals or solvents, clean bathrooms, in the kitchen, anytime you come in contact with bodily fluid, including making beds and collecting trash throughout the home. You can see why most maids wear gloves the entire time.

It is your responsibility to have gloves. Although your employer provides gloves, it is your responsibility to keep enough gloves with you during your day. Gloves can tear, so keep a supply to include more than what you think you may need for the day. Before you run out, ask for more gloves if your inventory is low.

Carry an Extra Dry Cloth in Your Back Pocket

Having it in your back pocket allows you to carry it all the time and out of the way.

Items to Buy on Your Own

There are a few personal items every cleaner should consider buying on their own. Because they are personal items and not used for cleaning, you typically don’t need approval from your employer. The rest of the items on this page fall into this category.

Hand Sanitizer & Hand Lotion

Although you wear gloves, it’s nice to have hand sanitizer after every job; with COVID-19, we must practice an abundance of caution. Hand lotion is a must for people in the maid service business. Use non-greasy hand lotion to prevent transferring lotion to your cleaning and prevent dropping items.

Knee Pads

Cleaners either love them or hate them. There are some jobs like Deep Cleans, Spring Cleans, and Move-In/Out jobs where you hand wash the baseboards, so knee pads just for that job might be a benefit. There are endless options on styles of knee pads, and they don’t cost much.

Back Supports and Wrist Guards

You may find the need to wear support gear from time to time and more often with new cleaners who have not got their body conditioned to this type of work. It can take up to a month before your body is conditioned to this type of work. This is a very aerobic job with bending, walking, getting to a knee, carrying equipment, reaching within limits, and constantly moving your arms and hands.

Your wrists may get soreness in the beginning. Some cleaners find comfort in wearing a wrist guard. They can provide support, but they can also prolong the building of muscle and your strength improving. They’re a solution for temporary pain or discomfort. Be careful; it can get caught on things as you clean.

Back support straps may also be a solution, but they should be used for temporary relief and not long-term use like the wrist guards. You are not lifting heaving items or furniture, so a sore back should be temporary or until you build muscle strength and, in some cases, become more fit.

Epsom Salt Baths

Don’t laugh, but you need to buy some Epsom Salt before you start your cleaning career. You can thank us later. A long bath after a hard day of work will help your entire body feel better. The first week of professional cleaning will be the hardest. The second week will be better, and the third even more so until your body is conditioned around week four.

Your Apron

An apron is one of your best tools. It saves you time, and with the convenience of having several tools in your apron, you are more inclined to use that tool than going back to your caddy to retrieve it.

Aprons come in a variety of styles. Most maids prefer this shorter waist style. Some maids wear their waist apron turned, so the pockets are on one side. That works great for some cleaners. Others prefer aprons that hang over your neck. Those protect your company shirt from bleach stains and work better for cleaners with narrow hips. They do get a little hot since it covers your entire front; that is why you want a lighter weight material for that style. And some maids prefer not wearing an apron at all. Aprons can get in your way a little as you bend or clean on your hands and knees. You may want to give it a try.

  •  The bottom row has two pockets. In both pockets put a hand full of clean rags. Don’t overload these pockets, but they can handle about five rags per pocket for a total of ten rags in your apron.
  •  In the top row, you will find one large pocket. You can use this pocket to put any loose trash you find along the way or as a general all-purpose pocket.
  •  The other slots in the top section are smaller and can hold one of the following items in each slot: Plastic scraper, Tile brush, and Toothbrush.


When you arrive at the home, unload the car by taking all the equipment to the front door or entry point. Bringing all the equipment to the door before opening the door reduces the time the door is left open. Customers don’t like their doors left open. Pets can escape, and customers can lose heat and air conditioning when doors are left open.

Don’t carry too much when you unload the car. It often takes two trips, even with two cleaners. If you carry too much, you are more inclined to trip, fall or drop items. If it is raining, wait a few minutes to see if the rain will slow or stop. Sometimes you unload and load your car in the rain. DO NOT RUN. Walk at an average pace even if it is raining.

If the customer is at home, introduce yourself, your cleaning partner, and your company name. “Hello, I’m Rob with IATRIC Professional Cleaning Service, and this is Wanda, my cleaning partner.” Always introduce yourself and your cleaning partner by name and remind the customer of the name of your cleaning company.

If you have a key and the customer is not expected to be at home, always announce yourself. You never know if the customer may be home that day. Some customers who work from home give their maids access, so they don’t have to be disturbed to let them in.

If you don’t announce yourself, all kinds of crazy things can occur. If you walk into the home and the customer doesn’t hear you, they can be startled when you come upon them. You may find your customer in a private moment, including being naked. And the list goes on and on.

The best way to announce yourself is to ring the doorbell before you enter and say, “Hello, this is IATRIC Professional Cleaning Service to clean your home.” Don’t skip ringing the doorbell. Some homes are big, and simply announcing yourself as you walk in the door may not be enough to be heard throughout the house.

From the front porch, bring the equipment into the foyer or first large room of the home. Some customers will have you enter the home through a side door, or garage door, or even a back door. Regardless of the door, come in and gently place the equipment and supplies on the floor. Do not drop equipment. Dropping equipment and supplies on the floor can damage floors and your equipment. It can also startle customers and shows complete disrespect for the customer’s home.

Do not lean poles or equipment against the wall. They can fall, putting marks on the wall, crash into something, and creating a tripping hazard. Lay everything on the floor or in whatever carrying case you use to bring in your equipment.

Lock the home while you are cleaning. Customers want their home secure, and it’s a safety precaution for you as well. Close the door after you enter the house. It protects the customer’s items from theft, and it looks unprofessional to leave the door open.  


Making beds is a core service for maid service. Most maid companies will make beds for no additional charge, which means you make all the beds in the home. Some companies charge a fee if they strip the bed and change the sheets, so look at your work orders to confirm.

Maid service should be a treat for the homeowner and something they look forward to seeing. Most people make their beds quickly since they typically make their beds in a hurry, on their way out the door to work or school. You can get a customer to LOVE their maid service based on the quality of making their bed.

How long should it take 2 people to make a bed?


Minimum Time

Average Time

Maximum Time

Bed (Stripping & Making)




Use Two People to Make or Change Beds

It goes much faster with two people. It’s not just twice as fast; it’s more like four times faster. One person can make a bed, but it’s not recommended unless you are cleaning by yourself.

Customers Will Leave Out Clean Sheets and Pillowcases

The Customer will typically leave clean linens in each room where you are changing the bed linens. Most customers leave the fresh linens on the bed; some customers may leave the fresh linens just about anywhere in the room. If you cannot find the fresh linens on the bed, look throughout the room to see if they are elsewhere.

If the customer is paying to have the bed linens changed, but they forgot to leave clean linens, make the bed with the existing linens, and leave a note for the customer. If the customer is at home, ask the customer for fresh linens if they happened to forget.

We will not have you hunt for fresh linens if the customer does not leave them out. This wastes time, and you may not find clean linens, or you may not be able to tell which linens fit that bed from the choices in the linen closet.

Remake Beds – Don’t Just Straighten Them

You will encounter beds where it looks like you can straighten up the bed. Be careful, the sheets under the bed cover could be all over the place. Some customers will throw the blankets back on the bed, including pillows, fully expecting the maid service to remake the bed.

Often, it is faster to remake the bed than trying to straighten it with no lumps or wrinkles. Pull everything off except the fitted sheet and remake the bed.

Stripping and Making the Bed

Don’t read the following instructions too quickly or carelessly. There is a lot to learn here. After you read these instructions, you will be directed to watch a video on making beds.

  1. Strip the bed sheets and pillowcases. Put dirty linens inside one of the dirty pillowcases.

While keeping the pillows that will be changed on the bed, remove the bedspread/comforter or any blankets that will be used again. Lay them on the ground, out of your way, so you don’t trip as you work around the bed.

Remove the pillowcases and leave them in the middle of the sheets. Toss the pillow on the floor out the way. After all, pillowcases are stripped, pull the sheets off the bed.

Do not pull the mattress cover unless the customer left a clean cover with the clean sheets. Mattress covers are not laundered as often as sheets. Do not accidentally strip the bed cover. Some bed covers are obvious, like these below. Some bed covers look like a fitted sheet.

Now wrap up the sheets, with the pillowcases still in the middle, fold them over each other, including the pillowcases. Don’t wad them up in a ball because they will not fit into the pillowcase. You are folding it down to the size and dimensions of a pillow.

When you put the sheets in the pillowcase, it’s like putting a case on a pillow. Feed it into the pillowcase from one end, like a pillow. If you try to jam the entire wad of linens at one time, you may rip the stitches on the pillowcase.

Having the dirty linens in a pillowcase makes it easier to carry to the laundry room, and it looks neat and professional. If you have several beds on the same floor, set the pillowcase of dirty linens outside the bedroom door. Make the rest of the beds on that floor so that you can take all the dirty linens to the laundry room at the same time.

  1. Put on the “fitted sheet”

Ensure you get the fitted sheet completely underneath the corners and then stretch it firmly across the mattress and all corners. You don’t want any wrinkles on any of the sheets you put on the bed.

Make sure the linens are turned the right way. A common mistake on large beds is to get the linens turned sideways. King Beds are close but not exactly square, so you can easily get confused. Look at the sheet before you start wrapping it around the corners. If there is a pattern on the sheets, they usually run from the headboard to the bottom of the bed. Stripes seldom run sideways on a bed.

Don’t put the fitted sheet on inside out. Look for the tag in the corner of the sheet and look at the stitching at the corners. The label and hem will be on the inside of the sheet.

Make sure the fitted sheets are stretched around the corners and underneath the bed. You don’t want the sheets to pull off the bed when the customer enters their bed at night.

  1. Flat Sheet goes to the TOP of the bed and then blankets

Place the top end of the flat sheet (wider border) at the top of the bed and distribute the rest of the sheet down past the foot of the bed. Put the right side down on the bed. Look at the top of the sheet, which has a wider edge. Look at the stitching to know what side should go face up. You want the nicer side up and the stitching side down on the bed.

Don’t put the top edge of the flat sheet over the edge of the mattress. It needs to be on the top edge of the mattress and not draped over the edge.

Make sure the bedsheet is hanging evenly on both sides of the beds. The best way to communicate this to your partner is to raise the sheet on your side so they can see how much is hanging over the edge. Both people making the bed can raise their side of the sheet to show the other cleaner. With one hand holding the sheet, place your other hand on top of the sheet right at the bed’s edge. This is the best way to show the edge of the bed showing the amount of sheet that is hanging over. If you only lift the sheet, they can’t see the edge of the bed. You have to show them the edge.

Now put on any blankets and bring the top of the blanket to the bottom of the flat sheet. Most blankets have a wide border at the top end. Bring the top of the blanket right to the bottom edge of the flat sheet border. This gives a layered look, which looks nice.

  1. Fold the flat sheet (and blanket) at the foot of the bed into a Hospital Fold

This is how you want your fold to look. It’s easy to do, and it’s just three steps

a. Tuck the bottom of the sheets under the bed

Both cleaners standing on either side of the bed lift their corner of the bed, AT THE SAME TIME, and tuck the end of all sheets and blankets under the bed. Make sure the entire sheet is tucked under the bed. Don’t have a saggy bottom.

Be careful not to pull the bed skirt covering the bottom box springs. If you happen to catch the bed skirt, make sure you pull it out and straighten it.

b. Form a Hospital Fold of the sheets at the bottom of the bed (3 moves)

  •  Grab the lowest hanging corner of the sheet and pull up and to the right. Lay the corner you are holding onto the top of the bed toward the middle. This move wraps the sheet around the vertical edge of the mattress corner.
  •  Go to the corner of the mattress and tuck any hanging sheet under the mattress.
  •  Grab the same corner of the sheet you laid on top of the bed and pull the sheet down and to the right to form a crisp edge down and to the right. Put your free hand underneath the sheet and hold the sheet to the top edge of the mattress. This will keep the fold free of wrinkles until you tuck the sheet you are holding underneath the mattress.

c. Tuck the rest of the sheet under the mattress no farther than halfway up the bed

You don’t want to go too far up the side of the bed because the customer may complain that it is too hard to get into the bed or once they get in, they have a hard time getting out because the sides are tucked too tight and too high.

  1. Put the bedspread back on the bed

Make sure the comforter or bedspread is hanging evenly on both sides of the beds. Again, show your partner how much you have hanging on your side by lifting the sides and placing your hand on top of the bedspread at the edge of the bed.

Make sure the comforter is hanging nicely around the corners. If you have a bed with posts or anything that can cause the top comforter not to lay perfectly, make the proper adjustments so the bed looks great.

  1. If the sheets are hanging lower than the bedspread, tuck in the sheets along the side

This makes the bed look the best, even though it may be tough to get into the bed.

  1. Put the correct pillowcases on the pillow, fluff them and tuck in the loose end

Make sure the pillowcase is right-side out. Look at the seams. Often you have to flip the clean casing to get the correct side showing. The pillow will have a tag on one end. Put the tab end of the pillow into the case, so the label is not exposed on an open end. After you put the pillow casing on the pillow, lay it on the bed and fluff the pillow. Pat the pillow with both hands, get the pillow to lay flat, shake the pillow, or lift it to help with straightening the casing.

If a pillowcase is longer than the pillow, tuck in the loose end of the casing to form a smooth edge. Fold one side of the open pillowcase over the exposed end of the pillow, followed by folding the remaining pillowcase onto itself.

  1. Place the pillows back on the bed in an orderly fashion

Beds are usually not made when you arrive, so you may not know how the customer makes their bed. Don’t worry, most beds are made this way:

  • Make sure pillows are centered by standing at the foot of the bed, find the center of the headboard and work your way out from the middle
  • Regular pillows in casings go on first. Place them on top of the bedspread. Stand them on their sides (horizontally) with the open end facing the inside of the bed. Pillows must be arranged tightly. It needs to look tight, smooth, and aesthetically pleasing.
  • Next, put on any large decorative pillows to cover the regular pillows
  • Place smaller decorative pillows in front of the more oversized decorative pillows
  • This will give the pillows a layered look
  1. Check Your Work

Inspect the bed to make sure it looks great and doesn’t have any wrinkles. Walk around the bed to make sure the sheets are tucked out of sight and the bed cover is hanging evenly on both sides. Stand at the foot of the bed and check that the pillows are perfectly centered. Because the beds are so important, make sure you look at the bed one more time before walking away from it. Make sure there are no wrinkles on the tops or sides.

A slight tug to a top sheet to get the last small wrinkle out or fluffing a pillow to make sure it matches the other pillows next to it can go a long way in keeping a customer loving their maid service.

Look at this bed. Does it look good? The answer is no. The second row of pillows is too far left. Look at the centerline on the wall. You can often find a center design on the headboard or something that helps you identify the center of the bed.

Look at the left pillow and see that it is at the edge of the bed, where the pillow on the right is not. Something as small as this may give the customer the impression you rushed through the house. These little things matter.

You may watch this video at this point, or go to the dashboard at another time and find it under the “videos” section.

Duvet Covers

Duvet covers are like giant pillowcases for comforters or blankets. They often look fluffy like in this picture.

Some customers will have you change the duvet cover when you change the sheets. Getting the comforter in and out of the cover can be frustrating if you don’t know how to do it. The Maid Training Academy “Making Beds & Duvet Covers” video demonstrates this at the 8:37 mark.

No Two Beds are the Same

You will find all kinds of beds and situations. Covers are too long, or not long enough, not enough pillowcases left out, odd number of pillows, and on and on. Improvise and arrange the bed in the best orderly fashion as you can with what you have.

Some customers will have you change the duvet cover when you change the sheets. Getting the comforter in and out of the cover can be frustrating if you don’t know how to do it.

Making the Top Bed in a Bunk

The problem with bunk beds is that they often are placed against the wall, like the picture to the right. This makes it hard to reach that side of the mattress without climbing onto the top bed.

Do not climb onto the top bed. You can fall through the slats or break them. You can also fall off the bed trying to maneuver around the bed.

You can still make the top bed. Use your stepladder. Avoid standing on the bottom bed because you can break slats. Putting your foot in between slats is not a good angle since your weight is not over your, and your foot can get stuck. Use your step ladder.

BE CAREFUL Making Beds

Ceiling fans that are above a bed can be damaged when making a bed. There are often ceiling fans above a bed. Fans have a chain hanging down with a heavy metal or plastic ball at the end. When two people make the bed, it is easy to bring a blanket or sheet on or off the bed too high and catch this ball and chain. This can lead to numerous types of accidents.  


High Dusting is completed throughout the entire home. No room OR area of the house is skipped. Work your way around the whole floor, going into every room.


  1. 4-foot dusting pole
  2. 8-foot extension pole
  3. Dusting heads


  1. This is one of the first cleaning tasks you do in the home
  2. You are using a dusting head on a pole so that you can reach HIGH and LOW
  3. High dust the entire house. One cleaner high dusts the entire upstairs, and the other person high dusts the main floor. If a basement included, high dust the basement last.
  4. Return to ceiling fans and dust the topside of the fan blades with Chenille duster
  5. Return your extension poles to the common area, where you entered the home

High Dusting Includes the Following HIGH Areas

  • Any high area where dust accumulates and can be dusted safely
  • Ceiling fans
  • Ceiling lights, including recessed lights
  • Vents for Air Conditioning & Heating
  • Tops and sides of door jams
  • Light fixtures over the bathroom sinks (if too high to reach on a stepladder)
  • Top Corners and Edges of walls
  • Anything hanging or firmly attached to the ceiling
  • Top of window frames
  • Tops of Shower walls where the tile stops, and drywall begins
  • Tops of Curtains, Drapery Rods, and Shower Curtains

High Dusting Includes the Following LOW Areas

  • Vents for Air Conditioning & Heating
  • Baseboards (because it is easier to reach with your pole than bending over)
  • Baseboards behind furniture that is up against a wall
  • Spot sweep the area where the floors meet the baseboard
  • Under the bottom of cabinets, including the bathroom and kitchen
  • Spindles on stairs and railings
  • Gaps between the refrigerator and cabinets or wall, and the gaps between washers and dryer machines, and the cabinets or wall

These are the two most common dusting heads used in the industry: the Webster and the Chenille High Duster or Flat Duster.

Chenille High Duster (Flat Duster)

The Chenille High Fan Duster is a long flat duster used for dusting and wet wiping ceiling fan blades. No other tool works better for dusting the TOP of ceiling fan blades.

The Webster is the classic high dusting head and used more than any other dusting head. It is a soft bristle ball that works excellent, dusting everything except the tops of ceiling fan blades. That is why you need a Chenille High Duster.

The Webster will wear out, so replace it periodically. When it starts to look smashed, or most of the bristles are gone, replace it. If you wait too long, the Webster may scratch and leave marks on those areas you run the Webster across.

You can help your Webster last longer by taking care of it. Take the Webster off the pole when you store it in your car. Cars can get a little cramped for space, and the Webster can get smashed easier when left on the dusting pole.

When you use the Webster, you are brushing it across surfaces. Avoid smashing the dusting head into the corners because it can leave marks on the wall, and it will break off the soft bristles

The Webster bristles will break and fall off. When a bristle breaks, it’s going to fall on the floor or even get stuck on the wall. Don’t leave them because you will get a complaint. Although they are brightly colored, they can be hard to see at first, but once you notice one, they will become more apparent. Pick them off the walls or the floor.

Check your Webster head periodically to make sure it’s on tight. You are running it across surfaces so that it can turn/spin and become loose. If the head falls off while you are high dusting, that could lead to a damage claim. The Webster should be on tight but not so tight you can’t get it off.


Whether you use a 4-foot pole or an extension pole, there are some limitations on what you should high dust. Do not high dust items that may tip over or hung on the wall where you cannot hold it with one hand to secure it while you dust. Items hung on the wall can and will fall. If you cannot hold it, then don’t high dust it because it will cause lots of damage when it falls.

Do not dust decorative items on top of kitchen cupboards because they can easily tip over or fall. And since you never stand on countertops to dust or clean, you cannot risk knocking something over that you cannot put back right. And never, ever use a customer’s chair.


Unless a customer had maid service before, the space might not have dusted in years. You may find ceiling fans covered in dust, baseboards covered in dust and pet hair, lots of cobwebs, and dust falling everywhere when you are high dusting. Some maid companies provide masks. We recommend wearing them while you are high dusting a dusty home.

Watch the videos to see a professional cleaner high dusting.


One cleaner high dusts the upstairs on a two-person maid team, and the other person high dusts the main floor. The person cleaning the kitchen is more inclined to need the extension pole because they are dusting the foyer and living room. These two rooms typically have higher ceilings and ceiling fans. The person cleaning the master bedroom generally is upstairs, and the 4-foot pole should be fine for the entire upstairs.

Each cleaner, on each floor, will high dust their entire floor at one time. Start in the first room you are going to be cleaning. The first two rooms you clean are the Kitchen, the main floor, and the Master Bathroom, typically upstairs. As mentioned before, you must give dust some time to settle. Start your high dusting in your first room, be it the kitchen or master bathroom. This helps a little since it will take 10 minutes to high dust the entire floor. And the other rooms will have time for that dust to settle before you get to it when you clean it.


Hold the dusting pole with both hands. Place one hand at the very end of the pole. Having a hand on the end of the pole helps you know where the pole ends so you don’t accidentally knock over something on your downward movements.

Start in the corner of the room or door and work your way around the room. After you leave a room, high dust the hallway on your way to the next room.

Work top to bottom, which means you start at the top where the ceiling meets the wall and brush/swipe the long duster along the top molding or edge if no molding. Reach as much as you can without moving from your spot, high dust the next item working your way down to the baseboards at the bottom of the wall.

Work around the room, dusting high and low before you move to the right. Do not high dust the entire room and then come back to low dust. That goes against your core training of top to bottom, then left to right. There is some danger in only high dusting because you are walking around the room only looking up. That will lead to a trip and fall accident. Don’t do it. Dust high, work your way down to the baseboards, and then take a step to the right. It is faster and safer.

High dusting is a relatively fast process. You can typically high dust a family room in just a few minutes. DON’T SKIP areas with your high dusting. You are not spot dusting. You are running the duster head over ALL of the services and corners. Cobwebs can be hard to see unless you are looking at different angles. You don’t have time for that. Not only are you knocking down cobwebs, but you are also knocking down dust, and there is always dust accumulating on everything, all the time. Brush all high dusting areas every time you high dust.

Although you concentrate on the edges and corners of high places, cobwebs can form in the middle of the ceiling, seemingly attached to almost nothing on the ceiling. You are hunting for cobwebs. You would be surprised by how often you find cobwebs even if the customer had maid service just two weeks prior. Spiders are persistent. You will knock down a cobweb, and the spider will put them back up. It’s a constant battle.

Dust the baseboards behind furniture, chairs, sofas, beds as far as you can reach with the pole and without knocking out something plugged into an electrical outlet. Getting behind chairs, beds, and other furniture is a sign of a high-quality cleaner. This is an area where some maids cut corners. Remember, you want your customer to LOVE their service.

Cobwebs (Spider Webs)

Running into some spider webs is common. Running into large amounts of spider webs is not. Regardless of the amount you encounter, there are a few things you need to know. Spring Cleans, Move-In/Out, and First Time cleans is when you discover the most spider web volume. You may find that the dusting head will get full of spider webs. When the dusting head gets full of spider webs, you must stop and remove the spider webs from the head. If you do not clean your head periodically, you will not only lose the ability to dust; you may start smearing the cobwebs or transfer cobwebs back on the wall from your dusting head.

Once you notice your dusting head is full, STOP. You have a few options. Go outside of the home and shake the head to get the webbing off. If anything is stuck to the bristles, use a dry rag and wipe the cobwebs off the cleaning head. Put that rag in the dirty rag bag.

Periodically you may need to rinse your Webster in a sink. Rinsing your Webster should be done at the end of the day, so it has time to completely dry, overnight, for your next day’s work. Don’t do this in the customer’s home because a wet Webster needs time to dry. Using a wet Webster creates several problems with quality and even damage.


If the fan is running, turn it off. Turn it back on after you dust/clean it, or you’ll get a complaint.

Do not stand directly under the fan. Stand at the edge of the blade, so you have a good angle to clean the blades and avoid dust falling on you.

Working top to bottom, use your Webster and start with the housing box on the ceiling and then dust down the chain or pole leading to the fan motor, then the blades, and then the lights under the blades.

A ceiling fan will sway and move when you dust it, especially when you get to the fan blades. That’s normal, and the fan can handle that. You have to apply some pressure on the blades to pull the dust off the blades. Although ceiling fans are hung in a way to handle being touched and pulled, there is a limit. The good news is that you don’t have to pull very hard when you are dusting. When you dust the fan motor, walk around the motor to reach the top of the motor. When you clean the fan blades next, you stand in one place.

When you dust the fan blades, stand in one place and move the blades around after dusting each blade. Clean the top, all edges, and bottom of each blade, then rotate the fan with your pole for the next blade until you have dusted each blade. Count the number of blades before you start dusting them, and then count each blade as you dust them. Counting the blades will ensure you clean every blade but not waste time cleaning the same blade twice.

During a Spring Clean or Move-In/Out, wet wipe the ceiling fan blades. You are only wet wiping the blades. Do not get anything wet on the motor, bulbs, or anything else.

If the ceiling fan has a lot of dust, dry dust it first with the Webster before wet wiping it. Getting dust wet turns dust into paste and smears, which makes it harder to clean.

The Chenille Duster is the best dusting head for dusting or wet wiping blades. It has a removable cloth cover that can be used dry or wet. When the cover gets too dusty or dirty, replace it with a clean cover.

Spray Glass Cleaner along the top and bottom of the Chenille Duster. Don’t get it too wet because you don’t want to get water on the motor or have anything drip on the lights or yourself.

Like before, stand in the same place, clean the top and bottom of each blade, and then rotate the fan to the next blade until you have wiped each blade.

It is best to access the blade from the high side. Blades are twisted/turned so they can move air. It is best to overlap the fan blade from the high side; this will prevent the blade from slipping away from you when you are dusting or wet wiping it. Bend the duster head sharp enough so that it lays flat against the blade.

The wand of this duster is designed to bend, but you can also angle the duster at the hinge.

This position will give you more dusting surface, which is great for fans with heavy dust. Be careful because a more extended duster is harder to maneuver around a fan.


Some ceiling fans can be reached by hand while standing on a two-step stepladder. Use the pole to dust from the ceiling, down the chain, or pole to the point where you can reach by hand. Be careful any time you are on a stepladder. Don’t overreach.

When you are on a step ladder, don’t work on items directly above you. Work on objects in front of you so you can see better, and it is safer to have your hands in front of you for balance.

Do not climb on beds to hand clean ceiling fans. You may be tempted to do it, but this is where safety overrules convenience. Walking on a bed is not easy, and you could trip and fall off the bed. Some customers may not appreciate you standing on their bed, even if you take your shoes off. You should be able to dust and clean the fan well enough using your pole.


As you work your way around the room, dust the tops of the door and window frames. The tops of these frames are flat and will accumulate dust. After you dust the tops, quickly dust the sides of the frames too.


Just about any room in the home can have a high ceiling. The only way to reach these high areas is with an extension pole.

Extension poles can be dangerous. Some maid companies will not dust with extension poles because they can be hazardous. Here are some precautions you need to learn about using an extension pole.

When you extend the pole, LOCK the pole in place. Some extension poles use a pin mechanism to lock in place. These are the best extension poles to use. If you have a pole that twists to lock, you need to turn the pole, so it locks snuggly but not so hard that you cannot get it unlocked.

Whatever method you use to lock your pole, make sure it is locked securely. You will be pulling and pushing the dusting head, so if the extension is not securely fastened, the pole can collapse quickly. If the pole collapses quickly and your hand is in the wrong spot, the pole sliding back can cut your hand. Be careful where you hold the pole to avoid this injury. Don’t hold the extension pole too close to the top of any section of poles.

Keep your extension poles vertical (up and down). A long pole can get heavy when horizontal.

When an extension pole is upright, the pole is easy to control. If you hold a pole horizontal, it becomes heavier and harder to manage.

Do not reach your extension pole over a balcony or while you are standing on a staircase because it can quickly get away from you. You may be tempted to do this because you could reach certain items like the top of fan blades or even the flat area over a door, which you could not reach very well standing directly below it. Don’t do it, even if you feel you are strong enough.

Extended poles can gain weight fast as you lower a pole to a horizontal position. The pole can quickly accelerate, resulting in dropping the pole. That can lead to damaging walls; items hung on a wall, the floor, and even a person standing below. It could also pull you over a balcony, which could lead to a severe accident or even death.

Don’t spend too much time on fancy chandeliers

Your goal on these ornate pieces is just to knock down any cobwebs. Fancy chandeliers can have lots of crystals that can be knocked off with your duster or get caught in your duster.

Chandeliers need to be hand cleaned periodically by companies that specialize in that service. Maid service companies typically do not provide that type of service.


Dust the top of the drapes and curtain rods for cobwebs. Be careful when you dust drapes because drapes are often hand folded to create folds. If you dust too hard, you can ruin the equal spacing between the folds. Lightly dust drapes and the poles. Some fabric will hold dust, and you may have a hard time getting all the dust off. Leave a note for the customer if that is the case.


Recessed lights in ceilings attract dust as well as illuminates dust and cobwebs when lights are turned on. Use your Webster duster head to reach inside the recessed portion of the light.

Spin the Webster head to get the bristles inside the can and around the light. Just a quick spin of the head, and you will see dust and cobwebs fall. Keep dusting the light until all the dust falls.

AIR VENTS for Heating and Air-Conditioning, as well as Vents in Bathrooms

Air vents are located in high and low places. They can also be found in bathrooms above the toilet to ventilate smells. Because these vents move air either in or out, they will always have dust on them.


Baseboards collect the most dust because they are lowest to the ground, and dust falls and is the last place dust accumulates. Baseboards are also touched or rubbed by pets so that you will find pet hair on baseboards, as well as mud, scuff marks, spills, and other messes.

While you are dusting the baseboards, if you see a spill or mess, stop and clean it with a rag. If most or all the baseboards are dirty, the customer needs a Spring Clean or an extra service to hand wipe the baseboards. DO NOT hand wipe all the baseboards if that service is not included in that job. You are cheating yourself and your company if you provide that for free. However, if there is an occasional stain, wipe it clean with a rag and cleaning solution.


This is an area often missed by maids because it is out of sight. Customers hire maid companies to clean/dust areas they are not able or willing to get on their own. Customers expect this area dusted, if not every time, at least periodically whenever it is dusty.

Your 4-foot dusting pole is a great tool to get behind furniture. Be careful not to disturb cords plugged into an outlet. You can also kneel (not stand) on sofas to reach behind furniture. You will find small furniture that you can easily move with one hand or with little effort. In those situations, move the furniture to reach the baseboards. Remember, customers are always thinking about whether maid service is an expense they need to keep. Doing a great job, including getting behind furniture, is how you keep customers.

The same goes for baseboards behind beds. Getting the baseboards behind large beds can be a bit more challenging. You may have to move the nightstands next to the head of the bed to reach behind to get cobwebs and dust.


The standup vacuum does not get into the crevice where the floor meets the baseboards. You seldom need to edge all floors with a crevice tool and your canister vacuum, which can put marks on the baseboards. You do need to spot- sweep items away from the edge that your vacuum may not reach.

While you are high dusting the baseboards look for stuff that you can quickly brush out of the edges, using your high duster, so the vacuum cleaner can pick the item up or pick them up by hand if it is too big for the vacuum.

Case in point, look at the following picture. Two items need to be brushed out into the open, a piece of paper and a dead bug.


At the point where the shower wall meets the drywall, you will find a lip or a ledge. Dust will always accumulate up on this ledge, and because it is above your head, you can miss it. Use your 4-foot dusting pole and the Webster dusting head to dust this ledge at the top of the shower wall.


At the point where the shower wall meets the drywall, you will find a lip or a ledge. Dust will always accumulate up on this ledge, and because it is above your head, you can miss it. Use your 4-foot dusting pole and the Webster dusting head to dust this ledge at the top of the shower wall.

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At the point where the shower wall meets the drywall, you will find a lip or a ledge. Dust will always accumulate up on this ledge, and because it is above your head, you can miss it. Use your 4-foot dusting pole and the Webster dusting head to dust this ledge at the top of the shower wall.


At the point where the shower wall meets the drywall, you will find a lip or a ledge. Dust will always accumulate up on this ledge, and because it is above your head, you can miss it. Use your 4-foot dusting pole and the Webster dusting head to dust this ledge at the top of the shower wall.


These areas collect all kinds of dust, dirt, cobwebs, and miscellaneous.

Use your Webster to dust the underside of the cabinet. Put your Webster head underneath the bottom and lift just a little to grab and pull stuff like cobwebs and dust from the underside.

Also, brush the floor in the area where the floor meets the cabinets to pull any dirt and stuff away from the edges and underneath section.    


These areas collect all kinds of dust, dirt, cobwebs, and miscellaneous.

Use your Webster to dust the underside of the cabinet. Put your Webster head underneath the bottom and lift just a little to grab and pull stuff like cobwebs and dust from the underside.

Also, brush the floor in the area where the floor meets the cabinets to pull any dirt and stuff away from the edges and underneath section.    

High Dust Under the Front of Cabinets and the Crevice Where the Floor Meets Cabinet

The Same Goes for the Front of Kitchen Cabinets and the Base of Islands in the Kitchen

Wet Wipe all the Spindles after you High Dust them on Spring Cleanings and Move-In/Outs

You need to dust the spindles first before you wet wipe them. If the home has not had regular recurring service, you will find these spindles have lots of dust and are potentially dirty because most people do not wet wipe spindles as part of their routine maintenance.

Don’t skip high dusting on Spring Cleans or Move-In/Out

On Spring Cleans and Move-In/Out jobs, you wipe baseboards, blinds, and other woodwork with a wet rag and cleaning solution. DO NOT skip the high dusting tasks if there is a lot of dust on blinds and baseboards. When water meets dust, the dust turns into a paste that takes even longer to hand wipe. Always high dust because you don’t hand wipe molding up high. It can be a judgment call if there is little to no dust on the baseboards.



  1. Caddy
  2. Clean rags and Dirty ragbag
  3. Broom and Vacuum
  4. Mop
  5. Stepladder



Minimum Time

Average Time

Maximum Time

Master Bathroom




Spare Bath (used)




Spare Bath (not used)




The above times are for recurring customers in a 3,000 – 3,500 sq. ft. home (avg. home size in the USA). These times apply to all recurring customers regardless if they are Weekly, Bi-Weekly, or Monthly.

Times are longer for Spring Cleanings, Move-In/Outs, and Initial Cleanings Spring Cleaning a Master Bathroom takes 15 minutes more than the maximum time. Move-In/Out jobs can take 30 minutes more than maximum recurring times.

As a new cleaner, you may not start at these speeds, but you need to get to these time goals as fast as possible. A cleaner with limited or no experience may take a few weeks to reach the appropriate times. If you clean 3 houses a day, 5 days a week, that will give you 30 homes in two weeks. You will clean a minimum of 1 bathroom per home and probably more since many homes have 3 bathrooms, and you often share the task of cleaning bathrooms. That means you will clean 30 or more bathrooms in just two weeks.

If you are not getting to these time goals, then you simply need to work faster. The technique is important, but some cleaners who struggle with their speed simply need to pick up their pace. Once you pick up your pace, you will find that you can work at the appropriate pace. This pace is NOT fast and reckless. You reach these times by constantly moving from one cleaning task to the next without interruption. Never sacrifice quality for speed.

The master bathroom is one of the primary places for complaints. Everyone uses their bathroom every day. They start their day in the bathroom and end their day in the bathroom.

Cleaning the bathroom is also the most challenging room to clean because it requires more work on your hands and knees and working in tight areas like the shower or around toilets. Once you learn how to clean a bathroom, it will not be a burden. And some cleaners prefer to clean bathrooms because the work is in a more concentrated area.


  1. Remove floor mats and rugs
  2. Fold all used towels neatly back onto the towel rack
  3. Pretreat shower, tub, sinks, and toilet based on the conditions
  4. Start at the entrance door and work around the room, top to bottom
  5. Clean the toilet last
  6. Mop the floors
  7. Check your work


Bring your equipment and supplies into the bathroom or just outside the door in the hallway if the bathroom is small. Set your caddy on the floor next to the sink.


Pick up any floor mats and rugs, shake them so the loose dirt and hair fall to the ground, then remove the mats from the bathroom. Shake them until hair and stuff stops falling. This may take a while or require you to shake the rugs harder. Some rugs and mats are difficult to vacuum, and shaking may be all you can do. If you put a mat back on the floor with hair still on it, the hair will get back on your floors, and you will get a complaint.

Use your duster or hand to get the hair off the rugs while you are shaking them. If you can vacuum the rug later, you still may have to pick hair off by hand. Hair left on the floors is one of the most common complaints. Make sure you get it all off the rugs.

Place the mats in the next room, which is typically the bedroom or sometimes a hallway. *If there’s a lot of hair on the bathroom floor, sweep or vacuum, so you are not carrying hair into the shower or tub from the bottom of your shoes. In some cases, it is a good idea to vacuum the floor after shaking rugs and before “using any water”; this prevents the excess hair and dirt from sticking to the floor.

DO NOT put mats/rugs from any room on chairs, couches, countertops, or anything because the dirt and hair on the mats/rugs will end up on the items you placed them on. Even if you vacuum these rugs, they can still transfer dirt and hair to whatever they touched.


You may find used towels anywhere throughout the bathroom. Get these out of your way before you start. Fold all towels neatly back onto a towel rack, hook, or peg. Wipe the rack or hook clean before you put the towel on it.

If there are towels on a towel rack, make sure they are hanging nicely. If they are not, it is easier and looks better if you take that towel off the rack to fold it and then put it back on the rack.

You can spend more time trying to straighten it out than it takes to refold it neatly and put it back on the rack, looking its best.

If you are hanging towels on a hook or peg, fold bath towels long way using a triple fold, folding both long ends toward the middle. This looks nice, and if you are hanging towels on a hook, it gives you the smallest fold so it can hang well on a hook versus folding it just once and having a lot of towel hanging over. Sometimes it won’t stay on a hook if you folded it just once.


Always pretreat the shower, tub, sinks, and toilet for scum, mildew, and stains before you start cleaning the bathroom. If you forget to pretreat, you will go over on time and work harder to get things clean.

If you get to these areas only to realize you forget to pretreat, it’s too late. You can’t wait up to 20 minutes for the pretreat to work. Coming back to this room in 20 minutes will throw off your time, flow, and probably your quality. If you don’t pretreat, you have to scrub harder and longer to get the same results as pretreating.

The specifics on how to pretreat these areas are reviewed in the showers, tubs, sinks, and toilet sections of this manual.


Start cleaning the bathroom at the bathroom door. On recurring service, you typically dust the door and remove any fingerprints from the door and handle. On Spring Cleans and Move- In/Outs, wipe the entire door and door frame with a rag and cleaning solution. You may have several doors in the bathroom. Clean each door the same way when you reach it on your trip around the bathroom. Don’t do all the doors at the same time. Stick with the “Left to Right” rule. You will eventually get to each door, but you have to stay on track with the golden rule.

You may find black dust from the door hinges stuck to the door and door frame. You may have to use a degreaser to get this off, but it will come off. A Maid Training Academy video called “Wet Wiping Doors & Door Frames” – it is a 4-minute video.


After you finish the door into the bathroom, move to your right and start working your way around the room, Top to Bottom and Left to Right.


You will encounter light switches throughout the bathroom and often next to doors. Wet wipe the entire light switch and cover/plate. Don’t just spot clean. Wiping the entire light switch plate is faster and of better quality.

Do not spray anything directly on a light switch because the liquid could get into the electrical wiring. Spray your rag with an all-purpose cleaner, and then wipe the light switch.


Wipe them down with a damp rag, and never spray anything directly onto the outlet.

Do not unplug air fresheners. Clean the outlet with the air freshener plugged in. Do not unplug air fresheners because they can spill when laid on their sides. It’s easy to make the mistake of plugging them upside down. Don’t laugh, it happens. This can stain floors.


When you reach the bathroom counters, start with the lights above or at the top of the mirrors because we always work top to bottom.

Be careful dusting light bulbs. Never put a wet rag on a hot light bulb because it could explode! Turn off the light and let the bulb cool before you clean the bulb.

Use your Stepladder to Reach the Light Fixture, but Be Careful

On Spring Cleanings and Move-In/Outs, wet wipe all light fixtures you can reach using your stepladder. Never stand on counters. Spray glass cleaner on your rag and never directly on the light fixture. If the light fixture has heavy dust, dust it first with a dry rag and then wet wipe it.

Be careful using your stepladder. You are leaning over the counter to reach the lights. Some cleaners will hold a dry rag in their free hand to hold themselves against the mirror. Never lean too far over. Keep your stepladder off rugs because rugs can slip. This is another reason why you remove rugs and mats before you start cleaning the bathroom.


The best way to clean mirrors is to spray them lightly and evenly with glass cleaner and then wipe with a dry cloth until the glass is streak-free. If the bathroom has tall mirrors, get your stepladder. Never stand on countertops to clean. Do NOT spray higher than you can reach if the mirrors go to the ceiling or beyond your reach.

You will encounter hairspray and other sticky things on mirrors that require more than glass cleaner. Clean these smudges first with all-purpose cleaner or even a degreaser in extreme cases. You will have to go over these areas again with glass cleaner. Degreasers and some all-purpose cleaners can leave an oily film that needs to be cleaned with glass cleaner to remove streaks.

If there are borders around the mirror, clean that too. The border may be wood, glass, chrome, or just about anything. Clean the border at the same time with glass cleaner.

When Cleaning Glass or Mirrors, Always Check your Work

Look at glass and mirrors from different angles in addition to looking directly in front of it. To check the mirror above a sink, go to a knee or bend to find streaks.

Check troublesome mirrors or glass shower doors under natural light. Turn off the light, and you may be surprised what you see. Bright lights can hide smudges and streaks.

Use a dry rag to get streaks off. You may have to rub the streak over and over again before it goes away. If you leave streaks on the mirror, you will get a complaint. Customers look in the bathroom mirror every day.

You may encounter more mirrors in the bathroom than just above the counters. Clean all mirrors in bathrooms.


Vanity mirrors are free-standing mirrors that sit on a countertop or attach to the wall. They often have a mirror on both sides and can be rotated/turned to see the other mirror on the other side.

Clean both sides of these vanity mirrors with glass cleaner. Look at this vanity mirror from different angles, just like on the large wall mirror above the sink.

Clean the base that the mirror is attached to. Keep in mind that customers use them and will look at these mirrors and the stand every day. Wipe every surface on the vanity mirror in addition to the mirrors.


Here are the primary instructions in the order that you complete them.

  1. Start at one end of the bathroom counter, typically farthest from the sink.
  2. Pick a section to clean, typically a 2-3 foot wide area
  3. Remember how this section looks before you move any items
  4. Move all the items in this section out of the way
  5. Clean starting at the top of the backsplash and work your way to the front (toward yourself)
  6. Shake your rag as you go.
  7. Use your hand to feel the countertop to make sure it is truly clean
  8. Clean every item you moved with a rag before you return the item with labels facing out
  9. Move to the next section to clean and repeat.

Pick a Section to Clean that is About 2 – 3 Feet Wide

Starting at the end of the counter farthest from the sink, clean countertops in sections so you can move items out of the way but keep them on the countertop. Avoid moving things to the floor. Placing items on the floor creates a greater danger of breaking items and creates safety issues of tripping over something on the floor.

Remember How the Section Looks Before you Move Items

As a general rule, return items to the same place they were sitting. Take a second to look at the counter to remember where everything goes before you start to move them out of the way.

Move All the Items in this Section Out of the Way

Don’t pick up and clean one thing at a time. That method is slow and does not provide the best cleaning on the countertops for several reasons. Get everything out of your way.

Don’t slide items because sliding can scratch the surface and be more inclined to tip over. Be careful about moving items because you are often moving glass perfume bottles, and dropping a glass bottle on a hard countertop will usually result in a breakage claim. Be careful.

Do not move items to the front and work over the top of the things. You need to clear the path from back to front because you need to pull dust, hair, and messes to the front where you can shake your rag, and have the dirt, etc., fall to the ground.

Don’t work over the top of items because this is awkward and increases your chances of knocking something over and breaking it. Move all the things out of the 2-3 foot section BEFORE you start cleaning.

Start at the Top of the Backsplash and Work your Way to the Front – Toward Yourself

Backsplashes are part of the countertop and must be cleaned in the same way as all countertops. They can have hairspray, toothpaste, and other messes.

The top edge of the backsplash is a flat surface and will always have dust on it. Make sure to wipe the tops of the backsplashes. Move knick-knacks, perfumes, and other items away from the backsplash to get to the backsplash.


It is easier and more efficient to clean countertops with a light-duty sponge (typically a white-colored sponge). Sponges come in different grades, just like sandpaper. Avoid blue sponges as they can still scratch plastic and some glass surfaces (read the label). A green sponge is for heavy-duty work like pots and pans. A white, light-duty sponge is all you need, and they work great.

A sponge cleans better than a rag, and it will get toothpaste, hairspray, or cosmetic makeup loosened better than a rag. Use the sponge side first (yellow) any time you use your sponge. If you can’t get the area clean with the sponge side, then use the white side of the sponge to loosen any sticky or hard mess.

Use your all-purpose cleaner or glass cleaner and spray the countertops and backsplash. Now use your sponge to scrub all the surfaces and backsplash with your sponge. This is a fast-paced motion of moving your sponge over ALL surfaces in your section. Don’t just clean the middle; clean the edges and corners.

Wipe the Counter Clean and Streak-Free with a Rag

Now that you have scrubbed the countertop and backsplash with your sponge, it’s time to wipe clean the area with your clean rag. The primary motion of cleaning the countertop with a rag is to wipe back to front, so you are pulling the dust, hair, and messes toward yourself. Allow the dust, hair, and messes to fall to the ground, where it’s picked up when the floors are swept, vacuumed, and mopped. Avoid picking up your rag as you wipe except when you shake it out over the floor or fold it.

Shake Your Rag

Shaking your rag is something you do to get dirt, hair, or other debris off your rag. If you don’t shake your rag, you will be smearing dirt and crumbs back on the countertop.

Periodically look at your rag to see if it is too dirty to use. When your rag gets dirty or too wet, get a new, clean rag. Cleaning with a dirty rag will make a bad situation worse, and a soaking wet rag will leave streaks.

Put Dirty Rags in the Dirty Rag Bag

Once your rag gets too dirty, grab another clean rag. Place your dirty rag in the dirty rag bag. Your dirty rag bag should be a plastic bag because you will be putting wet rags and mops in the bag, and if you use a cloth bag, like a pillowcase, your bag will get wet and leave a stain on the floor or carpet. If you toss your dirty rag into the bag, make sure it goes in the bag. A wet rag on the floor could stain the floor, plus if a customer walked in, they would not be happy seeing a dirty rag on their floor.

Use your Hand to Feel the Countertop to Make Sure it is Truly Clean

After you clean the area with your rag, feel the area with your hand to make sure the area is truly clean. Your eye can be fooled, so use your hand to feel the surface. You will find areas that are still sticky with hairspray or feel gritty or something stuck to the countertop. Run your hand over the entire area, including the corners, edges, and backsplash. Wearing a glove will not diminish your ability to feel the counter for sticky spots.

Clean Every Item with a Rag Before you Return it Back

Before you move an item back in place on the counter, wipe it from top to bottom with a rag that has glass cleaner on it. Ensure you wipe the bottom of the items to avoid transferring dirt, grit, or sticky stuff back on the counter you just cleaned. Stuff will stick to the bottom of things, and if you don’t clean the bottom, you will transfer whatever is on the bottom back onto the counter. The customer will come home, pick something up off the counter and see a ring of sticky stuff on the counter and complain that you didn’t clean the counter, even though you did.

Do a great job wiping down items before you put them back. Some items will have dust or hairspray over the entire item. Use a twisting motion with your rag to get around bottle caps faster and cleaner. You may have to put the item under the sink and run water over it to help get all the dust and stuff off the item you are hand dusting.

Put Items Back in an Orderly Fashion with Labels Facing Out

When you put things back, do so in an orderly fashion. Have items evenly spaced and with all labels on bottles facing out and in the same direction. You will encounter countertops with items all over the place. If the countertop looks unorganized, organize the items when you put them back. Put everything back into some orderly fashion, with all labels facing out.

Whether the counter is well organized or not, having the labels facing out and in the same direction is professional, looks best, and is expected by the customer, because it is the standard in the industry. This is referred to as “staging,” and it’s very important.

Some Countertops will be Completely Covered

You will encounter counters completely covered with toiletries. In this situation, you may have no choice but to move items to the floor.

Hairdryers and curling irons may be on the counter. Wrap the cord around the item and place them somewhere appropriate, including a drawer if there is space.

Curling irons can still be hot when you clean. This is more common with morning jobs.

There are Limits to What you Can Do

You will encounter bathroom counters that look like this. This may be in a teenager’s bathroom or even in the master. In this picture, you would work around the large piles of clutter without moving them and leave a note for the customer saying you could not get all the counter cleaned.

The general rule for clutter and spaces that are entirely covered and stacked with items is: “Do what you can do, based on the time you have in the home.”


Typically, you clean the countertops first and then sinks and faucets last. This is true for the bathroom as well as the kitchen.

Bathrooms that get used will require powdered cleansers like Comet or Bar Keepers Friend. Use just a little powdered cleanser because a little goes a long way.

Wet your sponge using the faucet, shake a little powdered cleanser into the sink and start to scrub the sink and the faucets with the non-abrasive side of the sponge, the sponge side.

You don’t need to put powdered cleanser on the faucets because your sponge will have enough just from the powdered cleanser in the sink. Don’t use the scratchy side of the sponge; use the soft sponge side.

If the sink has mold or stains (typically around the drain), you need to pretreat with a bleach solution before cleaning the bathroom when you pretreat all the bathroom areas.


Use your toothbrush to clean around the drain stop and where the faucets meet the countertop or sink. Water faucets can be a tight area to clean. A toothbrush works best to reach into these tight areas, and the bristles are softer than a tile brush. Use your tile brush with caution because it can pull off the seal/caulking where the faucet meets the sink if you scrub too long or too hard.


At the tip of the faucet, where water comes out, you will find a buildup of toothpaste, rust, calcium (water deposit), or soap.

The tip is easy to miss because it is underneath the spout and hard to see unless you bend and look underneath it. Most faucet tips will have something caked on this bottom section, so look for it. Use your toothbrush to get it off.


Now that you have cleaned the sink, faucets, and drain, rinse everything thoroughly using water from the sink faucet. Use your hand to move water up and around the sink.

It’s ok to splash water onto the countertop, so don’t be afraid to get water on the faucet so you can rinse it completely clean of any residue.

Before you dry the sink, squeeze your sponge over and over again, under the running water from the faucet, to get the powder cleaner out of the sponge and not just off the surface of the sponge. You can also use the clean sponge to bring water up to the faucets and go over the faucets with the clean sponge to rinse the faucets and sink thoroughly.

If you do not rinse the sink thoroughly, it will have a fine powder residue from the Comet / powdered cleanser when it dries. This fine powder can be hard to see until you run your hand over the sink after it dries. Your hand would have a fine layer of white dust on it if you didn’t rinse everything thoroughly.

After you rinse the sink and facet, dry everything with a rag until everything shines, they need to shine. This requires a dry rag and going over them until they shine like a mirror, including the stopper in the bottom of the sink. You will encounter older faucets that are pitted, or the chrome plating is coming off. Do the best you can with the situation at hand.


A slow-dripping faucet can overflow, plus you don’t want the stem up on the faucet.


When you clean the countertop, some cleaning solution or water may splash back onto the mirror. Remove any spots on the mirrors created by cleaning the countertop.

WATCH THE VIDEO – At this time, you may watch the Maid Training Academy video “Bathroom Counters with lots of Toiletries,” or at another time, it is in the video section of the dashboard.  It’s 11 minutes long.


After you clean the countertops, clean the bottom cabinets. On Recurring Customers, you typically dust and spot clean the bottom cabinets. On Spring Cleans and Move-In/Out, wet wipe all the cabinets. Many maid companies wet wipe all the cabinets in the Master Bathroom because of the importance of this room.

Often it is easier to use a wet rag and wipe down all the bottom cabinets than to spot clean.


You will often find a weight scale close to the counters and cabinets. Clean the top, sides, and bottom of scales with your rag. Wipe the bottom of the scale to make sure you don’t transfer any dirt or hair stuck on the bottom back onto a clean floor. Don’t put the scale back yet because you need it off the floor to keep it out of your way when you sweep and mop the floors. Set it outside the room and return it after you finish the floors.


As you move around the bathroom, left to right, you will encounter items hanging on the wall. Dust everything within reach; it is important to note that dust in a bathroom may be harder to get off because the humidity causes dust to stick. As a result, use your rag to dust all items hanging on the walls in bathrooms.

SHOWERS (including shower/tub combo)

The shower can be the most challenging cleaning task in the entire home because you clean most of it on your hands and knees. We review some techniques that will help you with this position. The other challenge is that showers get used every day, and people use hair/skin products in the shower, creating challenges in getting them clean.

Warning! You can waste a lot of time in the shower if you don’t use the correct tools, solutions or forget to pre-treat. Using the right combination will save you scrubbing time. Scrubbing, for long periods, can wear you out, where you physically can’t go on. This is one reason you clean the shower toward the end of your time in the bathroom and right before the toilet, which is last before the floors. Keep an eye on your time, and don’t get lost in the shower. Rookie cleaners can lose track of time and spend an hour in a dirty shower before knowing what happened. Although it’s a common mistake by rookie cleaners, it’s a terrible mistake.

Here is a chart of what works best, based on the condition of the shower or tub. The items in BOLD are the changes in required tools and solvents from the previous level of soap scum.



Condition of Shower/Tub

Cleaning Tool        and Solvent


No Soap Scum or Stains

·All-Purpose Cleaner

Some spare bathrooms and showers get no use by the homeowner. These are referred to as a “wipe out” cleaning because no scrubbing is required.

Light to Moderate Scum

· All-Purpose Cleaner •Powdered Cleanser

Weekly customers and many Bi-Weekly customers accumulate a little soap scum in between cleanings.

Moderate Soap Scum

·All-Purpose Cleaner •Powdered Cleanser      ·Scrub Brush

Some Bi-Weekly customers and most Monthly customers will need a scrub brush to get all the soap scum and stains off.

Heavy Soap Scum

·All-Purpose Cleaner •Degreaser
·Powdered Cleanser        ·Scrub Brush
·Plastic Scraper

For some Monthly customers or any first-time or one-time cleanings like Spring Clean or Move-In/Out. Use the all-purpose all over. Then a degreaser solution on heavy scum only where you need it. A little degreaser goes a long way.

Sometimes you can see soap scum on the glass shower door. In the BEFORE picture, you can notice the soap scum is mainly at the bottom of the door. Most soap scum is on the bottom half of the shower. You will spend more time on the bottom section of the shower for sure, but soap scum can go all the way up the wall or shower door. Look at the AFTER picture and notice that the top glass had soap scum, just less. This shower is an example of what heavy soap scum looks like.



Scratch the Floor, Walls, and Door with your Fingernails
Shower walls and floors can look clean and even feel smooth and clean with your hand, but still have a film of smooth scum.

You will be amazed to find what looks and feels clean, is not, even after you clean a shower.

The only way to know for sure is to scratch it with your fingernails. Scratch the floor close to the drain first since the floor will have the heaviest concentration of soap scum. Try several places around the shower to be sure. And yes, you can scratch wearing gloves. Sometimes gloves can tear, but most quality gloves can survive scratching with your fingernails.

When you scratch the walls and floors, any scum will peal up like wax off a candle.


Condition of Shower/Tub

Cleaning Solvent


Mold & Mildew

Bleach Solution

Don’t use bleach on natural stone. The stone will discolor and leave a white stain.


Powdered Cleanser & Bleach Solution

Calcium Deposits

Vinegar* & Baking Soda

Running into calcium deposits is rare. You may find them in older homes.

* WARNING – Never mix Vinegar and Bleach. It Creates Chlorine Gas, which can KILL you.


  • Mold is usually fuzzy or slimy in appearance. It appears as irregularly shaped spots with different colors – blue, green, yellow, brown, gray, black, or white.
  • Mildew usually grows in a flat pattern and appears either powdery or fluffy. It can be a patch of white, gray, or yellowish fungus lying on the surface of a moist area. Mildew usually turns black or brown over time.

Mold and mildew thrive in damp areas with high humidity, low air circulation, and limited sunlight. That is a perfect description of many showers. Mold and mildew are typically found in the lower section of a shower, hidden from sunlight, in the corners, under edges or shelves, under the door, and in grout lines behind caulking.

Nothing does better to clean/kill mold than a bleach-based solution. We have asked Chemists, and they all agree that nothing works better than bleach. It’s not an opinion; it’s a fact. Bleach kills the mold and whitens the area that the mold and mildew may stain.

Do not use straight bleach. The fumes are too strong, and you don’t need straight bleach to accomplish your goal. “Tilex Mold & Mildew” kills 99.9% of all germs. The primary active ingredient is Sodium Hypochlorite. Tilex is 2.40% Sodium Hypochlorite compared to Clorox Regular Bleach with 8.25% Sodium Hypochlorite. If you mix 2 parts water and 1-part Regular Bleach, you will be close to the strength of Tilex, and it costs substantially less than Tilex.

Spray your bleach solution only on the areas you see mold. Use your sponge, toothbrush, or tile brush to scrub the mold off all surfaces.

Mold behind caulk will probably not come out. You still scrub the caulking to get any surface mold off but don’t scrub so hard that you pull caulk molding off the wall trying to remove the mold. It may look like you can get it out, but it is behind the caulking. Leave a note for the customer saying you cannot get all the mold out or that the mold is behind the caulking.

When you have finished cleaning and drying the shower, spray your bleach solution on any caulking with mold behind it and leave it. It’s ok to let it dry. This may kill some additional mold behind the caulk; however, in most cases, the customer will need to re-caulk the shower to remove mold and mildew behind the caulk altogether.


Stains are typically on the floor of a shower or tub. They start around the drain, but they can completely cover the bottom of a shower or tub.

Most stains will come out with a powdered cleanser like Comet. Comet has bleach in it, so you may not need to use your bleach solution. Using bleach on stains as part of your pretreatment will be where you get the best results on stains.

Use your scrub brush with Comet to get stains out. A scrub brush is faster and more effective than a sponge. Getting the stain out may take a lot of hard scrubbing. Remember, you are hired to get things clean, not just cleaner. Stop scrubbing ONLY when the stain no longer improves. Switch hands when your arm gets tired, and it will.

It is common to scrub the bottom of a shower for 20 minutes before the stain is completely gone. You may have to add more powdered cleanser or bleach solution several times to get the stain to come out. You will be surprised by what seems impossible, will come out looking brand new.

The good news is that most residential cleaning is a recurring service, where you don’t encounter heavy stains or heavy soap scum.

Some Stains Will Not Come Out

Once you see that your best efforts are not improving the results, stop. Ask your Team Leader to look at your work to see if they believe it will get any better. If you leave anything less than perfect, make sure to leave a note for the customer.


Before you start cleaning the bathroom, pretreat the shower with the correct liquid solution outlined in the chart. You may have to remove items from the shower or tub to get to those areas. (See additional instructions on removing items a little further in your reading.)

Stand outside of the shower and spray the correct solution or solutions on the areas that need it. If you have mold and stains, use both a degreaser and bleach solution. NEVER use Vinegar and Bleach. That Combination is Deadly.

Do not use Comet or powdered cleanser to pretreat. The benefit of a powdered cleanser is the gritty quality to help with scrubbing. If you have a really bad shower or tub, you can pretreat the area again in about 20 minutes, which is about 1⁄2 way before you get to the shower. And this is why you clean the shower last before you clean the toilet. Don’t clean a shower first because you need time for the pretreatment to work.

Shower Cleaning Steps:

  • Inspect for soap scum and stains, and then decide on the best solution
  • Pretreat before you start cleaning the bathroom
  • Remove everything from the shower
  • Clean the shower floor
  • Place clean rags on the shower floor to stand on, and a few outside for when you step out
  • Dust any areas missed by High Duster
  • Clean the shower walls, door, everything top to bottom, left to right
  • Rinse the walls and floor using a sponge and a rinse cup to help get everything off
  • Dry the walls, shower heads/faucets, and floor
  • Replace customer’s items into the shower in an orderly fashion, labels facing out


You need to remove everything from the shower.

The first thing is to place a few clean rags on the floor just outside the shower but not blocking your entrance into the shower. This is where you place the items you take from the shower. Avoid putting shower items on the floor because it can transfer soap, hair products, and other stuff onto the floor, making the floor harder to clean.

Remove any shower caddies, soap dishes, shampoo, razors, and personal cleaning products out of the shower and place them on the clean rags outside of the shower and away from the entrance point. This includes the caddies that hang on the shower pipe coming from the wall.

When you remove a caddy that hangs on the shower pipe, be careful removing it because you don’t want things falling off this high caddie and hitting the tile floor. A can of shaving cream hitting the floor can chip the tile or marble floor. Take the items off the caddy before trying to remove them from the shower faucet.

Place a few more clean rags just outside the shower door or entrance so you can step on these clean rags as soon as you exit the shower. Dry the bottom of your shoes using these rags placed on the floor and prevent transferring anything from your shoes onto the floor. Also, having a few clean rags outside the door prevents slips from coming directly out of the shower onto the floor.

Use a Dry Rag in your Opposite Hand to Help with Balance and Strength

You clean showers and tubs on your hands and knees. Make this a better and safer experience by holding a dry rag in your opposite hand.

Please note that the cleaner is not wearing gloves in these pictures because they are for illustrative purposes only.

Use your free hand to balance yourself against a wall or a floor. A rag in your hand is less likely to slip than your hand alone, even with a glove.

This cleaner has a sponge in her right hand and a rag in her opposite hand (left). This gives the cleaner more balance, comfort, and strength.

The same when you are cleaning the shower floor.

When you need both hands, you can place your rag in your apron or in this case, over an arm.

Safety is the most important aspect of any job, so you need to use this technique for that alone. The extra support you get will help with your fatigue including help getting up and down as you clean the shower.

It’s ok if your rag gets wet, the rag will still hold better than your hand alone. If needed, you can change your rag for a dry one, but you will find that one rag works well for long periods of time. One rag per shower or tub.


This is contrary to the golden rule of top to bottom, but you clean the bottom first in this one cleaning task.

The first reason is safety. Standing on soap scum can be slippery. If you had to pretreat the shower, which is the case most often, the floor would be even more slippery. Cleaning the bottom of the shower first will help with safety. You will rinse the shower/tub bottom again after you clean the walls and door.

The other concern is stepping into a shower or tub/shower combo, getting the cleaning solutions on the bottom of your shoes, including bleach, and then walking out onto the customer’s floor.

Before you start, make sure the shower floor is wet. If you pretreated the floor, it might be wet enough to start cleaning it with powdered cleaner. If it is not, turn on the shower and get the shower’s sides and bottom of the shower wet.

Unless the shower is large, or if it’s a shower/tub combo, kneel outside of the shower to clean the shower floor. If you cannot reach all the shower floor, kneel in the shower/tub, start in the far corner of the shower, and work your way out of the shower.

Shake a little Comet or powdered cleanser on the floor and scrub it with the scratchpad side of the light-duty sponge. Don’t use too much powdered cleanser. A little goes a long way, and if you use too much, it simply adds more time to rinse the powdered cleanser. If you don’t rinse all the powdered cleanser off, it will leave a powdery film that looks like dust after it dries.

Use your scrub brush if there is moderate to heavy soap scum. You want to work smarter and not harder. Your scrub brush is faster than the sponge, so using it on any level of soap scum is good.

Scrub brushes come in many different styles. Most professional maids prefer the one with a handle, plus it hangs nicely on the side of a caddy. Hang it with the bristle on the inside of the caddy.

Scrub the floor until all the scum is gone. Use your fingernails to scratch the shower floor. Even with a wet floor, scum will come up with your fingernails. You can also use a plastic scraper if you prefer, but your fingernails are faster and better, even with gloves on.

While you are down on the floor, use your brush to scrub the corners and edges of the shower. This is where you find mold and mildew. You may change to a tile brush, which often has stiffer bristles and may do a better job in the corners or around the drain. You can also clean the lower sides of the wall, but not more than a foot off the floor. Your sponge will carry some of your cleaning solutions to the walls, but a brush doesn’t do that as much.

After you scrub the shower floor, corners and edges, rinse the floor. Rinse the floor using the showerhead, or if it is a shower tub combo, use the rinse cup that you carry in your caddy. Fill the cup with water from the tub faucet and rinse the floor. Use your sponge to help rinse the shower floor clean and free of your powdered cleanser.


After you rinse the floors and lower walls, wait for the water to drain and then dry the shower floor. Once the shower floor is clean and dry, put down several clean rags on the shower floor that you will stand on while you clean the shower walls and door.

Having clean, dry rags on the shower floor will do two things. It will help prevent slipping, and it will avoid getting a cleaning solution on the bottom of your shoes. Use a minimum of 2 rags, one for each foot, but we recommend using 3-4 rags to cover most of the shower floor.

Place your caddy just outside the shower door, so you can access anything you may need without having to step out of the shower.

Place your clean rags close to the shower door. You will go through more rags in the shower than any other place in the house.

Place your dirty rag bags close to the shower door because you will use many rags in the shower, and you can toss any used rags easily into a dirty rag bag IF it is close.


Now that you are standing in the shower, look for any high areas the High Dusting may have missed or could not get to with their pole. If the tile walls stop before they reach the ceiling, there will be a lip or flat surface where the shower tile stops. You can usually reach this with your hand and a rag. These areas will always have dust on them. It is a quick wipe with a rag.

Shower Rod

Dust the top of the shower rod that holds the shower curtain. It is easily forgotten, but it is a place where dust accumulates. Use your rag to wipe the top of the rod. Move the shower curtain to one side so you can get to the entire rod, and then move the shower curtain to the other side to wipe down the remaining area of the rod.

Shower Curtains

Clean the shower curtain only if it is listed on the Job Checklist.

Shower curtains are a challenge. You can pull down the shower curtain rod or rip the hangers trying to clean them. Suggest to the customer that most shower curtains can be laundered in a washing machine. They can wash them with detergent and a couple of towels. Remove before the spin cycle and then hang them back up to dry.


Start at one point on the shower wall and work your way around the shower, top to bottom.

Put the powdered cleanser on your sponge because shaking the powdered cleanser on the wall can be hard to do, even when the shower walls are wet. Most of the powdered cleaner will end up on the floor. Remember, it takes some time to rinse powdered cleaner.

Start scrubbing the walls with your sponge. Change to your scrub brush once you have the walls coated with the powdered cleanser from your sponge.

Shower Nozzle Cleaned with a Scrub Brush

All shower nozzles are reachable by hand, so they all need to be scrubbed clean. Handheld showerheads, like in the picture, should be removed from the holder/cradle, held with one hand, and scrubbed with the other hand. The brush is quick and effective. Brush the nozzles where the water comes out, from different directions, left & right, up & down, to get everything off each opening where water comes.

Bottoms of Shelves and Under Lips in the Shower

Many showers have a built-in shelf or multiple shelves. This is where customers leave their cleaning products, including razors and other items used in the shower. Shelves can have lips or bottom sides to the shelf that can be below eye level. Clean under the lips of a short shower wall. It is easy to miss this area, and yet they are typically dirty and MOLDY.

Shower Doors

Shower doors always have soap scum on them, even if it is a weekly customer. Shower doors show scum more than the walls because the door is glass. You need to scrub the glass doors entirely, just like the tile wall, and then finish it with glass cleaner on both sides. The glass should be free of streaks, smudges, and all soap scum. Pay close attention to the corners and edges.

Soap scum and mold tend to accumulate at the bottom of shower doors but don’t just scrub the bottom because soap scum can be all the way up the door.

Scrub the hinges of the shower door with your tile brush or toothbrush. A rag or sponge will not get the soap scum out of the hinges of the door. Use your toothbrush or tile brush.

Sliding Shower Doors and Door Tracks

There are different kinds of sliding shower doors. If one of the doors is stationary and the other door slides, you may have a hard time cleaning the area where they overlap. Wrap a rag around your plastic scraper, and then slide it into the gap between the doors. Move the scraper up and down to clean this area.

If both doors slide, you can reach all parts of the door by sliding the doors back and forth. Remember which door goes where because most sliding doors require one specific door to be in one location and the other door in the other.

After you clean the doors, you need to clean the shower door tracks. Clean them with your sponge or rag. You may also have to use your plastic scraper wrapped with a rag. Move it back and forth inside the runner to clean it. These door tracks can take a long time in a deep cleaning or Spring Cleaning because there are many edges and corners you can find a lot of mold in the tracks.

Be Careful Every Time you Move Sliding Shower Doors

Doors can come off the track and can be hard to put back on. If the door comes off, then you should put it back in place. Once you put it back in place, run the door back and forth to make sure it is firmly back on the track. It can be tricky. If you cannot get it back on track soon, you may want to grab your cleaning partner for help. If that doesn’t work, get the homeowner if they are in the home. If the homeowner is not at home, leave a note.


When finished cleaning the entire shower, use your plastic cup or shower nozzle to rinse the cleanser from the shower walls and the floors again. Use cold water so you don’t fog up the glass. Start rinsing top to bottom and left to right. Finish by rinsing the bottom of the shower. Use the showerhead or your rinsing cup.

Use a sponge or rag to get all the walls and floors rinsed completely clean. Squeeze your sponge over and over again to help get the cleaning solutions out of your sponge.


Wipe dry the shower walls and door with a clean, dry rag so there are no spots or streaks. If you don’t dry the shower, it will leave water spots, and customers will complain.

Some maids will use a window squeegee. It’s faster, does a better job, and reduces the number of rags you use in a day.

Shine the Faucets, Spouts, and Drain

Shine all faucets, nozzles, and drain cover/stopper, including those found in the shower. They need to shine, and most of them can be shined with a dry rag. You will encounter older faucets that are pitted and scarred that may not shine but try anyway.

Finish the Shower Door and any Glass with Glass Cleaner

Clean both sides of any glass in the shower with glass cleaner. Anything you used in the shower to scrub it clean will not leave glass streak-free. Use glass cleaner to finish the door streak-free.


The last thing you do is replace the customer’s shower caddy and their items into the shower. Wipe out the shower caddy before you start placing items back into the caddy.

As a general rule, put things back where you found them. However, most showers have products and stuff all over the shower. In that case, put everything back in some orderly fashion with labels facing out, just like a bathroom counter.

As you replace each item, wipe them down top to bottom. If there is soap scum in the shower, there will be scum on the bottles and stuff. Wipe every item top to bottom before placing them back in the shower in an orderly fashion.

Soap Dish

Scrape off the soap that has collected and stuck to the dish with the plastic scraper. You can use your thumb and fingers, but this can rip a glove. It’s doable, but you have to be careful. Brush out the remaining soap with your toothbrush or, if needed, the tile brush. Wipe it clean with your rag. Don’t forget to clean underneath the soap dish, too. BE CAREFUL when cleaning the soap dish because it will be VERY SLIPPERY.

Bar of Soap in the Soap Dish

The Bar of Soap can accumulate hair. Take the bar of soap and place it in your rag. Roll the bar of soap in your rag to clean the bar of soap to get the hair off. Replace your rag once you do this because this rag will have soap on it and possibly hair that may not shake off. Make sure all the hair is off the bar of soap before replacing it onto the soap dish and then back in the shower.

Do Not Clean the Shower Barefooted

Some maids are tempted to remove their socks and shoes to clean the tub barefooted because they don’t want to get their shoes wet. This is a BAD idea for several reasons. Not only are there safety issues with cleaning barefooted, but it also looks unprofessional. Customers are not comfortable with other people’s feet in “their” shower and tub.



When you are high dusting and short dusting a room, stand in the tub to reach the areas you need to clean—keeping with the top to bottom rule, dust and clean everything above the tub before cleaning the tub. Once you clean the tub, you don’t want to get back into it.

Bathtubs and how you clean them fall into two categories

  • Bathtubs that are used
  • Bathtubs that are not used

Most customers do not use most free-standing bathtubs. This is common in a master bathroom where you have a shower and then a separate free-standing tub. You can typically tell by looking at a tub if it has been used much, but you must SCRATCH the tub’s surface to confirm.

If the tub is not dirty, you can clean it quickly with a rag and all-purpose cleaner or glass cleaner. It is more of a dusting than a cleaning; however, don’t use your duster, use a rag and a cleaning solution like all-purpose or glass cleaner.

Like the shower, clean the bottom of the tub first. After you clean and dry the bottom of the tub, lay down a couple of clean rags on the bottom of the tub to stand on. Place a few clean rags outside of the tub to step on when you exit the tub. Place your clean rag bag and dirty rag bag close.

When climbing into or out of a tub, never hold onto the water faucet. Never hold on to water fixtures of any kind because they could break (or bend). This is a common situation that leads to breakage or falls. Hold the side of the tub to help get into and out of the tub.

Clean the rest of the tub just like you did the shower. Because most free-standing tubs don’t have showerheads, use your rinse cup to bring water to all the areas of the tub. Don’t be timid about bringing water to these areas. The areas on top of tubs are designed to get wet too.

Tub Mats (inside the tub)

You don’t run into many tub mats, but it can be a challenge when you do.

If the tub (or shower) has tub mats, remove the mats before cleaning. After you finish cleaning the tub, lay the tub mat over the side of the tub and NOT back in the tub.

The bottom of bathtub mats can get dirty and moldy because it traps the moisture and everything else under the mat, making it the perfect environment for mold.

Many maid companies refrain from scrubbing the bottom of bathmats because they can take too long to clean in between each suction cup on a mat with a lot of mold.

You want to show the customer that you cleaned the tub where the mat was sitting, but if you put the mat back in the tub, it may give the appearance that you didn’t remove the mat to clean the tub.

The other reason you leave the mat hanging over the side of the tub is to avoid liability for any slips and falls. You don’t want to be held liable in the event a customer slips and falls on an insecure mat after you’ve been there to clean. This is the same reason you find bathmats in hotels hanging over the edge when you check into a room. They don’t want that risk and liability, and neither do you.

If the bottom of the mat is too dirty or has mold, the Team Leader should leave a note stating that the bathmat may need to be replaced or suggest to the customer wash the mat in the washing machine with a couple of towels. This usually gets the mat completely clean.

Tubs that have Baby Toys and Bathing Stations

You will encounter items in the bathtubs when there are children, elderly or disabled homeowners. Remove these items from the tub or shower before you clean. After you clean the tub or shower, replace the items in some organized way. Typically, you don’t clean toys left in the tub before replacing them.


When it comes to maid service, the toilet is considered a key area. It is also a source of everyday complaints because many cleaners do a poor job. This is an area where the customer is expecting you to do a better job than the homeowner. It takes some time to clean a toilet properly.


Minimum Time

Average Time

Maximum Time





A common mistake is that a cleaner will not spend enough time on a toilet. Because it is one of the primary reasons people hire cleaners, it should be one of the best things you do as a cleaner. You need to be a toilet cleaning expert.

The last item to clean before you clean the floors is the toilet. Clean the toilet last and by itself to avoid any cross-contamination from rags. After you finish cleaning the toilet, put all used rags into the dirty rag bag. NEVER use a rag after you have used it to clean the toilet and the area around the toilet.

General steps to clean the toilet including pretreating

  1. Pretreat the toilet before you start cleaning the bathroom
  2. Clean the inside of the bowl
  3. Clean the outside of the toilet, top to bottom
  4. Clean behind the toilet
  5. Clean the floor around the toilet, including any baseboards

PRETREATMENT: Before you start cleaning the bathroom, pretreat the toilet by sprinkling a small amount of powdered cleanser in the bowl. This will work on any ring at the water line. If you see a heavy water ring where the water meets the bowl, spray bleach solution inside the bowl and on the ring.

Do not over spray. If there is mold underneath the rim of the bowl, do not attempt to spray the bleach underneath the rim because it is nearly impossible to do, and you will run the risk of spraying beyond the toilet and onto the wall or anything else next to the toilet that could be damaged by having bleach touch it. There should be enough powdered cleanser and bleach in the water that can be carried up to the underside of the rim using the toilet brush.


When you return to clean the toilet, kneel in front of the toilet and have your caddy close. You will be going back and forth to your caddy.

Toilet Brush

Use the toilet brush to clean the inside of the toilet bowl. Be sure to get the brush down deep into the throat of the bowl.

Use three motions when cleaning the throat of the toilet.

•Use an up and down motion

•Twisting / turning motion

•Rotating motion, like stirring or mixing

After you clean down the throat, change your grip, change your grip to clean the hole where water comes out. Holding your brush closer to the bristles gets you more leverage and cleaning power.

Pull back on the brush and use all three motions to get the bristles into the hole.

When you clean under the lip of the toilet, you will continue to hold the brush close to the bristles. Cleaning under the lip is where stains coming from the water holes can hide from view.

This is a picture under the lip from the same toilet. You can see the stains around each hole. Your job is to get these stains removed.

Some stains are permanent, but most are not. It can be hard to see the buildup unless you bend down and look. This is why you kneel in front of the toilet.

It is better to scrub underneath the lip with your brush at an angle, like in this picture. This way, you are getting more bristles under the lip than coming straight on.

Use a rag to clean under the lip of the toilet.

Using a rag in the toilet may sound strange, but it is the best way to get the crud you just loosened with your brush to come off. Reach inside the toilet and under the lip with a rag and go around the entire bowl. Put this rag in the dirty rag bag immediately after you use it inside the toilet.

Flush the Toilet Again

This is critically important because you will push some of the cruds back into the holes that are under the lip. If you miss this critical step, the customer will flush the toilet and see all the black specks of crud coming down the walls of their toilet and think, “Wow, this is still really dirty.”

Look under the lip from all sides to make sure everything is spotless.

Get down to eye level to look under the lip. Look from different sides and back underneath the front lip. Check your work, and if everything is completely clean on the inside, then move on to the outside of the toilet.

Cleaning the Outside of the Toilet

Toilet seats are constructed with hard plastics but don’t clean toilet seats or covers with harsh abrasives or chemicals like bleach. These cleaning agents can deteriorate the plastic surface and cause discoloration (yellowing) or cracking.

Use your disinfectant spray (not bleach) and spray the toilet from top to bottom, spraying the tops and bottom of the cover and the seat, as well as the hinges.

Use your toilet toothbrush to clean the hinges and behind the hinges. You will need a toothbrush just for the toilet cleaning. Wrap RED duct tape around your toilet toothbrush. You have two toothbrushes, one for toilets and one for all other areas of the home. That way, you won’t accidentally grab the wrong toothbrush.

Clean Behind the Toilet

A rookie mistake is missing the back of the toilet or doing a poor job behind the toilet. This is another reason you kneel in front of the toilet to more easily reach behind the toilet. Be careful. Don’t blindly reach behind the toilet because there are many things your rag can get caught on that can be disastrous. There are bolts underneath the tank that hold the tank to the toilet and can easily grab your rag. Bumping or pulling these bolts can loosen the seal and leak water from the tank, including blue water from blue chlorine tablets often placed in the tank.

Clean the Floor Around the Toilet by Hand with a Clean Rag and Mop Water

The mop will not fit into the tight area behind or around the toilet. Clean the floor and behind the toilet by hand. The floor behind the toilet is sometimes missed by Low-quality cleaners but often checked by the customers to judge the overall quality of their maid service

Hand Wipe Baseboards Around the Toilet

Hand wiping baseboards throughout the home is typically done only on Spring Cleans or Move-In/Out cleanings, however on recurring customers, you need to hand wipe the baseboards around and close to the toilet every time you clean. You can also use a wet mop that was prepared before starting the bathroom and hand wipe the floors and baseboards with a mop head.

These baseboards can get water from the toilet splash and urine from young boys and grown men. Toilets also have sitting water, so the toilet room (water closet) will be damp. When a place is wet, dust will stick to it unlike any other place in the home. Because you are already hand-wiping the floor around and behind the toilet, you can easily wipe the baseboards while you are down there.

Leave the Toilet Seat and Cover Down

After you finish cleaning the toilet, put the seats and lids down. You may want everyone to see your beautiful toilet work, but it is best practice to leave the lid down. It looks better and professional, like shutting a car door.

Dust the Toilet Paper Holder & Fold the End of the Paper to a Point

  1. Make sure the toilet roll paper is lying on top facing out. If it is not, remove the roll from the holder and reverse it. You don’t want the paper pointing in.
  2. Tear the paper at the perforated edge, so you start with a straight edge
  3. Fold the paper under to the seams are under the paper
  4. Fold A to A, then Fold B to B. With each fold, smooth the edge with your fingers.
  1. Smooth the paper so the lines are crisp and the point is sharp.

Practice this at home. It will take a few times before your point looks smooth, tight, and not overlapping.

Fold other tissue like Kleenex tissue you see in the bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, or throughout the home. Watch the video on our website about folding toilet tissue to see other tissue boxes.

Watch the video “Folding Tissue”

Additional Tips on Toilets and the Bathroom

How to Turn the Water Off in an Emergency

If you have an emergency with a leaking toilet, turn off the water supply quickly. Look for the water tube coming off the bottom of the tank and turn the knob to the right.

It is not recommended to touch the water supply unless it is an emergency. Some maids will turn off the water if they have bad stains under the water line. Turning the water off and flushing the toilet will drain the bowl, which may allow you to put an acid cleaner directly on the stain. Maid service companies do not typically provide that type of work, so we advise against it.

Older tanks will have the turn knob connected to the tank. Turning this knob may loosen the seal at the tank creating a leak and a potentially expensive damage claim.

Don’t Drip a Toilet Brush on the Floor

When you take your toilet brush to and from your caddy, carry it in the cup you store it in. Don’t carry a dripping toilet brush across the floor. If a customer saw you dripping toilet water on their floor, they are going to get upset. This is another reason why you place your caddy close to you when you are cleaning the toilet. Even then, carry the brush in the cup to the bowl and take the brush out of the cup while holding the cup over the toilet.

Using a Pumice Stone

A Pumice Stone is used to scrape off hard deposits. Warning: Pumice stones will scratch the porcelain, creating a new problem. Stuff will stick to the scratches. Mold will grow faster, and you can often see the scratch marks left by a pumice stone. We don’t recommend using them, but if you do, get written permission from the customer that clearly outlines the risks.

You may watch this Maid Training Academy video “Recurring Toilet Ring – Top 3 Solutions Tested, Problem Solved,” or go to the dashboard at another time and find it under the “videos” section. 

Toilet Seat Aid

These devices are found in elderly customer’s homes or customers who may have recently been hospitalized. It’s not common to encounter these, but you need to know how to clean them when you do.

Toilet Aid

Clean the toilet aid first and while it is over the toilet. Do not remove this device until you have thoroughly cleaned it. Use your toilet brush to clean the throat or inside portion of the aid, then clean the rest of the device from top to bottom using a disinfectant spray. Don’t use bleach because that will turn plastic yellow.

After the aid is cleaned, carefully lift the device up and away from the toilet so you can easily clean the toilet. Replace the device onto the toilet after you have cleaned the toilet and the flooring around it.

ALERT: The throat of the toilet aid may have dried feces. The toilet aid does not have water running down the sides to flush any wastes like a regular toilet. Spray the area with a disinfectant solution to soften the dried-on feces or anything else stuck to the walls. The best time to treat this condition is during your pretreatment of the toilet. Use your toilet brush to clean this area.


Bidets are used to wash after using a regular toilet. Bidets are not typically dirty, and because they have no sitting water, they do not have water rings or stains.

Manufacturers recommend cleaning everything with a soft cloth, like your microfiber cloth (rag). Don’t use your toilet brush. Spray everything with a disinfectant spray and wipe top to bottom, including the inside of the basin. Shine any faucets like a bathroom sink.

Feminine Products

Use the following process if you encounter any used feminine products not properly disposed of in a trashcan. Wearing your disposable gloves, pick up the item using the customer’s toilet paper and put it in the trash bag during the task of collecting trash throughout the home. After you dispose of it, remove your gloves and dispose of them too. Put on new gloves.


It is rare to run into blood of any significance when cleaning. This is more common with a homeowner who has recently come home from the hospital. There are many rules and training on how to handle blood. This class does not include all that training.


Baby Powder

Some customers use baby or talcum powder in the bathroom or even the bedroom. If you have a bi-weekly customer, you may find large amounts of powder accumulated over the two weeks. If you run into this, you may need to wipe the countertops or any other areas, including shelves and floors, with a dry rag. The powder is just like dust; if you get baby powder wet, it can turn into a paste. You can also use the canister vacuum and the bristle brush attachment to vacuum the powder up before you wet wipe.

Be Careful Using the Customer’s Toilet for Personal Use

While we are on the subject of bathrooms, refrain from using the toilet for personal use if the customer is home. This can be hard to do sometimes but as a general rule, refrain from using it if the customer is at home. If the customer is not at home, it is ok and acceptable to use the customer’s toilet.

Leave the Floors Until you Finish Cleaning the Entire Floor

Sweep, vacuum, and mop all the floors, on the same floor, at the same time. This is faster and easier than moving your broom, vacuums, mops, and mop buckets every time you leave a room.

After you finish cleaning the bathroom toilet (the last thing you clean), move on to the Master Bedroom and start short dusting the room.

After you have cleaned the entire floor, return to the bathroom to complete the floors. The instructions that follow are unique to the bathroom.



  • Broom and Canister Vacuum
  • Mop Pole
  • Supply of Mop Heads
  • Mop Bucket


    1. Read your work order for instructions on what floor cleaner to use
    2. Sweep and vacuum the floors
    3. Prepare the mop water
    4. Mop the floors working left to right or right to left
    5. Check your mop head frequently
    6. Change mop heads as soon as they are dirty
    7. Check your work

Bathroom floors are one of the top five complaints. Make sure the floors look great and even more so in the Master Bathroom.

Mopping occurs in several different rooms throughout the house and on different surfaces. How you mop and the floor cleaning solution can vary from room to room, based on the flooring.

Read your Work Order

It is vital to use the correct floor cleaning solution, or you can damage floors. Along with any special instructions from the customer, these instructions will be in the work order or provided during your hands-on training.

Sweep and Vacuum the Floors

Before you mop any floor, sweep and vacuum the floors to get the loose dirt, dust, and hair off the floor. Never skip this step. Mopping alone will never get all the dirt and hair off the floors.

Before you mop, take the broom and sweep the edges and corners of the room, pulling everything away from the edge so you can vacuum it up with your canister vacuum.

Don’t skip the broom because even the best vacuums do not get into the edges and corners well enough to get all the dust, dirt, and hair. You must use the broom. It is quick and easy.

Sweep the space where a sitting chair is stored when not used. Pull the sitting chair out so you can get all the way back to the corners of this pocket or open space for the sitting chair. This area can be dark from shadows, so bend down to get a closer look at the corners and edges.

It is imperative to sweep under the bathroom cabinets. This is where dirt, dust, and hair can hide.

Sweep Floors Under All Cabinets to Make Sure you Get All the Hair, Dust, and Dirt

It is faster and easier to sweep the entire bathroom with a broom in smaller bathrooms and skip the canister vacuum. Just remember that a vacuum gets the dust a broom leaves behind, so you should use the canister vacuum.

The most common complaints about bathroom floors are:

  • Hair on the floor
  • The floor is sticky from hairspray, and other products dropped on the floor

Hair on the Floor

Hair can be small, thin, and different colors, so it can be tough to see and challenging to get off the floor, even when you use all 3 steps of sweeping, vacuuming & mopping. A rag works better than your hand to pull the hair off the floor. It’s ok to throw a rag with hair on it into the dirty rag bag. You will shake your rags before you launder them to get that hair into the trash.

If you find a lot of hair on the floor, use the canister vacuum first. Using a broom can throw hair into the air that can take a long time to settle. Sometimes you may need to vacuum the hair up first and then use your broom to get the hair out of the corners. The amount of hair on the floor will determine what method you use first.

Sticky Floors

The floor in bathrooms, especially the master, can get hairspray and other products on it. Hairspray is hard to see even though it’s very sticky. Regular mopping may not get the sticky hairspray off the floor. You may need to use all-purpose cleaner or degreaser to remove the sticky build-up off the floor.

Floors can get sticky if you put too much cleaning solution in the mop water.

Prepare the Mop Water

We will teach you how to mix our floor cleaner concentrate with water for the mop water during hands-on training. It’s crucial to follow the instructions strictly and with precise measurement.the

This is a typical bottle used to get the exact amount of floor cleaner concentrate. Squeeze the bottle in the middle, and the concentrate will travel up a tube on the side of the bottle to fill a 1-2 ounce chamber at the top.


When you add water to your bucket, look for markers on the inside, usually in quarts. 4 quarts are in a gallon, and most dilution/mix rates are ounces to one gallon. If your bucket doesn’t have marks, in a pinch, get an empty gallon milk jug, fill it, and pour it into your bucket. Remember the line or use a sharpie to draw a line for future reference.

If a customer requires you to use their floor cleaner, read the label for instructions carefully.

Using Too Much Concentrate Can Make Floors Sticky

If you do not measure the concentrate, you are guessing, and most people put in too much concentrate. Using too much concentrate in the mop water will leave floors sticky, hazy, and dull because when the floor dries, the floors still have a film of the floor cleaner left behind.

This is a common complaint from customers. They can hear the stickiness when they walk on it with tennis shoes. Although most floor cleaners are safe and non-corrosive, customers may feel their floors are damaged. The customer may terminate service even the first time and most certainly if it happens again.

A dirty floor does NOT need more concentrate added to your mop water. This is a classic mistake. Floors that are extra dirty need to be mopped multiple times until they are clean.

  1. Using Too Much Concentrate Wastes Money

Floor Cleaning Concentrates are expensive, and using too much does a poor job and wastes product and money. Most maid companies watch their inventory closely, and using too much will have you needing more floor cleaner than expected.

  1. Not Using Enough Concentrate Makes it Harder to get Floors Clean and Spot/Streak Free

This can happen by not using enough concentrate or too much water in your bucket, which dilutes the concentrate below the recommended strength. One side effect is that your floors may get spots or streaks. Most floor cleaners, if mixed correctly, dry faster than water alone.

Add WATER, FLOOR CLEANER, then MOP PADS to the Bucket

Add water to your bucket, and then add your floor cleaner concentrate. Stir the water with your hand, or you can add a few mop pads and churn the water to mix the concentrate.

Do NOT add mop pads to the bucket and then add the concentrate. This will put the concentrate directly on the top mop pad, and the cleaner will not mix well. The top mop pad will absorb more of the concentrate, causing it to leave a higher amount of floor cleaner on the floor, which will make that section you mop sticky. And the rest of the mop pads will have too little, causing spots and streaks in the other areas you mop.

Wring the Mop Pad Until It’s Only Damp

This is very important and harder than you think. If you wring out your mop pad correctly, you should not have a problem. Floors will get wet, but you can’t have puddles. If you leave water sitting on the hardwood floors, the floor can warp, get water stains and leave spots.

When you wring your mop pad, you use strength to get all the water out, so it’s just damp. A standard mop pad is a long pad that you put on the floor, and the mop head has Velcro strips to keep the mop pad on the head. For those mops, follow these instructions:

  • Pull one mop from the bucket of solution and fold it in half, lengthways
  • From the fold, roll the mop pad from one end to another
    • Some water will come out during the process, but it’s not the primary purpose
  • With the mop pad rolled up, grab the ends with your hands and twist it
  • Hold the maximum twist until the mop stops dripping water
  • Drop the mop pad on the floor to start mopping. If it spits water out the sides, you didn’t wring your mop pad well enough. Pick up the mop pad and wring it out some more.

We have tested numerous techniques on wringing mops. They all work to some degree, but our technique gets the best results without hurting your wrists.


You may watch this Maid Training Academy video “Mixing, Wringing, and Mopping,” or go to the dashboard at another time and find it under the “videos” section.

Start in the Far Corner and Work your Way out of the Bathroom

This is the standard instruction for all mopping. Start mopping in the corner, farthest away from the exit door, and work your way out of the room. You do not want to want step on any mopped floors. Use an S pattern to mop. This pulls any left behind dust, dirt, or sticky stuff with you.

Mop the Floors Until they are Clean

The best way to know if a floor is clean is by checking your mop pad frequently. As soon as it is dirty, change the mop pad. Continue to mop the same area until the mop pad is no longer coming up dirty. If the mop pad is still dirty, then the floor is still dirty, and you have to mop it again.

If you are mopping a large area, don’t wait until the very end to check your mop pad because you won’t know where your mop pad got dirty and, in turn, stopped being effective in cleaning the floor. If you mop with a dirty mop pad, you are not cleaning the floors; you are smearing the dirt already on the mop all over the floor, potentially getting more of the floor dirtier than before you started.

Mop a small section of the floor and then check your mop pad before moving on to the next floor area.

Keep an eye on the mop pad by turning the mop upside down so you can see the bottom. As soon as it gets dirty, change the mop pad.

You’re Not Just Mopping you are Scrubbing Spots Off the Floor

Moving the mop pad lightly over the floors is NOT mopping floors. Look for spots on the floor. You may have to get down with a sponge to mop a spot off the floor. A quicker way of getting most spots you see off the floor is standing on the mop pad and using your foot to scrub the spot.

VACUUM BOTH SIDES Of MATS or RUGS Before you Return Them to the Bathroom

This is the last thing you do when cleaning a bathroom. Vacuum both sides of any mats or rugs you removed before you started. Inspect the mat before you put it back. Use your rag or hand to get any hair off the rugs that don’t come off using the vacuum.

There is no worse feeling than getting a complaint from a customer for an area you know you cleaned. A classic complaint is a customer saying there are hair, dirt, or crumbs on the floor or under a rug. If you don’t get all the hair off the mats, it can come off when you put the mat back on the ground. The customer is going to lift the rug and see the hair that came from the rug. They may even walk on the rug a little before they lift the rug, or the floors may be just a little wet when you replaced the rugs (mistake), and the damp floor grabbed the hair off the rug.

If you’re having a tough time getting all the hair off a mat, leave a note for the customer.

Take your Practice Test

Get ready for the Level – 1 Final Exam by taking a few Practice Tests. The Practice Test can be taken as many times as you want. We encourage you to take the Practice Test until you achieve a score of 90% or higher and complete the exam within one hour. The Final Exam requires a 90% or higher to pass the class, and there is a one-hour time limit. (Most students finish in 30 minutes.) The Final Exam is similar to the Practice Test, but it is not the same, so make sure to read and study this material before taking your Final Exam