The Three Key Differences Between a Cleaning Lady and a Cleaning Service

The Three Key Differences Between a Cleaning Lady and a Cleaning Service

What is the difference between a cleaning lady and cleaning service? You need a clean home – for your health and often your sanity, but you are wondering what is the difference between a cleaning lady and a cleaning company

Let’s get to the nitty gritty.  Here are the key differences…


First off, a cleaning professional at a cleaning company is usually referred to as either a cleaning technician or cleaning pro or sometimes maid. We won’t get into the subtle difference between a professional maid and cleaning tech for now.  

Cleaning ladies are usually self-taught individuals who are amicable and good at selling their services and work out of the trunk of the car. While they sometimes bring products they usually have the homeowner supply the products and vacuum equipment as well.  

Many individual cleaners and even homeowners think cleaning is a rather self-explanatory process. This can lead to wide ranging differences in expectations.  When I started our company I read books, engaged an industry chemist to understand best products for each surface, enrolled in the National Association to access classes that promoted science over personal experience.  This is the ground work for building a professional service and skill. This type of investment is usually beyond the means or interest of a self-taught cleaning lady or gent.    

Did you ever go to a restaurant and get an overcooked steak?  Well, there are fewer steps in the process of making that steak to your liking than there are in cleaning the 5-10 different surfaces in a home.   Even making a bed can be a customizable nightmare.  


The greatest allure to the cleaning lady for many is the lower cost.  Although I have been surprised to find that our cleaning company has on a number of occasions charged less than the cleaning lady.  Why do cleaning ladies cost less?  Because the homeowner is responsible for more including:  products equipment, training, liability for damages, legal liability for employment taxes, and liability for injuries. 

During Covid some homeowners were surprised when their cleaning lady filed for unemployment and listed the homeowner as an employer. This was two-sided coin. The individual cleaners who worked “under the table” found themselves shut-out of the homes they cleaned and shut out of any unemployment benefits.  

A cleaning company should not only cover general liability insurance, unemployment taxes and worker’s comp, that’s the base level.  They should also be providing quality control and management of the cleaning staff, so you don’t have to worry. 


One of the reasons people hire company is they are tired of being cancelled by an individual cleaner.   A company will have back-ups when someone is sick or on vacation.   Even if they only provide a single technician for your cleaning, someone else will be able to fill in.  When you cleaning lady takes her. Vacation, you will need to wait for weeks until she returns.   Alternatively, you will pay a higher rate for someone to get to know your home and start cleaning it.  

Total Home Cleaning is the best northern New Jersey house cleaning company, and our award-winning housekeeping team will make your home or office look truly amazing!  We specialize in both deep cleaning, recurring service, pre-sale, post-construction, move-in-out, and disinfection cleanings.  There are many great New Jersey house cleaners with highly trained technicians, but we set ourselves apart.  Discerning homeowners in Summit, Morristown, Basking Ridge, Berkeley Heights, Westfield, Chatham, Madison, Livingston and others have rated our attention to detail and friendly employees tops – 4.8 rating on Google and over 200 5-star reviews across multiple sites.  We have been featured on a Martha Stewart show. We are grateful to our clients and our amazing employees who believe in the joy of a clean home.