San Diego House Cleaning FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions)
1) Why Naked Clean?
You can think of Naked Clean as a match-making service, but for house cleaning. We believe that putting a housekeeper in your home is an important decision so we start by first learning about your particular needs and your cleaning style. We want to know what's important to you so we can match the best housekeeper for your situation. Once we understand your needs, our staff will then review our membership of independent housekeepers who best fit your criteria to find the most compatible match. We use over 15 individual characteristics to help us identify what you are looking for such as -- the level of detail you want; areas to be cleaned; the day and time your prefer your cleaning; the size of your home; your city; pet concerns, and of course price.
We seek out experienced, professional, independent housekeepers who clean for a living and then attempt to match them to your needs in order to create a mutually beneficial long-term relationship.
2) What exactly is an independent housekeeper?
An independent (contractor) housekeeper is someone that is self-employed and in business for themselves. They are usually very experienced and have spent many years cleaning. Most of the housekeepers we refer have been cleaning for 5 to 10 years or more.
However, in the real world many independent housekeepers struggle to have enough of their own customers to make a consistent living. Many find it difficult to locate compatible long-term customers; manage administration duties; handle schedule changes; not to mention the expense of advertising.
We provide these housekeepers with as many customers as they need. We also create a professional environment between the customer and the housekeeper, which is something that often gets overlooked when dealing with independent housekeepers. Additionally, both the housekeeper and Naked Clean self-insure to protect you in the event there is damage to your property or theft. (see details below)
We spend considerable time scouting for new great independent housekeepers. We look for experienced, reliable, trust-worthy individuals; someone we would trust to clean our own home. We are very proud of our ability to locate and identify the best independent cleaners in San Diego. With thousands of customers we must be doing something right.
3) How do I determine if Naked Clean is the best choice for me?
Naked Clean is a good choice if you want a reputable company with professional cleaners; you are concerned about consistent cleaning results; want to know who is cleaning your home; prefer green cleaning; and want a guarantee you are protected in the event of damage.
Naked Clean's pricing falls into the middle of the road amongst other cleaning companies. We're slightly more expensive than an independent cleaner who works from her home and does not offer self-insurance or self-bonding, yet we cost less than the big guys whose maids are usually in uniforms and drive company cars. (Although, many of our housekeepers prefer to wear Naked Clean scrubs so you can easily identify who is cleaning your home!)
4) Is green cleaning really better?
The short answer is, yes. Naked Clean was born out of the personal experience of a family member whose throat lining was damaged due to our maid using bleach and an ammonia-based window cleaner in the shower for over ten years. Many experts believe that bleach (especially when combined with ammonia) and other highly toxic chemicals are not only absorbed through breathing in the deadly fumes, but also through skin absorption. Most people are not aware that simply walking with your bare feet on a floor which has recently been cleaned with toxic chemicals may result in the toxins being absorbed into our bodies. This can be particularly problematic for our children and pets since their bodies are smaller and their immune systems are generally less developed. (Think of dermal medical patches, such as a cigarette patch, as to how chemicals are absorbed by our skin).
Some people (including many cleaning companies) believe you need highly toxic cleaners in order to 'clean' any given surface, but in our opinion this is lack of understanding. We actually believe that many people over-clean and may be doing more harm than good. There are many experts today which believe that toxic chemicals may be the root cause of some allergies, asthma and other ailments since our bodies have no idea how to defend against these types of toxic invaders. Think about toxic cleaning for moment-- does it make sense to prepare food on surface that has been cleaned with a toxin, which if consumed, could make you ill or worse? Read the warning labels on many of these toxic products and you'll often read "Hazardous; Danger; Caution; Etc." Does that sound like something we want around us on daily basis?
On most any surface you will have a large population of both good bacteria and bad bacteria, which are the actual germs we're concerned about. Approximately 90% of the bacteria we're typically exposed to is good benficial bacteria, which we absolutely need in order to be healthy; roughly 10% can be considered potentially bad. So, does it make sense to kill 90% of the microbes (bacteria) we need using a hazardous cleaner in order to kill 10% of the germs? By killing off 90% of beneficial microbes we are creating a temporary imbalance in nature, so this is where green (probiotic) cleaning has a definitive advantage. Green cleaning not only leaves no toxic waste behind, it actually introduces more of the favorable bacteria to 'naturally' reduce germs.
Probiotics - A Revolution in Clean®
Well, the good news is that green cleaning over the years has made major advances. One of these new green cleaners is based on the latest discoveries in Probiotics (friendly bacteria). Probiotics clean by laying down such a large quantity of friendly bacteria the germs can’t compete for the available food and essentially die - exactly the way nature intended.
Most of the housekeepers at Naked Clean® carry a new Probiotic cleaner that when tested in Hospitals and Universities, were shown to greatly reduce germs, viruses, and allergens naturally and safely. If someone you know has allergies or asthma, Probiotic cleaning may help reduce their allergic and asthmatic reactions. We have personally witnessed many such cases with our customers. (Note: not all housekeepers use probiotics, so please ask if you want this type of cleaning.)
Green cleaning is highly effective today. Once you experience green cleaning we doubt you will return to the toxic alternatives.
5) Can the housekeeper only use green cleaning products or can they use toxic cleaners too?
Certain cleaning products such as bleach or a calcium-lime bathroom cleaner do have a limited role when tackling very tough cleaning jobs such as mold, dried grease and grim or heavily stained glass or chrome fixtures. Since Naked Clean's housekeepers encounter all types of cleaning situations, particularly move-out/in cleanings where there are often stubborn existing stains, they may use a toxic product (with customer's permission when available). In addition, even though we are a green cleaning company we still have requests from customers to use specialized toxic cleaning products. Another example is stainless steel. Some people are accustomed to stainless steel having a shiny, fingerprint-resistant surface. This generally requires a toxic stainless cleaner. (Although there are non-toxic alternative products which are equally as good, in our opinion)
Additionally, housekeepers often have their own clients who do not clean green, therefore requiring the housekeeper to use these types of cleaners. (NOTE: Not all maids use or carry toxic products, so please let us know in advance if you require the housekeeper to use a specialized product.)
6) Do I need to provide the cleaning supplies or equipment?
No. Housekeepers purchase their own green cleaning supplies, including a commercial vacuum, so you don’t need to worry about it. However, if you have ‘special’ cleaners or would prefer the housecleaner to use your vacuum, simply let us or the housekeeper know and they will be happy to use your items.
Since 2004, the owner of Naked Clean® has been involved in the cleaning business. We are a local family-owned business and are an accredited member with the Better Business Bureau. With many thousands of satisfied customers throughout San Diego County, we have the experience and reliability you can trust.
8) Will it always be the same housekeeper(s) each time?
Yes. You keep the same housekeeper we referred to you as long as both of you are happy. Again, this is why we work with independent contractor housekeepers who want to be your house cleaner for as long as you will have them. Our primary concern is that you and the housekeeper are pleased with the relationship. Once we recommend a housekeeper, only you or the housekeeper can alter the relationship.
9) What if I don’t like the housekeeper’s cleaning method?
We do our best to try to match a housekeeper to your specific needs; however, in the event you are not pleased, we can easily make arrangements to recommend another house cleaner. This is one of our main strengths– with Naked Clean® you not only get green cleaning with great customer service, but the choice of the housekeeper who is right for you.
10) Do you use a checklist or can I ask the maid to clean what I want?
Naked Clean does not use a checklist. Housekeepers will clean whatever is important to you. This is the reason we do a initial free in-home evaluation to understand what type of cleaning you desire so we can relay this information to the housekeeper.
11) Do I need to be home when you clean?
This is entirely your decision. There are four options for having the housekeeper gain access to your home:
12) What happens if something is damaged or stolen?
Your confidence in us and that of the housekeeper is of primary importance. After all, we are referring a person to you who will be in your home.
For the most part, we are very familiar with the housekeepers we refer to you. Most have worked alongside us for many years. As well as having a business relationship with our housekeepers, we also consider them friends. In other words, we know them and trust them.
When a housekeeper joins our membership program they make a commitment with us to self-insure up to $3,000 against their possible damage or loss, if proven they are responsible. Naked Clean and the Housekeeper have a written agreement to split these costs guaranteeing you are protected.
13) How do you charge for your cleaning service?
Most cleaning companies charge by the square foot or just bill hourly. For our Repeat-Clean® service we typically use a room count method which you can read about on the website. This allows you to choose if you want to have the entire home cleaned or just part. Many people today have unused room(s) which, if not regularly cleaned, will save you money. However, since each customer can pick and choose what they want cleaned the pricing can vary slightly depending on what you want done. For example, if you prefer a ‘highly detailed’ cleaning which requires a very experienced quality cleaner, you might expect to pay slightly more than someone who simply wants a ‘lite’ cleaning. Ultimately, pricing lies with what you want done and the housekeeper’s determination of whether they can deliver the results you expect for the price you’re willing to pay.
We have found that we are typically less than the big companies and slightly more than hiring an housekeeper from the street. (who will use your cleaning products and does not guarantee their work if something is damaged or missing)
14) How do I pay for the cleaning service?
You may pay by cash, check, credit card or even PayPal. If paying by cash or check, just leave it on the kitchen counter for the housekeeper to pick up. If paying by check, you may make it out to Naked Clean or in the name of your housekeeper. If you pay by credit card you will see a charge on your statement for Naked Clean. (Note: Credit cards are typically processed twice a week after the cleaning has occurred)
15) Should I tip the housekeeper?
This is up to you. Tips are always appreciated, but not required.
16) What do I need to do to prepare for a cleaning?
It’s always a good idea to lightly pick-up items such as toys, clothing, or other household belongings from the floors and counter tops to make the cleaning as efficient as possible, which saves you money. If there is excessive pick-up some housekeepers will add an additional ‘pick-up’ charge.
17) Do you offer refunds?
Every housekeeper we refer offers a “Guaranteed Clean,” which means that you must be fully satisfied, or they will re-clean the area(s) you feel need more attention. As you know, house cleaning is very hard work and we have great respect for the people who clean houses for a living. Remember, you are not returning a product to a store, but rather you are paying for someone’s labor, so please keep this in mind if you are not satisfied for any reason.
18) What about Holiday’s or if I need to change the schedule?
Rescheduling happens. If a Holiday or other conflicting event falls on your cleaning day, you can call us or the housekeeper, or simply email us to reschedule. If you need to reschedule a cleaning appointment, please try to notify us or the housekeeper within 24-hours. Some housekeepers charge a cancellation fee if you don’t provide them with a 24-hour notice. When possible, the more notice the better, as this permits us more time help locate another cleaning job for them. A happy house cleaner is a good thing!