Home » Blog » Independent Cleaners Vs. Cleaning Companies: Which Service Should You Hire?

By: Rain City Maids
Apr 30, 2021

If you don't have enough time for household chores, you could benefit from hiring professional cleaners. Nowadays, cleaning services seem less like a luxury and more like a necessity. However, deciding that you need help with your chores is just the first step. After that, you need to search for options and find the service that suits your cleaning needs better. In this blog post, we compare two types of cleaning services: independent cleaners and cleaning companies. We tell you the benefits and drawbacks of both services to help you choose what is best for you.

What is an independent cleaner?

As the name implies, an independent cleaner is not working with a company. These types of cleaners are mostly independent contractors that work in your home in direct agreement with you. The costs, tasks, work hours, and other terms are defined at the beginning of the contractor/client relationship. Many independent cleaners also cover housekeeping duties like tidying up, washing the laundry, and doing the dishes. Independent cleaners could work just in one house or serve multiple clients. When the cleaning contractor works more than 40 hours per week with one client, it's often called a full-time maid or housekeeper.

What is a cleaning company?

A cleaning company is a business that hires and trains employees and offers cleaning services to homeowners. Although a cleaning company may include different types of services, most of them provide regular and recurring home cleaning as their main offer. Regular cleaning services cover standard cleaning tasks like mopping, dusting, and wiping commonly touched surfaces. Cleaning companies often standardize the terms of their services, including price and tasks carried out by the cleaners. 

What are the key differences you should consider before choosing?

Cleaning services and independent contractors seem very alike, focusing only on the tasks previously established. However, there are some key differences that you should know before deciding which service you should hire. Both services have benefits, so choosing will depend on which one fits your needs better.


One of the major benefits of cleaning companies is reliability. If a cleaner is on vacation leave or sick, the company should be able to cover your cleaning service nonetheless. Independent cleaners can be reliable too. However, if the independent cleaner is not available for any reason, you will have to wait.

If we speak about reliability, we also have to talk about trust. You should trust before letting someone inside your home, and cleaners are no exception. Cleaning companies ensure cleaners are trustworthy by vetting them carefully and running a background check before taking them as employees. On the other hand, determining that an independent cleaner is trustworthy relies upon you. To find the right independent cleaner for your home, you should interview your options, ask for referrals, run a background check, and establish a trial run.

Insurance and legal obligations

A cleaning company takes care of all the legal hassle. A cleaning business should have liability insurance that covers anyone from accidents or other mishappenings. Independent cleaners should have liability insurance too, but the cleaning company's insurance tends to have broader coverage. Regarding taxes, both cleaning companies and independent contractors should take care of them. However, when hiring an independent cleaner, the IRS could determine that they are your employee. In this case, you'll have to fulfill the legal obligations of an employer.

Flexibility and tasks included

Cleaning companies offer predefined cleaning services, but it doesn't mean they are rigid. Most cleaning companies adapt their services to your cleaning needs by including add-ons or tasks upon request. However, most cleaning companies only offer cleaning-related services, excluding housework tasks like decluttering or folding laundry. As we mentioned, independent cleaners could also fulfill the role of housekeepers. If you are looking for a full-time maid to carry out all housework types, an independent housekeeper should be your first choice. However, the tasks a contractor offers may vary drastically. Speak clearly about your expectations before hiring an independent contractor. 

Efficiency and training

The cleaner's efficiency depends on their skills and training. Cleaning companies select people with the proper capabilities to fulfill every cleaning task, and they train the cleaners before sending them to your home. Cleaning contractors can be equally skilled as qualified employees. However, it's hard to know if a cleaning contractor is capable and well-trained at first glance, and assessing that relies entirely on you. Interviewing and vetting an independent contractor is essential to know if they can perform every cleaning task you need.


Hiring a contractor means having direct communication with the professional cleaner. If you hire an independent worker, you will likely have their phone number or contact. Communication without intermediaries can be faster and more precise. On the other hand, when you hire a cleaning company, direct communication between client and cleaner is not frequent. However, it shouldn't be a problem with the proper mediation from the cleaning company.

Number of cleaners

Most cleaning companies evaluate the job beforehand and consider if they need one, two, or more cleaners to fulfill it. On the other hand, most independent cleaners work as solo contractors. Most of the time, one cleaner can handle your home's cleaning chores. Still, when tackling time-consuming tasks in a big house, having an extra cleaner might be necessary.


Strictly speaking about hourly rates, independent cleaners could cost less because they do not have the cleaning company's operating costs. However, knowing which type of service costs less overall is tricky. Cleaning companies often offer their services at a flat rate, while independent contractors may charge you an hourly fee. When hiring a cleaning company, the final price is easier to calculate.

Hiring a cleaning company or an independent contractor should be a relief, not a headache. As we mentioned, we are sure that both services could help you. However, as a cleaning company, we can tell you further only about our services. Rain City Maids Lynnwood is a cleaning company serving homeowners in Seattle with high-quality services. We want to give each client a cleaning experience without worries because cleaning services are about freeing yourself from the hassle of chores.

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