General Housekeeping Policy for New Clients

Customer satisfaction is very important to us and we look forward to providing you with the best possible service. With that goal in mind, we would like to provide the following information to help make your first cleaning visit a smooth and pleasant experience. We sincerely hope this is the beginning of a long lasting and rewarding relationship.

This document is designed to help our clients:

  • Receive great service
  • Get the most out of their dollar
  • Understand our policies and what they have purchased

If you read this document, you will enjoy our service and will be pleased with your purchase. If you choose not to read this, you are more likely to become confused and frustrated with your purchase. So please read it!

Let's start with a sample of clients who, for various reasons, were confused or frustrated with our service. As you read this document, you will learn how to avoid these problems.

1.  Why wouldn’t the office person take my address over the phone?
There are several reasons we have an A+ Rating with BBB and one reason is because of our paper trail. Verbal instructions tend to result in errors: incorrect address, incorrect worker-hours requested, and most of all, ‘what is to be cleaned.’ Our policy of a paper trail protects the client and us from misunderstandings. All communications regarding your address, entry to your home, and any alarm system is strictly done by email. Appointments cannot be confirmed by phone. We apologize if this policy seems too rigid to you.

2.  How can I reschedule or cancel an appointment without a $50 fee?
To reschedule or cancel a confirmed appointment, you must notify us by email at least 24 hours in advance of the scheduled cleaning. If you give less than 24 hours advance notice, a $50 fee applies to any and all clients. However, once you have paid the $50 fee, we will credit you for this fee by applying a $50 housekeeping credit after three months of regularly scheduled service without any cancellations or rescheduling on your part.

3.  What is a failure-to-provide-access fee?
Failure to provide us with the correct address, or the necessary access for cleaning, will result in a $50 failure-to-provide-access fee. From the moment our employees clock in to the time they clock out, we pay them. If they sit in front of your house unable to get inside to clean it, we still have to pay them. We both lose when this happens!

4.  What are your Email Hours of Operation?
Our email hours are from 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM, Monday - Friday. While you can send us email or use the Book-a-Cleaning form any time, please realize that we only view emails during this time period.

5.  Why do I need to respond to your email within 24-hours?
It takes time to schedule everyone who has requested a cleaning. Since we really do go out of our-way to try to accommodate everyone, if we don’t hear from you within the 24-hour time frame, we need to offer the time slot to the next person waiting.

6.  If I give you a key for entry, how will it be protected?
For liability reasons, we cannot gain entry into your house by means of a key left under the door-mat, under a flower pot, or by you leaving a door unlocked. If you will not be home, we ask you to leave a key securely stored in a lock-box, on your property. If you do not already have a lock-box, you can order one online and get it within one day. Or call us and we will supply one for you. Your keys do not leave your property.

7.  Do I have a Set Start Time, or an Arrival Window?
All appointments come with an 'arrival window' and not a set start time. Sometimes new clients do not understand what an arrival window means and they call us because they think the housekeepers are late. When we give you an arrival window, it means our housekeepers may start work anytime within that window.

8.  Who supplies the Cleaning Products?
Listed below are a few cleaning supplies we ask you to supply.

  • If client wants granite counter tops sealed, client to provide sealer.
  • If client has copper or brass to be polished, client to provide polish.
  • If client wants oven or stove top cleaned, client needs to spray oven or stove top the night before service. Be extra careful not to damage any other surfaces with oven or stove top cleaner!
  • If a client wants their computer monitor or TV screen cleaned, client to provide the appropriate cleaner and cloth.
  • If a ladder over 3’ is needed for housekeeping services, client to provide ladder.
  • If client wants grout cleaned with bleach, client to provide bleach.
  • If client wants carpet scent applied to carpets before vacuuming, client to provide carpet scent.
  • If client wants windows cleaned, client to move items that are in front of windows. We will provide window cleaner.
  • If the inside of a toilet bowl will not come clean we do carry and use pumas stones.
  • Client to supply cleaner for the following flooring: Hardwood, Engineered or Laminate Hardwood, Bamboo, Cork, Rubber, Metal, Glass, or any type of Stone. If client has Linoleum, Ceramic or Porcelain tile, we provide the cleaner.

9.  Is it necessary for me to write down your cleaning crew's start and finish time?

If you are a new client and have purchased a worker-hour package, the answer is yes. Writing down the start and finish time ensures you know you have received the full-time you have purchased.
If you have received a bid in person by Donna or John, you are more than likely under a fixed rate. Therefore you sign nothing.

10.  Did I purchase enough hours?
We have been in business for over 20 years and our housecleaning crews are trained professionals. But let’s be honest, hiring us for 2-3 worker hours probably isn't enough time for us to clean your entire house. Remember, we specialize in Deep-Green-Cleaning, not standard Cleaning! The amount of time it takes to clean depends on how dirty the job. And, what one person considers clean may not be what we consider clean. Please be realistic about the amount of time you have purchased, especially if your home is large or hasn't been cleaned recently!

11.  What if I need additional hours?
If you would like to add additional time to your scheduled appointment, even if you think you might only need an extra 15 minutes, please let us know as soon as possible. You will not be charged for additional time unless you use it.

12.  What about special requests such as laundry, changing bedding and washing dishes?
We welcome special requests! We would be happy to provide laundry services, including the proper folding of clothes and linens, as well as changing bedding and washing dishes - if this is where you want our time spent. Just let us know of any additional services at least 48 hours before your scheduled service. This ensures that we have on hand what is needed to complete your service. But please do not submit cleaning instructions to us at the last minute!

13.  Why didn't the housekeepers clean everything I wanted them to clean?
What this client failed to do was to send us their ‘Order of Service.’ Also, no one was home when the cleaning was performed. Without an 'Order of Service' our housekeepers have no choice but to use their best judgment. You need to communicate to us what you want from your cleaning and what your priorities are!

14.  Why didn’t we receive the $22 in Lottery Scratchers after referring a friend to Capital Cleaning?
Please read the
Referral Rewards program on our website, word by word. Although we appreciate any and all referrals, the referrals we reward are those that result in a new client who uses our services! When that happens, you will receive one of the following: $22 in Lottery Scratchers or a $22 Capital Cleaning Gift Card.

15.  How do you monitor quality?
Each member of the team checks the other team member's work and then signs off on the work ticket. In addition, management has their own routes for periodic cleaning and spot-checking of all homes.

16.  How do clients pay you for your services?
Payment for services are due when services are provided. Our customers can either provide us with a check, gift card, voucher, or coupon at the completion of the work, or they can pay using the PayPal link on our website.

17.  What should I do before the cleaning crew arrives?
Picking up or organizing is the most important thing a client can do before the cleaning crew arrives. This allows the cleaners to spend less time preparing to clean, and more time cleaning.

18.  Extra Dirty Home Fee
Please note, if you are a new client and your home hasn't been professionally cleaned for 2-3 months, (or you have not been cleaning it yourself), we reserve the right to charge an Extra Dirty Home Fee of $44 for each 4 hours of labor. This is not a hidden fee, but will help to cover the expense of additional cleaning materials. After three-months of regular cleaning service, you will receive a $44 housekeeping credit. There are several small steps you can take to avoid having to pay an Extra Dirty Home Fee: If your microwave is extra dirty, heat a cup of water in the microwave for ten minutes and immediately wipe it down. If your shower has mold everywhere, spray it the night before with a moldicide. If your oven is dirty, spray it the night before. This page (our General Housekeeping Policy) will help you discover additional steps you can take to avoid paying the Extra Dirty Home Fee, so please take advantage of this information as no one wins when we have to charge this fee.

19.  What if I need a Crisis House Cleaning?
Google ‘Crisis House Cleaning.’ If this is you, please call us NOW and be honest with us about the condition of your home! If you schedule one of our regular cleanings with us when you actually require a Crisis House Cleaning, we will have no choice but pull our crew from your premises after they realize the significant size and scope of the job!

20.  Why did the cleaners spend more time outside than they did cleaning?
What this client failed to mention was that our cleaning crew could not breathe inside for more than five minutes at a time because of all of the cat urine and feces, trash, flies, and living organisms on the counters! This house required a ‘Crisis House Cleaning.’

21.  Yellow ‘Post-It Notes’
If you have any fixtures, pictures, or wall hangings that are improperly secured, please place a yellow ‘Post-It Note’ on these items. This serves as a red flag for our crew that the item is not secured and will be damaged if touched.

22.  What if something is damaged?
We promise to treat you and your home with complete respect. However, accidents occasionally happen. If something unexpectedly breaks or becomes damaged as a result of our actions, we will make arrangements for replacement or repair. We are fully insured, so claims are filed when appropriate. However, Capital Cleaning will not be held responsible for damages resulting from items being improperly secured, including light fixtures, pictures, and wall hangings.

23.  Can you use my disinfectant?
Some clients have their own disinfectant, a scent that is pleasant to them. If you would like us to use your disinfectant, please set it out for our cleaning crew. Disinfectants can be very troublesome for some people and we recommend and use a non-toxic, no rinse, no NPE, non-alkaline disinfectant. This is a one-step disinfectant, viruscide, fungicide, mildewstat, and sanitizer that kills MRSA, HIV, Hepatitus, E-Coli, Staph, Herpes, and much more.

24.  What if I have mold in my shower?
Since we do not know if your bathroom has adequate ventilation, we ask that you spray any heavy mold at least 6 hours before we arrive. Many products that kill mold are not safe for our cleaners to breathe and inhalation can cause severe internal damage, including deterioration of the esophagus lining and lungs and scarring of the respiratory tract. Thus we can't expose our employees to unsafe working conditions. If you require us to spray a chlorine based moldicide, please note that our cleaning crew cannot remain in that room, or go back into that room after spraying.

25.  Shower Glass & Framing Damage
One of the biggest concerns clients have are their shower enclosures. As for the glass that once was a beauty by itself, it is now a haze of soap and hard water stains. So what happened? What went wrong? Many people (and some Cleaning Companies are guilty of this too!) are using items like Comet, Vinegar, Ajax, Bleach, Tilex, Ammonia, CLR, and high PH Foams and Gels to clean shower glass enclosures. These items will surely work, but these items are all corrosive acids which will break down the glass over time. When this happens, what you see and think is soap scum is actually etched glass. And you can't fix it! Chemicals in water also pit the glass over time. How about the anodized chrome and aluminum channeling? We can blame these same cleaners as well for the pitting, but we also know some of that damage comes from hard water calcium deposits that eat away at the finish. When our cleaning crew has finished cleaning, you might be able to see this damage. If this damage already exists under the soap scum, you will then notice that your finish is dull or discolored. Therefore, since this damage was already present before we cleaned, Capital Cleaning can not be held responsible for damages resulting from dull or discolored channeling, or etched glass. Note: All the Chemicals we use to clean shower enclosures are the same as other companies use with the exception of the ‘Removal of Hard Water Calcium Deposits on Glass/ Protective Sealant Service’ which is a separate service, see below.

26.  Removal of Hard Water Calcium Deposits on Glass/ Protective Sealant (Protector+)
If you ‘know’ that you have hard water stains on your shower or window glass that cannot be removed with normal cleaning agents then this service may be for you. This service removes the calcium deposits and adds a protective sealant that helps prevent and reduce the future time spent cleaning. Your glass still gets dirty, but it cleans much faster, making routine maintenance easier…avoiding timely and costly future stain removal. Keep in mind there are many factors (as we listed above) that will determine if this service will bring fantastic results or minimal. The guarantee we will make is that no normal cleaning agents will bring better results than the product we use. The cost for this product is an extra $20. This cost is only for the product itself. Product to be used during the worker-hours you have purchased and the size of the area to be cleaned measures at 6x3 feet.

27.  Scratched Stovetops, Ovens, Sinks, and Tubs
If your stove top (or anything else) is so dirty that we cannot see the finish, there very well could be scratches under the grime. Therefore, since these scratches could already exist, Capital Cleaning will not be held responsible for ANY scratches to ANY item that is covered in grime.

28.  Do I have to lock up my pets?
That is up to you! Our employees like pets and are happy to have them around, as long as the pets feel the same way. All we ask is that you introduce us to your pets on our first visit.

29.  Vertical or Mini Blinds
If requested, our workers will dust your vertical and/or mini blinds. If requested, we will also ‘wet-clean’ these blinds. A word of caution, we don’t recommend ‘wet-cleaning’ since these blinds have a tendency to break.  These types of blinds (if wet-cleaned) should only be cleaned by a van-mounted service company. If a client insists on ‘wet-cleaning’ blinds, Capital Cleaning will not be held reasonable for any damage.

30.  Oven and Stove Top Cleaning
As noted under #8, we strongly prefer that if the client wants their oven or stove top cleaned, the client should spray the oven or stove top the night before the cleaning service, being extra careful not to damage any other surfaces with the oven or stove top cleaner. If the client asks the cleaners to spray the oven or stove top, we will do so at their request. However, 
Capital Cleaning will not be held reasonable for any damage.

31.  Should the housekeepers be on their cell phone?
Yes. Our employees will be on their cell phone at least three times while in your home (security/check-in, quality-review and check-out). Employees will not engage in any personal calls, texts, or chats while on your time.

32.  Will the housekeepers clean my computer monitor or the TV screen?
Yes, if you provide the appropriate cleaner and cloth. However, Capital Cleaning will not be held reasonable for any damage, including scratches, resulting from using an inappropriate cleaner or cloth.

33.  Should the housekeepers be tipped for a job well done?
This is a personal choice made by each of our clients. A tip is always appreciated by our workers, but is never expected from our clients. Some clients like to tip when they are happy with the service provided. Others feel that they are already compensating the housekeepers adequately by paying for the cleaning service. For Capital Cleaning to suggest an appropriate tip amount would be to confuse our neutrality on the subject of tipping. So we leave this decision up to our clients! However, if you do decide to leave a tip, please also leave a note so there is never confusion over whether you are tipping or just forgot and left some cash out.