Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Why should I choose an eco-friendly cleaning service vs. a conventional cleaning service?

According to the EPA, your indoor air quality could be up to 500 times more polluted than the air outside due to the toxic chemicals present in most cleaning products. The short-term effects of these chemicals include headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, rashes, severe burns, and respiratory problems. Meanwhile, long-term exposure to cleaning products can lead to developmental problems, reproductive issues, autism, learning disabilities, asthma, allergies, and cancer.

Since studies show we spend about 90% of our time indoors, and 80% of all cancers are attributed to environmental factors rather than genetics, you can see why switching to a non-toxic, organic cleaning service is crucial for the health of you and your family!  PhillyMaidGreen is the healthiest and most environmentally conscious cleaning service around. All of our cleaning products are all-natural and handmade, guaranteed to leave your home sparkling clean without compromising your health – or the health of our planet.

For more information on these toxic chemicals and their effects, check out the image above or click the recommended sources below.

Recommended Sources:

What’s Gotten Into Us? Staying Healthy in a Toxic World by McKay Jenkins

Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning Why should I choose Philly Maid Green over other eco-friendly cleaning services?

Philly Maid Green is dedicated to just that: making Philly green. We proudly consider ourselves a “triple bottom line” business, which means we ensure our clients, cleaners, and environment are taken care of before our bottom line. We implement sustainable practices in every aspect of our business, from our handmade, non-toxic cleaning products; community cleanups; and DIY workshops to our commitments to low-emissions travel and the use of recycled materials. As our name implies, we’re not just a cleaning service but a community-based initiative with a mission to make Philly (and the Earth!) greener, cleaner, and healthier.

In addition, Philly Maid Green is locally based and woman-owned. And unlike most cleaning services, which pay their staff minimum wage, we pay ours a living wage of $18/hour to $25/hour. Cleaners work as employees, not independent contractors, which means our staff are better trained and have access to benefits like workers’ compensation. We take care of our team to make sure they can take the best possible care of you and your home!Do I need to provide my own supplies?

We provide all of our own cleaning supplies and solutions, which are 100% organic and made from scratch. For their health and safety, cleaners are not authorized to use any products other than those we provide them. There are, however, certain things we ask you to provide:

Toilet brush. If you wish for us to clean your toilets, you MUST provide one toilet brush per toilet. It is unsanitary and risky for us to carry toilet brushes between or through clients’ homes. Without a toilet brush, our cleaners will not put their hands inside your toilet so the toilet bowl will go uncleaned.

Vacuum cleaner. Most of our cleaners travel by bike or public transportation, so if you have a vacuum cleaner, we would greatly appreciate if you leave it available for us to use. If you have a pet that sheds but do NOT provide your own vacuum, your set rate may include an additional charge to help cover the cost for maintenance and transport of our heavy-duty vacuums.

Stepping stool. For move-in/move-out cleanings, a step stool should be provided so we can reach inside of the upper kitchen cabinets. The tops of cabinets are not included in our services.

Running water, electricity, heat or AC/central air. Properties must be equipped with running water, functioning electricity, and have the temperature set to 72 degrees or lower prior to our arrival to ensure safe and comfortable working conditions for our team. Please click and read “What is meant by ‘safe and comfortable working conditions’ and why are they so important?” below for more information.What is included in your standard cleaning services?

Everything! Well, almost everything. We offer one-time deep cleans, move-in/move-out cleanings, as well as recurring visits on a monthly, tri-weekly, or bi-weekly schedule. Please note, it typically takes three or four cleanings for your recurring estimate to apply, as each cleaning will take less and less time as we become accustomed to which areas require deeper cleaning than others. If you have a max budget in mind, we’d always be happy to prioritize rooms to meet your budget. To see what is and what is not included in all of our services, please view our team’s cleaning checklists HERE.

Please note, we do not service homes that are scheduled by/paid for by landlords/property owners who have not personally lived at and/or seen the conditions of the property. Additionally, here are some cleaning tasks that are too unpredictable and time-consuming to factor into estimates and schedules. Therefore, the following items are NOT included in our standard cleaning services:

  • Unfinished basements, patios, balconies, and roof decks.
  • Items Outside of “Reasonable” Reach – This includes ceiling beams, tops of cabinets, high windows, unusually high ceilings, under large beds, etc. If it cannot be reached with an extended duster, we consider it out of reasonable reach.
  • For safety reasons, cleaners CANNOT climb ladders or chairs to clean. But they CAN stand on a step stool (maximum height 2.5 feet) if you provide one for them to use. Any injuries sustained are the client’s responsibility.
  • Inside Refrigerator, Inside Oven, and Inside Kitchen Cabinets – These items are not included in our standard estimate but can be specially requested before your cleaning. Please note that these items are always included in a move-in/move-out cleaning unless we’re instructed otherwise. The fridge, freezer, cabinets, and drawers must be completely empty and de-thawed prior to our arrival to be included.
  • Inside of Closets – Like the above, this is not included in a standard cleaning but is available on request, and always included in move-in/move-out cleanings.
  • Laundry or Folding/Organizing Piles of Clothes –  Laundry is not included in our services at this time.
  • Dishes – Our services do not include washing dishes. If we arrive at a home with a sink full of dirty dishes, we’ll do our best to clean the sink around them, but depending on the severity of the dish pile, the sink may go uncleaned.
  • Plastic Blinds – There is no easy or time-efficient way to clean blinds; a single set can take 15 minutes to an hour to clean. Dirt and dust on blinds can clump, stick, smear, and look a lot worse in general during cleaning, making it an impossible task for which to estimate a time limit. Upon request, we can give your blinds a solid wipe with a dry rag, but if you want them perfectly cleaned, we’d recommend taking them down, scrubbing them in the tub, hanging them back up…and then thoroughly cleaning your tub. Therefore, plastic blinds are not included in our services.
  • Interior Windows – In a regular residential clean, we do clean window frames and sills but not the glass, or the space in between the screen and glass. For a move-in cleaning, the interior side of window glass is included, but cleaning the exterior windows are never included.
  • Under or behind beds, couches, or heavy appliances – Our cleaners are not permitted to move/lift anything over 20 pounds, so they will NOT move large furniture like couches or dressers to clean under them. Cleaning under furniture can be requested for recurring clients but is not included in our estimates. If you want these spaces cleaned, you must notify us when booking, have the furniture/appliance moved before we arrive, and then return it to its original spot yourself. Please note that we will not climb under your bed to clean completely underneath it. Instead, we will clean about a foot under the bed around all sides, which is about as far as our vacuums will reach. Areas further under the bed than this are not considered within “reasonable reach.”
  • Post-construction cleaning or paint removal (e.g., cleaning excessive amounts of saw dust) is never included in our services.
  • Walls – We will try to clean very obvious but manageable smudges or food stains on a wall (like the back splash in the kitchen, by trashcans, or around sinks) but otherwise, walls are not included in our cleaning.

If you wish to add any of the above “extras,” they MUST be requested at least two full business days prior to your appointment time. Any tasks that are changed or added upon arrival will ONLY be completed if there is extra time remaining in your estimate.

PLEASE NOTE: for the health and safety of our cleaners, our services NEVER include the use of conventional/chemical cleaning products, inside of dishwashers, or paint removal.How do you take payment?

Our preferred payment methods are venmo, bank account, and credit card. If a venmo payment is not received at the time of service or that same business day, clients will receive an emailed invoice that can be paid via routing and account number similar to an e-check or via debit or credit card with an additional 4% processing fee.

Please note, we are unable to accept a venmo payment AND create a payable invoice for the same appointment, as this would make the revenue appear in our books twice, thus creating double the actual revenue, double the sales tax, and double the income tax. To clarify, an invoice is an emailed request for payment while a receipt is proof of payment. If you would like a receipt, please let us during the booking process and we will email you an invoice (which can then be used as a receipt one it’s paid) after the cleaning to pay via bank account or credit card.

If you’d like to pay by venmo and receive a receipt, please let us know during the booking process or up to 30 days after your appointment so we can manually prevent the revenue from appearing twice that month. We appreciate your understanding.

Gratuity for the cleaners is sincerely appreciated but should be given directly to the cleaners as cash or venmo separate from the service payment.

To book your cleaning, we will capture your credit card information to reserve your scheduled day and time. All invoices that are 7+ days overdue will automatically be processed via credit card with the additional 4% processing fee, no exceptions. We do NOT accept Paypal, Bitcoin, Apple pay, cash, check, or payments via snail mail.Should I tip? What is the average tip?

Professional cleaning is an extremely meticulous, rigorous, and fast-paced occupation that requires our staff to be mentally and physically on-point at all times. Similar to waiting tables, professional cleaning is a “service” position, and similar to hairdressing, it is a “trained skill.” Since our cleaners are providing both a service and a trained skill, gratuity is extremely appreciated. Since you tip your waiter, who is providing 30 to 60 minutes of service when you go out to eat, it is fitting to tip house cleaners as well, as they are providing two to four hours of rigorous and physically taxing service and skill.

Tips can vary based on performance but usually come to 10% of the total bill whether you’d like to tip 10% per cleaner or 10% for the team to split, that’s totally up to you. For example, if your cleaning cost $300, the average tip would be $30 per cleaner, or $30 for them to split. Tips should be given on-site and must be cash or venmo given separately from your cleaning payment.Am I charged the full quoted amount even if it doesn’t take that long to clean my house?

For new clients, you’re only charged based on the amount of time your cleaner was actually at your home working. If they finish early, you aren’t charged the full amount quoted. However, please note we do have a minimum of 2.5 hours per cleaner for service. If believe your home will take less time than that, please let us know and we will only schedule one cleaner.

For new or regular clients, we require three full business days notice if you’d like to make any changes to the day, time, or included areas of your appointment. For regular clients, if adequate notice is not provided, then clients will be billed for the full length of time we had originally scheduled for them, or a minimum of 2.5 hours per cleaner.What is your pet policy?

We love animals! In fact, our non-toxic cleaning products are especially safe for pets and kids! All of our staff members are friendly and comfortable with friendly animals. If you know your pet might be loud or aggressive with our staff, we ask that you please consider keeping them in a crate or separate room during our visit. You are fully responsible for the behavior, actions, or damages your pet may cause to our staff or equipment.

If you have a pet that sheds, please let us know when booking your appointment, as this could affect the estimated time and cost of your cleaning. Vacuuming pet hair from furniture/upholstery is NOT included in our initial estimates, so if you’d like those included, please let us know when booking your appointment. For regular clients with pets that shed (especially large dogs), we prefer that you provide your own pet-dander vacuum, as the excessive hair could damage our vacuums or transfer pet dander/allergies to our other clients’ homes. If you have a pet that sheds but do NOT provide your own vacuum, we may charge an additional fee or more per hour to cover the cost of scheduling, deep-cleaning, and transporting our heavy-duty vacuums.Do I have to be home when my house is cleaned? Can I leave a key or lockbox with you?

Most of our clients are not home when we come to clean, but it is up to you! We understand that trusting someone in your home can be uncomfortable, but we promise 100% honesty and thoroughness, and our record speaks for itself. Many clients choose to remain home for our initial cleaning, then give us access going forward, but we cannot accept or keep clients’ house keys, so lock boxes, key codes, or hidden access are encouraged.

You are welcome to leave a key for us, but we CANNOT take the keys off site. In fact, cleaners are not authorized to take anything off site other than their own supplies and payment. So while you’re welcome to leave keys hidden or secure for us, we will not be able to keep your keys between appointments.How far in advance do I need to schedule?

We recommend clients book as early as possible but we typically require at least three full business days notice for a booking and we are closed on weekends and holidays. Sometimes we can be booked 1-2 full weeks in advance depending on volume and employee availability.

We schedule Monday through Friday with morning appointments booked with an arrival window between 9 and 9:30 am and afternoons booked with an arrival window between 1:30 and 2:15 pm.Do you have a cancellation policy?

Yes! Like many small businesses, we only get paid if we work. Our staff plans to work a set number of hours each week, and from that they calculate their income. Therefore, cancellations or rescheduling will lead to a hefty financial loss for our crew and a missed opportunity to book someone else. If we’re able to fill your spot, the fee will be waived, so the sooner you let us know, the more likely we can fill your spot.

   While most cleaning services charge cleanings in advance or at the time of booking, we only charge if a client cancels on short or gives us permission to do so after the cleaning is completed. Unlike most cleaning companies, 100% of our cancellation fees go directly to the cleaners their lost wages. We are a small, family-owned business – we do not work 7 days a week and weekends are not business days. Therefore, if you wish to avoid a cancellation fee, you must provide 2-3 business days’ notice ahead of your scheduled appointment time so we have enough time to fill your spot. Our cancellation fees are detailed below.

  • Cancelling/rescheduling three business days before will incur a $50 fee per cleaner to cover some of their lost wages.
  • Cancelling/rescheduling two business days before is $75 per cleaner to cover some of their lost wages
  • Cancelling/rescheduling one-business day before, the day of, or after business hours the night before  will incur a fee equal to the cost of the cleaning.
  • Any requests to cancel or reschedule that are made after regular business hours (5 pm) will be considered received the following business day and cancellation fees will be billed accordingly.
  • “Lockouts” If you aren’t home to let us in, or a key isn’t left for us as planned, we will wait a maximum of 20 minutes to gain access to the premises, and the wait time will be added to your bill. If we still can’t gain access after 20 minutes, it is considered a “lock out” or “day of cancellation” and the full cost of the cleaning will be billed.
  • Any properties that violate our “safe and comfortable working conditions policy” will need to be cancelled/rescheduled and the full amount of the cost of the cleaning will be billed to cover lost wages.
  • New clients who cancel on short notice and wish to be rescheduled may be asked to pay a $50 non-refundable deposit towards the cost of their rescheduled appointment

What is meant by “safe and appropriate working conditions” and why are they so important?

We take the health and safety of our team very seriously. Therefore, you are required to provide safe and appropriate working conditions for our cleaners and to inform us of any hazardous environments or materials PRIOR to scheduling an appointment. If we are made aware that your home does not have safe and comfortable working conditions after the cleaning has already been scheduled, you will either be charged a cancellation fee or all unsafe areas will not be included in your service. For regular clients who are aware of the policy, a $30 mandatory gratuity per cleaner will be added to the total bill. To ensure safe and comfortable working conditions are being provided, we do not clean properties that are scheduled by/paid for by someone who doesn’t live in or hasn’t personally seen the conditions of the home. 

A property will be considered a threat or hazard to our staff if…

  • It does not have heating or air conditioning and the temperature is below 64 or above 74 degrees. Considering the physical nature of our work, excessive heat creates dangerous conditions for our team. If you do not have central AC or air conditioning in every room we’ll be cleaning, we may choose to skip the rooms that are not air-conditioned depending on the severity of the heat. If the heat is unbearable, conditions become dangerous, and we may choose to leave outright, but you will be charged for the full amount of the cleaning. Please note that if we choose to stay in these conditions, the heat will still inhibit our ability to clean thoroughly and efficiently, so your appointment will likely take more time and therefore incur more cost. We take this policy extremely seriously, as overheating, dehydration, heatstroke, and other heat-related illnesses are very real dangers, so please be sure that your thermostat is set to 72 degrees or lower prior to our arrival. By booking with us, you guarantee you will provide safe and comfortable working conditions for our team. 
  • There is no electricity in the home. Sometimes when moving into a new home, the electricity has been turned off. In this situation, we do not have the ability to see clearly, use vacuums, or rely on A/C or even fans to keep them cool. If there is no electricity or light in your home, we will leave outright and you will still be billed for the full amount of the cleaning. No exceptions.
  • When the location contains any hazardous material that may be dangerous to the health of our cleaners, clients, or business. Such “hazardous material” includes but is not limited to fecal matter, blood and other bodily fluids, broken glass, excessive garbage, cockroaches, rodents, bed bugs, fleas, etc. If we come across any of the above material, we may choose to completely skip that area, leave the cleaning altogether, or add a 10% “hazardous material handling fee” to the total bill, depending on severity.

If your home has issues with any of the above, please let us know BEFORE YOU SCHEDULE YOUR APPOINTMENT. We might be able to make an exception! But we will need to come prepared with the proper masks, gloves, tools, supplies, fans, etc. If we are not informed in advance, it endangers our tools, business, and cleaners.Why do you charge sales tax? How much does it cost?

Some clients are surprised to hear that a cleaning service would charge sales tax, but it’s true! Each month, we owe a 6% sales tax to the federal government, plus an additional 2% to Philadelphia for the local sales tax. We also offer a 5% discount for venmo payments made at the time of service.Why is there a travel fee for West Philly clients?

Most of our team lives in Fishtown, north east or north Philly and half of them don’t have cars. After the government shut down, our employees expressed that they’d only be willing to travel the hour to 1.5 hours round trip to west Philly with a travel fee to compensate for the hours, gas, and mileage or roundtrip Uber, which is often $40 to $50, so the travel fee only meets that halfway. That said, all of our clients in West Philly have an additional travel fee of $20 for one cleaner, $30 for two cleaners, or $40 for three cleaners. Especially in a post covid world, we have to respect our employees comfortability, time, and needs. Thanks for understanding.Successful Working Relationship Guidelines for Clients

We understand that our clients have high standards for their home services. Similarly, we have a few guidelines that are important for a healthy work environment and successful working relationship:

Just as a cleaning service may not be a good fit for a household, not all households are a good fit for our services. That said, we retain the right to refuse service at any time we see fit. Typically, if this becomes necessary it will be communicated via email, though not exclusively. Below are a few reasons we may decide to discontinue or decline to service a client:

  • Anything we deem inappropriate or a threat to our safety
  • More than one employee has communicated their discomfort with a client and has asked not to be scheduled with that client again
  • Disrespectful attitude or inappropriate behavior towards our employees or office staff
  • Frequent/excessive messes “left for the cleaner”
  • Repeated disturbance to our workflow due to members of the household actively using the rooms we are cleaning even after being asked to vacate
  • Refusal to mask or social distance around our cleaners (regardless of vaccination status)
  • Dishonesty or nonpayment of balance due
  • Frequent last-minute schedule changes, frequent cancelling on short notice, or frequent lock-outs
  • Refusing to respect our lost-wages fee, safe and comfortable work conditions policy, or other policies as detailed on the website and signed agreements
  • Requests to overextend the services we advertise to provide

We appreciate our clients’ efforts to help us keep our workspace as professional as possible. Thank you.Other important company policies

By setting an appointment with us, you hereby agree to ALL of the following terms and conditions.

1. In the case that you are unsatisfied with our services, your specific complaints must be brought to our attention within 48 hours of the appointment to be considered for a free re-clean. Photographic evidence must be provided, and the areas in question must be included in the scope of our services as detailed in the cleaning checklists. Photos allow us to determine why/what was missed so we know where/how the error occurred and so we know what to include in the free re-clean, if applicable.

2. Philly Maid Green’s cancellation policy (see above section) applies to ALL clients, new and old.

3. You are welcome to provide brief walkthroughs (on the clock), initial suggestions, written notes, or a list of prioritized tasks. However, we ask that you not excessively follow or disturb our cleaners during an appointment. Let us do what we do best!

4. Any and all tasks that are not included in a standard cleaning must be requested during booking or at least two full business days prior. If you ask us to add tasks that were not mentioned prior to your estimate, they will only be completed if there is extra time remaining in your estimate. 

5. Broken or damaged items have only happened once in our six years of business! But just in case, serious damages would be covered by our insurance. Broken or damaged items would have the cost of the item deducted from the service cost equal to the value of the item pending a receipt or online product listing that includes the price of the item provided by the client. We do not offer full or partial refunds for any reason.

6. We will not lift objects heavier than 20 pounds, so we cannot clean behind or under big objects or appliances (such as beds, refrigerators, washers, dryers, etc.) unless they are moved from their place prior to our arrival. If it has not been moved, the areas behind/beneath it will not be cleaned. We must be notified upon booking your appointment if you intend to move furniture so we can plan and schedule accordingly.

7. Our cleaners are only permitted to use Philly Maid Green brand cleanings products. If you wish for one of our cleaners to use a chemical cleaning product, consent must be given by the manager and the cleaner beforehand and the product must be provided by the client. Only products that receive a A rating by the Environmental Working Group will be considered.

8. Cleaners are forbidden to climb or stand on objects or ladders taller than a step stool (2.5 feet in height max). Step stools must be provided by the client, especially for move-in/move-out cleanings.

9. Our cleaners are encouraged to take public transit, but in the event we must drive to your location, the cost of parking will be added to your bill. Certain cleaners have cars while others do not, and their need to drive depends on many variables, including your location, other scheduled appointments, and their location/distance within the city. We do not give priority to certain cleaners based on their mode of transportation. If you have a parking space for your home or unit, we suggest you let us use it to avoid additional fees.

10. Promotional discounts are valid for new customers only and can not be combined with other promotions, discounts, or gift cards. We often send out promotional e-mails with discounts, so if you’d like to take advantage of the email discount, you only need to reply to the email and request an appointment! Please note, we sometimes send promotions for $50 off your first cleaning if you sign up for bi-weekly, triweekly, or monthly cleanings. That being said, the discount will only be applied upon the signing of a recurring cleaning agreement and a $50 premature cancellation fee will be billed if the agreement is terminated prior to the second biweekly, triweekly, or monthly cleaning. The $50 discount will only apply to initial and recurring cleanings that cost $150 or more, otherwise the discount will be adjusted to $25 so our small business can make enough money to at least cover our employees wages and taxes. We appreciate your understanding!

11. You agree that all communications and payments will occur directly through the company. Cleaners are prohibited from exchanging personal contact information with clients and/or communicating outside of Philly Maid Green parameters.

12. You understand that Philly Maid Green is an equal opportunity employer. You must agree never to discriminate against our employees based on race, gender, gender identity, age, religion, etc. You agree to make our employees feel welcome and comfortable in your homes and to treat them all with respect. If you are rude, disrespectful, or discriminatory toward our employees, we reserve the right to discontinue future services.

13. You shall be held liable for any injury or damages to the cleaner, the equipment or property of the cleaner, while on the premises of said engagement if damage is caused by you, your guest, or members of your organization or household. Philly Maid Green is not liable for indirector consequential damages arising from any breach of conduct. This includes but is not limited to attorney’s fees and other costs of defense by reason of actual or alleged violations of any Law, all injuries, deaths, damage to property, suits, claims, liens, lien rights, judgments, liabilities, costs, and expenses, which may arise directly or indirectly from the Cleaning Services provided.Warranty of Services

If there are perceived defects in our craftsmanship, please notify us within 48 hours. For quality feedback, please send us photos and we will either evaluate if a discount should be given, or schedule a free re-clean of the missed areas. While we are always doing our best to use caution when cleaning fragile surfaces, sometimes accidents happen. Our techs are trained to photograph any damage so we can communicate thoroughly about what happened with whomever may need to know.

Please note, glass shower doors have been known to spontaneously shatter (source). This can be due to manufacturer defect, faulty installation, or frequent hard use over time. Please note that because this is known to happen, spontaneous breakage is not our responsibility. We appreciate your kind consideration in using caution with these doors for all our sake.

Minimizing clutter and dishes and keeping a few wall outlets exposed for us will also minimize time and hassle locating these to run our vacuums throughout the home. Child protectors will be replaced if removed for our use.

Please refer to our “extras” on the checklists, for add-on services. Unless discussed during the booking process or requested with the quote request, “extras” will not be included. Finally, please be sure to review the gray box at the bottom of the second checklists for items/areas that are not included in the scope of our services.

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