John North, Dayton Better Business Bureau. CONTRIBUTED

Professional spring cleaning: picking a cleaning service

Along with the bright new spring flowers blooming comes the task of spring cleaning. Every year about 72 percent of households participate in spring cleaning.

Among those who do spring clean, 76 percent target the bedroom, followed by the kitchen (73 percent), bathroom (69 percent), family room or den (61 percent) and the dining room (45 percent).

Many handle the tasks at hand themselves, but some homeowners choose to hire a cleaning service. How often people use cleaning services vary. Some use it once a year, others use it on a regular basis — weekly, biweekly and monthly. Cleaning services are helpful when you do not have time to do it yourself.

Before choosing a cleaning service, do your research so you hire a business you can trust to work in your home. BBB is a great resource. Locally, your Better Business Bureau received almost 4,000 inquiries about cleaning service companies last year and about 234,000 inquiries across the U.S. and Canada.

BBB offers these tips when selecting a cleaning service:

• Verify the company is bonded and insured, which protects you against damaged, stolen or broken items. Also, check to see if the service carries worker’s compensation insurance.

• Ask if the cleaning staff is employed by the cleaning service or if they subcontract the work or use temporary employees. Are background checks done on employees?

• Request references. Contact those references and ask about their experience with the company.

• Determine if you must provide any cleaning supplies. If so, the cost for the overall service should be less.

• Walk through each room in your home and decide what you want the cleaning service to do (rooms to be cleaned, what can and cannot be touched, etc.).

• Get a written agreement that clearly spells out what the cleaners in your home will be doing.

• Arrange a face-to-face meeting with the people who will be cleaning your home. Ask questions and make sure you are comfortable hiring the business.

• Ask about professional affiliations, such as the Professional Association for the Residential Cleaning Industry (ARCSI), which keeps members informed of new developments, safety, training and regulations.

• Put away any clutter prior to the cleaning service arriving at your home. This does not mean you need to clean before they arrive.

For more information on cleaning services, BBB can help. BBB can provide a list of BBB Accredited cleaning services and Business Profiles on ones you’re considering. Visit or call (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301.

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John North is president of the Dayton Better Business Bureau.