7 Things House Cleaners Typically Won't Clean

Priceless antiques? That’s a no.

If you’re considering hiring a house cleaner, there are some things you should know. For instance, your home does require some prep and tidying before the crew’s scheduled clean. There are also a list of spaces and tasks that you’ll want to make sure they cross off their list with every visit. With so much cleaning experience you might be tempted to think house cleaners can tackle just about anything you throw at them, but there are a few items that are off limits. 

“Professional house cleaning team members typically have the best tools, products, and experience to tackle the home efficiently,” says Marla Mock, President of Molly Maid, a Neighborly company. “From bringing a long-handled wooly duster to remove build-up on ceiling fans and crown molding or having a large supply of clean microfiber cloths to clean and dust several surfaces, hiring a professional is about getting your free time back so you can do more important things.” But what if your chief concern is mold, or you have a pest problem that just won’t quit? Chances are you’ll need to think outside the house cleaners for your solution. Here we’re sharing helpful tips on outsourcing your house cleaning needs, including the seven items they just won’t touch—and rightly so. 

Bucket of Cleaning Supplies

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Marla Mock is the President of Molly Maid, a Neighborly company.

How To Prepare for House Cleaners 

Before your house cleaners arrive, you’ll have a to-do list of your own. You can start by removing clutter in order to make their job easier and more efficient. “This includes toys, clothing, laundry, and dishes,” advises Mock. “We want to make sure we’re able to get to all of the surfaces so we can clean them thoroughly.”

Another rule of thumb is to secure pets so they’re not roaming around while the house cleaners are doing their work. Animals that are kennel-trained will likely be pleased to be in their cozy confines and away from the bustle of vacuums, mops, and the like, but for those who are roamers, consider gating off an area for them. Just be sure to let the house cleaners know where your pet is and that you don’t want that area cleaned. In fact, it’s a good idea to give your cleaning team a heads up if there are animals in the home, no matter where they are. 

Areas House Cleaners Should Always Clean

While there are areas of your home that you shouldn’t expect your house cleaners to tackle, there are spaces and tasks that are typically givens. In addition to the basics, Mock suggests assures these focus areas and tasks should be on the checklist: 

  • Bathrooms Toilets, bathtubs, showers, mirrors, faucets, and countertops should all be wiped clean.
  • Bedrooms Window sills, baseboards, ceiling fan blades, and all surfaces of the bedroom should be dusted. Mock also says thoroughly vacuuming this room, including under the bed and other furnishings, is important. 
  • Kitchen In the kitchen, wiping down all surfaces (countertops, chairs, tables, appliances, and the stovetop) is crucial. The floor should be both mopped and vacuumed.
  • Living Room This is a space where dust tends to collect quickly. All furniture and hard surfaces should be dusted and floors and furniture (including cushions and under furnishings) should be vacuumed. 

Make sure your cleaning crew is cleaning the toilet prior to vacuuming and mopping your bathroom floors. 

Things House Cleaners Won’t Clean

Air Ducts

Cleaning your air ducts is certainly a task that should be handled regularly, but you’ll have to hire the right crew for the job—and your house cleaners aren’t it. “If air ducts aren’t properly cleaned, it can lead to health problems from breathing in dirty air,” says Mock. “Unless you are someone who has had training with cleaning air ducts, we recommend you to leave it up to the experts in this field.”

Bug-infested Areas

If you have a pest problem, house cleaners will likely pass on the job. “Whether its fleas, cockroaches, or other little animals, we only clean these homes after they are fully exterminated and have had their infestation handled by a professional,” says Mock. “To avoid any risk of carrying from home to home, we would have to destroy all of our equipment and uniforms.” A company that removes vermin will clean up that portion of the mess so the house cleaners can come back in afterward to do the rest of the cleaning. “These are usually multi-step and require different vendors at different points of the service,” says Mock. House cleaners will not want to clean up any mess left by bugs, rodents, or other infestations so have that mess handled before it’s time for your scheduled house cleaning. 


House cleaners will typically use high-powered vacuums that will remove the surface dirt and dust from your carpet, but in order to get a deep-clean, you’ll have to call in professional carpet and upholstery cleaners. While you’re at it, go ahead and have them clean your couches, upholstered chairs, and ottomans too. It will eliminate any pet odor and deep-rooted dust and debris, not to mention stains. 


“Even though your chimney should only be cleaned once a year prior to the cold weather ahead, it’s still an important part of the home to clean,” says Mock. That being said, chimney cleaning is another task that should be handled by a professional who specializes in that area and has the right tools and knowledge to do it safely and effectively.  

High Areas

“We will do as far as we can with a two-step stool like most professional house cleaners, however our insurance does limit us to that tool,” says Mock. “Our teams are not trained to deal with larger ladders and does restrict our movement.” Chandeliers, tops of windows and cabinets, and ledges are all likely going to be out of reach for your house cleaning team to safely reach. 

Large Amounts of Mold

Some mold is understandable and won’t pose health risks to your cleaning team, but when there is black mold throughout the home (for example, on the ceilings) that’s when house cleaners know this job is out of their wheelhouse. According to Mock, your professional maid service will not have the proper tools to safely remove excessive mold issues. 

Special Items

Whether antiques, cherished knickknacks, or heirlooms, items that are very delicate and/or precious to the customer are typically items house cleaners won’t want to mess with in order to cut down the risk of damaging them. “You should alert your professional house cleaner of these items so they know to work around them and not clean them,” suggests Mock. “Sometimes they also require special attention that requires a professional, such as jewelry cleaning [and] polishing.”

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