Housekeeper vs Maid: Are They the Same?

The profession of a maid and housekeeper enjoys a reasonably high demand in the labor market for domestic staff. Often, such workers are sought not only by wealthy people but also by people of average means. 

Are you looking for professional housekeepers or maids to take charge of your house cleaning? Endeavor to understand the difference between a maid vs housekeeper before you proceed with your hire. 

This post will discuss the differences between a housekeeper vs maid, the duties of both personnel, and where to hire professional housekeepers and maids. Read on!

Here is what you will learn at a glimpse :

  • Who is a maid?
  • Who is a housekeeper?
  • Who to choose between housekeeper vs maid
  • How to give assignments correctly 
  • What jobs should you not trust to home staff
housekeeper vs maid


Who Is A Maid?

A maid is a person whose job is to clean and maintain the rooms and surroundings of the house. A maid does not cook, control, or replenish food supplies or household chemicals. General cleaning is usually priced at an increased rate.

If the house is big, it will require more maids, and the exact role of each employee is discussed individually. In private homes, a maid may be expected to perform the following services:

  • Regular cleaning of rooms: dusting, mopping, vacuuming carpets.
  • Making beds and changing bed linens.
  • Work in the kitchen: washing work surfaces, appliances, floors. 
  • Ironing linen, especially the bed and table linen.
  • Washing and cleaning the bathroom and toilet: mirrors, plumbing, walls, floors. 
  • Changing towels and refilling dispensers.
  • Putting things in order in the room: putting things in their places (books, toys), sorting out clothes.

housekeeper vs maid - the difference



Who Is A Housekeeper?

Although a housekeeper has her domestic duties, she is more of a manager than a worker. A housekeeper is a chief staff in charge of all other household staff. A housekeeper does the tasks of a maid and more.

The duties of a housekeeper are much broader and endowed with greater responsibility. If the house owners are always busy, the housekeeper will take over all the main work around the house, providing maximum comfort to the residents. This is the main difference between a housekeeper vs maid.

Some of the responsibilities that may be expected of a housekeeper are:

  • Cleaning of living rooms and non-residential premises
  • Wardrobe care: washing, ironing, handing over things for repair, and dry cleaning
  • Grocery shopping, cabinet revisions, cooking, table setting, and dishwashing
  • Payment of utility bills and purchase of funds for the house
  • Calling housing service employees, monitoring their work, and calculating
  • Managing the rest of the household staff
  • pet care
  • Care of live house plants
  • Time with children (except for a nanny and tutors).

The housekeeper may be expected to perform more assignments. But it is vital to give specific instructions to avoid misunderstandings and morally unacceptable situations. 

maid vs housekeeper



Who to Choose Between Housekeeper vs Maid

When choosing between a housekeeper vs maid, the house owner needs first to define the list of responsibilities they want to delegate. This helps to understand the exact household staff required at the moment. 

If you do not like many incoming employees, you should give preference to a housekeeper. If cooking and shopping please you, leave the cleaning of dust and beds to the maid. 

In a large house, it may become necessary to hire several employees, in which case the housekeeper will be the principal manager. She will coordinate the work of the maids who are hired to help her and regularly report to the house owners on the state of affairs. 

maid vs housekeeper

How to Give Assignments Correctly? 

It is necessary to discuss the details and expected results clearly to ensure cooperation.

A bad example of the wording of a contract is “running errands.” This phrase can describe a vast range of tasks. Running errands could mean different things, and although the staff might agree to do something as simple as picking up clothes from the dry cleaners, regular trips on personal errands should be paid for separately.

Another example is when you request a staff member to “clean the fridge.” This seems reasonable and straightforward, but one staff might interpret it as laying out the products in the fridge and wiping off visible dirt. In contrast, another staff would assume you meant defrosting, pulling out, and washing all the shelves and seals in the fridge. That is why it is crucial to be very specific when assigning tasks.

housekeeping vs maid


What Jobs Should You Not Trust to Home Staff:

There is some housework you should not include in the daily duties of household staff. Even if the employee agrees to help for an additional fee, it is better to order professionals’ services. This category includes any work associated with a risk to health or life. Examples include: 

Washing windows from the outside or at a significant height.

A maid or housekeeper can clean windows from the inside. But if high-quality glass cleaning is required from outside the house, especially cleaning windows at a significant height, it is better to call professional cleaners who can work at a peak. 

An exception can only be the washing of windows on the ground floor (provided that the work can be done from a regular height, up to 1.5 meters high).

Child care.

A maid or housekeeper can put away toys, books, shoes, or even fold clothes, but a professional nanny should look after the children, not maids and housekeepers.

Carrying heavy objects and furniture.

Of course, the cleaning maid can move chairs or armchairs while cleaning the floors, but it is dangerous to move chests of drawers, tables, sofas, and other furniture heavier than 10 kg without outside help. If you need to clean the floors under heavy furniture during general cleaning, you should enlist the help of men.


houseeping services


Understanding the difference between a housekeeper vs maid enables homeowners to select the right house help and quickly evaluate the wages they need to pay. So, now that you know what a maid and a housekeeper do. What next?

The next thing is to hire the right maid cleaning service to care for your housework. Look no further than Luxury cleaning NYC. We specialize in cleaning and sanitizing the  luxury apartment, houses in NYC. Our maids are professionally trained and go to extra lengths to keep your home tidy and sparkling. Visit our website to book an appointment. 

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