Frequent Questions

You probably have questions ahead of time, so we’ve done our best to compile a plethora of Frequently Asked Questions for you to look through. As always, feel free to contact us with any inquiries that are not covered here. We look forward to serving you.

General Questions

Why hire Universal Cleaning Services?

We at Universal Cleaning Services think the most important aspect of any cleaning company are the workers that make up its team. We consider everyone on staff to be an equal part of our work-family, and are always carefully monitoring to ensure everyone here is someone we would be happy to send to our own family members’ homes.

This pride in our staff also applies to our administrative team, which are ready and willing to give you exceptional customer service any time you need assistance.

Is Universal Cleaning Service a franchise?

Universal Cleaning Service is not a franchise. We are a locally owned and operated company that has been in business in New Jersey. You will regularly find us supporting various local causes, and we are always open to new ways we can be involved in supporting the local places we each live and work!

Do you do in-home or online estimates?

We provide estimates based off information that is either submitted to us via our online form, or given to us over the phone. Either way we like to call and go over the details with you.

If you would prefer that we come to your home to do the estimate please call us to go over your availability so we can schedule this appointment. We should be able to come out within a day, and occasionally the same day.

Are you insured and bonded?

Yes! We have in place an insurance package as well as bonding that help ensure customers receive peace of mind at every cleaning. From worker injury to damages we are covered through high-quality insurance carriers.

What are your office hours?

Our office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Our arrival time for our first appointment is normally between 8:50-9:00 AM, and the latest we typically clean is 4:30 PM.

What are the holidays you are closed?

We work all week days with the exception of these major holidays: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Should you have a regular cleaning scheduled for one of these days you will be contacted 4-5 weeks before, to determine if rescheduling or skipping the appointment is preferred. Please make sure you respond to these communications to avoid a last-minute situation where there is no room to reschedule.

Are your cleaners trained?

Absolutely! Training is a key part of providing a high-quality service. Each cleaner goes through weeks of initial training and development, learning the difference between how they cleaned before and how our company does it professionally.

Training then continues indefinitely for all cleaners on our team, helping us stay fresh and interested in the fine details of our profession.

Do your prices fluctuate?

Our cleaning prices generally stay the same for every recurring cleaning for at least one year unless you request changes be made. However, occasionally a quote may need revised if we find we are staying longer than anticipated on a regular basis.

We do also review pricing of all customers every year, to ensure prices are in line with the then current costs of doing business.

Do you provide weekend cleanings?

Not typically. However, on occasion we will clean on Saturdays upon request or around extra-busy times such as holiday seasons. This is done on a voluntary basis with our staff, so as to ensure we do not take anyone unwillingly away from weekend family time. These cleanings may be subject to a slightly higher rate, depending upon the circumstances.

How many crew members comprise a team?

We have found that a team of two cleaners is best suited for routine cleanings. This allows enough time in the home to not feel rushed, and less possibility for confusion of responsibilities. Occasionally we will include three on a team, and even four if there is a large cleaning we need to do. However, two is typical.

Does the same crew come each time?

We do our best to send the same teams to the same homes each time, but we want to emphasize up front that it is not always possible. Due to the varying nature of employee schedules, customer changes and routing structures there are too many variables to promise this at every cleaning.

If this is a must for you it is suggested you seek out either a solo cleaner, or a company with no more than four cleaning technicians.

What supplies/equipment do I need to provide?

We provide all the supplies and equipment necessary, with the exception of kitchen trash bag liners. Due to different sized waste baskets, we ask that each customer provide their own. If not provided we will use ours in the large kitchen waste basket as best as we can.

Do you use GREEN cleaning products?

We take a very careful, practical approach to the products that we use to ensure the safest effective methods are being used to clean your home. Our main cleaning product that is used on roughly 95% of areas where products are used is a locally supplied green certified citrus and peroxide based cleaner that is both an antiviral and sanitizer. It does a fantastic job cleaning while leaving just a slight but very fresh clean scent!

Do you accommodate special requests?

We try to accommodate typical requests associated with the cleaning of your home. If you have a specific request, such as the specific treatment of a surface or to not touch a specific area please let our office staff know so we can ensure you are taken care of.

How do you access a home?

The three options that are typically used are either entering through the garage via a code we keep in our system, entering via a key we keep in our office, or having the client be home during the cleaning.

All keys contain only a number (no address or identifying information), are checked in and out by managers, and are kept in a secure location at our office.

Occasionally a customer may leave a door unlocked or hide a key, or purchase a lock box in which they keep a key and provide us a code, but these are less typical than the methods above.

How do I make a payment?
Payment is due in full at the beginning of the service. We accept cash, checks, credit cards, and can set up automatic payments from either a credit card or bank account.
Checks should be made to Pink Shoe Cleaning Crew. If a check is returned we will need to pass on the fee our bank charges us for the incident.
Do you charge a lockout fee?

Yes, we may out of necessity need to do this. When a team is unable to enter a home they were scheduled to clean due to unforeseen issues at the home it is a cost to our business that we need to cover. We do not believe in excess charges (such as a full cleaning charge), but typically after one warning incident, should it happen again you will be assessed $50.00 for this situation.

What are your payment terms?

Full payment is due the day of the cleaning, unless prior arrangements have been made. Occasionally a client may forget to leave a payment out, in which case we recommend calling our office as soon as possible to determine what resolution is preferred.

Is tipping recommended?

Tipping the cleaners is never expected, but is always graciously appreciated by them when done. Roughly 5-10% of customers customarily leave tips, if that helps guide you. If leaving a tip, please try to make it cash with a note designating it as a tip.

What happens if something is damaged?

The act of providing quality cleaning in a house requires that nearly all surfaces are touched. This leads to a high possibility that unstable or poorly assembled items may be damaged. While we are careful, we can assume no liability for damage to pictures that are inadequately hung, old/brittle/broken blinds, items with unstable bases, floating shelves, items not secured properly, etc.

Curio cabinets, figurines, glassware and items of extreme or sentimental value should be cleaned by the client to ensure that risks to damage are limited. Please make sure our office is aware of these items so we may instruct our cleaners appropriately.

Should damage happen, our team leads will immediately contact the office along with sending a picture of the item. Our office will then reach out to you to establish what has happened, and to work together to resolve the situation.

Can I hire your cleaners on the side?

Without prior approval our employees are not permitted to do extra work on the side for any of our customers.

Please keep in mind that our employees are only insured appropriately and under the assurances we provide when on the clock with our company. Homeowners run a significant risk of liability if a cleaner is injured at their home and is not under the coverage of worker’s compensation type insurance. The same goes for any damages that may happen.

How are pets handled?

We absolutely love pets! We do however take necessary precautions.

We do not clean litter boxes, pet urine, or feces due to potential health risks.

If a pet is aggressive we cannot send cleaners to the home with it loose in the house. If you have an aggressive pet please be sure to let us know about the pet, and where/how it will be contained during cleanings.

If you leave a pet loose to walk around your home we will do our best to accommodate this, but we cannot be held liable for the pet’s safety should it get trapped in an area without our knowledge.

If your pet is one of the loveable types that can’t help but be a shadow to any possible treat giver (i.e. human), please consider a way to help us keep it confined enough that our cleaners are able to complete their work in a reasonable amount of time.

Do you handle biohazard cleanup?

We do not provide bio-hazard type cleaning services. This means we do not clean up human waste outside of a toilet, and do not clean up blood, needles or other potentially infectious materials. These situations present a health hazard to our cleaners that is not regular in our line of work, thus we recommend a company that does this every day and is fully safeguarded from the health risks is called.

Do you guarantee your services?

Our goal as a cleaning service is to keep your home in a highly clean state, allowing you to focus on more important things than cleaning with your precious free time.

That being said, we are human. What we want is a partnership with a client, who will let us know if something was less than satisfactory.

We guarantee our services for a period of 24 hours. If you notice anything within that period of time that was not absolutely to your liking please let us know and a manager will come fix it themselves. This way we:

A) fix this promptly, and

B) get a manager’s input on why it happened, so notes can be added to avoid the incident in the future.

Do I need to sign a contract?

The only agreement we have is a short one for one-time customers to ensure we meet all expectations since they are not a regular customer of ours. We do not ask for any contract or agreement for recurring customers to sign. Our job is to keep you happy enough you want to stay, not trap you into it!

What areas do you NOT clean?

Any area consisting of multiple highly breakable items that must be carefully handled, such as a collection of drink ware or figurines.

We do not make top bunk beds, as we have found them to be too shaky and unsafe for our cleaners.

We do not climb ladders more than two steps (our standard step stool), nor climb on top of counters or other raised surfaces.

We do not clean any exterior areas except the exterior glass of entry/exit doors when weather allows (generally above 40 degrees Fahrenheit).

We do not offer carpet cleaning services at this time.

Recurring Cleaning

Can I choose a day for recurring service?

We do our best to accommodate your preference of which day to set for recurring cleanings. Usually we are able to manage this right away, but occasionally new customers may need to wait while we build a schedule that accommodates them on their preferred day.

Can I choose a time of day for recurring service?

For recurring services, we offer three options to our customers for arrival time preferences: AM, PM, or Flexible.

We have found that setting an exact time is a recipe for unmet expectations, as we cannot predict the exact conditions of each home, nor situations such as lockouts, last-minute cancellations, etc. We want to be sure to take care of each home thoroughly each time we come, even if surprise circumstances present themselves.

Can I cancel or reschedule an appointment?

We ask that we receive notice two days in advance for any scheduled cleaning appointment that you wish to cancel or reschedule.

Any cancellations that are submitted after noon the day before may be subject to a $50 cancellation fee. This amount is used to help cover labor costs of any crew that may now have gaps in their day.

Reschedules will be accommodated to the best of our ability, and usually we are able to find a spot that works. However, on occasion we may not be able to find a spot that makes sense before your next cleaning date is soon approaching.

Will a first time cleaning take longer/cost more?

Especially if you are not familiar with professional cleaning you may not be aware, but in order for our teams to provide a top-quality cleaning on an ongoing basis we must first catch the home up to what we call “maintenance mode.” This requires a cleaning that generally takes three times as long as a regular cleaning afterwards. Once a home has gone longer than one month without cleaning the act of making the home clean becomes much more challenging, takes much longer, and requires a very different approach.

Even for those clients who are switching from another company or individual cleaner, we often find that our standards are much higher than the previous service provider. Due to this, we always plan on taking the full amount of time. However, should we take less time than planned on, we will gladly credit the excess to your next cleaning.

How should I prepare for the cleaning?

We do ask that as much clutter as possible is picked up so that we can clean thoroughly. Cleaners are instructed to clean around piles of clutter.

Please ensure that all items of significant value are put away, including cash, jewelry and other small items. This eliminates any possibility of confusion should a cleaner need to move/adjust the area when cleaning.

Please maintain a comfortable working temperature year-round. This means keeping the air-conditioning on in the summer, and heat on in the winter.

Can I make day-of changes to a cleaning?

Unfortunately, the answer is generally no if it will take additional time. Our schedules are made ahead of time with all relevant information, and changes made the day of are unlikely to be accommodated if they involve the addition of any rooms or areas. You are welcome to contact us to see if a change is possible, we just cannot guarantee it. We suggest giving us a minimum of two days notice for any change to a scheduled cleaning.

What if I want to skip a room?

Please make sure a note is left on the closed door of the room you do not want cleaned, to ensure there is zero room for confusion.

Specialty Cleaning

Can I choose a day my one-time clean?

For one-time cleanings we do our absolute best to get your cleaning on or near the date you need it. The more notice you give us the better chance there is you’ll receive your ideal date!