Tipping a Housekeeper: When, Who and How Much Should You Tip

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Housekeeper Photo

It’s often said that hospitality industry jobs are some of the most underrated in our society. Though they require a lot of work and dedication, they are also often jobs that are done when nobody else is around. This leads consumers to take them for granted and not think of them as often when deciding which services to tip for.

For example, housekeepers are workers that dedicate a lot of time and effort to making sure hotel rooms are consistently clean, but you never actually see them working. In order to make the experience of staying at a hotel completely seamless, housekeepers work when guests are not in their rooms — making them almost “invisible”. 

Though this is a great advantage for the guests, oftentimes it devalues the work of housekeepers due to people forgetting that they’re even doing work or should be tipped. Despite this, you should definitely tip your housekeeper if you’re staying at any kind of hotel, even if it’s just for one night.

To help you understand when you should tip your housekeeper, how much you should tip and how you should tip them, here is a guide on how to tip a housekeeper.

How Much Should You Tip Your Housekeeper?

Though the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Gratuity Guide suggests anywhere between $1 and $5 per day, we recommend that you tip the housekeeper closer to between $3 and $5 each day, as those amounts are more reflective of industry standards.

It’s important to note, though, that you should also tip your housekeeper with regards to the amount that they have to clean up. If you’re somebody who is just leaving them a bed to be made, then you should tip the normal amount. However, if you had a party in your hotel room the night before and are leaving them a significant amount to clean up, you should tip anywhere between $7 and $15.

A good way to predict how much you should tip your housekeeper is to guess how long it would take you to clean the mess that you’re leaving them. Because they have to keep on a schedule and will likely not be paid significantly more for doing more difficult cleaning jobs, contribute generously what you can. After all, you are the person making their job more difficult in the first place, so you need to take responsibility!

The amount that you should tip your housekeeper does not vary from state-to-state. Unlike other forms of tipping (i.e. concierges) the amount a housekeeper is paid is more in relation to the minimum wage, so you should keep that in mind when setting down your tip. Although, if you want to go above and beyond to show a housekeeper that you appreciated their work, never be afraid to tip significantly more! This will not only make their day, but encourage them to work harder when cleaning your room in the future.

Another way to tip your housekeeper can be with a housekeeper tipping calculator. A housekeeper tipping calculator can help you understand just how much you should tip, but you should also keep in mind that most tip calculators available underestimate the right amount for tipping. This is because wages change and inflation is continuing to rise, meaning that you should tip your housekeeper more today than you would have 10 years ago.

When to Tip Your Housekeeper?

If you’re staying at a hotel and are using the housekeeping service, you should be tipping on a daily basis. Housekeeping is one of those unique things where a majority of the income is supplied by tips, so you should always show them that you care for their services and their well-being.

The best time to leave a tip your housekeeper is right before you leave your hotel room for the day. Though there are some who prefer to tip hospitality workers on their way out, this is not compatible with the schedules that normal housekeepers maintain. For example, many hotels have different housekeepers cleaning different rooms every day, meaning that it’s very likely that the same person will not be cleaning your room two days in a row. This is reason enough to leave your tips on a daily basis, allowing the people who actually did the work to get proper compensation. However, if you’re staying only for one day, don’t worry about this distinction—just leave your tip on the way out.

How to Tip Your Housekeeper – Cash, Card or Via an App?

The traditional—and best—way to tip your housekeeper is by leaving cash on the table and a note indicating that it is for the housekeeper to take. This is an important distinction to make because oftentimes housekeepers might be worried about taking money from a room in fear that they will be accused of stealing later on.

Though there are hotels and similar establishments that allow you to tip workers via an app or by card, these often come with associated fees for the employees. By tipping your housekeeper in cash, you can ensure that all of the money goes directly to them! One of the downsides of cash is that there is always the possibility for someone else to steal it, but these chances are low due to the fact that the only person entering your room will be the housekeeper.

In the event that you check out of your room and forget to tip the housekeeper, you can still make sure they are tipped sufficiently! To do this, just be sure to go to the front desk and give them the money. If you come to them the day the housekeeper cleaned your room, there’s a large chance that they’ll be able to pass the money directly to the worker.

In Conclusion

Knowing how much to tip a housekeeper is much more nuanced than it sounds. Because there are so many factors that play into how much to tip a housekeeper, you need to make sure that you understand the entire process. We hope our guide about how to tip a housekeeper has been helpful so that the next time you’re staying at a hotel, you know exactly how much to tip and when to do so!

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