Most industries have their own unique lingo that’s used to facilitate communication with their peers and clientele alike, and the residential cleaning industry is no exception. A firm understanding of this terminology is required to verify that potential employees are knowledgeable, provide transparency for customers, and make the most of your cleaning management software.

In the following article, we’ll supply a list of these commonly used terms and provide a quick explanation of what each of them means. Keep reading to learn more.

What are cleaning terms?

Defining exactly what a particular service entails can go a long way toward preventing confusion and ensuring your customers’ satisfaction. It also helps your staff understand exactly what’s expected of them.

Essential housekeeping service terminology includes:


This refers to removing dirt, dust, and other grime from surfaces by vacuuming, mopping, or otherwise wiping them down using everyday housekeeping supplies. This process does not remove or kill bacteria, viruses, and other germs in significant amounts. It may or may not include decluttering as well.


Disinfectants are specialized chemicals that are designed to destroy or deactivate the majority of germs on the surface they’re applied to. These products do not remove dust or dirt, and can not be used as a substitute for regular cleaners.


Although the terms “sanitization” and “disinfection” are frequently used interchangeably, they actually mean different things. To sanitize a surface means to reduce the number of germs on it. This can be done by either cleaning, disinfecting, or both. If you decide to offer this service, be sure to define it clearly ahead of time to maintain transparency with your clientele.

Electrostatic disinfection

This is a modern disinfection technology that has gained popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a handheld device that produces a disinfectant fog.

Standard cleaning

This service includes everyday housekeeping tasks and is usually performed on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. When booked on a recurring basis, this service may also be called maintenance cleaning.

Deep cleaning

Also known as spring cleaning, this is an extra-thorough service that tackles heavy buildups, hard-to-reach areas, and other challenges that are beyond the scope of a standard maid service.

Move-in / move-out cleaning

A deep cleaning that is performed on an empty or mostly empty residential property after the previous tenants have moved out, but before the new tenants have moved in.

Post-construction cleaning

Also known as post-renovation cleanup, this is an especially detailed service designed to remove construction dust and debris. It frequently requires heavy-duty cleaning supplies and a team of cleaners working together.

Vacation rental cleaning

Homeowners who frequently rent out their properties via Airbnb and other similar websites need to book regular cleaning services to ensure their rental properties are cleaned to the highest standards and ready to admit guests at a moments’ notice. Vacation rental cleaning meets this need by bridging the gap between a standard cleaning and a hotel-like maid service.

Referral company

These businesses do not employ their cleaners directly, but rather maintain a database of local cleaning professionals they partner with. They can then match their clients with these cleaning professionals when and as needed.

Which cleaning management software should I use for my maid service

Which cleaning management software should I use for my maid service?

From facilitating communication with your staff and simplifying the booking process for your clients, to setting up effective Key Performance Indicators and driving the long-term profitability of your cleaning company, MaidCentral contains all of the functionalities maid service owners and managers need to drive their businesses to success.

Book your one-on-one demo today and let us be your strongest ally on the path to cleaning industry success.

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MaidCentral Software

MaidCentral is a comprehensive software solution built specifically to help cleaning businesses streamline their operations, boost revenue, and substantially elevate the trajectory of their business. Our comprehensive, cloud-based platform is used by hundreds of cleaning companies across the country. MaidCentral was developed by cleaning business owners for cleaning business owners. No other cleaning software is this powerful.