Price: Our tester used a first-time-user promotion to get a $39, two-hour cleaning, but otherwise, that same service can cost between $50 and $58, depending on if you sign up for regularly scheduled cleanings (the more often you do it, the cheaper it gets, as is always the case with these services.) You can also add extras like laundry, interior windows, and refrigerator cleaning a la carte (for around $14 a pop).
The lowdown: Handy offers a battery of services including painting, furniture assembly, help moving, and yes, handyman work, but we focused on the cleaning. Formerly known as home cleaning service NYC (which didn’t have a stellar reputation in the startup world), Handy’s got a tech-savvy, easy-to-navigate site (and app) that lets you book a variety of services for your home, and then communicate directly with the professional who’s coming by to help out.
The experience: The whole thing was easy to set up and, with the discount, inexpensive. Though we’ve heard iffy things about Handy’s services in the past, the cleaner who came to our editor’s apartment was friendly, efficient, and got the place sparkling. (She even texted to let us know she was running a few minutes behind.) The only downside: Handy tries to hook you into subscribing to repeated cleanings every week, two weeks, or four weeks—we actually had to call an 800 number to prevent being signed up for further cleanings. And once they get your email address in their system, prepare to be barraged with inquiries about when you’ll be booking next, and other services the company offers.
Bottom line: This is about as affordable as cleaning services come, and our experience was a good one. Having a stranger over to your apartment for the first time can be awkward or creepy, or both, but our tester's experience was completely stress-free. That said, we could have done without the hard sell.
Number of stars (out of 5): * * *
Price: It cost $132.83 to clean a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment (total time: a little over three hours of cleaning). That was for a one-time cleaning. You can save 25 percent if you book a weekly appointment, 15 percent if you book a bi-weekly appointment and 10 percent if you book a recurring monthly appointment.
The lowdown: Founded in 2008, MyClean sends insured cleaners to clean your home with green products (they use Mrs. Meyers brand). They leave you with a checklist of what they’ve done.
The experience: Signing up was really easy, and when we had questions, customer service got back to us right away. At the last minute (meaning about an hour before the appointment), we wanted to change the time, and they responded right away that they’d try. They couldn’t, but it was great to know they were making the effort. Typically, you must tell MyClean by 5 p.m. the day before the appointment if you want to cancel or make changes to the time, which seems fair. You get a text message reminding you of that.
Bottom line: The cleaner did a fine job. We appreciated how she scrubbed the stovetop, something our regular cleaner doesn’t do so well. The apartment didn’t feel sparkling, but it was definitely neater/cleaner than what it started. The checklist is a nice touch. But the price for a one-time clean is high—working out to about $40 an hour. And one problem we find is that until you get to know the cleaners, you’ll likely want to be in the apartment while they’re there. For us, that meant moving schedules around and making sure someone was home. Not the most convenient.