Whether in a hotel or in your private home, a housekeeper works to make your living environment clean and comfortable. Tipping can be such a complicated issue – you may not be sure when it is appropriate to tip or how much to give. Though there are general tipping guidelines for housekeepers, the important thing is to stick with what you feel comfortable with.
Tip the hotel housekeeping staff $2 per night at a moderate hotel and $3 to $5 at an upscale hotel, recommends etiquette expert Peggy Post in a column at GoodHousekeeping.com. If you are staying multiple nights, leave a tip each day since the staff may change on a daily basis. This ensures that your tip goes to the person directly cleaning your room. If you're not checking out, leave the tip in an envelope or with a piece of paper clearly labeled "Housekeeping" so the housekeeper knows to take the money.
If you have a housekeeping service that comes to your home regularly, the cleaners do not usually expect a tip every week. However, you may feel that your housekeeper has gone above and beyond in a particular week. In this case, you might wish to offer a tip of 10 to 20 percent of the weekly fee.
During the holidays, it's common to give the people in your life who perform services, such as housekeeping staff, a special bonus as a thank-you. The Emily Post Institute suggests that an appropriate tip would be a cash gift equal to one week's pay, a personal gift or both. In the case of a live-in housekeeper, it's appropriate to give both the cash tip and a personal gift.
Tipping and Your Budget
While tipping is always a nice gesture, you should never feel obligated to tip, especially if it doesn't fit within your budget. Give what you can give, even if it is not equal to the usually appropriate gift, or if it's something that you make yourself.