author Call Us +506 2289 5125

8 Unusual things housekeepers in Costa Rica do

8 Unusual things housekeepers in Costa Rica doThis week, I would like to share with you some unusual things housekeepers in Costa Rica do. Things that are very normal to them but unusual to you and me.

Housekeepers do these strange things because they come from a different culture and background than us and you should realize this before you hire her. You don’t believe that? Then also read this blog about it.

Some of these acts are committed because of lack of knowledge that we assume they have, other because their logic is different than ours, both because of a different lifestyle. It does not mean they are wrong.

I DO want to thank Don for sending me an email this week where he gave me the idea for this blog and #1 on the list: Ivo, thanks for your new blogs. I always find them quite interesting and informative.

An interesting but useless fact learned from an employee of the 3M Company over a glass of wine at a winery event nearby our home in October: Costa Rica has the highest per capita usage of 3M Scotch-Brite Sponges in the world.

8 Unusual things housekeepers in Costa Rica do

1.  Scotch-Brite sponges

I asked our housekeeper about the use of Scotch-Brite sponges in our household and she had a laugh out of it because we prohibited all use of these sponges until she understood she could not use those sponges on our stainless steel appliances because scratched appliances look horrible.

She still uses 2 of those sponges a week, just to do the dishes, although we have a dishwasher. At home, they do not have appliances, even less stainless steel ones. Housekeepers should be told how to clean stainless steel appliances.

2.    How to mop a floor

Housekeepers love to clean floors and as long as it smells clean it is clean. They use the soap, instead of putting it in a bucket of water, straight onto the floor and then move the mop or a towel spreading it out until the floor feels clean. Most only have a dirt floor at home.

3.    Cobwebs

Do not look up, just look down. No matter how many cobwebs you might have, the house is clean as long as the floors are clean. Housekeepers just do not realize you need to clean cobwebs once in a while too, so remind them to. At home, they might not have a ceiling and often no floor either.

8 Unusual things housekeepers in Costa Rica do

4.    Asparagus

Never ask your housekeeper to clean your asparagus. She will not only clean the stems, but she will also throw out the tips too. They do not eat asparagus at home, only rice and beans and they add an egg to that once a week.

5.    Cleaning your desk

When the housekeeper cleans your desk, she will either stack everything up or move everything around without any direction. She thinks it does not matter where things are.

I taught her to move everything clockwise so if I cannot find something I just look a little bit to the right. Her husband does not have a desk or a computer so you will have to help her a bit here.

6.    Check the garbage

You need to check the garbage once in a while before she takes it out to the street. You want to make sure the housekeeper sees you when you do so. It is their way of taking things home you do not need. Items like toilet paper, soap, detergent, and even your iPod tend to disappear that way.

And it is not a bad habit to check their bag before they go home once in a while. If you do it openly, straightforward and from the first day it is not seen as an ugly habit by them and it keeps them honest. They feel that you do not need the things you do not use every day, they do need them. And if you have two of them, you do not need the second one.

7.    Christmas time

Most domestic employees in Costa Rica are Nicaraguan. They will ask for more vacation days than they have accumulated, to go to Nicaragua during Christmas time.

Many housekeepers do not come back in the new year at all or several months late. So do not pay them more “Aguinaldo” and vacation days than they deserve. They see responsibility differently than we do and they do not feel they have an obligation to be back at work when they should. If by the time they get back you have found another maid, so be it, they will just find another job.

8 Unusual things housekeepers in Costa Rica do

8.    Close your book

When you stop reading your book, use a bookmarker and do not put it upside down on the page you are at. You will find the book closed without a marker. Maids in Costa Rica rarely read a book.

Our housekeeper has been with us for 5 years now. She is totally honest and though we know she takes home little things once in a while, we are very happy to have her. Perfect maids do not exist. If you have an honest one who works well and listens to your suggestions, try to keep her. Treat her well and pay her right.

If you are just moving to Costa Rica, ask your GoDutch real estate agent to help you find a housekeeper. There is always someone who knows about a housekeeper looking for a job. Be patient and careful. Do not leave money and jewelry lying around, that will be a temptation for them. She is also your way to learn Spanish the easy way, do not expect them to learn English.

If you can come up with even more unusual things housekeepers in Costa Rica do, feel free to post them in the comments. If my system does not cooperate with you to do so, just send me the comments by email. You would be surprised how many newcomers you will help with these comments.

Ready to rent or purchase property in the Central Valley? Then contact us now!

If you like this blog, connect with me on Google+ or subscribe to my newsletter by clicking the banner below.

Click here to subscribe to Ivo's Blog

I DO want to remind our readers that we appreciate any referrals you can send us. Also, when talking about your home in Costa Rica, please remember the GoDutch Realty agents. We appreciate it.

We Love your Referrals at GoDutch Realty

Facebook Comments

Ivo Henfling

If you are looking to buy a home in Costa Rica or invest in a condo anywhere in the central Valley, or looking for any property for sale in Escazu, you need to call me. I have been selling real estate in Escazu for over 20 years and can show you hundreds of happy buyers of real estate in Escazu and other areas. To me, a deal is not a good deal unless both buyer and seller are happy.

Related posts

Why Costa Ricans have two last names instead of one

Estimated Reading Time: 6 Minutes Did you know that Costa Ricans have two last names? When...

Continue reading
Ivo Henfling
by Ivo Henfling

11 Free Apps that will make living in Costa Rica easier

Estimated Reading Time: 10 Minutes Looking for free apps you can use in Costa Rica? If you're a...

Continue reading
Ivo Henfling
by Ivo Henfling

How to dress and live without stress in Costa Rica

Estimated Reading Time: 6 Minutes Costa Ricans still dress quite conservatively in public,...

Continue reading
Ivo Henfling
by Ivo Henfling

2 thoughts on “8 Unusual things housekeepers in Costa Rica do”

  • Robert Svensson

    5 April, 2019 at 1:07 pm

    LOL. From 2012, and not a thing has changed. So accurate!

  • Curtis

    14 June, 2019 at 2:50 pm

    LoL, yeah, I just read this too. I am looking for a housemaid but only twice a month. Don’t want to see them any more than that.


Join The Discussion

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.