The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide to Commercial Cleaning
Did you know that the cleaning industry is expected to grow by 11% annually until 2028?
This is great news for companies and offices looking to hire commercial cleaners. Not only do you have dozens of choices, but you’ll be able to find services that fit your needs and budget.
But choosing the right commercial cleaning service involves more than picking the first company you find. They may not have the right services, forcing you to hire multiple cleaners. Even worse, you could end up in a contract you can’t get out of for the next year.
Thankfully, choosing the right commercial cleaners is easy once you know what to look for. Below, we’ll discuss which tasks commercial cleaners can do, how much you should expect to pay, and more. Keep reading for everything you need to know!
What Tasks Do Commercial Cleaners Do?
Commercial cleaning companies service all sorts of buildings. These include offices, churches, banks, and schools. Some cleaners also tackle larger areas like stadiums, hospitals, and event centers.
Basic commercial cleaning tasks include:
- Mopping floors
- Sanitizing washrooms
- Restocking paper and soap
- Emptying garbage cans
- Cleaning glass and windows
Some commercial cleaning companies only offer basic services. Others offer more labor-intensive services like deep cleaning. Additional services can be a one-time add-on or be included in your contract as regular tasks.
Special cleaning tasks include:
- Carpet cleaning
- Upholstery cleaning
- Buffing floors
- Window washing
- Sanitizing fixtures
- Removing tile grout
- Exterior cleaning like pressure washing
Keep in mind that you can hire cleaners to come once a week for basic cleaning tasks and once a month for heavy-duty tasks. The frequency for both will depend on how many employees you have and how dirty your workspace gets.
Commercial Cleaning vs Residential Cleaning
Some businesses are tempted to hire residential cleaners because they tend to be cheaper. These are never a substitute for commercial cleaning.
First of all, commercial cleaners have different equipment than residential cleaners do. This includes commercial vacuums. These are better at trapping dirt, reducing allergens, and even extending the life of your floors.
Commercial cleaners also know to sanitize frequent touchpoints, including:
- Light switches
- Computer equipment, such as keyboards
- Microwaves and kettles
Many commercial cleaners are also trained to identify hazardous waste. Unlike residential cleaners, commercial cleaners know how to clean up, transport, and dispose of chemicals and other dangerous waste.
If you work in a healthcare-related field, then you’ll have stricter cleaning protocols to follow. Cleaners experienced in healthcare know the proper sanitization procedures. They also know how to clean up hazardous materials like bodily fluids.
Another huge benefit of hiring commercial cleaners is that they often spot red flags before you do. These include pest infestations and mold. Catching these issues early can save you hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars in the long run.
Before You Start Your Search
Before you start looking for commercial cleaners, you need to understand your needs.
For example, are you a law firm that needs office cleaning? Or are you a dental office that needs janitorial services that specialize in sanitization?
First, make a list of the cleaning services you need. Then, decide how often you need each service done. If you’re not sure, track how dirty your workspace gets and take note of which weekly tasks are essential.
For example, you may need someone to come in and vacuum, mop, and replenish supplies once a week. Once a month, you may want someone to deep clean the carpets and wash the windows.
Cleaning frequency will also depend on how many employees you have and how big your space is. A business with only a handful of employees usually needs cleaning less often than one with hundreds of employees.
The exception to this is businesses that come into contact with bodily fluids or hazardous chemicals. This includes health/diagnostic labs and medical offices. It also includes places like tattoo parlors and restaurants, which are subject to strict inspections and protocols.
These businesses may need comprehensive cleaning each time the cleaners arrive, which could be weekly.
What to Consider When Deciding Between Cleaners
Once you know what cleaning services you need, it’s time to start looking for the right company.
The first step is to check out companies that offer the services you’re looking for. You can do this by checking Google Maps or looking through local directories.
Another way to find commercial cleaners is to ask other businesses in your area for recommendations.
Create a list of up to 5-10 commercial cleaners. This list gives you enough choices without being overwhelming. Wait to number the list until you’ve done a bit more research on each company.
Keep in mind that you might take some companies off your list pretty quickly, as they may not offer the services you need. Once your list is ready, it’s time to start comparing companies.
When you’re looking at a company’s expertise, you want to examine two things: employee experience and company experience.
Go to each commercial cleaner’s website and see how long they’ve been in business. If the company has been around for 5 years or more, it shows they have a track record of success.
However, this doesn’t mean that the workers they send over will be experienced. To get the best value for your money, don’t be afraid to call the company. Ask them how experienced their workers are and what kind of training they get.
Finally, check the company’s website for their cleaning specialties. You can contact them to ask if they have specific expertise for your type of business. Remember that even a top-rated cleaner may not be the right choice for you if they can’t fulfill your exact needs (such as sanitization).
The next thing you need to consider is each company’s schedule. Do they only operate during the day or morning? Or can they send cleaners at night when all your customers are gone?
For example, many offices (like law and accounting) have cleaners come in after 5 or 6 when everybody’s gone. Some places, like walk-in clinics with extended hours, have cleaners come around 10 or 11 pm.
If you or your employees have inconsistent work hours or often deal with emergencies, it’s best to get cleaners that are flexible. Check how late you can cancel or reschedule and whether there is a penalty for doing so.
Bonding and Insurance
Before you sign any contracts, you need to check if the cleaning company is bonded and insured. This is vital for protecting you financially if something goes wrong during cleaning.
A bond is a type of insurance that protects you from dishonest or criminal acts while the cleaner is in your place of business. An example would be if a cleaner steals something.
Insurance protects you if the cleaners cause an accident while they’re working at your business. For example, they may forget to lock up when they’re done, resulting in a burglary later that evening.
You also need to check if the company has its own worker’s compensation insurance. This protects you if the cleaners get injured while on your property.
You can get a copy of the company’s bond and call their insurance agent. Be sure that the insurance policies are in effect and that the coverage limits are high enough. If you’re not sure, always consult a lawyer to discuss your specific situation.
Reviews and Testimonials
The best commercial cleaners will have positive reviews and be highly rated by their customers. Remember that no company is perfect, so you’re bound to see some negative reviews. But if they’re minor complaints (such as one instance where the glass was streaky), you can always instruct the company to pay extra attention.
Red flags include unresponsiveness, unclear pricing, lack of proper tools, and lack of proper insurance.
If you’re happy with a company’s reviews, contact them and ask for testimonials. This way, you can interview previous happy customers about their experience and ask any questions that the reviews didn’t answer.
You should also check to see if the company is certified by the Better Business Bureau. This means that the company has a good track record with its customers.
Payments and Contracts
When you’re considering commercial cleaners, it’s also important to look at the company’s policies.
For example, some commercial cleaners require that you sign a contract. Others may have a minimum number of hours that you must book. This information should be listed clearly on the company’s website.
It’s important to understand all of the terms and conditions before you agree to work with a particular company. If you need to, you can take your contract to your lawyer.
A few things to look for in the cleaning contract include:
- When the services expire
- The exact cleaning duties and when they will be done
- How often they’ll do specialized tasks
- Payment structure (hourly, per visit, etc.)
Be sure to pay attention to the cancellation period. It’s best practice not to commit to more than a 30-day cancellation. This way, you give the company enough time to see if they’re right for you without spending on months of service you don’t want.
Some commercial cleaners may offer green cleaning services. This involves using eco-friendly products and methods to clean your office or commercial space.
Many traditional cleaning products have environmental and health risks. These include eye or skin irritants, pollution, and chemicals in the air that can cause headaches and even asthma.
Green cleaning products are often non-toxic, free of dyes or chlorine, and have natural fragrances. While they’re great for people with health conditions, you have to consider if they’re strong enough for the level of sanitization you need.
Green cleaning is becoming increasingly popular as more companies reduce their environmental impact. Keep in mind that you may have to pay more for green cleaning because the products tend to be more expensive.
Large vs Small Cleaning Companies
Hiring a cleaner is an investment, so you want to be sure that you’re getting the best possible value for your money.
You may think that a large cleaning company is the best option because they have more resources. But sometimes, it’s better to go with a smaller company. They often provide personalized service and can be more flexible with their scheduling.
The size of the company may also affect how quickly it can respond to your needs. Mid-sized, local companies often have enough staff to send someone out if there’s an emergency.
A large company, meanwhile, may not consider you a priority if you don’t have a large account with them.
How Much Should You Expect to Pay?
Commercial cleaners charge per hour or per square foot. Most companies charge per square foot, but the price range varies depending on the type of business you have and what you need to be cleaned.
Some of the factors that can impact commercial cleaner costs include:
- The type of space (e.g. medical office, restaurant)
- Number of windows and bathrooms
- Extra services (like cleaning appliances)
- Frequency of cleaning
- Size of space (in square feet)
For example, office cleaning costs range from $0.09 to $0.17 per square foot. This equates to between $52-$113 per hour. Our pricing calculator can help you determine what the monthly cost will be for your business.
Remember to add any extra or deep-cleaning services to your monthly commercial cleaning budget, even if you don’t need them weekly. You also want to ask the cleaning company if they charge more for weekends and holidays.
Choose the Right Commercial Cleaning Services Today
Commercial cleaning can be a huge investment, but it’s important to remember that the benefits outweigh the costs.
Take your search one step at a time. Remember that making a decision isn’t so overwhelming when you know what you need, what to look for, and which factors impact your costs.
And to find the right company, you’ll love Price It Here’s a buyer’s guide.
From cleaning services to other B2B purchases, our guides make it easy to compare prices and solutions that are right for you. Check out our buyer’s guide today!