Business Cleaning Services

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So, you’ve heard that setting up a Business Cleaning Service is a great line of business to get into. This article looks at the kind of cleaning jobs we refer to as “business cleaning”. It lists equipment you will need and ways to organize your work. Finally, it describes how to charge for jobs and how to get clients. 

As you can imagine, businesses come in many shapes and sizes. Cleaning some businesses requires special equipment and skills. 

Different Kinds of Business Cleaning Services

There are many different kinds of business cleaning jobs. Here are three examples:

Cleaning a business office is relatively light work. Common tasks are cleaning and tidying public areas, dusting, emptying trash, vacuuming and washing floors, cleaning and sanitizing eating areas and washrooms.

Cleaning a restaurant involves cleaning seven different areas. There is the entrance, the commercial kitchen, the food storage area, walk-in freezers, the public seating area, the office and the washrooms.

Floor areas may be carpeted or have linoleum, vinyl or ceramic tile.  Cleaning and sanitizing a commercial kitchen is quite different from cleaning an office.

Cleaning a factory is considered industrial cleaning. This kind of business cleaning can involve working around hazardous equipment or at dangerous heights while work goes on 24 hours a day. You may need extra training and certification to do this kind of cleaning.

What equipment will I need?

Here’s a basic list of equipment and supplies you will need:


– Floor signs (e.g. Closed for Cleaning / Caution / Wet floor)

– Mop and bucket

– Steam cleaner

– Feather duster/swiffers

– Toilet brush 

– Broom 

– Stand-up dustpan and brush 

– Dry mop

– Vacuum cleaner with attachments

– Rotary floor scrubbing buffers

– High speed floor burnisher

– Carpet cleaner

– Janitorial cleaning cart with several shelves and a reusable vinyl bag


– Rubber or latex gloves

– Face masks

– Disinfectant cleaner

– Disinfectant wipes

– Garbage bags

– Carpet cleaning chemicals 

– Soft scrub for sinks

– SOS pads

– Rags

– Paper towels

– Cleaner for laminate tabletops 

– Furniture polish

– Window cleaner

– Toilet bowl cleaner

Some clients may ask you to use specific products, for example “green products”. As a result, you might need different cleaning supplies for each customer. 

Organize Your Work

Organize your cleaning by scheduling tasks daily, weekly, monthly or less often. 

Daily tasks:

– Clean up paper and debris on the floor 

– Tidy and clean public areas 

– Empty trash cans, wash as needed (including the lid) and replace garbage bags 

– Clean and disinfect door handles, railings and around light switches

– Vacuum or wash the floor 

– Clean up spots and stains on walls, carpets, floors and furniture

– Clean and disinfect washrooms

– Restock washroom supplies (toilet paper, soap, hand towels, facial tissues if provided)

– Clean mirrors; clean and sanitize sinks, faucets, fixtures, dispensers and hand dryers

– Sweep and mop washroom floor

– Polish bright surfaces in elevators; vacuum or mop floor in elevator

– Disinfect railings in stairways.

Weekly tasks:

– Empty recycling bins

– Dust and disinfect surfaces, desks, ledges and shelves

– Dust heating vents, door jambs and windowsills

– Clean all indoor glass doors

– Wet mop all hard floor surfaces

– Vacuum carpets, including mats and runners.

Monthly tasks:

– Vacuum fabric furniture

– Polish wood furniture

– Dust fans and lights

– Clean behind furniture

– Clean windows with window cleaner

Semi-annual tasks:

Two or three times a year, your client may want you to:

– Strip and recoat tiled floors

– Deep clean soiled areas of carpets

– Clean upholstery

How much can I charge for Business Cleaning Services?

The amount you can charge depends on the type of business you will be cleaning. You can charge more for industrial cleaning than for cleaning an office or store. 

New clients may ask to see your cleaning services price list. With all new clients, visit the site first to find out what the cleaning job will entail before giving an estimate.

How often do they want you to clean? What tasks will you be doing? How often does the client want the building disinfected over and above regular cleaning? Should you clean the office desks if there are papers on them? Discuss with the client any concerns about confidentiality. 

Calculate your costs for the job (labour, supplies, travel) and include part of your marketing costs. Then add how much profit you want to achieve on the job.

Check out your competition and find out what they charge for the services you want to provide. You may charge less to attract new clients. Or you may charge more if you can offer higher quality services or extra services that your competition is not providing.

You can use one of the following ways to charge for your services:

  1. Hourly rate – Business cleaning services charge about $35 to $50 per hour to clean an area less than 2000 square feet. 
  1. Flat monthly or yearly rate for ongoing cleaning jobs. These rates are lower because you don’t need to spend money on advertising for new clients. The client pays monthly for your services. 
  1. Number and type of cleaning tasks – When visiting the site, write down the various cleaning tasks you will be doing and how often. To estimate the time it will take to do the entire cleaning job, do some easy math. Multiply the number of times you would do each task by the length of time it takes you to do the task. 
  1. Square foot rate – For larger areas, many cleaning companies charge a square foot rate. These rates run from $0.15 – $0.40 for daily cleaning of areas between 3500 and 7000 square feet. 

How do I get clients for my Business Cleaning Service?

A good way to get clients is by purchasing a cleaning contract. One benefit to getting clients this way is that you do not need to do any advertising to start up your business.   

Other ways to get clients are by purchasing an existing business, buying a cleaning franchise or starting your own business. The pros and cons of all of these are discussed at 

Business cleaning presents a large field of opportunity. As in any field, it’s best to get some experience working in the field before starting your business. This will help you decide what kind of business cleaning service you prefer.

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