Commercial Office Cleaning vs. Janitorial Services:

cleaning wooden floor

What’s the Difference?

Just as “a clean house is a happy house,” a clean office is a productive one. In fact, researchers at Wageningen University in The Netherlands found a direct correlation between clean workspaces and employee job satisfaction and productivity. A well-maintained office also speaks volumes to your customers and clients. Without question, a clean work environment positively impacts company success.

In addition to other environmental factors, such as lighting and ventilation, operating a well-maintained, productive office requires regular commercial office cleaning. Although the terms “janitorial cleaning” and “commercial cleaning” are often used interchangeably, they represent very different levels of cleaning.

In this article, we’ll explore the differences between janitorial cleaning and commercial cleaning. It’s important for business owners and building managers to understand the distinction in order to effectively maintain their office environment.

Janitorial Cleaning

Janitorial services represent the basic level of workplace cleaning. In general, they include a combination of surface cleaning and tidying. Depending on the needs of the business, janitorial cleaning is typically carried out once at the beginning or end of each day or a few times a week.

Some companies maintain an in-house janitorial crew; others hire a professional janitorial service. Although specific tasks vary based on the type of workspace, particular requests, and budgetary factors, the following are common everyday janitorial tasks for an office-based workplace:

General Office Cleaning

● Dust furniture and wipe down as needed

● Rearrange scattered chairs, etc.

● Vacuum carpeting

● Dust-mop uncarpeted floors

● Damp-wipe doors and clean entryway glass

● Tidy entryway and common areas

● Empty trash cans and replace liners

Restroom Cleaning

● Scour and sanitize sinks

● Damp-wipe counters

● Clean and polish bathroom mirrors

● Clean and disinfect toilets

● Restock towels, tissue, and soap

● Empty trash cans and replace liners

● Mop floors

Kitchen and Break Area Cleaning

● Scour and sanitize sinks

● Damp-wipe counters and table-tops

● Spot-clean cabinets and appliances

● Empty trash cans and replace liners

● Restock paper towels and hand soap

● Straighten tables and chairs

● Mop floors

The amount of time each cleaning requires depends on the specific tasks and the square footage being cleaned. The following serves as a rule of thumb for estimating the time commitment for a janitorial-level cleaning:

● Up to 1,000 SF – 1 hour

● 1,000 to 5,000 SF – 1 to 2 hours

● 5,000 to 10,000 SF – 2 to 3 hours

● 10,000 to 20,000 SF – 3 to 5 hours

● 20,000 to 40,000 SF – 5 to 9 hours

Commercial Cleaning

Also called “deep cleaning,” commercial office cleaning is both more intense and less frequent than janitorial cleaning. Depending on the nature of the company’s business, number of employees, etc., commercial cleaning is carried out as often as every two to three months or as far apart as once or twice a year.

While commercial cleaning is done at some workplaces by the in-house janitorial staff, many firms find hiring a professional commercial cleaning service more convenient.

As with janitorial cleaning, specific tasks for commercial cleaning vary based on the type of workspace, particular requests, and budgetary factors. However, the following represent common commercial cleaning tasks for an office-based workplace:

Deep Cleaning: General Office, Restroom, Kitchen, and Common Areas

● Carpet cleaning

● Sweeping, mopping, and polishing uncarpeted floors

● Furniture and upholstery cleaning

● Tile and grout cleaning

● Window washing

● Power washing

Providers and Costs

Most professional cleaning service providers offer both janitorial and commercial cleaning services. You may want to hire out both levels of cleaning or use an in-house crew for janitorial cleaning and a professional service for commercial cleaning.

If hiring a professional service for both levels of cleaning, most business or building managers find it more convenient to work with a single company. Giving all of the business to the same professional provider may also lead to price discounts.

Professional janitorial and commercial cleaning services will ask you to sign a contract for at least one year and often up to three years. The agreement will stipulate the services included, the frequency of services, and the price.

Cleaning frequency directly affects the pricing of services, whether janitorial cleaning or commercial cleaning. For example, a daily janitorial clean will cost more than one-fifth as much as a weekly janitorial clean because it takes nearly as much time and cleaning supplies to carry out the tasks for a single day’s operations as it does to carry out the same functions for a week’s accumulation.

Janitorial Cleaning

Professional janitorial cleaning services usually charge either by the hour or by the square foot of office space. Smaller offices are more likely to be charged by the hour and larger offices by the square footage.

Average janitorial cleaning rates in the United States vary at present from $30.00 to $50.00 per hour or $0.07 to $0.16 per square foot.

Commercial Cleaning

A professional service will typically charge by the square foot for each service provided for commercial cleaning tasks. Average commercial cleaning rates in the United States at present for a sampling of common services include:

● Stripping and Waxing – $0.30 to $0.50 per square foot

● Buffing and Burnishing – $0.04 to $0.12 per square foot

● Ceramic Tile Cleaning – $0.12 to $0.21 per square foot

● Carpet Cleaning – $0.08 to $0.25 per square foot

● Window Cleaning – $2.00 to $5.00 per windowpane

Conclusion

A clean workplace increases employee satisfaction and productivity and makes a good impression on customers and clients. Although the terms “janitorial cleaning” and “commercial cleaning” are used interchangeably, they represent very different levels of cleaning.

Janitorial services include surface cleaning and tidying and take place daily or a few times a week. Commercial office cleaning, or “deep cleaning,” is done as often as every two to three months or as rarely as once or twice a year.

In addition to other factors such as lighting and ventilation, janitorial cleaning and commercial cleaning are both needed to maintain a clean, productive office environment.

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