Most commercial cleaning companies don’t like to talk about cost with their clients. They try to avoid your questions about cost any chance they can and often ‘forget’ to mention hidden fees. In other words, they aren’t that transparent.
But here’s the thing, most people, like you, LIKE to talk about cost. We are all guilty of wanting to know the cost of a product or service before we buy. Because as buyers, cost really influences whether we go ahead with the purchase or not. Whereas sellers, like to talk to us about the value of the product, not how much we will have to pay.
Just recently, one of my team members was discussing what food they needed to buy at the lunchroom table. Whilst they did have a choice between the brands, the ultimate decision came down to cost. This conversation reminded me of a recent purchase I made - buying a vehicle for the fleet. Of course, a car costs more than food, and I did have a lot of options to choose from, but cost really was something that influenced my overall decision.
As a fellow consumer, both in business and personally, we understand that you want to know how much something costs.
As we are a commercial cleaning company, let's answer your pressing questions about the cost of cleaning.
At In-Tec, we are asked on a regular weekly basis by potential customers what the cost of a commercial cleaning service is. Although this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask, it can be difficult to answer as – it depends.
We understand that every client is different and unique, which is why there is no one size fits all answer for determining cost. However, there are a number of different factors that influence cost which we will go over in this article.
Site size and cleaning frequency
A commercial cleaning service can cost anywhere between $50 and $83 an hour direct to the client. I know this is a big range, however bear with me as I will do my best to explain.
To find out where your site might fit in the cost range, I will cover the main 4 factors that can affect the cost.
What factors affect the price of a commercial cleaning service?
Let’s kick things off by looking at a deeper breakdown of the 4 typical factors that drive the cost of commercial cleaning up or down.
Just as you have to pay your own employees, so do we!
To cut to the chase - The full cost for a commercial cleaning company to engage a cleaner is $39.07 per hour.
Is that more than you thought?
Unfortunately, there are cleaning companies out there who underpay their cleaners. When you are looking at hiring a commercial cleaning company, make sure to ask what they pay their employees and whether they abide by the Cleaning Services Award [MA000022].
What is included in this cost? Well, it incorporates their wage, leave entitlements, on-costs, and allowances.
As per the award, there is a minimum number of hours a cleaner must work – the award says it is one hour however most sites need 2 hours allocated. This takes into account travel time, cleaning time, and the unpacking and packing of equipment.
If we take the 2 hours as a guide then, typically, the cleaner will have an hour and a half of cleaning, whilst the other half an hour is allocated for travel time, setting up equipment to be ready to use, and cleaning and packing up the equipment after use.
A good tradesman should have good tools. So, it stands to reason a good cleaner should have good tools too - doesn’t it?
To use another example, in recent times, one way or another, we have all had to experience remote working. In order to do this well, we all needed to make sure we had the right laptop, pad, phone etc to do what we needed to do.
So, it stands to reason that a quality commercial cleaning company, like In-Tec, will provide their cleaners with all the correct and good quality equipment they need to get the job done. All the equipment needed for a site is classed as a setup cost.
Set-up costs can vary from site to site, however, are generally based on 2 things:
1. The size of your site
2. The type of equipment you would like your cleaners to use on-site
In general, set-up costs can range anywhere between $1,500 to over $20,000.
What equipment is typically included in set-up fees? Well, cleaning products such as quality microfibre cloths, microfibre flat mops, commercial-grade battery vacuums, i-mops, cleaners’ trolley, cleaning solutions, and other assorted items e.g., bucket etc.
The equipment and products required to set up your site are determined after a site visit is held. After clarifying the tasks that are required to clean your facility, we will be able to suggest what equipment is needed to set up your site and how much it costs. You will also be able to propose what type of equipment you’d like the cleaners to use.
You may be wondering why we want to have your input into the type of equipment. Well, this is simple to answer. We can suggest things, however it is your site and budget, and to be honest you may just have a preference of what equipment you’d like used.
2. The type of site (e.g. office, industrial, etc.)
3. How many employees you have on-site
4. How clean you want your workspace to be
To state the obvious, the smaller the site, the less time is required to clean. The larger the site, the more time required to clean as there is more square meterage of cleaning to cover.
When it comes to your exact needs, we will work with you to determine what the needs are, however we suggest that the minimum a small site is cleaned is twice a week.
Again, the frequency will be worked through with you, however below are some examples to give you an idea of what we may be talking about.
An industrial complex or manufacturing site may need to be cleaned daily as the site will consistently be dirty due to the nature of the work.
Or, if you work in an office with 40 or more employees, your site may need to be cleaned 5 times a week due to foot traffic, and the amount of waste that would be produced.
We all want to know that someone has our back. You know if something goes wrong (and it can happen more often than we like sometimes), that there is someone to call on.
Support costs include everything that happens in the background. For instance:
Cleaners travelling in company vehicles
They are generally fixed costs for each employee regardless of the hours they work.
You may ask, what is the largest portion of the support needs? It may surprise you to hear that it is the supervision and training. Now it may also surprise you that the less amount of time a site is cleaned, the more training or supervision is needed.
To better explain:
As you can see from the above, supervision costs are included in the support cost. However, the less frequently a cleaner cleans a site (for example twice a week), the more supervision they need which results in higher supervision fees. Huh? Please explain.
Over our many years of experience, we know that a site cleaned twice a week needs more input, be it from the direct cleaner or the supervision needed. The only thing we can see that causes this is that the cleaners can’t get into a routine as they won’t know what to expect. Every clean will most likely have a task that is different as they only visit the site 1 or 2 times a week.
The complete opposite can be said about a site cleaned five days a week. The more frequently a cleaner cleans a site, the more productive they are. They are able to come into the site and know exactly what needs to be cleaned – they have a structure they stick to as they clean the facility regularly.
Of course, in general, the proportion of support costs that are allocated to each employee is consistent, however the supervision and training cost applied for a site cleaned twice a week is higher than a daily cleaned site. These final costs are then divided, using a tried and tested method across the number of hours the site consumes.
So, what is the cost of a commercial cleaning service?
To put it simply, it depends.
Although we can’t give you an exact figure, we can provide you with a range to expect.
The ranges we have offered below take into account all of the 4 factors discussed within this article.
The hourly cost that is used to be able to present you with the fixed service fee for a commercial cleaning service is as follows (direct cost to the client):
For a site that is cleaned 5 times a week with multiple hours per day - $50 to $60 an hour
For a site that is cleaned 3 times a week - $60 to $65 an hour
For a site that is cleaned 2 times a week - $65-83 an hour
Yes, the above is a big price range, however, it is always our best intention to deliver the best service at the most cost-effective price for our clients.