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Guide to choosing a commercial cleaning / office cleaning company

Updated on November 30, 2010

Office Cleaning

Office cleaning Arlington Heights, IL
Office cleaning Arlington Heights, IL | Source

Office Cleaning Des Plaines IL

Office cleaning Palatine il
Office cleaning Palatine il | Source

It's not that easy to find the right office cleaning / commercial cleaning company for your commercial building and the process of choosing the right cleaning company may take a lot of your time. In this HUB I will share some tips on what to look for when hiring a cleaning company for your building and how to make sure that you are choosing the right cleaning company from the first time. So, here is my list of DOs and DON'Ts


1) Quote by phone - bad idea. Don't call a cleaning company and ask them for a quote by phone. Of course you can get a ballpark number by phone, but it's much better idea to invite a cleaning company provider to your office and get a specific quote that reflects your individual situation. 

2) Don't rush and don't hide. I know, if you are taking bids from a few companies and you are having a walk-through for the fifth time during the same day it can be very boring and you may want to rush at some point. Don't do that. Make sure a cleaning company sales rep sees every room so he can provide you with a detailed quote. Also, after showing a sales rep your building you can leave him on his own, because he might want to walk around one more time and take additional notes in order to estimate what needs to be done.

3) Compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges. Be specific and tell the sales rep exactly what your needs are. When comparing quotes from different companies don't look at the numbers only because a company that is willing to clean your building at a lower price may just not provide you with the same quantity and quality of services that a company which submitted a higher quote. Another thing that you can do is create your own list of services that need to be done (for example - vacuuming 5 days per week, cleaning restrooms 5 days per week, cleaning refrigerators from inside once per month, cleaning microwaves from inside once a week, cleaning baseboards once a month, burnishing the floor twice per month, cleaning windowsills  once a week etc.) If you create your own specifications and give them to the cleaning companies, than after they submit their proposals to you, you know that their prices reflect exactly what you asked them for and now it's much easier for you to compare their offers.


4) Ask questions. Ask a lot of questions. It's better to ask many questions before hiring than to find many surprises after hiring. Here's my list:

- Are you insured and bonded? Can I see the copy of your insurance certificate?

- Do you have references? Do you clean any other buildings in my area?

- How long have you been in business?

- What sets you apart from your competition?

- Who supplies the equipment and cleaning products? (normally cleaning companies work with their own equipment and chemicals, however customers provide consumables like soap and paper products). However there are some companies that can track, order and deliver consumables to your building at very competitive prices.

- What other services do you provide besides regular cleaning services?

- Are you able to provide emergency cleaning services? There maybe a situation when the pipe breaks or the roof starts leaking and the water gets all over the carpet. Who is going to clean up that mess and how quickly? You should definitely find out that.

- Will there be the same people in my building?

- What kind of quality assurance program do you have in place? How often will your supervisors visit my building? How quickly will you resolve issues if there are any? (The top companies usually resolve issues and complaints withing 24 hours and then report to you by phone or e-mail in order to find out if you are satisfied with the final result).

5) Check references. You can hear many sales reps talking about how good their company is and how they clean hundreds of buildings in the area but you will never know the truth until you pick up the phone and call their references. I suggest calling at least 3 people and asking about how good their cleaning service company is and if they had any issues with them in the past.

6) Think about the future. Even if you are looking for the office cleaning service right now, you may need a window cleaning or carpet cleaning service in three months or so. I don't think that it's the smartest idea to hire company A for window cleaning, company B for tile and grout cleaning floor and company C for your upholstery cleaning. Why not just hire one company that does everything and never think about cleaning again?

7) Read a contract/agreement before signing it.

Oh yes, even if you ignored all the previous steps, you can't miss this one.

Price. Make sure the price in the agreement is the one you discussed before.

Term. If it's a new company I recommend to sign a 1 year contract. If you are satisfied with their services you can sign 2,3-year contract in the future.

Cancellation clause. Sometimes the things don't work out between you and a cleaning service provider and you always want to make sure that you can cancel their services. Usually either party may cancel the agreement by providing 30 days prior written notice to the other party. However some cleaning companies get very tricky (they may say that you can't cancel the agreement or they might charge you for canceling). Read your agreement carefully and make sure that the 30 days cancellation clause is included in your contract.

Local or NATIONAL, BIG or Small???

If you are choosing a commercial cleaning company you will definitely have to choose between a smaller local company and a large national company. Here's some of my thoughts about that. National companies tend to work with many buildings at the same time and very often they don't have time to deal with small individual issues of each customer. So very often their customers complain that national companies don't respond to their phone call and don't reply to the e-mails in time. At the same time it's too risky to hire a very small company. Of course, husband and wife cleaning service will definitely do a good job with attention to details, but what if one of them becomes sick at some point. Who will be cleaning your office then?

My advice is to choose local mid-sized cleaning company. Being local, they can quickly respond to your needs, being mid-sized, they have personnel to send to your office in case some of the employees is sick.

Final word

I hope you found this HUB informative. If you need more information on how to choose a commercial cleaning or office cleaning company feel free to ask me questions in the comment section. Alpha Cleaning Company provides commercial cleaning services to the commercial buildings located in:

Addison, Algonquin, Arlington Heights, Aurora, Bartlett, Barrington, Barrington Hills, Batavia, Bellwood, Bensenville, Berwyn, Bloomingdale, Bolingbrook, Bridgeview, Broadview, Brookfield, Buffalo Grove, Burr Ridge, Carol Stream, Carpentersville, Chicago, Chicago Ridge, Clarendon Hills, Countryside, Crystal Lake, Darien, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Downers Grove, Dundee, East Dundee, Elgin, Elk Grove Village, Elmhurst, Elmwood Park, Evanston, Forest Park, Franklin Park, Geneva, Glencoe, Glen Ellyn, Glendale Heights, Glenview, Hanover Park, Hardwood Heights, Hickory Hills, Highland Park, Highwood, Hillside, Hinsdale, Hoffman Estates, Inverness, Itasca, Justice, La Grange Park, Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Lake in the Hills, Lake Zurich, Lakewood, Lemont, Libertyville, Lincolnshire, Lincolnwood, Lisle, Lockport, Lombard, Long Grove, Maywood, Medinah, Melrose Park, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Mundelein, Naperville, Niles, North Aurora, North Barrington, North Chicago, Northfield, North Riverside, Norridge, Northbrook, Northlake, Oak Brook, Oak Brook Terrace, Oak Lawn, Oak Park, Palatine, Park Ridge, Prospect Heights, River Forest, River Grove, Riverside, Rolling Meadows, Roselle, Rosemont, Round Lake, Round Lake Beach, Saint Charles, Schaumburg, Schiller Park, Skokie, South Barrington, South Elgin, Sticney, Stone Park, Streamwood, Summit, Vernon Hills, Villa Park, Warrenville, Wauconda, West Chicago, West Dundee, Westchester, Westmont, Wheaton, Wheeling, IL, Willowbrook, IL, Windfield, IL, Winnetka, IL, Wood Dale, IL, Woodridge, IL


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      10 years ago

      very informative and comprehensive hub that explains all that you need to consider when choosing a cleaning contractor

      Many thanks



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