All cleaning companies are the same, right? Well, not quite. Salesmen try to convince companies that they have the best cleaning company on the market and go to great lengths to make them look like the best candidate.
Ultimately, it comes down to the people cleaning your building. Do they have an extensive commercial cleaning background? Are they familiar with what to do and who to contact when emergencies happen?
Most commercial cleaning companies hire employees with little or no background in cleaning and attempt to teach them the tricks of the trade in a couple of weeks. Hiring employees with little to no experience results in lower wages and more profit for the cleaning company. However, many areas will never be taught to the employee. Here are some common areas that most office cleaning companies /commercial-cleaning miss when cleaning offices.
Men’s bathrooms normally have a reputation for foul odors. Most commercial cleaning companies will clean the mirrors, counter tops, polish chrome accents, wipe down the toilets, and disinfect the front of the urinals. When the smells persist, they resort to other measures, like urinal cakes or toilet deodorizes. If you can still smell urine after these items have been installed, chances are that the janitors are not cleaning the flat surface directly under the curve at the base of the toilet? Why aren’t they being cleaned? Because the janitors simply can’t see them. I toured a building recently with this issue and used a razor to scrape off about 1/8″ of dried, caked up urine from the bottom of the urinal. The smell from the bathroom greatly improved overnight. Even janitors with years of experience are prone to miss this area, but they should all be aware of it. And the good ones will clean it and maintain it.
Most large office buildings have elevators and these elevators are generally used heavily. Contracts typically specify that the elevators are to be cleaned each night, but the tracks typically get skipped. Although very easy to clean, most janitors will skip cleaning these tracks because they don’t notice the amount of debris in them or they fear the loud buzzing sound the elevator makes when the doors are held open too long. Cleaning elevator tracks typically involves spraying degreaser directly onto the track, then wiping side to side until the stains are gone. Most commercial cleaners are either unaware, or unwilling, to clean this very simple area.
Most office buildings have break rooms, which in turn have microwaves. Many times the outside of the microwave is simply wiped off, but the inside is skipped. Why? Many janitors feel that cleaning the interior of the microwave encourages workers not to cover their food, thereby causing more food buildup. Cleaning the inside of microwaves is very easy, if you know the trick of the trade. Fill up a coffee mug with water and heat it up for about 2 minutes. Remove the mug, then use a degreaser/disinfectant to wipe out the microwave. Heating up the water rehydrates the food particles left in the microwave, which makes it easy to clean.
Bathrooms seem to be the source of most office cleaning complaints. Even if the bathrooms are being cleaned properly, many janitors forget to dust the tops of the bathroom stalls. If these areas are not maintained regularly, an accumulation of dust will occur, causing extra dust to circulate throughout the bathroom. Make sure to check the tops of the stalls in the bathroom for excessive dust.
Ask lots of questions of any company bidding your cleaning services. Tell them you want to know the background and other offices that the new janitor has cleaned. Check the references from the actual janitor, as well as the commercial cleaning company, before you decide on the right cleaning company to clean your office.
Many commercial cleaning companies fail to clean overhead vents because they simply can’t reach them. Ceiling vents tend to collect small particles of dust over time. However, when not properly maintained, these vents can collect large amounts of dust, which get redistributed throughout the office. When neglected, like the ones in the pictures below, the tendency is to use an extension duster. Using an extension duster on extremely dusty vents will cause the dust to separate from the vent, but the dust can stay suspended for hours, so a return visit to re-dust the entire room will be required.