Contract cleaning – your guide to choosing the right contract cleaning service

If you have been considering taking on a contract cleaning service in Europe or the UK you may find the bewildering range of things you need to consider quite stressful. After all, getting the cleaning right and choosing the right contract cleaning service is fundamental to the health and well-being of employees, guests and visitors. Get it wrong and the consequences can be serious. You may end up with your business or brand taking a serious hit.

On the other hand, investing in the right commercial cleaning service can bring a lot of benefits. A top cleaning service will get your cleaning done to a higher standard, in less time and in many cases, for less cost than if your company self-manages it. Recent analysis carried out here at CIE has shown that we can potentially save our customers anywhere up to 25% on their cleaning costs.

In this handy guide to choosing the right contract cleaning service we are taking an in-depth look at the main points to consider when making the move across to commercial contract cleaning services. So let’s get started by looking at some of the key benefits:

choosing the right contract cleaning service will get the job done to a higher standard

Three key benefits of contract cleaning

1. Free up your resources

When you have a range of complex cleaning requirements to consider, regardless of the size of your business it can be quite a headache. Smaller businesses may redirect existing staff resources into cleaning while larger companies recruit their own cleaners. Managing a cleaning crew is really time intensive. You have recruitment and training to consider, plus ongoing supervision. High staff turnover is always a problem especially when you have put a lot of time, money and energy into training your cleaners.

A contract cleaning company can immediately lift all of that responsibility from your shoulders. The contractor will take care of all of the staffing issues, the supervision requirements and the standards of cleanliness. In return, you can redirect your staffing and supervisory resources into the important work of the day to day running and the growth of your business.

2. Improve your finances

When you need to get the most return from your investment in cleaning it is only natural to explore the self-managed route. In our experience, many businesses have found to their cost that self-managed cleaning is a black hole that can swallow a very large chunk of budget. Staffing, cleaning materials and cleaning technology are not cheap.

A commercial cleaning contractor will bear the costs of staff recruitment and training, investment in the latest cleaning technology and the time it takes to ensure the job is done right. Not only that, but with the technology and the experienced cleaning teams already in place, your cleaning will take up less time and be completed to a higher standard.

3. Flexibility

Here at CIE, we make it our business to work closely with customers so we fully understand what they need. We offer an on site cleaning assessment and produce a schedule and a cleaning plan that will work for your business and stay within the budget you have available.

We introduce high levels of flexibility around the depth and frequency of the cleaning process. the time of day that will provide the least disruption, and the particular services you require. We offer a menu of options and allow our customers to chose aspects of our service they need and leave out those they don’t. We understand that businesses and their premises are different. Inflexible one size fits all services often leave the customer picking up the tab for cleaning services they don’t need.

Comparing contract cleaning companies – what to look for

Understanding that choosing the right contract cleaning service can help you avoid potentially costly mistakes, just what is it that you need to consider when working out the right questions to ask? Let’s have a look at this in more detail.

1. Credibility

Dealing with a credible company is a must. You should check that the cleaners you are considering have a checkable record. Here is what you should look for.

2. Experience

While you might consider a long-standing company that has been around for years a priority, it might not always be the deciding factor. Of course you want a cleaning contractor that knows what they are doing and that comes with experience. But do they have experience that is relevant to your particular needs?

As a typical example lets take a food factory. Food factory cleaning is a specialist area of cleaning that needs a company with the experience and the technology. A food factory has a high contamination risk and should be free of germs and bacteria at all times.

Does the commercial cleaning company have the right experience for your special cleaning requirements? Are they already providing a similar service for other customers in your industry? The last thing you need is to fall foul of hygiene legislation through no fault of your own.

There are many other aspects of commercial cleaning that would require the right levels of experience. Medical and care establishments, commercial kitchens and deep cleaning to prevent the spread of viral infections are some typical examples. These require a special type of experience that a company specialising in office cleaning might not have.

3. Consistency

How consistently a cleaning company performs is very dependent on staffing. You want to know that once a cleaning team has been assigned and becomes familiar with your premises, the same personnel are going to turn up for every session. Your chosen cleaning contractor should produce consistently high standards

There are many reasons why you would not want to see the cleaning teams changing constantly with people you are not familiar with coming and going. There are issues around job performance and safety and security that you simply do not need.

4. Investment in Technology

Most good contract cleaners are prepared to make the investment in technology and machinery that not only produces better standards in less time, but also takes care of the high value equipment on your premises.

Using low moisture steam cleaning, fogging, UV cleaning and other modern cleaning procedures can produce optimal results on sensitive electronics like computers and monitors as well as lessen the amount of chemicals used.

5. Flexibility

Is the cleaning contractor you are considering prepared to develop a schedule that suits your business? Top cleaning companies work to a 24 hour clock and can adapt to the course of action that keeps disruption to a minimum.

Do they have cleaning teams available night and day and are they prepared to adapt the schedule to suit the changing needs of your business? A cleaning company that attempts to dictate the schedule or offers limited hours services may not always be the most suitable for a long-term business relationship.

One more thing to look out for is flexibility in the services provided. Perhaps you need regular daily cleaning services backed up by an occasional deep clean or have solar panels and windows that need cleaning once a week. Does the cleaning company you are considering have the scope to provide multiple services?

6. Environmental Awareness

In our guide to green cleaning we made the case for the cleaning industry to step up its contribution to improving the environment, reducing plastic waste and eliminating the use of potentially harmful chemicals in cleaning products that then escape into waterways and the atmosphere.

Commercial cleaning companies in Europe have a moral as well as a statutory obligation to adopt greener cleaning practices. Something that responsible companies should ask about when choosing a cleaning contractor.

7. Cleaning Supplies and Equipment

Commercial contract cleaners buy in their own supplies and supply their own equipment. Many cleaning products have specific storage conditions. The technology and equipment used may also need a specific cleaning product to perform at its best. If a cleaning contractor asks you to supply cleaning products or equipment, you should consider this a red flag.

Many cleaning companies will offer to use their own buying power to take over management of your janitorial supplies. You get high quality stock, reduced prices and lose the headache of making sure you always have the cleaning and sanitation products on-site.

8. Honesty and Integrity

When you take on a cleaning contractor it is often the case that you are allowing them almost unfettered access to your business and business premises. Cleaning companies are often active at times when there are few people around.

Establishing that a cleaning contractor has a rigorous recruitment policy is always a good move. You need to know that the cleaners coming into your business have been background checked and vetted for a criminal record. Look at ongoing supervision and inspection procedures for maintaining consistently high standards.

A good cleaning company should be able to answer your questions about staffing and also be able to produce a policy on key holding, access codes and entry cards. When you allow contractors into your premises at any time of day or night, you need to be confident about the ongoing security of your building. You need to know that your cleaning company takes your security seriously.

This type of integrity applies not just to the potential for theft of stock and equipment, but also the ongoing protection of confidential information, records and data.

9. Communication and Customer Service

Contracting is a two way relationship and a good commercial cleaning company will be flexible, customer focused and easy to communicate with. From the outset a good cleaning contractor will offer workplace cleaning assessments aimed at producing a cleaning plan and a schedule that meets your specific needs.

Check that the company assigns you a single point of contact at supervisory or managerial level and that there is someone available night and day that you can speak to if things go wrong.

Make sure that there is a contact number that is manned by a representative of the company. Messaging systems and online forms have their place but are not ideal when a rapid response is needed.

Ask questions about the reporting procedure. What measures does the contractor have in place to give you regular update. You need to know what they are doing and where, when and why they are doing it. Good companies give great customer service!


CIE is an international contract cleaning company providing a comprehensive range of contract cleaning services to our clients. With local offices in towns and cities across the UK and throughout Europe we make choosing the right contract cleaning service easier. Why not get in touch for a free cleaning assessment and find out what we can do for you?