For the uninitiated, starting a small janitorial service seems quite easy with low overhead and no need for costly equipment. You might say, “Commercial cleaners use the equipment the client provides on site, right?” Wrong.
The best way to keep clients and staff happy is to have a well-supplied equipment pool that can be used on any of your contracts. Here are the 10 most essential items you should own yourself:
1. An excellent (and we do mean EXCELLENT) vacuum.
The absolute worst thing for a cleaner is to pass a heavy, clunky machine multiple times over the same spot trying to get that staple out of the carpet. Poorly functioning vacuums are a waste of time and energy.
If your client does not have a good one, find one that is light enough to transport easily, but with the kind of suction that makes the floors the quickest part of your job.
2. Poles of varying lengths with attachment points.
You never know when you will need to swab a spot off a high wall or ceiling, or reach a ledge in a stairwell for dusting. Collapsible poles are super useful, and can be obtained easily at cleaning supply stores or home improvement outlets.
3. Microfiber cloths.
Gone are the days when cleaners satisfied themselves with old ripped up t-shirts to clean! Mirrors and door glass can be done with only a damp cloth, and then the cloth can be used on counters and high touch points.
4. Vacuum nozzle attachments.
Very few businesses with a vacuum on site will have any attachments which help with those corners or edges near the baseboard, but they will complain if they get noticeably dusty. Have a tray of nozzles (some can even be obtained that allow you to reach around columns or obstacles!)
That can be attached to any vacuum for a quick touch up of those hard to reach areas.
5. Refillable spray bottles.
Even if your client prefers to choose their own cleaning products, you may have need of something unusual once in a while. For instance, a bottle with vinegar and water can get stubborn water stains off stainless steel appliances or kick plates.
Everyone has their own favorite, but everyone needs on that can be attached to a pole (see #2!) so that those high cobwebs or dust bunnies can be brought down.
7. The lowly toothbrush.
It’s always when you don’t have one handy that you realize you need it.
8. Magic Erasers, or a similar product.
Smudges and marks on walls, as well as stubborn grime can really waste your time without one of these on hand!
9. Plastic edge scraper.
Think putty knife, but plastic, to remove stuck on bits with no scratches!
10. A Multi-tool.
Cleaners will often need to make little adjustments of their equipment on the fly. A multi-tool is lighter than a tool kit, and will help with most of those loose screws and over-tightened connections you may encounter.