There were 2.3 million cleaning and janitorial jobs as of 2016. The sector has an anticipated growth of 10 percent by 2026. This presents an amazing opportunity for prospective entrepreneurs. Cleaning services require little or no skilled labor.
Cleaning equipment and supplies are also simple. A mop, bucket and some cleaning rags are often all you need to begin. Your major start-up costs are in marketing and legal compliance.
If you are just getting started, here are some basic supplies and a list of cleaning products recommended by experts for your business. This list isn’t all-inclusive. Be sure to customize it to your clients.
What Are You Cleaning?
Homes, offices, restaurants or daycare centers? Each type of customer has unique requirements. Will you clean patios or windows?
For a home cleaning business, your list of cleaning supplies is short and basic.
• 2 divided organizers for chemicals and supplies
• Trigger sprayers
• No-scratch scrub pads
• Mini brush or toothbrushes
• Plastic scraper
• Microfiber cloths (color code for bathroom, kitchen and other)
• Microfiber scrubbers (shower doors and glass, cabinet fronts)
• Microfiber dusters (and extendable handles)
• Microfiber glass cloths
• Pumice stick (or other toilet ring remover)
• Microfiber mop heads (color code for bathroom, wood floors, marble)
• Microfiber dust mop
• Melamine sponges
• Disposable toilet brush
• Bags to segregate dirty/wet cloths and mop heads
• Trash bags
• Knee pads, apron, shoe covers, gloves, and dust masks
• Vacuum cleaner for carpets, floors, and stairs (a backpack is a good investment)
You may ask your clients to provide some or all of your tools. Most customers expect you to bring at least some of your supplies.
If you are cleaning windows, a telescopic brush and squeegee are a must. There are lamb fleece or microfiber buffers for a sparkling shine. Rubber boots, deck brush, and floor squeegee are tools if you plan on outdoor cleaning.
Consider a pressure washer if your clients have lots of outdoor cleaning to do. A pressure washer makes quick work of concrete stains, dirty plastic chairs, and decks. A professional model pressure washer can increase productivity several times over.
List of Cleaning Products- Chemicals
Choose the chemicals you are comfortable using. In general, professional supplies are less expensive and more effective than most grocery store brands. You will find a good selection of organic and non-toxic solutions, too.
Alternatively, you can blend your cleaning solutions from common household materials like dishwashing soap, vinegar, baking soda, etc. You may find they work as well as ready-made cleaning chemicals.
Make sure you do not blend anything containing bleach with anything containing ammonia. A dangerous chemical reaction will result.
Your chemical arsenal should contain:
- pH neutral floor and all-purpose cleaner
- Hard surface disinfectant (bleach or other effective solution)
- Glass cleaner
- Soap scum remover
- No-scratch scouring powder or cream
- Toilet bowl cleaner
- Hard water build-up remover (if in a hard water area)
Spray bottles hold most of these chemicals. Label all of your bottles and carry safety data sheets.
Your clients may demand certain types of cleaning chemicals. A restaurant might ask for cleaning chemicals with no scent, for example. People concerned with water runoff may ask if your pressure washing supplies contain detergent or bleach.
Professional chemicals are sold with full disclosure of their active ingredients and correct use. California and New York require these disclosures to customers beginning in 2019. Other states are sure to follow.
Depending on your particular clients, you may need to adjust your cleaning solutions. Cleaning parquet flooring is different than Carrera marble. A pH neutral solution is fine for both surfaces, but a specialized cleaner and polish might be needed to make it sparkle.
After-hours cleaning of office buildings, restaurants, and other public spaces is a niche worth exploring. While employees maintain cleanliness during working hours, deep cleaning and sanitizing happen after hours. For example, after everyone in a restaurant has gone home, a crew with a steam pressure wand comes in and degreases the kitchen ceiling to floor.
They also do a deep clean of the restrooms, behind and under bars and even the trash cans. A crew digs into the front of the house and cleans the corners, the table and chair legs, and polishes every mirror.
Office buildings tend to be easier to clean than restaurants, but speed and work quality count. Work crews in business settings have very limited time to work. Security constraints make some offices more difficult than others.
Daycare cleaning is already mentioned, as is restaurant cleaning. There are even cleaning services dedicated to just boats or just public restrooms. Cleaning up after hoarders has a reality show.
If you have a scientific background, hazardous materials cleanup might be for you. Illegal drug labs need special attention before they can return to duty as homes or businesses. Dangerous black mold cleanup is a similar specialty.
Most famous are the special cleaners dedicated to crime scenes. Made famous by shows like CSI, these dedicated entrepreneurs work with biohazards like no one else. Youtube, Reddit, and cable television are full of videos of professionals at work.
Start Small and Simple
What other business can start with just yourself and a list of cleaning products? A better question is what other business could you start tomorrow with just yourself, no car, no money, and no experience?
Cleaning is a service that never runs out of growth potential. House cleaning is only one facet of the industry. There are several specialties that have a great upward trajectory.
You can always begin with something low-key and acquire equipment like pressure washers, floor polishers or even a ride-on vacuum as your business grows. You can choose to go organic and natural, use only professional chemicals or use retail brands.
Did you like this article? Keep reading this blog for more business startup ideas.