Anyone looking to start their own cleaning business needs the right cleaning equipment. This can make the difference for a successful enterprise. Owning a cleaning company is more than buying a few sponges, a mop, and a bottle of bleach.
You need the right tools, the right array of supplies and cleaners, and equipment. You also need to know how to use it all and when. Some of it is common sense, but a lot is the knowledge you acquire over time.
Read on for a comprehensive guide on all the cleaning equipment you need to start your business.
You Need the Right Tools
One thing is for sure; you won’t get very far opening a cleaning business without the requisite tools. You might think it’s common sense, but these go beyond your standard sponge. You’ll need a full arsenal of tools, some of which include:
- Wall Scrubbers
- Bathroom Brushes
- Spritzer Bottles
- Rags and micro-fiber towels
Not only do you need these, but you need the right types for the right job. For example, you can’t use the same rags for the kitchen counters that you used for the bathroom. You need a set of equipment for each area of a home and use the right tools for the job.
Tools for the Bathroom
There are a few standard tools you’ll want to set aside for cleaning bathrooms. First off, you’ll want a dedicated sponge for the sink, countertops, and glass. Use a different sponge for the toilet and bathtub or shower.
You’ll need different techniques and chemicals in each area. You’ll likely use harsher chemicals on a porcelain toilet bowl than on a countertop. This is especially the case if the countertop is an expensive or sensitive material.
We’ll get into the different chemicals and supplies later. That said, the same principle applies to the entire bathroom. Don’t use the bleach-soaked toilet sponge on the mirrors or marble counters.
You’ll want a scrubber to clean grime off of bathroom tiles, and a different scrubber for the toilet. The combo of sponge and toilet scrubber might sound like overkill, but you’ll need it. It’s a good idea to keep a sanitary rage for wall spot cleaning.
Spritzers or spray bottles will also be a necessity. You’ll want a variety to fit harsher and more gentle chemicals into your routine based on the job. A squeegee, mop, and bucket will also be crucial.
It’s important to finish cleaning all the walls, shelves, counters, tub, and toilet before you do the floor. Use a clean or sanitized mop or something similar with a healthy dose of cleaning chemicals. Whatever you do, don’t use the bathroom tools outside the bathroom.
Keep a different set or sanitize before moving on.
A Note on Living Areas, Kitchens, and Bedrooms
The bathroom is the dirtiest part of a home or building but by no means the only one. Kitchens can get extra gross, so you want to keep a separate set of tools or sanitize religiously. It’s also a good idea to do the kitchen before you do the bathroom.
This is to minimize chemical contamination and dangerous bacteria near places people eat. When cleaning kitchens, you’ll want to be super throughout to get behind appliances. A hand duster and another flexible one on a pole will let you reach difficult areas.
You’ll want a broom, dustpan, and rag to knock all the loose stuff onto the floor. It’s a good idea to have a mask and gloves with you, especially since you stand a good chance of seeing mold. Since kitchens aren’t always made of tough materials, it’s worth having a set of tools that are gentler.
Avoid using only abrasive sponges or scrubbers in kitchens, and use lighter chemicals. When it comes to living areas and bedrooms, the same is true for furniture. Most of the time, you’ll need rags and dusters to clean couches and chairs.
One thing to be careful about, no matter where you clean, is to get all the dust. It hides in nooks and crannies, so you need to come prepared. You’ll need an adjustable duster and a versatile mop or squeegee to sneak into areas you can’t move.
Get All the Necessary Cleaning Supplies
Once you’ve established all of your small tools and cleaning equipment, you’ll need an armory of supplies. Some of this will include the basics, like cleaning chemicals and cleaners. You’ll also need bags, gloves, masks, and disposable refills.
A sample list would look like this:
- Bleach and other disinfectants
- Multi-purpose cleaners
- Glass cleaners
- Disposable gloves
- Garbage Bags
- Duster and mop refills (if non-traditional)
- Floor cleaner
- Face masks and cartridges
- Heavy-duty gloves
- Eco-friendly or gentle cleaners
Aside from refills, bags, and gloves, you’ll notice many different cleaning chemicals. Although most multi-purpose cleaners claim to get the job done, it’s good to come prepared. Some clients are picky, and some surfaces are stubborn or sensitive.
Heavy versus Gentle Cleaners
Going straight for heavy cleaners like bleach can work well in bathrooms. That said, it can also end in disaster. Some surfaces don’t play nice with bleach, and you should never use it on anything porous.
Depending on how strong the chemical is, it can fade or outright strip wood. The last thing you want is causing damage to the surfaces you’re meant to be cleaning. Needless to say, using those chemicals on fabric or leather couches is also a huge no-no.
It pays to have a gentle or eco-friendly alternative. Sometimes people have allergies or skin sensitivities to other cleaners. If the stain or spot is simple enough, even some hand soap and a rag will do the trick.
The most important thing is to not over-rely on anything claiming to be “all-purpose.” It’s a great way to waste time, damage a surface, or give yourself a headache. Plenty of green alternatives these days are more effective than you think.
These range from old-wives tails like lemon juice and vinegar to non-toxic commercial cleaners. Going light as safe is also great for homes with pets or small children.
Using the Right Cleaners
It’s also worth noting that certain cleaners have labels for a reason. Glass cleaner is for glass, and tile for tile. A versatile arsenal will have something for wood and another for fabric.
If you aren’t sure if a general-purpose cleaner can work on a given surface, always double-check. A few moments spent reading a label or Googling a product could save you from a serious liability. You don’t want to sink your cleaning business before you’ve even begun.
This doesn’t mean you should never use all-purpose or multi-purpose cleaners. As you gain experience and knowledge, you’ll develop an understanding of this. You’ll know when to use a general cleaner and when to go for something specialized.
You’ll also know what ratios of chemicals to water are ideal for different situations. A common amateur mistake is not diluting your bleach enough because you’re worried about losing sanitation power. Different brands will also be stronger or weaker than others.
This is often a personal preference, but don’t skimp out on good-quality cleaners. Getting a no-name bleach or glass cleaner might save you a few bucks. What you’ll usually lose in productivity from an inferior product won’t be worth it.
Physical Supplies, Refills, and Cartridges
What we said about quality holds true for other supplies. When getting gloves and garbage bags, go for something you know will hold up. You’ll often be dealing with gross gunk or heavy cleaning chemicals.
You don’t want that seeping through your gloves and into your skin. You also don’t want all your hard work to be for nothing because the garbage bag breaks on the way out. Save yourself the hassle, and don’t be cheap here.
There are plenty of ways to start a cleaning business without breaking the bank. However, Penny pinching on good supplies is not the way. Another area where you need to take quality seriously is safety.
You’ll need two types of masks when buying cleaning business equipment. The first will be basic disposal N95-type masks. Many of us have grown used to these over the pandemic, and they’ll work far better than standard non-medical ones.
These are for basic dust and debris, but they won’t do much against mold or super heavy chemicals. A half or full-face respirator is what you want for those situations. These come with a range of applicable cartridges rated for different contaminants.
It’s important to always have fresh sets of cartridges for the various contaminants. Replace them often, especially after you use them, and never use the wrong ones if you don’t have the right ones.
Keep a pair of heavy-duty gloves for when disposables won’t cut it, and stay well-stocked on duster and mop refills if using a sweeper.
Look Into Heavier Equipment
This is especially for those looking to get into commercial cleaning. At some point, you’ll need to get commercial cleaning equipment. These will be bigger and more expensive than the tools and supplies listed above but are vital.
- Carpet Steam cleaners
- Window Washing Rig
- A Truck or Van
Depending on the scale and type of cleaning you’ll offer, you might not need all of these. That said, most large cleaning businesses will branch out into these. It’s important to at least consider them, even if it’s only you at the start.
Industrial Vacuums and Carpet Steam Cleaners
These are two things that every cleaning business can utilize, no matter the scale. An industrial vacuum will be crucial in cleaning the dust and dirt on the floor and carpets. No one wants to walk around broom and dust panning every little speck.
The reason you want a heavy or industrial vacuum is twofold. First, you want a vacuum with multiple modes and a powerful motor. You want to be able to vacuum thick carpets for several hours without the vacuum overheating or losing suction.
You also want to switch to hardwood or title with minimal fuss. Most conventional vacuums won’t do. They’re for household use and aren’t meant for hours of abuse every day.
The second reason you want a strong vacuum is to prepare carpets for the next stage. To clean a carpet, you need to wash it. This involves several steps, including using carpet cleaner and conditioner.
You also need to rinse it and soak up all the water and loose debris. The cleaner it is when you start, the easier it will be, which is why a good vacuum is a crucial first step. Traditional carpet cleaning involves lots of rinsing and using a squeegee to get the water out.
It can be a laborious process, which steam carpet cleaning makes much faster. A good steam carpet cleaner will save you hours of work and help you get even the toughest stains out. Make sure to prepare it with a carpet-safe spot cleaner first.
A Note About Heavier Equipment
Depending on the size and nature of your cleaning business, you might need more equipment. A cart to carry your arsenal around the property is common for large office spaces. You might also need a truck or van to carry everything to your destination.
This is especially true for industrial vacuums and carpet steam cleaners. A window washing rig is something you’ll only need for super tall buildings. Most high-rises and similar spaces will hire special companies for that.
Should your company grow large enough to take that on, it’s crucial you follow safety rules. Windowing cleaning can be more hazardous than it looks.
Get the Right Cleaning Equipment
When it comes to getting the right cleaning equipment for your business, there is a lot to consider. You need an arsenal of tools, cleaners, and supplies to make sure you can tackle any job or surface. It’s also important to consider safety and only go with high-quality supplies.
Check out our other blogs for more on what you need to start a successful cleaning business and topics like it. We have plenty more guides for you to look through.