How to Calculate Cleaning Times

March 2, 2022

If there were a perfect formula for calculating cleaning times, then the commercial cleaning industry would have cracked the code by now. However, because there is no magic formula to calculate how long a cleaning job will take, professional cleaners must instead use what they know to properly assess how long the process will be. There are a multitude of factors that play into exactly how long cleaning times are, and no two jobs will require the same amount of time and effort to successfully clean. Keep reading to learn what goes into calculating accurate cleaning times in order to generate the most accurate estimates every time.

Cleaning Needed

By rule of thumb the first factor that influences cleaning times is exactly what type of cleaning is required for the space. Although they are all considered “cleaning,” the process of cleaning can include:

  • Organizing
  • Disinfecting
  • Sanitizing
  • Tidying
  • Deep cleaning

While the overarching term of “cleaning” is used to describe all efforts which make a space cleaner than before, the specific type of cleaning does determine how long the job will take. For instance, the cleaning time for an overall deep clean of a house is going to be much longer than that of a weekly tidy, due to what is required to consider completion.

Space, Size, and Makeup

To accurately calculate cleaning times, the first factor to consider is the size of the space. By nature, the larger the space, the longer the cleaning time, but the makeup of the space is just as important. For example, if a job consisted of deep cleaning a 1,000 square foot living space that includes carpet, hardwood flooring, and fabric and wooden furniture then each of these surfaces will need to be considered in order to calculate cleaning times correctly. To calculate cleaning times for this situation, you must account for cleaning two different types of flooring, fabric furniture and wood furniture, and also navigating around said furniture. This is going to require far more time to clean compared to a 1,000 square foot living space with tile throughout and only hard surface furniture. While both spaces are of the same size and have similar sized furnishings, the former has multiple surfaces to clean which require their own products and tools whereas the latter only has 2 types of surfaces to clean which cuts down collateral time used to switch cleaning modes. When assessing a space for how long it will take to clean consider:

  • Square footage
  • Setting – indoor vs outdoor
  • Furnishings and their materials
  • Floorings and finishes present – crown molding, baseboards, light fixtures, countertops

These are typically clear indicators of the general duration of cleaning time required based on the physical space makeup, and can be used to gain a basic understanding of how long the job will take. The finer details to pay attention to, the longer the cleaning time.

Mess Composition

The actual composition of the mess is the ultimate deciding factor in how long a cleaning job will take. After visually assessing the mess, it is crucial to ask the customer for as much information as possible such as:

  • The cause of any major stains or markings
  • How long since the space was last cleaned
  • Any attempts cleaning the mess – especially those that failed

Once you know exactly what the mess is, you can properly calculate the time it will take to successfully clean the space. Understanding the mess composition allows your team to come prepared with the right products and avoids the discovery of tough messes that require dedicated attention. Being aware of how long the space has gone without being cleaned also plays into how long the cleaning time will be, because the longer the mess has to “set in,” the longer it takes to remedy. Likewise, being aware of any previous attempts to clean any mess is crucial to proper cleaning time calculation, because it can heavily influence how the mess reacts to additional methods, such as linen furnishings that have had wine spilled on them that have been washed in hot water. While the washing process itself may fade the stain minimally, the hot water has now set the stain deeper into the fabric, making it less responsive to additional cleaning efforts which often results in extended time needed to remedy it.

When in Doubt, Call a Professional

All in all, there is no surefire way to calculate the precise amount of time it will take to clean a space. By being proactive and knowing what to look for and what to ask during initial quoting discussions with clients, you can ensure that you are providing the most accurate cleaning time calculations in the field. For commercial cleaning tasks that require a pro, do not hesitate to call the cleaning experts at Partner Solutions Facility Services.

About Partner Solutions Facility Services

With over 30 years in owners combined experience, Partner Solutions Facility Services has come together to create a company model that believes superior quality service can’t be compromised. Extensive training with intelligent supervision and ownership helps us keep a clear vision of our goals and commitment. Give us a call today for a free consultation and let us be the solution for your facility’s needs. We look forward to forming a partnership with you. 

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