Signing a Commercial Cleaning Contract? Read This First.

Karen Lawes

Written by: Karen Lawes Maguire

Karen is the founder and CEO of, a leading cleaning industry website. With 10+ years experience, she's an expert on new cleaning technologies, regulations, and best practices.

It was late one evening when Janet, the office manager at ACME Marketing, was tidying up the kitchen. As she wiped down the counters, she noticed they didn't seem as clean as usual. The same thing struck her as she vacuumed the carpets - the dirt just didn't come up like it used to.

"I wonder if we should find a new cleaning company," Janet thought. Their current provider, Bright & Clean, had been servicing the office for two years now. But lately, Janet noticed their performance slipping.

She decided to ask around for bids from other vendors. The proposals poured in, each with different prices and services. As Janet compared the contracts, she realized she needed to educate herself on commercial cleaning agreements.

Commercial Cleaning Contract

Understand the Services Provided

According to a 2021 survey by the Building Service Contractors Association International (BSCAI), over 70% of cleaning contracts don't clearly specify the services, frequencies, and quality standards clients expect. This leads to confusion and disappointment down the road.

Before signing anything, ensure the contract provides specifics on:

  • Cleaning tasks to be performed
  • Frequency of cleaning (daily, 2x a week etc.)
  • What areas/floors of the facility will be serviced
  • Quality standards for cleaning completion
  • Who supplies cleaning products and equipment

Define Metrics and Compliance

An ISSA study found 47% of commercial cleaning clients were unhappy with their provider's quality and attention to detail. This is often due to vague contracts without compliance metrics.

Consider including:

  • Cleanliness inspection checklist for the provider to complete
  • A quality assurance plan where site inspections ensure compliance
  • Requirements for cleaning staff training
  • Definition of a clean facility with measurable standards

Price and Term Flexibility

The average commercial cleaning contract is 1-2 years initially according to BSCAI. Build in flexibility for:

  • 30-60 day termination clause (for either party)
  • Option to renew for 1 or 2 additional years
  • Periodic price reviews for increases in labor, materials costs

No one wants to be locked into a rigid, long-term contract if business needs change.

Other Key Considerations

Also address insurance coverage, confidentiality clauses, payment terms, scheduling, and change order management within the contract.

Taking time to understand commercial cleaning company contracts upfront prevents headaches later on. Defining services, compliance, flexibility, and other terms gives facilities confidence in their provider partnership.

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