Janitorial Supplies: Products and Guides For Your Business


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Running a business can be a challenging endeavor, and it requires careful attention to various aspects to ensure success. One critical aspect that often goes overlooked is the cleanliness of the business premises. Maintaining a clean and hygienic environment is not only important for the health and well-being of employees and customers, but it also enhances the overall appearance of the business, creating a positive impression.

Janitorial supplies are essential items used to maintain the cleanliness and hygiene of your business premises. They include cleaning products like disinfectants, detergents, and sprays, as well as cleaning tools such as mops, brooms, and vacuum cleaners.

Janitorial supplies are available in different varieties and types. However, finding the right janitorial supplies for your needs can be difficult. We have created a guide to help you sort through all of the commercial cleaning supplies and janitorial supplies out there to help you get what you need.

Assessing Your Business’s Janitorial Needs

  • Identifying the size and type of your business – This is essential when choosing the right janitorial supplies. The number of employees, the size of the premises, and the nature of your business operations will determine the type and quantity of supplies you need.
  • Determining Cleaning Frequency and Specific Requirements – The type of business and the number of employees will determine the frequency of cleaning required, and specific requirements such as eco-friendliness or allergies will impact the choice of supplies.
  • Developing a cleaning and maintenance plan – This involves assessing the cleaning needs, creating a schedule, and assigning tasks to employees or outsourcing the work. A well-planned cleaning and maintenance routine can save time and money in the long run

Evaluating Janitorial Product Quality and Cost

Before investing in any cleaning product, you should always prioritize the quality. Using high-quality cleaning supplies ensures that surfaces are cleaned thoroughly and can lead to longer-lasting results. This can be especially crucial for businesses where hygiene and cleanliness are paramount, like restaurants or medical facilities.

Considering Health and Safety Implications

  • Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS): For any chemical you introduce into your workspace, you should be aware of its contents. MSDSs provide details about the potential hazards of a product and guidelines on its safe use.
  • Ventilation Needs: Some cleaning supplies may have strong odors or fumes. Ensure your space is adequately ventilated to prevent any health issues for your employees.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Depending on the cleaning product, gloves, masks, or goggles might be required during its application.

Seeking Feedback from Employees
Your employees can offer valuable insight into the effectiveness of cleaning products. They can provide firsthand feedback on which products work best or if there are any concerns about the supplies being used. This feedback loop can help in fine-tuning the products you select.

Essential Janitorial Supplies

Some janitorial supplies are needed no matter what kind of business you have, such as brooms and mops, vacuums, etc. And of course, some are industry-specific – places like restaurants and medical facilities need different kinds of cleaning supplies and tools.

Features/ItemsCleaning EquipmentCleaning ChemicalsPaper Products and DispensersWaste Management Supplies
Primary PurposePhysical removal of dirt, debris, and dustChemical removal/disinfection of dirt, stains, and microbesProvide hygiene and cleaning solutions for usersCollection and separation of waste
Examples- Mops- Bleach- Paper towels- Trash cans
- Brooms- Multipurpose cleaner- Toilet paper- Trash bags
- Dusters- Floor cleaner- Recycling bins
- Dry mops- Window cleaner
Benefits- Reusable- Effective disinfection- Convenient- Organized waste disposal
- Various tools for specific tasks- Different formulas for specific surfaces and cleaning needs- Reduces spread of germs- Encourages recycling
Considerations/Potential Drawbacks- Maintenance needed for some items- Some may be hazardous; proper storage and handling required- Dispensers may need regular refills- Bags and bins can become overfilled; regular check required

Below is a general list of janitorial supplies for various professional settings:

Cleaning Equipment

Cleaning Chemicals

  • All-purpose cleaners – General all-purpose cleaners can be used on most surfaces, so buying in bulk can save time and money since you’ll use it often.
  • Disinfectants and sanitizers – Disinfectants and sanitizers are critical janitorial supplies for maintaining a hygienic business environment. These products are designed to kill germs, bacteria, and viruses on surfaces and equipment.Disinfectants are typically more powerful than sanitizers and are often used in high-traffic areas such as restrooms and kitchens. Sanitizers are usually milder and are used to reduce the number of bacteria on surfaces.
  • Floor cleaners and degreasers – Floor cleaners are used to remove dirt, grime, and stains from different types of flooring materials such as tile, vinyl, and hardwood. Degreasers are specialized cleaning products used to remove grease, oil, and other stubborn stains from floors and other surfaces. Proper use of floor cleaners and degreasers can extend the lifespan of flooring and keep your business looking clean and hygienic.
  • Glass cleaners – Glass cleaners are designed to remove dirt and grime from glass surfaces without leaving streaks or residue. They come in different forms, including sprays and wipes, and may contain chemicals such as ammonia or vinegar to enhance their cleaning properties.

Specialty Cleaning Equipment and Products

  • Specialty cleaning equipment and supplies is a catch-all term for items not in any certain category. Some examples include cleaners for specialty items like leather, granite, or other surfaces, and cleaning equipment and supplies like pumice stones, toilet brushes, squeegees, etc.

Paper Products and Dispensers

  • Paper towels and dispensers – Paper towels and dispensers should be readily available for quick clean-ups. Don’t forget to include paper towels and a dispenser in your restroom.
  • Toilet paper and dispensers – Toilet paper is another product that, when possible, should be purchased in bulk. It’s much more cost-effective than buying a few rolls at a time. And having dispensers for TP is more sanitary and looks better than having loose rolls.
  • Facial tissues – Customers and employees alike appreciate having facial tissues on hand, particularly during cold and flu season.
  • Hand soap and dispensers – Hand soap is a must, so be sure to provide soap dispensers in restrooms, breakrooms, etc.

Waste Management Supplies

  • Trash bags and liners – You’ll need trash bags no matter what, so consider buying in bulk.
  • Recycling bins – If your local trash authority doesn’t provide you with recycling bins, there are plenty of options to buy online.
  • Trash cans and containers – Trash cans, both indoor and outdoor, should be easily accessible to customers, as well as durable and easy to access and empty.
  • Odor control products – There are odor control products specifically for trash cans and areas where trash is kept.

Industry-Specific Janitorial Supplies

Healthcare Facilities

  • Hospital-grade disinfectants – Hospital-grade disinfectants contain powerful cleaning chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide, bleach, and ammonium compounds that can eliminate viruses, bacteria, and fungi on surfaces and equipment. They are used in labs, healthcare facilities, and other places where high levels of hygiene are required.
  • Medical waste disposal products – Proper disposal of medical waste is essential to prevent the spread of infections and maintain a clean and safe environment. Businesses that deal in this type of waste should have sharps containers, biohazard bags, waste containers, and any other required supplies.
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) – PPE includes gloves, masks, goggles, and protective clothing, which help prevent exposure to harmful chemicals, blood-borne pathogens, and other hazardous materials. PPE should be worn when handling and using cleaning chemicals, when cleaning up spills and waste, and when dealing with contaminated surfaces.

Food Service Establishments

  • Food-safe sanitizers – These sanitizers are specially formulated to be safe for use in food preparation areas and are designed to kill germs and bacteria without leaving harmful residues. They are used on surfaces such as countertops, cutting boards, and kitchen equipment to prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses.
  • Kitchen cleaner and cleaning supplies – Of course, restaurants need kitchen cleaning supplies, but anywhere with a kitchen should keep things like sponges, oven cleaner, and dish soap in stock for cleaning.
  • Grease traps and filters – Grease traps and filters are designed to capture and separate grease and oil from wastewater, preventing blockages and environmental pollution. Regular maintenance of grease traps and filters, including cleaning and disposal of the captured grease and oil, is essential to ensure their proper functioning and compliance with regulations.

Office Spaces

  • Electronics and computer cleaning supplies – Cleaning supplies for electronics and computers include specialized solutions, wipes, and compressed air dusters, which are designed to remove dust, dirt, and grime from sensitive electronic components. Proper use of electronics and computer cleaning supplies can extend the lifespan of equipment and prevent malfunctions caused by dust and dirt buildup.
  • Air fresheners and odor eliminators – These are used to neutralize unpleasant smells in restrooms, break rooms and other areas of the workplace. While not technically for cleaning, they do help create a pleasant and inviting atmosphere for employees and customers.
  • Furniture polish and upholstery cleaners – Keeping the furniture clean is essential to office upkeep. Furniture and upholstery cleaners and solutions are designed to remove dirt, stains, and odors from fabric surfaces, including chairs, sofas, and curtains. Furniture and upholstery cleaners are available in different forms, including sprays, foams, and shampoos.

Green and Eco-Friendly Janitorial Products

  • Benefits of using environmentally-friendly products – Businesses can reap numerous benefits by using green janitorial supplies. Firstly, these products are safer for the environment, as well as for people and animals, since they do not contain any harmful chemicals. Also, eco-friendly janitorial supplies are often made from renewable and sustainable resources, reducing the dependence on non-renewable resources. Finally, using eco-friendly cleaning supplies can help businesses build a positive reputation and demonstrate their commitment to sustainability.
  • Top green janitorial brands – There are lots of great brands that offer eco-friendly cleaners. They include ECOS, Blueland, Seventh Generation, Biokleen, and lots more.
  • DIY eco-friendly cleaning solutions – Several household products can be used to make DIY cleaning supplies. These include baking soda, vinegar, and various essential oils. There are also a lot of online resources to learn how to make DIY cleaning supplies.

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Safe Storage and Handling of Janitorial Supplies

  • Proper labeling and storage practices – Proper labeling and storage practices of supplies are critical to maintaining a safe and organized workplace. All cleaning products should be labeled clearly and include information on the contents, potential hazards, and safe handling procedures.Commercial janitorial supplies should be stored in a secure and well-ventilated area away from heat, sunlight, and other sources of ignition. Additionally, be sure incompatible products are not stored together to prevent chemical reactions and potential hazards.Employees should receive proper training on the handling, storage, and disposal of janitorial supplies to ensure their safety and compliance with regulations. Regular inventory checks should be conducted to ensure that all janitorial supplies are properly labeled and stored.
  • Safety guidelines for chemical use and handling – Safety guidelines include wearing personal protective equipment such as gloves, masks, and goggles when handling chemicals, as well as using proper ventilation and lighting in the cleaning area.Chemicals should be properly labeled, and instructions for use and disposal should be followed carefully. It’s essential to store chemicals safely and separately from other cleaning supplies and to keep them away from food and other consumables. Proper training on the use and handling of chemicals is crucial to prevent accidents and ensure compliance with regulations.
  • Waste disposal and recycling best practices – Trash and recyclables should be properly separated and disposed of in designated containers or bins. Hazardous waste such as batteries, fluorescent bulbs, and electronics should be disposed of in accordance with local regulations.Employees should receive training on waste disposal and recycling best practices and to regularly evaluate and update the waste management program.

Inventory Management and Cost-Saving Strategies

  • Regular inventory checks and restocking – Conducting regular inventory checks to determine which supplies need to be replenished can help you avoid running out of essential supplies. Restocking should be done promptly to ensure that the cleaning and maintenance routine is not interrupted.
  • Bulk purchasing benefits – Businesses can often obtain wholesale prices and reduce the cost per unit by purchasing janitorial supplies in bulk. Just be sure that it does not result in overstocking.
  • Comparing prices and product quality – Using quality janitorial supplies ensures all surfaces and areas get as clean as possible. If you plan to order online, be sure to look for the best prices on your janitorial supply products and equipment.

Choosing the Right Janitorial Supplier

When selecting a supplier for commercial cleaning supplies, it’s essential to consider factors such as pricing, product quality, and delivery times. Many suppliers offer wholesale prices for bulk orders, which can be beneficial for businesses that use a lot of cleaning products.

Look for suppliers who have a good track record of delivering high-quality products on time, and have good customer satisfaction ratings. Additionally, consider the range of products that a supplier offers to ensure that they have the supplies that your business needs.

Staying Compliant with Health and Safety Regulations

  • Understanding local, state, and federal regulations – This is critical for ensuring compliance with health and safety standards. Different regions may have different regulations governing the handling, storage, and disposal of commercial cleaning supplies, as well as requirements for personal protective equipment and training. Businesses should be aware of the regulations that apply to their industry and location and ensure that they are following the appropriate guidelines.
  • Conducting regular safety inspections and audits – These inspections can help identify potential hazards and areas where improvements are needed. Safety inspections should be conducted by trained professionals and should cover all areas of the business, including cleaning and maintenance operations. Audits can help ensure that the business is following established safety procedures and can help identify areas where additional training or resources may be needed.

What are the most important janitorial supplies for my business?

The most important janitorial supplies for a business can vary depending on the specific needs of the business. However, some essential supplies include all-purpose cleaners, paper towels, and disinfectants. All-purpose cleaners can be used on different types of surfaces, making them a versatile cleaning solution. Paper towels are an essential supply for wiping up spills and messes and maintaining a hygienic environment. Disinfectants are crucial for preventing the spread of germs and maintaining a clean and healthy business environment.

Other important janitorial supplies may include mops, brooms, dustpans, and trash cans and bags, depending on the specific cleaning needs of the business. Restroom supplies are also essential if there is a restroom on the premises.

How can I create an effective cleaning and maintenance schedule?

Creating an effective cleaning and maintenance schedule requires careful planning and consideration of the specific needs of the business. First, identify the areas and surfaces that require cleaning and maintenance and the frequency of cleaning needed. Next, determine the types of cleaning supplies needed for each task and ensure that they are stocked and readily available.

What are some eco-friendly janitorial products to consider?

As mentioned above, many great brands of janitorial supplies use eco-friendly ingredients. Look for brands that carry the specific commercial janitorial supplies you need for your business.

How can I save money on janitorial supplies without compromising quality?

First, buying janitorial supplies in bulk can often lead to cost savings and discounts. Secondly, purchasing generic or store-brand cleaning products can be a cost-effective alternative to name-brand products.

Also, proper logging and storage of your janitorial supplies ensures efficient use and avoids overstocking.

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Small Business Editor Liane Lonergan is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and a member of the team for 2 years. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Communications and is a former English teacher. She has written news articles and essays throughout her collegiate and professional careers.