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Janitorial Services and Commercial Cleaning: What’s the Difference?

April 24, 2020 5:29 pm

When it comes to cleaning services, there’s a lot of overlap that can make it difficult to decide which type of cleaner will work for your property’s needs. One of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to cleaning services for commercial properties is what the difference is between janitorial services and commercial cleaners.

The answer may not be as clear cut as people expect.


Depending on the cleaning service, there may be significant overlaps in what a janitorial service and a commercial cleaners offer. Services such as:

  • sweeping,
  • mopping,
  • sanitation, or
  • surface cleaning.

may all be available through both industries. The difference tends to lie in the complexity of the job, and the scale.

A commercial cleaner can provide higher intensity cleaning, such as thoroughly cleaning, sealing, and waxing hardwood floors. They can also do so at a very large scale, sending as many people as necessary to make sure that your property is cleaned within the time frame you set out for them.

In contrast, janitorial services are able to handle regular messes that crop up throughout the day, but may lack certain resources to handle large scale, deep cleans.


While it’s possible to schedule a commercial cleaner at any time, janitorial services are available throughout the day. As they can be hired in house, they can be on deck for sudden clean-ups. This makes janitorial services ideal for places that are particularly prone to spills, such as schools or certain government offices. This frees up other staff to attend to their roles rather than messes.

Commercial cleaners have flexible schedules, and can frequently offer janitorial services on top of their regularly scheduled cleanings; however, if you’re looking at a company that only offers scheduled commercial cleaning, you’re looking at limited availability throughout the day. Janitorial services will be available throughout the day, but as we’ve mentioned they have a limited scope.


Both a commercial cleaner and a janitorial service can be hired from a third party, but janitorial services are also frequently hired in house. This makes them employees of the property they clean, with wage and benefits to reflect that. If your commercial property is unable to sustain that arrangement, it may be beneficial to consider a scheduled commercial cleaner and handle immediate messes as they happen.

Consider your commercial property’s capacity and budget when deciding between regular, in-house janitorial services, third party janitorial services (frequently offered by commercial cleaners), or regularly scheduled cleaning. While regular staff may free up everyone else to prioritize their jobs, a custodial staff is an investment that must be carefully considered.

The Best Choice for Your Property

The difference between janitorial services and commercial cleaning can be in available services and the scope of them, availability throughout the day, and the amount of responsibility that the commercial property needs to take for hiring, supporting, and supplying cleaning staff.

It’s important to do your research when considering a cleaning service for your commercial property. There’s several areas where commercial cleaning and janitorial services may overlap, but once you’re sure of the schedule you want, the services you need, and the resources at your disposal, you’ll be ready to decide what sort of cleaning services to pursue.

This post was written by JDI Cleaning Systems

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