Critical Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Janitorial Service Provider

by Compass Cleaning Solutions • January 30, 2017
Critical questions to ask your Janitoral Services Provider
Over the years we have discovered that there are a few good questions that every business owner or facilities manager can ask, if asked ahead of time, that will almost always guarantee a successful long term relationship between you and your Janitorial Service Provider (JSP). Today we will begin a series focusing the most common questions we hear, or topics that arise, from our clients. These topics are in no particular order but should always be asked by you at some point along the way when interviewing your Service Provider.

One of the more common questions we are asked, or a variation of it, is…

What kind of cleaning products do you use?

There are dozens of specific brands and hundreds of products that can be used by your potential JSP. One important piece of information you should absolutely have an interest in is the type of products being used to clean your building. You have heard the old saying, “What you don’t know won’t hurt you.” Well, that is absolutely not true in this case.

Staff Concerns

One major consideration should be the unique needs of your staff. Do any of them have allergies that may be affected by certain cleaning products? Knowing this in advance will help you determine which JSP will ultimately be servicing your facility. If the service provider gives you the indication that they really don’t care or know what each crew is using, you should back away. Knowing the products being used will help you keep your staff healthy and safe.

Another consideration may be whether or not the JSP is using chemical products or something that is much safer like organic cleaning products or ionized or ozone infused water systems. These products are beginning to be much more prevalent and responsible Janitorial companies will always be looking toward the newest technologies to keep their own crews and clients safe from chemical exposure.


One word of caution. Many of us still use cleaning products that have been used by friends or family for years and so we assume these products can and should be used in our business. Here is the problem, residential use and commercial use are not necessarily the same thing. Janitorial Service Providers are required to provide Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for every product that is used and stored in your facility. This is for public safety and it is the law. This is not the case for residential applications. Further, many of those products simply don’t perform as well as commercial grade products used by any reputable Janitorial Service Provider.

In addition, it is likely the old rules no longer apply. Here is an example. If you were to ask every person you know whether or not bleach was a good cleaner you would probably get a 100% agreement. I mean after all people have been using it forever, right? However, bleach purchased from your local home improvement or grocery store is not the same as the commercial grade used for bacterial control, and even then should be used sparingly. Bleach/chlorine will cause respiratory problems, skin irritation and will damage virtually anything it comes into contact with while in concentrated form. Given that there are numerous other options that provide greater safety and equivalent bacteria control, why would we risk using it? And yet, today I can go into numerous medical and business offices and smell the chlorine from bleach.

If you are uncertain about any product a JSP is using in your facility, you should immediately ask them for a MSDS and manufacturers information about that product. If they can’t quickly provide that information to you, I would recommend changing your JSP.

Final Thought

Allow your professional cleaning company to demonstrate they are using products that will perform and provide adequate safety for you, your clients and the crew servicing your building. A well informed JSP will have several recommendations regarding products and the accompanying processes to give you the best quality of cleaning available. A quality professional cleaning company will welcome the opportunity to explain the products they use and why.