What Is The Difference Between Residential And Commercial Cleaning?

Table Of Contents

You may consider getting a cleaning company to clean your home or office because you are often busy. But then, you may wonder what the relative costs are and what such cleaning entails.

This article discusses what commercial cleaning and residential cleaning entail. You will learn the difference between commercial and residential cleaning and what each involves.

Other aspects discussed include the cleaning responsibilities of commercial and residential cleaners, and how a professional commercial or residential cleaning service can help. Read on for more!

What is Commercial Cleaning?

Commercial cleaning is usually done for businesses. A commercial service cleans business areas including fitness centers, retail stores, commercial kitchens, and auto dealerships. Commercial cleaners will ensure your commercial property is clean and hygienic.

Commercial cleaning is often regarded as industrial cleaning. This can involve cleaning machinery and industrial premises. In addition, commercial cleaning companies can clean after a flood or fire.

What is Residential Cleaning?

A residential cleaning service focuses on cleaning different areas of your home. This can include bedroom cleaning, living room cleaning, kitchen cleaning, and bathroom cleaning. They generally help clean different types of messes in your home.

How Commercial and Residential Cleaning Differ

Different focuses

One difference between commercial and residential cleaning is that the two types of cleaning focus on different things. Commercial cleaners operate in business settings providing cleaning expertise on a larger scale. Residential cleaners, on the other hand, work in home settings carrying out typical household cleaning chores.

Specialized equipment

Commercial cleaning companies have specialized industrial-grade equipment for cleaning. For example, commercial cleaners use equipment such as industrial vacuum cleaners. Residential cleaners utilize common house cleaning products that you may even find in local stores. These include bleach, white vinegar, ammonia, and disinfectant wipes.

Cleaning times

Meanwhile, you may notice that residential cleaners often clean during the day while commercial cleaners usually clean at night or on weekends. This can make hiring more challenging for commercial cleaning.

Sensitive clients

Residential cleaning clients tend to be more sensitive than commercial cleaning clients. This is because cleaning residences commonly involves working in personal spaces and interacting with personal items.


Unlike residential cleaners, most commercial cleaners are bonded and insured. As such, you are better protected from unforeseen theft and damages.

Specialized techniques

Commercial cleaning involves using specialized cleaning techniques and technologies that are more advanced than those used for residential cleaning. For instance, commercial cleaners practice environmentally friendly cleaning since most businesses nowadays focus on sustainability.

Commercial vs. Residential Cleaning: Which is Better?

Now that you know the difference between commercial and residential cleaning, you may want to know which is better.

While residential cleaning tends to be more thorough and detail-oriented, this does not mean it does a better job in cleanliness than commercial cleaning. After all, commercial cleaning has to meet the required cleaning specifications of the business or facility.

Difference Between Commercial Cleaning and Industrial Cleaning

The cleaning industry has different specifications and protocols for commercial cleaning and industrial cleaning. After all, cleaning a commercial business does not require the same equipment and expertise as a factory.

Industrial cleaners normally clean large surfaces with blank spaces and large equipment as found in food processing plants or manufacturing facilities. They also need industrial solvents and specific chemicals as cleaning solutions.

Responsibilities of Commercial Cleaners

The difference between commercial and residential cleaners goes beyond the facilities they clean. Their cleaning responsibilities are also different. Some general commercial cleaning tasks include the following:

On the other hand, their weekly or monthly cleaning tasks include the following:

Responsibilities of Residential Cleaners

Some cleaning tasks of a residential cleaning company include the following:

  • Sweeping and mopping floors
  • Dusting and vacuuming floors
  • Carpet cleaning
  • Door cleaning
  • Window cleaning
  • Emptying trash
  • Office cleaning
  • Cleaning kitchen sinks
  • Cleaning and disinfecting toilets
  • Cabinet cleaning

Additional Responsibilities of Commercial and Residential Cleaners

You may invite a residential or commercial cleaner to perform deep or spring cleaning tasks. Here is a list of some of the cleaning tasks involved.

  • Cleaning of baseboards and window sills
  • Damp wiping of door panels and frames
  • Removing cobwebs
  • Cleaning of your kitchen, toilet, and bathroom
  • Cleaning kitchen and bathroom cabinets

House Cleaning and Office Cleaning Checklists

Office cleaning companies provide regular cleaning services such as window and building cleaning. They also offer specialized office cleaning services such as floor stripping and waxing. Whatever the office cleaning task, you should itemize and make a checklist of the cleaning tasks.

Similarly, a house cleaning service may offer a house cleaning checklist to ease workflow. This checklist can be a reference source for you and the house cleaning service.

Important Factors About Commercial Cleaning

If you're in the residential cleaning business, you may wish to expand into commercial cleaning. However, you need to properly assess the different factors that may affect your expansion.

  • Average production rates calculate the number of square feet per hour a person can clean. It is between 2500 to 4000 sq ft. per hour for commercial, whereas residential is around 700-1000 sq. ft. per hour.
  • Take note that commercial clients may use a bidding process, a cleaning agreement with terms and conditions of payment, and references.
  • A distinction in the cleaning industry is that while you use a “business to consumer” marketing model for residential cleaning, commercial cleaning uses a “business to business” model.
  • You will likely face more competition in the commercial cleaning sector compared to residential.
  • Your business name must be marketable to residential and commercial clients.
  • You will need specialized commercial cleaning equipment. For instance, a regular vacuum may clean residential homes. However, it would be best to have an industrial-sized vacuum cleaner for more efficient cleaning of commercial spaces.

Remember, residential cleaning business owners who rush into an expansion into commercial cleaning often falter. They later realize that commercial cleaning is entirely different from residential cleaning.

How a Professional Cleaning Service Can Help

It would be best to be more conversant with the key differences between residential and commercial cleaning. Indeed, a cleaning professional can help you save time and effort.

You can invite them for cleaning services such as same day cleaning or even source cleaning supplies from them. They are experienced in cleaning homes and offices and can provide routine cleanings to ensure your premises are clean, always!

Cleaning Services in New York City

Get your apartment cleaned in NYC. It’s that simple, affordable, and convenient.

Our friendly, professional cleaners are all trained, reliable, referenced, insured and trustworthy. Our online booking tool makes scheduling effortless.

More from Our Blog

You Might Also Like

See All Cleaning Posts