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How To Stop Wasting Money On Your School Cleaning

November 13, 2016 By Willem Flach

Are you a school bursar or business manager? Perhaps you are the school’s property or facility manager.

Either way, its most likely that the largest invoice you need to approve each month, is the one for the cleaning contractor at the school.

Cleaning costs can put a huge dent in the school budget, so it’s imperative to extract the maximum value from each hard-earned dollar.

So over the next several blogs, I will look at the seven ways to significantly reduce the cleaning costs at your school.

Step 1 – Don’t employ a full time cleaner

Many large companies or offices employ a full time cleaner to save costs, however unless you have recruited very carefully this can actually cost you more.

Let me explain…

  1. Cleaning is an aerobic activity. At iClean we don’t like to see our cleaners doing more than 3-4 hours per night. The productivity drops off dramatically after the fourth hour, so although you maybe paying for 7.6 hours a day of cleaning, the productive time spent cleaning will usually be far less.
  2. When a cleaner is a full time member of the staff, he has friends at work and will naturally spend time chatting and gossiping with them. Although, this is only natural, it also means there is less cleaning being done.
  3. A full time cleaner is entitled to sick and annual leave. This means you will have to carry the expense of outsourced labour at these times.


Recently we were asked to put a cleaning proposal to a large manufacturer in the Western suburbs of Melbourne.

They had a full time cleaner on their books, (let’s call him “Bob”), but the facility manager (FM), was very unhappy with the standard of cleaning - especially in the toilet areas.

After asking a few relevant questions, we quickly discovered that the problem was that Bob often arrived late and left early. Also Bob liked to have coffee breaks with the other staff members and enjoyed chatting about football.

Bob also had a lot of sick days, and was poorly trained in the use of chemicals and cleaning techniques. Also, because Bob was not trained in carpet cleaning, stripping and sealing floors or cleaning of windows, these tasks had to be outsourced to other contractors.

The FM estimated the total cleaning costs at the site, after direct wages, additional labour costs and outsourcing of additional work came close to $85,000 per annum.

We proposed a part time cleaner during the day and another in the evening after the office was closed.

We also provided a “one-stop” package that included the periodical cleaning that had previously been outsourced.

Since we have started at the site, we estimate the client is saving 21-23% on their cleaning costs, but more importantly, each morning they arrive to a fresh clean work place which everyone agrees is a major improvement to the previous situation.

Bottom Line: Carefully look at all the pros and cons about taking on a full time cleaner on the school payroll. The hidden costs could be draining valuable dollars from your budget.


  1. They are not delivering what they promised.
  2. I don’t know if I can trust the onsite cleaners.
  3. The cleaners aren't spending enough time at our premises.
  4. The agreed job specs are not being done.


Bluetooth technology allows you complete control & transparency over the cleaning process. Our cleaners are tracked and are therefore accountable for the quality of their work. We use Bluetooth technology and 'beacons' to ensure they spend the correct amount of time cleaning your premises.


  1. Confirmation that cleaner is spending correct time cleaning.
  2. Confirmation that cleaner is completing specified cleaning tasks.
  3. Transparent process enables feedback, improvement, and value for money.