Have you ever thought about outsourcing your commercial cleaning but thought it to be too expensive? If the answer is yes, keep reading as you may be surprised to learn the true cost of doing it yourself or employing directly.

It may seem like the most cost-effective solution to run your cleaning team in-house but businesses often forget the additional costs involved such as budgeting for sickness, holidays, pension contributions and any staff benefits offered by the company. Plus management time and staff training is often overlooked when setting cleaning budgets.

The average salary for a full-time cleaner (outside London) is £18,000 per annum including holiday pay.

Factor in sick pay (£436.15 roughly one week per year)

Tax, pension and national insurance contributions (£2,700 per year)

Recruitment costs to advertise, interview and hire candidates (approximately £500)

Cleaning materials (£1,500 per annum)

And finally any ongoing management costs (£1,000 per annum).

You’re looking at a cost to your business of roughly £24,136.15 per annum, per employee!

Payroll, HR, staff training costs and absence…

Ask yourself how much time is spent processing payroll and HR for your cleaning team? How much time is spent training new cleaners and carrying out refresher training for any long standing team members? What about the time invested in managing the team, auditing standards and dealing with problems such as absences? Absence alone can take a lot of time to source cover and if you can’t source this in-house it can cost an arm and a leg using agencies for temporary support or worse than that, the cleaning goes amiss. If the cleaning isn’t done because of absence, what is the greater impact on your business and colleagues?

Attrition and recruitment

Another question for you; what is your cleaning staff attrition like? If your attrition levels are high, how much time and money are you spending on advertising cleaning jobs and the recruitment and onboarding process? Who is responsible for this and does it distract from their key responsibilities and best use of time?

All these little things soon start to add up and it’s a lot more than you might initially think.


Outsourcing your commercial cleaning takes the hassle and associated costs away from you. It can also significantly improve the motivation levels of the cleaning team and the standards of cleanliness. This is due to having the right training, chemicals and equipment, working to checklists and having a regular auditing program and supervisor support. Improved standards of cleanliness have been shown to increase employee productivity and wellbeing in the workplace. Plus it creates great first impressions for your clients and customers.

All of our clients have a dedicated point of contact and regular communication from our head office team. This gives our clients peace of mind that they are in good hands and we pride ourselves on the relationships we build.


We make sure to hire the right people based on our stringent recruitment systems so you know you’re getting high-quality cleaners that share our core company values and deliver consistently. Our supervisors help us ensure that a clean is never missed, regardless of holiday and absence. And we’re pleased to be able to say that our first ever team member still works with us today!

What are you waiting for? Book a quote meeting and see how we can save you time and money and allow you to focus on your business.

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Do you know the difference between cleaning, sanitising and disinfecting? Many people confuse them so we thought we’d help you understand the different roles they play in workplace cleaning.


Cleaning removes visible dirt and residue from surfaces and objects using a form of detergent. It’s not to be confused with sanitising as cleaning alone does not effectively remove germs and bacteria.


Sanitising significantly reduces the number of bacteria on surfaces or objects but does not completely kill bacteria.


Disinfecting destroys bacteria and viruses using medical-grade products.

At Sparkle Cleaning, once we’ve cleaned the surfaces we use a medical-grade broad spectrum surface disinfectant that is BS EN 1276:1997 and BS EN 13704:2002 certified. It is bactericidal, fungicidal, viricidal and sporicidal and is 99.999% effective!

It’s important to use a professional commercial cleaning company that invests in high quality products and knows how to use them effectively. It’s also important to encourage your staff to help keep the workplace clean throughout the day. You can check out some useful posters and resources that we’ve put together HERE.

For more information on the services we provide and how we can help you and your business, get in touch.

Kitchen cupboards and door handles

There are many hiding spots for germs in the workplace, this isn’t necessarily because the cleaners miss them although this can sometimes be the case. For example, kitchen cupboard door handles are a prime example of areas cleaners can miss. It’s really common for cleaners to wipe the outer cupboard doors and surfaces but when was the last time they cleaned the sides of the doors, the back of the door handles and inside the cupboards? You can check this quite easily by just touching them. There’s a significant difference in feel to the touch; it’s a little bit more sticky and you may feel lumps and bumps of residue. It’s not necessarily that they always get missed, however, if they feel sticky then they have likely been missed.

Cleaning Flow

It’s really important to have a cleaning flow to avoid cross-contamination and an unnecessary build up of residue. Did you know that the average person’s hands probably carry at least 3000 different bacteria belonging to more than 100 species? Why is that relevant you ask? Because whenever a cleaner enters a new area they should wash their hands but if a cleaner wipes the front of the kitchen cupboards and door handles before putting away clean items from the draining board, this could cause contamination from the germs on the doors and handles transferring to the clean cups and plates if their hands aren’t washed in between. If the cleaner washes their hands then puts away clean items before cleaning the doors and handles there is less risk of spreading germs as their hands have already been sanitised before touching the already clean items. Once the clean items are put away they can then proceed to clean and sanitise the doors and handles, reducing the risk of cross-contamination.

Cleaning flow is really easy to establish through the usage of checklists and through simple and effective training and education of team members on why we do things in certain ways. This is especially important at the moment during the COVID-19 pandemic. This means that nothing gets missed or contaminated and once they’ve wiped a surface there’s no reason to go back and touch them again.


The same goes for chairs in meeting rooms, waiting areas and under desks. A lot of cleaners will brush them down and vacuum around them but do they wipe the arms? The arms of the chairs are the one area that gets touched the most and is easily missed. This once again comes down to training. The cleaning staff should have clear expectations of their role and a good understanding of the method statements on how to clean a chair, making sure to include brushing and vacuuming of the seat, dusting the back of the chair and cleaning/sanitising the arms.


Another, less obvious area for germs to hide is in your pens. Now it’s unreasonable to ask you cleaner to wipe down your pens as most offices have hundreds of them but there are things you can do to help reduce the risk of spreading germs. You can bring your own pens to work with you. Don’t share pens, just like you wouldn’t share a phone. Or you can use an antibacterial wipe or spray to wipe them down before use.

These are just a few of the areas germs like to hide in your workplace and a few tips to avoid cross-contamination. If you would like to speak to a professional cleaning contractor that does this for a living and knows what they’re doing then get in touch with us.

Why do particular areas in the workplace get overlooked?

This is generally because of looking up, looking down and checklists. This is what we call selective viewing. It means that people typically only view what is in their direct eye line.

Look up

Most people when they’re walking around a general area, unless specifically looking for something will never look up. A standard duster will only reach 6 – 8 ft so depending on how tall you are, this determines how high you can reach. A lot of people will say that anything above that is too hard to reach so don’t worry about it, but this isn’t necessarily the case. There are tools, equipment and techniques that can be used to make sure these areas aren’t missed, however, that depends on the cleaning contractor you use. If they’re not an efficient cleaning contractor or if they’re a domestic cleaner that has come across to the commercial market they won’t necessarily have the specialist tools, skills and experience to carry out a thorough clean.

For example, I was working out on a treadmill at a gym and when I looked up I could clearly see that the vents hadn’t been cleaned in a long time. When I spoke to the gym manager and asked if this was for a particular reason, his response was “My staff can’t reach the vents”. Well, we have a tool that can reach 40ft high, meaning we can easily access difficult to reach areas. That’s the difference between doing the cleaning yourself and using a professional cleaning company like Sparkle Cleaning.

Look down

The same goes for looking down; if you go into the reception area of an office or somewhere similar you’ll typically find leaves and mud especially during winter. A lot of people will say, well it’s winter, they just get blown in through the front door. Yes, they do, but once again there are tools you can use. For example, we have some very public-facing clients where first impressions are really important. We know it’s not convenient to bring out a bulky vacuum cleaner every morning and lunchtime to clean up after heavy footfall when our team aren’t there. That’s why we provide them with a small and efficient handheld unit that they can use throughout the day. That’s the difference between a generic cleaning company and a good commercial cleaning company. The reason we do this is because these standards still represent us even when we’re not on site.


When did you last close a fire door and notice some dust and dirt behind it? If cleaning teams aren’t provided with checklists and standard operating procedures to give clarity on what’s expected of them, then things will get missed. It’s also important to make sure that those checklists are being used, so how do we do this? We check standards through regular auditing. When audits take place it’s essential our Supervisors and Managers use the standard operating procedures so they know exactly where to check and what they’re looking for. Our detailed audits generate a pass or a fail score. It’s as simple as that.

Take a look around your workplace…look up, look down, look behind things and ask yourself if the cleaning is a good representation of your business? What message does this communicate to your customers and clients?

If your cleaning isn’t portraying the message you want it to then book a quote with Sparkle Cleaning today.

To increase profit in your business, the first thing you should look at is the marketing that your cleaning does. Raymond Kroc, the American businessman who helped franchise McDonald’s, was well known for going into McDonald’s, checking the toilets, picking up a mop and giving them a good clean. This is because he knew that when parents and their children used the facilities, parents would notice the standards of cleanliness and were more likely to return if the standards were good.

Cleaning is marketing!!

It’s the first judgment people make when they go into a shop, restaurant, office or even when walking down the street. If the place is dirty, your customers and clients are going to make a judgment before they’ve even spoken to anyone in your business; because cleaning is marketing!

One of the easiest ways to clean your premises is to make sure you keep on top of the dusting. You can do this in multiple ways, especially if you’re looking at improving the profit in your business based on the cleaning. By reducing the dust in the environment, it will reduce dust particles in the air which can get into the lungs potentially making your staff unwell through irritation of the respiratory system. Sickness accounts for about 2.7% of time off work annually. If you base that on an average salary of £25,000 p/a, that equates to £675.00 p/a spent on sick pay alone…and that’s just for one employee! Just imagine if your staff have 2.7% more time in your business to sell, form client relationships and improve the systems, that will increase productivity and ultimately the profits of your business.

You can do this by bringing in a professional cleaning company. If your own team are currently doing the cleaning, this will take away from their core duties. Think about how much time it takes to ‘pop’ to the shop to buy cleaning supplies. It might be 10 minutes there and 10 minutes back; yes, it’s only 20 minutes but if your team do this every week, that’s roughly 17 hours over the course of a year! This is more time they could be selling and making sure your clients are happy.

Working with a commercial cleaning company like Sparkle Cleaning will ensure the correct chemicals and equipment are used; professional quality products meaning you will instantly get a better standard of cleaning that also lasts longer. A professional cleaning company also use checklists so the teams know exactly what needs to be cleaned and what standard to clean it too. Then you’ve also got regular audits that will help consistently stay on top of the cleaning standards. This means your staff are going to have 2.7% more time in the business generating you more business and more money.

What does your cleaning say about your business?

To find out more and see how else we can help your business, get in touch today.

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In view of the Cornovirus pandemic, it’s more important than ever to create a safe and healthy learning environment for our children and education professionals. Even though children have a better immune system response to COVID-19 it’s important to teach them good habits and the best way to do this is from an early age and leading by example.

Shocking facts!

Whilst children may have better immune response to COVID-19 than adults, did you know that on average, students come in contact with about 152,300 germs while they’re at school? One study found that children under two years old bring their fingers to their faces 81 times per hour! Just think about how many germs are being transferred.

As with any commercial cleaning, it’s key to focus on cleaning and disinfecting high usage and high touch areas such as classroom desks, door handles, cafeteria tables and chairs, computer keyboards, water fountains and toilets etc. Using the right cleaning products is also essential; there is a big difference between cleaning and sanitising which is why we clean dirt and grime first before sanitising surfaces with a viricidal disinfectant that is safe for use in schools.

Cleaning is a valuable learning experience

Teaching children how to wash their hands properly is vital from a young age as well as learning the skills on how to clean, tidy and respect their environment. Children learn through play which is why we’ve put together some fun activity packs. You can find them on our client resources page along with other helpful tools and posters such as how to wash and sanitise hands.

Client Reources

We’ve put together a simple guide for Operations Managers to help make the most of your commercial office cleaning.

With the COVID-19 pandemic still in full force, here are a few key things to look out for to make sure your commercial cleaning is effective.


If you notice that standards are slipping this is usually quite obvious to spot. It might start small and build over a period of time but if you’re not happy you should speak to your cleaning provider and request an audit and copies of the last couple of audits to be shared with you. This will help you see the performance of the cleaning team over the last few weeks/months and should highlight any areas that are underperforming.

The purpose of regular auditing is to monitor and maintain high standards of cleaning. It also helps identify and resolve issues or potential issues before the client notices. The purpose of working with a professional cleaning company is so that they manage the team and service delivery, not you, allowing you to focus on what’s important. If you’re having to liaise heavily with your cleaning provider to resolve issues, it may be worth reviewing the service.

You should also have clarity of the cleaning schedule and requirements for your site so you know exactly what’s included in the service.


How much time is being spent on-site and is this what was agreed in the contract? If your not sure, speak to your cleaning provider who should be able to confirm this.

Not enough time spent on-site can have a direct impact on the cleaning standards and can be a telltale sign of problems with the team or not enough time allocated for the task. It’s important to get the right cleaning company with the right team members and training to ensure consistent and smooth delivery of your office cleaning.

It’s worth reviewing your contract, especially if you haven’t done this for a while (we recommend reviewing every 6-12 months). If your business needs have changed your cleaning requirements may need to change too, whether that’s increasing or decreasing hours to get the best return on investment and the best results for your business and employees.


Communication between you and your supplier should be easy. You should know who to go to if you have any questions or concerns and ideally you want a company that are in regular contact in the form of newsletters, check-in emails and phone calls or site updates.

It can be frustrating to have to chase for answers and not receive a response in a timely manner. Communication is key to the fundamentals of any great working relationship. If you don’t have a point of contact or struggle to speak to your cleaning company, perhaps it’s time to make a change. Relationships are two ways after all.

How Sparkle Cleaning exceed client expectaions

We know that the reasons outlined above are the main reasons for businesses leaving their commercial cleaning provider so we work extra hard to ensure we go above and beyond for our clients. Communication is easy with a dedicated point of contact for your contract, standards are monitored and delivered consistently and we use a time management app with GPS tracking to ensure we deliver with INFOTIS – In full, on time, in spec!

When did you last review your cleaning contract?

With many countries in lockdown during the COVID19 pandemic forcing offices to close and staff to work remotely, you can’t help but wonder what the future of offices will look like? Company culture is changing, so is the office dead?

Remote working

Large companies like Twitter, Unilever and Google have all announced plans to work remotely for the foreseeable future (or forever in some cases) but how does remote working really work?

For a lot of people working from home sounded great until they had to do it for months and months on end. And what happens when you don’t have adequate space for a home office or don’t have the proper DSE requirements to work comfortably and safely?

The home isn’t designed to be an office and it can be hard to separate work from home life and find a healthy balance. How often have you found yourself opening up your laptop to ‘quickly’ do something, then hours later you’re still working and wondering where the time has gone? It can also be much harder to manage your time effectively; distractions are everywhere! Have you been tempted to watch TV, scroll through social media on your phone or go and make snacks when you should be working? Productivity and motivation can be significantly impacted as well as missing out on essential social interaction.

That being said there are some great advantages to home working, utilising technology such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Slack have made working from home, communication with colleagues and staying organised a lot easier. Plus who misses the commute to and from the office, right? Whilst productivity can decrease at home, it has also been proven to increase. Not only that, there are fewer sick days are taken, employee attrition can improve and remote working can save companies substantial money with a smaller property footprint.

What does the future of offices look like?

There’s a great opportunity to keep the best parts of office culture while getting rid of bad habits, inefficiencies and office politics. While many businesses can work completely remotely, it’s not always in the best interest of employees to do this long term, so to some degree offices will still be an important part of daily life, taking a hybrid approach to office and home working for a proportion of the working week.

Offices will be less densely packed with stricter safety measures in place such as floor signage and markings for one way systems and social distancing. Floor plans will be reimagined with screens to divide workstations, improved air circulation, staggered lunch breaks, hand sanitising stations and no more hotdesking. Technology will likely play an even bigger part in offices with keyless entrances or biometric face scanning and automatic doors. Cleaning, hygiene and sanitisation will also play a much more important role in the office than ever before. 

Hygiene and cleanliness

Employees will play a vital role in keeping the workplace clean throughout the day with hand sanitising and handwashing stations dotted around the office and antibacterial sprays to keep surfaces clean after use. Professional cleaning companies like Sparkle Cleaning will help reduce the risk of COVID-19 within the workplace by using medical-grade viricidal cleaning products to effectively sanitise touch points and high usage areas.

Cleaning can be performed out of hours to suit the needs of the business and to reduce unnecessary contact with people from outside your organisation. Where office cleaning isn’t possible outside of working hours, full PPE is provided to ensure the safe delivery of cleaning services and best practice followed by Sparkle Cleaning team members. 

It’s essential that cleaning staff are trained to a high standard and follow checklists to ensure nothing is missed. It’s also important to have a trusted cleaning partner so that if you do have an outbreak within your workplace it can be dealt with quickly and efficiently by a professional and certified service provider. 

If you’d like to find out more about how Sparkle Cleaning can help assist your return to the workplace and create a clean and safe environment for your staff, get in touch today.

Sparkle Cleaning was invited to quote for an independent gym that had been doing their cleaning in-house since opening in 2015. Fast forward to 2020; a global pandemic, national and local lockdowns, accompanied by social distancing measures and an increased need for high levels of cleanliness, Sparkle Cleaning came highly recommended from a neighbouring business.

The client knew they needed to step up their current cleaning service by working with a professional cleaning company but had concerns about the cost of outsourcing. Sparkle Cleaning was able to provide a quick and easy quote based on the needs of the business and at times that worked around their operating hours. Not only that, Sparkle Cleaning was able to provide a broad spectrum medical grade surface disinfectant that is BS EN 1276 and BS EN 13704 certified, which could also be used by their members throughout the day to keep the equipment clean and sanitised. This combined with professional daily cleaning, a routine deep cleaning schedule and regular auditing was a worthwhile investment for the client.

After working with Sparkle Cleaning for a couple of weeks the client had already noticed significant improvements in the quality and standard of cleaning. It made a huge difference in having a professional cleaning company do the cleaning instead of the in-house gym staff. Plus the gym staff were more productive as it freed up their time to focus on the sales, customer experience and personal training, which in turn generated the client more revenue and completely justified the outsourced cleaning budget.

Feedback from gym members has been really positive regarding the standard of cleanliness and how safe they feel using the facilities with the extra cleaning measures in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sparkle Cleaning has now been working with the client for several months and has become part of their extended team. 

Working with them as part of the team, the client now has a set structure in place to make sure that both their staff and gym-goers are safe and have peace of mind that their facilities are always cleaned to the highest of standards. 

Our clients’ facilities are our priority.

Sparkle Cleaning is the preferred commercial cleaning provider for BARBIE in Bristol and Bath and was approached by the owner of two Bristol pub-restaurants looking to outsource their commercial cleaning. After an initial phone discussion to book a quotation meeting, the client advised that they had used outsourced cleaning companies in the past but had taken the cleaning back in-house a few years ago due to having several bad experiences. They wanted to revisit outsourcing again as they had noticed the standards slipping when relying on the bar and waiting staff to do the cleaning of their two pub-restaurants at the end of the shift each night. Essentially, it just wasn’t their priority or skill set.

Sparkle Cleaning met with the client to have a look at the facilities and gain a better understanding of their specific requirements which would enable Sparkle Cleaning to put together a bespoke checklist to meet their every need. Sparkle Cleaning was also able to provide testimonials from existing clients within the same industry, which formed great credibility and gave the client the confidence to partner with us.

At first, the client wanted to launch at just one of their two venues as they were very cautious about being burned like in previous experience. They were also concerned about an external cleaning company costing more than their current arrangement and naturally outsourcing versus doing it yourself does cost a bit more but after working with Sparkle Cleaning for just a few weeks, the client realised that the return on investment was far greater when working with a professional cleaning company whose skills and expertise lay solely in this area. The clients’ staff were much happier, more productive and the venue was sparkling clean without them having to lift a finger. Within a month Sparkle Cleaning took on the regular cleaning of the second pub-restaurant so that the client could focus on what they do best; great food and drink and great customer service.

Sparkle Cleaning understands the importance of making great first impressions and has since picked up several more pub, restaurant and bar cleaning contracts and is delivering the same consistent service, tailor-made for each client’s venue.