As a cleaning professional, you know that the details matter. People rely on you to keep their homes and businesses fresh, comfortable, and healthy.

Your customers trust you to take care of everything, from the most obvious germ collectors to the little places where grime builds up.

If you miss a spot, they’ll wonder if your cleaning crew is doing a good job at all.

Make sure that you don’t miss any of those dirt-collecting details by using a janitorial inspection checklist at every job.

What is a janitorial inspection checklist?

Your janitorial inspection checklist is a tool that helps you double check your work. Use it to perform a quick inspection at the end of each job.

A good janitorial inspection looks at all the areas your team is supposed to clean. You use a rating system to grade the overall cleanliness of each item on the list.

Janitorial inspections can be formal or informal.

An informal inspection is basically a walkthrough. You go through the building or areas you were hired to clean and look for any places you missed.

While there’s nothing inherently wrong with this type of inspection, it leaves a lot of room for error. You might miss a lot of details like dirty dishes left on desks or dust buildup in places that are a little harder to reach.

A formal inspection is more thorough. Your checklist guides you to check everything thoroughly, and you rate the quality of cleaning for each item on the list. This tells you where your crew has a tendency to overlook things, and where you might need to spend more time.

The importance of performing janitorial inspections

When you manage a cleaning business, you can’t afford to have a reputation for sloppy work.

Completing regular janitorial inspections is a smart way to improve the quality of your cleaning services.

It doesn’t cost anything to create an inspection checklist. When you conduct regular quality checks on completed jobs, you’ll find it easier to attract new business and manage your team.

Here are some of the benefits you’ll enjoy when you use an inspection checklist to check your work:

Negotiate prices more easily

The first time you talk to a potential cleaning client, your inspection checklist helps you set the right expectations and negotiate a fair rate.

Everyone wants the best possible quality for the lowest possible price.

When it comes to cleaning, some customers will try to cut corners to get a better deal. Later on, they might complain that they’re not getting what they paid for when you do the less thorough job they wanted.

In this situation, a janitorial inspection checklist can really help. Use the checklist to specify where your responsibilities begin and end.

You might even consider including specific checklist items in your commercial cleaning contract. That way, both parties know exactly what will be cleaned and what will not be cleaned for the agreed price.

Maintain communication

When your crew gets a new cleaning assignment, they should know what the client expects.

Without a checklist or other written guide, your team will quickly forget any specific services that a particular client requested. They’ll either miss things that the customer expects them to do, or they’ll spend too much time on tasks that you aren’t charging for.

Your inspections are also a chance to get real time feedback from your team.

Maybe a job takes longer than you expected, or the supplies you’ve provided don’t do a good enough job.

Completing regular inspections brings these issues to your attention before they cost you a client. It also makes the crew feel more comfortable about contacting you when an issue arises.

Improve cleanliness

The main reason you perform janitorial inspections is to produce better results.

Knowing that your work will be inspected, you’ll be more mindful of a job well done. This works even when you use your checklist to inspect your own work.

Inspections show you the things you tend to overlook. Maybe your cleaning crew often forgets to clean the office coffee pot, or you don’t always remember to empty the bathroom trash cans.

It’s easier to fall into old habits when cleaning jobs become routine. Completing inspections on a regular basis is a smart way to refocus on quality.

Creating a janitorial inspection checklist

Your checklist helps you do better work. Make sure it’s thorough, clear, and easy for your team to follow.

When designing a janitorial inspection checklist, consider the following:

Inspection frequency

How often are you going to perform inspections?

This depends on the size of the job, how well your team generally does, and who is responsible for the inspection. If you’re not available to visit every location regularly, you can assign someone on the team to fill out the checklist on certain days.

For very large buildings, you can inspect areas instead of the entire job.

It’s up to you whether you announce checklist inspections or not.

Some business owners prefer to do surprise inspections so that their team doesn’t put extra effort into inspection days while they relax the rest of the time. If you prefer this method, you should make sure to vary how often you visit a job site so that it doesn’t become a regular routine.

Type of inspection

What type of inspection will you perform?

Visual inspections are quick, easy, and effective. Simply walk through the site with your checklist and fill out your ratings.

However, for some types of jobs where deep cleaning is a requirement, you might also want to consider using adenosine triphosphate (ATP) or fluorescent marking chemicals.

ATP is usually used to verify that medical surfaces are completely cleaned and disinfected. It’s applied to the surface ahead of time, and after cleaning is done, the surface is swabbed and checked for any remaining traces.

Fluorescent marking chemicals work similarly. These chemicals are not visible to the naked eye, but they light up in UV or blacklight. Apply a little bit of fluorescent gel to surfaces ahead of time, then use a handheld UV light to check for any spots that light up.

Inspection components

Every job is different. Some customers want a thorough, deep cleaning, and others just want you to tidy up.

Use the right checklist for the job.

You can start with a standard inspection checklist template that you use for most routine contracts. That might include things like emptying all trash cans, sweeping and mopping the floors, and wiping down tabletops.

From there, add or remove items based on the job requirements.

An office might want to add things like disinfecting door handles or cleaning out the fridge on Fridays. Residential customers may ask you to change the kitty litter or sweep out the space between the counter and the fridge.

Go over your checklist items with the customer when they sign their contract, then make sure your crew gets a copy so they know what’s expected.

Rating system

You’ll also need to decide on a standard rating system. When it comes to cleaning, quality matters. There’s a lot more to it than “done” or “not done.”

Most janitorial inspection checklists use a rating system of 1 to 5 or a percentage ranging from 1 to 100 percent.

For example, let’s say one of your checklist items is to wash all dishes left in the sink. Your team washes the dishes, but there’s still food stuck to some of the items. You might mark that at 70%.

If multiple inspectors will be inspecting a particular area, it’s important that they all receive the same training and have a clear understanding of how your rating system works. Inconsistent ratings will just confuse your team and could result in low quality work.

Janitorial inspection checklist template

Creating a thorough checklist is important, but it’s easy to miss things on your first try.

That’s why we built this template. Use it as a starting point for your own personalized janitorial inspection checklist.

As you’ll see below, the items on the checklist are divided by room. This makes it much easier to complete a thorough inspection since you don’t have to hunt for items. If you need to expand your own checklist, we recommend using the same format.

Entrance and exit

  • Wipe and wash doors
  • Wipe and clean doorknobs
  • Clean doormats
  • Vacuum carpet
  • Dust and clean planters
  • Wipe and clean light fixtures
  • Sweep, mop, and dry floors

Lobby or reception

  • Empty, wash, and re-line trash receptacles
  • Disinfect and polish reception counter
  • Disinfect coffee table
  • Dust and spot clean furniture
  • Sweep, mop, and vacuum floors
  • Dust shelves and cabinets
  • Dust light fixtures
  • Spot clean walls
  • Dust desk
  • Disinfect equipment (computer monitor, keyboard, phone)
  • Dust HVAC systems

Kitchen

  • Clear and disinfect counters
  • Wash dishes
  • Empty and clean refrigerator
  • Wipe and clean microwave
  • Empty and clean coffee maker
  • Clean sink and faucet
  • Empty trash and replace liners
  • Sweep, mop, and dry floor

Bathroom

  • Disinfect and wash toilets and urinals
  • Disinfect and wash sinks and faucets
  • Clean mirrors
  • Clean hand dryers
  • Refill soap dispensers and paper products
  • Empty trash and replace liners
  • Mop floors
  • Clean door and door handle

Office

  • Dust tables and desks
  • Clean spills and stains
  • Clean chairs
  • Dust and clean equipment (computers, keyboards, phones, printers)
  • Clean window panes and glass surfaces
  • Clean light fixtures
  • Mop and clean floor
  • Empty trash and replace liners

Create a janitorial inspection checklist today

Performing a janitorial inspection ensures that your cleaning standards stay high. Now more than ever, that’s crucial to stay competitive.

Feel free to use the template included in this blog post to start creating your own janitorial inspection checklist.

For more tips and expert advice on how to manage and grow your janitorial business, follow the Hubstaff blog.