Commercial cleaning vs industrial cleaning: what’s the difference?

03 Mar 23
If you’ve been thinking about starting a professional cleaning business, you may have come across both commercial cleaning and industrial cleaning and be wondering which one is right for you.
To your clients, there won’t appear to be much difference. At the end of the day, they end up with a cleaner, healthier and more hygienic workplace that helps reduce the spread of germs (thereby minimising absenteeism), make a great first impression for visitors and customers, and even boost productivity and profitability.
But there are some key reasons why you would choose a commercial cleaning franchise over industrial cleaning. Let’s look at what some of those are…
What is commercial cleaning?

Commercial cleaning (sometimes called office cleaning) is what most people think of when they consider starting or buying a cleaning business in Australia that doesn’t involve cleaning homes (which is often called domestic cleaning or home cleaning).

As a commercial cleaner, you can expect to perform duties such as:

  • Using commercial-grade cleaning equipment, products and techniques to clean and sanitise the workplace.
  • Maintaining health and safety standards for your clients and their staff and visitor
  • Cleaning all spaces including reception areas, desks and tables, meeting rooms, kitchens, bathrooms and floors to a consistent, high standard.

While these are the basic business cleaning duties you and/or your team will likely undertake, it does depend somewhat on the contract you have with each client. Specific workplaces will have specific cleaning requirements (for example, you may do window cleaning, steam cleaning or pressure cleaning as an add-on service), which can be a great opportunity to hone certain skills and diversify your services.

As a commercial cleaner, you may find yourself working in:

Offices for accountants, lawyers and other professionals

  • Retail
  • Medical facilities 
  • Health clubs
  • Accommodation
  • Childcare centres
  • Schools
  • Aged care facilities
  • Car showrooms

Wherever you work, as a commercial cleaning business owner, you’ll most likely be working alone and outside operating hours. This is something many V.I.P. Commercial Cleaning franchisees value, because they can simply focus on getting the job done without having to worry about disturbing others while they work.

What is industrial cleaning?

While industrial cleaning also involves commercial spaces, the types of facilities look quite different. Typically, you’ll find yourself cleaning around machinery and equipment in warehouses, manufacturing plants, factories and other industrial facilities.

Of course, these places will likely have offices, kitchens and bathrooms that need cleaning too. But on the face of it, industrial cleaning is more specialised and hazardous than commercial cleaning.

That means industrial cleaners need niche skills, training and equipment to safely and effectively do the job and get the best results for clients – especially when you consider cleaning equipment such as big vats and fermenters in a brewery can make a big difference to an organisation’s product quality and profitability. 

There’s a good chance you’ll need to be trained in working at heights, handling chemicals, dealing with hazardous waste, and cleaning large and complex areas. And because industrial facilities tend to operate around-the-clock, you may find yourself having to clean while others are working and dangerous equipment is running.

Wrapping up: Which business is right for you?

You’ve now learned some of the major differences between commercial cleaning and industrial cleaning.

To recap:

  • Commercial cleaning involves everyday workplaces such as offices and schools, typically working alone and outside operating hours. 

  • Industrial cleaning involves large, specialist and complex facilities such as factories, plants and warehouses, typically involves working during operating hours, and requires more specialist skills and certifications, as well as heavy-duty equipment and chemical cleaning solutions.

As you can see, it can be faster and easier to start or buy a commercial cleaning business. You may find that with some experience under your belt, you may wish to branch out into industrial cleaning at a later stage.

But ask any V.I.P. Commercial Cleaning franchisee and they’ll tell you that being your own boss and providing office cleaning services can be an incredibly rewarding experience – both financially and in terms of work-life balance. Just be sure to ask yourself these questions before starting a commercial cleaning business.

Ready to see if a commercial cleaning business is right for you? Contact our friendly team today.

Commercial cleaning vs industrial cleaning: what’s the difference?