Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

The Value Of Cleaning

April 4, 2012

Many companies recognize that cleaning is good for business.

A clean, shiny facility with a high-quality image and a superior level of hygiene attracts and retains tenants and enhances the customer experience.

In other words, clean buildings sell.

Clean facilities are extremely valuable in five key ways:

  1. They promote health and wellness
  2. They protect and preserve facility assets
  3. They enhance the image of the organization
  4. They help reduce overall risks
  5. They contribute to sustainability.
Promote Health And Wellness

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), American businesses lose an average of 2.8 million workdays each year due to unplanned absences, such as those caused by illnesses.

These unscheduled absences cost upwards of $74 billion, the BLS reported.

This statistic shows the criticality of organizations providing a healthy environment for occupants and visitors to not only protect human health but to avoid costly absences.

Focusing on the best practices outlined in ISSA''s Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS), including products and procedures designed to improve health and hygiene, helps organizations provide cleaner, healthier indoor environments for occupants and visitors.

Protect And Preserve Assets

Valuable building assets such as floors, carpets and other surfaces must be cleaned regularly and properly.

Failure to protect and preserve these surfaces through cleaning only leads to higher costs later when building owners or managers have to replace prematurely worn, damaged and soiled surfaces.

Maintaining cleaning frequencies and using the right products and procedures extends the lifecycle of building assets and keeps them looking their best.

Enhance Image

Dirty buildings do not sell well.

Whether an organization''s customer is a visitor of a hotel, a student selecting a university or a tenant seeking an office, their decision to do business within the organization/building is affected by its appearance.

Clean buildings, including shiny floors and high-quality fixtures and dispensers, help attract customers and enhance the organization''s reputation.

CIMS and APPA''s "five levels of clean" can help organizations define the level of clean based on appearance and frequency of cleaning.

Reduce Overall Risk

A quality cleaning program includes best practices to protect occupants from the risk of infectious disease and cross-contamination to the risk of slips and falls.

A slip and fall incident can occur as the result of not cleaning or by simply using products incorrectly and can cost organizations $50,000 just in litigation costs.

A dirty building presents risk by allowing the spread of major outbreaks such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) or H1N1 (swine flu).

Organizations can help reduce risk and liability just by ensuring buildings are cleaned properly and with the right frequency, as described in the CIMS checklist.

Contribute To Sustainability

Clean facilities contribute to an organization''s triple bottom line — people, planet and profit — by protecting human health and reducing risk, preserving building assets and operating more efficiently by reducing unnecessary costs.

Organizations that can demonstrate that they have sustainable facilities will attract and impress potential customers and building occupants.

Moreover, they can reduce energy, water and chemical costs with the implementation of a day cleaning program and a green cleaning program.

The green building designation of CIMS, CIMS-GB, can help organizations get started with a sustainability audit or with a green cleaning program.

Clean buildings provide more than just good looks; they bring organizations unbeatable value through enhanced image and reputation, healthy, happy building occupants and customers, fewer risks, reduced costs and increased sustainability.

Organizations that need help can look to CIMS to provide the exact steps for getting there.


Dave Frank is a 30-year industry veteran and the president of the American Institute for Cleaning Sciences (AICS). AICS is the registrar for ISSA''s Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) certification program.