With lessons learned from the pandemic, cleaning has assumed much more importance today. Globally, people have understood the need for living and working spaces that are disinfected, sanitized and don’t provide easy breeding grounds for allergens, fungi, bacteria, and viruses. Regular cleaning helps to improve and maintain overall health and wellness. Cleaning happens as a routine chore in every home across the world. Generally, you have a mental checklist of how each area of your home should be cleaned, when, and why. Each home is unique, and cleaning is a matter of individual perception. You can hire a domestic cleaner or cleaning service to get your living spaces cleaned in exactly the way you want. This is quite different from commercial cleaning of offices, factories, retail spaces, or public spaces. Commercial cleaning services specialize in the cleaning of these areas. If you’d like to know more about these two different processes, read our guide: Domestic Cleaning Or Commercial Cleaning, What Is the Difference?
Sick Building Syndrome
The term “ sick building syndrome” (SBS) was first coined in the 1970s by the World Health Organization. It was called “office illness” by the media, but the symptoms were not restricted to commercial spaces. It is a condition people develop from the building where they live or work.
The symptoms include:
- Irritation of eyes, nose, and throat
- Neurotoxic or general health problems
- Skin irritation
- Infectious diseases
- Hypersensitivity reactions
- Odor and taste sensations
- General malaise
- Inflammatory diseases of the respiratory tract
- Headaches, fatigue, irritability, nausea, fever, chills
- Skin dryness
- Gastro-intestinal complaints
- Difficulty with concentration and focus or forgetfulness
The reasons for SBS were not hard to find. Buildings with poor ventilation, such as offices, schools, public spaces, and apartments/homes with fewer windows, are one of the leading causes of poor indoor air quality. High levels of dust, tobacco smoke, fumes from cooking, poor lighting, presence of asbestos or asbestos-containing materials, mold and fungus, chemicals from cleaning products, pesticides, and insect and animal droppings are other causes.
Homeowners and employers can help eliminate SBS by taking steps such as regular vacuuming and cleaning, using natural and fragrance-free cleaning products, replacing air filters regularly, and testing for mold or fungus.
From this, we understand that cleaning is not just about aesthetics or personal choices. It is an essential part of remaining healthy and productive. Whether it’s your home or your workplace, regular, thorough, and systematic cleaning has to be done.
Main Differences Between Domestic Cleaning and Commercial Cleaning
When you look at the two main areas that we inhabit as adults, they are our homes and our workplaces. Children would spend time between home and their educational space. Keeping these two areas clean, fresh, and hygienic would involve many of the same kinds of tasks. The difference would lie in the scale of operations and the type of cleaning to be done. In both cases, you can hire professional cleaning services, or you can do it yourself, with the help of others, or employ a person/s to clean.
- Scope: One of the biggest differences between the two would be the spaces that are targeted. The areas covered in domestic cleaning would be residential spaces. These would be smaller in comparison to commercial areas, though it’s not always the case. Some homes may be larger, while certain offices could be smaller. In some instances, the home and office could be combined. Commercial cleaning is done in factories, hospitals, warehouses, hotels, restaurants, and retail spaces.
- Scale: In terms of scale, domestic cleaning would be much lower because it’s done in homes and apartments. Commercial cleaning requires more equipment, products, personnel, and time. Most of the tools and products are far too powerful to use in a normal home setting. In terms of pricing, commercial cleaning services are more expensive, take more time and require more effort. Domestic cleaning can be done quite fast, as the tasks are simpler.
- Type of procedures: Cleaning patterns and procedures can differ widely in domestic vs. commercial cleaning. In domestic cleaning, the main focus would be ensuring that the kitchens and bathrooms are super-clean and that other living spaces are thoroughly cleaned through vacuuming, dusting, mopping, de-cluttering, and washing. In commercial cleaning, the cleaning type must be tailored to the kind of industry or operations. For instance, a hospital must be cleaned differently from a restaurant.
- Who does it: The homeowner or tenant could employ domestic cleaners individually. Or the cleaners may be employed by a cleaning service. They may or may not have special training. They usually get their jobs based on reputation, experience, and background checks. However, commercial cleaners have to be specially trained and certified to do their job. They may specialize in certain tasks, such as window cleaning or grounds cleaning. Commercial cleaning services are used when the company requires certification and documentation that records that the cleaning was done. This helps in keeping the insurance valid and protects the company against litigation.
- Equipment:Domestic cleaners may bring their own equipment and cleaning products or use what they have at home. Mops, dusters, detergents, natural products, vacuum cleaners, spray bottles, toilet cleaners, and more are the stuff that you can find in any supermarket. However, commercial cleaners use heavy-duty steam cleaners, window cleaning equipment, automatic scrubbers and dryers, elevated working platforms, power washers, and a bulk supply of cleaning products. Commercial cleaning services use floor polishers, industrial carpet cleaning equipment, and disposables for large areas.
- Working hours: Most commercial cleaning companies work at times to suit their clients. This could be out of office hours to ensure that the premises are relatively empty during the cleaning process. The best cleaning times could be during weekends or at night. Domestic cleaning services are also geared to the client’s convenience but may not work at all hours like commercial cleaners. Commercial cleaners may respond to emergencies, but domestic cleaning services generally have fixed hours.
- Standards: Domestic cleaning services generally operate based on standards the homeowner or tenant sets. They have different packages such as the end of lease, deep, regular,or weekend cleaning. You will get a checklist of chores that they do, and you can add or take them away according to your needs, preferences, and budget. Commercial cleaning services must adhere to industry requirements set by the health and safety standards or standards set by the government or local authority. They have to maintain these standards to keep their businesses running; otherwise, they could lose their licenses.
The final outcome in both commercial and domestic cleaning is the same – to protect the health, safety, and wellness of the occupants of the building. However, the scale, scope, and other details differ in both cases.