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Starting Your Business

Cleaning Business Supplies List: 60+ Items You Need for Success

Profile picture of Hillary Walters, freelancer writer for Jobber Academy
Hillary Walters
July 3, 2024 11 min. read

Getting all the right cleaning supplies as you’re starting your cleaning business is a great choice—for more than one reason.

Having a fully stocked closet will save you from scrambling for supplies at the last minute, especially with those first clients and jobs on the line. Plus, if you impress those clients from the start, you’ll secure regular work and stand out from the competition.

We’ve put together a few cleaning supply checklists to help you decide what you need for residential cleaning, commercial cleaning, specialty services, or a combination of these.

When you’re ready, download the pre-made checklist directly to make your cleaning prep a breeze.

Basic cleaning supplies for all jobs

Here are the basic supplies you need to start your cleaning business, whether your team does residential cleaning, janitorial services, or both:

  • Mop and bucket (including a wet mop and dry mop): A go-to cleaning equipment necessity that you’ll take to a range of jobs.
  • Whisk broom and dustpan: Grab a portable, sturdy option that can stand up to repeated use.
  • Lobby broom: A pro-grade lobby broom is great for large spaces (like lobbies) and won’t absorb odors or stains.
  • Dusters (short, long, or extendable): Use in a variety of spaces, from nooks and crannies to ceiling fan blades.
  • Vacuum cleaner (with attachments for hardwood and carpet): Invest in a dependable brand (like Shark or Dyson) that offers great customer service for any future repairs.
  • Microfiber cloths: Highly absorbent way to dry and finish surfaces, but make them color-coded for different rooms!
  • Paper towels: Check out your local big box store (like Costco or Sam’s Club) to find better pricing on supplies in bulk.
  • Glass cleaning cloths: Invest in glass-safe cloths that won’t scratch or harm mirrors and windows.
  • Detail cleaning brushes: A good backup item to have for small nooks that need deeper cleaning, like the grout in tile or caulk in showers.
  • Sponges: Prepare by having a few sizes and shapes. Sanitize any sponges that you plan to reuse.
  • Scrubbers: There are endless options for scrubbing surfaces—bristle brushes, spinning pads, and no-scratch pads are helpful.
  • Squeegees and T-bars: If you’re cleaning windows or planning to upsell, use commercial grade squeegees for professional results.
  • Laundry bag (for old rags): Invest in a thick canvas bag that stands up to cleaning solutions, chemicals, and extra washes.
  • Shoe covers: Pop on a set of disposable, non-slip shoe covers whenever you’re on the job. Sites like Amazon offer speedy delivery.
  • Spray bottle: Use these to store homemade products and all-purpose cleaners you need to mix with water. Be sure to label any bottles that contain chemicals that can’t be mixed.
  • Garbage bags and trash liners: Stock up on various sizes so that you can quickly replace throughout rooms. Check with clients (commercial especially) to see if this is provided.
  • Bucket or container to carry supplies: Keep a separate storage caddy on hand for quickly transporting your supplies onto the job site.

Some supplies work just fine at low prices—like microfiber cloths and basic dish soaps. You’ll generally get a more impressive and professional clean, however, if you invest in high-quality tools you plan to use for a long time. 

Consider where you can cut early costs (like generic brand all-purpose cleaner) and when you should splurge, such as when deciding on the right commercial vacuum.

Chemical cleaning products

Here’s every chemical cleaning solution—including sprays and other liquid solutions—that you might need for both residential and commercial cleaning jobs.

  • All-purpose cleaner: A basic spray that removes surface level spills, dirt, and grime from most surfaces.
  • Disinfectant spray: Used for sanitizing or disinfecting surfaces, such as in a kitchen or bathroom.
  • Glass cleaner: Specifically formulated to give windows a clear and film-free clean, without streaks.
  • Bathroom cleaner or solution: Many bathroom cleaners come with bleach to whiten surfaces and remove germs. Be careful about mixing products that contain bleach.
  • Wood floor cleaner: This solution can usually go in your wet mop routine. Always spot test (by using a small amount in a hidden area) when working with hardwood.
  • Carpet cleaner and deodorizers: Use to freshen up carpet and remove hidden odors, like in a home that has multiple cats or dogs.
  • Air fresheners: Ask your clients about sensitivities (like asthma) or allergies before using these products widely.
  • Tile and grout cleaner: Use a strong product to brighten grout between tile and remove years of built-up dirt and debris.
  • Mildew and mold removers: Many mold removers contain strong abrasives and fragrance. Check with the client before applying to a large area.
  • Toilet bowl cleaner: Quickly remove grime and germs from toilet areas. Apply with a sanitary brush for hands-free cleaning.
  • Baking soda and white vinegar: Use these natural products for an eco-friendly boost. Wipe down sinks, refrigerators, and other surfaces where a client wants to reduce harsh chemicals.
  • Laundry detergent (if you offer laundry services): Pick a trusted brand that’s perfect for both lights and darks. Check with clients about any skin sensitivities or allergies.

READ MORE: 20 types of cleaning services you can offer

Kitchen appliance cleaning products:

As a high-traffic area, the kitchen is one place on a residential job where you might need to have a few extra products on hand. Alternatively, you can check to see if your client has a preference before you perform work (like dishwashing) with new or unfamiliar products.

  • Oven cleaner: Degreases and removes grime from inside an oven (including the grates and glass) in a timely manner. This product should make scrubbing easier, by removing loose debris.
  • Stainless steel cleaners: Some chemical cleaning products leave streaks or prints on stainless appliances. A specially targeted appliance or steel cleaner can do this job more effectively.
  • Dishwashing soap: A basic dishwashing detergent (scent-free, if possible) removes caked on food and lifts stains.
  • Drain cleaners: Remove buildup from sinks and garbage disposals. Use a freshly scented product (like lemon) as a natural deodorizer.
  • Marble, granite, or quartz cleaner: Some residential clients have specialty countertops like granite or quartz that require specific formulations. Always check with a client if you’re unsure, then make a product recommendation based on what they have.

Eco-friendly cleaning products

Although mainstream cleaning products are usually effective, many clients prefer to go a “green” or environmentally-friendlier route. This is also a great option for families who want to ensure that the products you use are safe around their children or pets.

It’s a great idea to carry some eco-friendly products and offer green cleaning services as part of your service packages. These services are good for the environment and attract eco-conscious customers, who may choose you over competitors for this very reason.

Look for green cleaning products made with mostly natural ingredients and biodegradable material, including:

  • Plant-based multi-surface cleaner
  • Ammonia-free glass cleaners
  • Eco-friendly, fragrance-free dish soap
  • Non-toxic oven cleaner
  • Natural degreaser
  • Natural fabric softener
  • Eco-friendly stain remover

Pro Tip: Add images of your eco-friendly cleaning products to your cleaning estimates.

When you build an estimate in Jobber, you can add those products as optional add-ons. Customers can click and choose your green cleaning product upgrade when they look at your quote online.

two mobile devices displaying business quoting software. The first shows a service business quote and the second shows an optional line item to upgrade the service.

Commercial cleaning supplies list

Running a commercial cleaning business? If so, you’ll want to purchase these additional, specialized tools to clean spaces like offices, clinics, hotels, and event venues:

  • Push broom: A push broom lets you clean large spaces more quickly. Although there’s often not a reason to use these in homes, a large office spacing like a lobby or cafeteria has more space (and dirt) to cover.
  • Pressure washers: Use pressure washers on your commercial jobs to quickly clean entrances, awnings, sidewalks, decks, and other surfaces that see lots of foot traffic or wear from the elements.
  • Floor scrubber, buffer, and polisher: Automated machines are helpful in commercial spaces, since the square footage is usually much larger.
  • Carpet cleaning machine or carpet extractor: Clean and sanitize large carpeted areas, walkways, and common areas quickly. You might also need a commercial grade solution for these machines.
  • Steam cleaners (for upholstery and certain types of floors): Steam cleaning uses hot water and steam to remove stains and sanitize materials. Check with your site manager or client to see if they want to use this process.
  • Squeegees and T-bars with extension poles (to clean large and high windows): You might choose to offer window cleaning as an add-on service. If so, come equipped with the tools and safety equipment you need to cover large areas of glass. When working on outside windows, you might need specific safety equipment as well.

READ MORE: 12 best window cleaning tools for professionals

Pro Tip: If you’re working with an office manager who handles cleaning supply purchases, keep in touch to let them know when your janitorial supply is running low.

Protective gear for cleaning jobs

Always have these safety supplies available. Not only do they keep you and your cleaners safe, they’ll also ensure that your customer’s property remains safe as well.

Protective supplies include:

  • Disposable gloves (latex or non-latex)
  • Rubber gloves (re-usable)
  • Goggles or face shields (for industrial cleaning)
  • Aprons or coveralls
  • Non-slip shoes
  • Non-slip shoe covers
  • Safety signage (like wet floor signs, caution signs, etc)
  • Protective gloves for exterior cleaning
  • First aid kit with standard supplies

Marketing supplies

Remember—supplies and “must-haves” don’t just apply to your tool bucket. What you need also extends to important business tools for growing your brand, as well. 

Promote your cleaning company with these marketing supplies:

  • Cleaning flyers and brochures that list your services, pricing, and unique selling point
  • Business cards that are professionally designed with your company contact information and branding
  • Promotional postcards that you can mail to homeowners in your neighborhood and promote your residential cleaning offers
  • Door hangers that promote your services on every door in your neighborhood or in community buildings
  • Vehicle decals or wraps on your cleaning cars or vans that promote your services as you drive

READ MORE: 13 catchy house cleaning ads to copy in your next campaign

Business management tools

Although you can’t clean a property without mops and sprays, you also can’t run a business without the right organizational tools. Here’s what you’ll need to run the day-to-day of your cleaning business:

Cleaning business software

Starting a cleaning business on your own (or even with a partner) can be a stressful endeavor. Equip yourself with scheduling and client management software, like Jobber, so you can avoid time-consuming administrative work.

Just like a high-quality vacuum, the best cleaning business software saves you time, looks more professional, and runs a more efficient and profitable business behind the scenes.

Mobile phone displaying a screenshot of Jobber's job details screen. The job details includes a description, job checklist, and image.

Without strong scheduling and client management tools, it’s easy to let cleanings and customer requests slip through the cracks. Using Jobber helps you plan ahead for more profitable days and keep customers updated (automatically) at every stage.

READ MORE: How to run a successful cleaning business

Lead generation tools

Getting more customers through a lead generation platform helps more customers discover your services. On sites like Thumbtack, customers are actively looking for cleaning services and searching based on the cleaning tasks they want to have done for them.

Lead generation site connects homeowners with cleaning pros in a specific area. As a business owner, you’ll get relevant alerts when there’s a new job that you can bid on.

Did you know?Thumbtack connects with Jobber to help you convert leads from Thumbtack into paying customers. After Thumbtack matches you with the jobs you want, you can seamlessly manage these customers in Jobber, and track jobs from start to finish.

Accounting software

Every business needs accounting software to manage expenses, payments, payroll, and financial reporting. With a reliable accounting tool, you should be able to:

  • Easily reconcile cleaning supply transactions with bank statements
  • Save photos of cleaning supply receipts on your phone, then easily categorize receipt photos to maximize your tax deduction claims
  • Automatically track travel miles and turn business trips into deductions
  • Track billable hours for invoicing and long-term jobs
  • Check reports for account balances, cash flow, and business finances

Did you know? QuickBooks Online is the most reliable and flexible option for small cleaning businesses that need to track supply expenses and get insights for improving profitability.

QuickBooks integrates with Jobber to help you keep customer, invoice, and payment information accurate without any double entries.

Getting the right cleaning supplies doesn’t just help you work more efficiently. This prep work will give you the confidence you need to keep your business running, improving, and growing.

Originally published December 15, 2023. Last updated on July 3, 2024

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