Frustrated office professional.

How to Fire Your Cleaning Company

Picture this scenario: you open your office for the start of the business day and immediately notice how dirty it is.  How frustrated would you be at the sight of a filthy lobby?  When workplace cleanliness is suffering, so is your business.  After all, many people take pride in delivering quality, professional services or products to their customers.  It’s disappointing when your cleaning vendor can’t do the same.  When their poor performance negatively effects your business, it becomes imperative that you reconsider the relationship.  But as many advice columnists know all-to-well, breaking up is hard to do.   For those businesses that feel stuck in a toxic relationship with their cleaning company, we hope this message can bring some clarity…..because friends don’t let friends put up with bad cleaning!    

How Do You Know When It’s Time to End the Relationship?

First, let dive back into that hypothetical: an epiphany hits you just as you’re unlocking your office’s front door.  You raise the blinds and let in the sun, when suddenly you notice greasy handprints on the glass.  The sills are dusty.  Then there’s coffee splashes racing to the floor.  Now imagine that this has happened many times before.   The last time you even reported it to your cleaning company.  No-this isn’t deja-vu or a lack of sleep.  What you’re witnessing is poor quality cleaning.  Out of frustration many questions might spring to mind.  Why would this be happening again? Hadn’t they promised to clean the door glass and vacuum every night?  Are they poorly trained?  In a hurry?  Clearly you’ve reached an impasse.  Should you give them another chance?  How many chances do they deserve?

Of course, if cleaning problems are a one-off, it’s never worth overreacting. After all, commercial cleaning involves both working with and managing people. And people make mistakes.  After a cleaning problem is reported, a good cleaning company should respond and take action to identify and address the problem.  Superior cleaning companies should also be proactive and periodically inspect their work for quality control. 

If you’re experiencing repeated cleaning problems, this is the time to reevaluate the service.  One of the first things you can do is assess how responsive the cleaning company has been up to this point.  Do you ever see or hear from your customer service rep?  When you complained last time did you get an appropriate, timely reply?  If the answer was no, you’ve got a problem on your hands.  It could be that they’re too busy.  Or maybe even mismanaged.    The only way to know for sure is to communicate both your concerns and expectations.  If things don’t improve, we wouldn’t blame you for looking elsewhere…

Since accidents can and do happen, it’s important to quantify the deal-breakers when it comes to a cleaning company’s behavior.  Maybe they’re great at making big promises, but the execution isn’t there.  At the end of the day, you deserve a clean business.  When picking and choosing your battles, what kinds of things might necessitate firing a cleaning company?  Let’s take dive right in.

Frustrated office manager fed up with bad commercial cleaning and ready to fire his cleaning company.

Valid Reasons for Firing Your Cleaning Company

Not Locking Doors.

If you communicate that certain doors must be locked for security reasons, but the cleaners continually fail to do so, you should question their management.  Are they forgetting to lock the front door?  At that point things are guaranteed to go south.   Security should be paramount.  If the cleaning company is not taking your facility seriously, they’re not taking you seriously.  

Repeatedly Not Setting the Alarm.   

A no-brainer.  Can you even trust them at this point?  Do they even care?


The most obvious entry on this list.  If electronics walk away, of course we wouldn’t blame you for escalating things. However, it’s important to keep in mind that investigations into theft accusations should always be conducted.   No matter how big or small, it’s vital that you give your cleaning company’s management team the opportunity to investigate on their end.  At times, it’s easy to blame the janitorial company.  But often times there are many variables to consider before jumping to conclusions.  

Not Showing Up at All.

Repeated no-call, no-shows?  Never acceptable.   Not only are you not receiving what you pay for, but the cleaning company has some serious management holes.  Yes- people get sick, and family emergencies happen, but they should have a coverage plan in place so that it doesn’t affect you.  At a bare minimum they ought to give you a heads up when they’re unable to show up.

Okay, up after some reflection you’ve made the decision to part ways with your cleaning company.   If you’ve experiencing repeated cleaning problems or some of the red-flags we’ve mentioned, fair enough.  The next step is to give them a 30-day termination notice.  It’s generally best to give notice in writing via an email or letter sent via certified mail.  Over the course of the next 30 days this will allow you to meet with new cleaning companies.  Kind of like hiring a new employee, you need time to do your research and vet each one.  This process can take time.  And yeah, it’s not very fun.

Meanwhile the 30 days allows your cleaning company enough time to phase out the crew and pull out their equipment.  Ideally, they’ll be a pro and accept the news of their failure.  Ideally, they’ll continue to diligently clean your business up until the last day.  

In some cases, the struggling company might even make a desperate play to try and win back your business.  They may offer to change out the cleaners and management staff.  Be wary.  While they might promise to have a renewed sense of focus and purpose, in most cases failures like these are a reflection upon the organization’s culture.  Or lack thereof.  From the top down, something is clearly missing.  They might have inadequate systems for customer service, training, management, or all of these things.  

You deserve quality, consistent cleaning.  Don’t be stuck in a toxic relationship with a poorly-managed cleaning company.  Find one that puts your needs first! If you have questions the Service Consultants at Business Cleaning Solutions are always happy to help.

Scroll to Top