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How to Calculate Cleaning Times

Categories: Bidding & Workloading, Cleaning Applications

By Brant Insero | May 27, 2021 << Back to Articles How to Calculate Cleaning Times

Calculating cleaning times, or production rates, can be a difficult task due to the number of variables in each particular situation. But help is out there—both printed resources as well as professional consultants—if you know where to look.

There are several sources of production rates available. Some of the most widely available are published by industry associations, including the Official ISSA Cleaning Times & Tasks. This resource provides excellent guidelines for cleaning times and a good foundation to use for your business. Cleaning times are the starting point for preparing bids and estimates for budgeting labor and workloading based on cleaning tasks and the time it takes to complete them. Cleaning times identify efficiencies through increased productivity by utilizing different equipment, tools, and technology. The cleaning times are built using five components: task, tool, time, total units, and training.

The Official ISSA Cleaning Times & Tasks provide a set of average cleaning times for both individual cleaning tasks as well as bundled cleaning processes.

The times included in this book were submitted from thousands of different sources. The tasks, times, and tools included are meant to be used as a benchmark to compare your organization to an industry standard. The cleaning tasks, tools, and times are not a time-motion study; their purpose is to act as a guide for bidding and estimating cleaning work. Organizations have demonstrated more efficient results through individual studies.

Cleaning time calculations

Determining how much time cleaning will take can be accomplished by combining all the separate tasks, tools, and times and designing an integrated cleaning systems. Another way to decide how much time cleaning will take is to bundle together different tasks that combined represent one time (for example, as in the fixture calculation method).

Single Task Example

How many minutes does it take to mop 1,000 cleanable square feet of floor with a 14-inch flat mop and dual-chamber bucket?

What time should be used? In the floor care section under mopping, the time value for MFM–3 is a production rate for this task.

Cleaning time can be calculated as the amount of square footage to be cleaned divided by the production rate per hour multiplied by 60 to generate an output in minutes.

1,000 square feet/5,355 square feet x 60 minutes = 11.2 minutes

Bundled Tasks Example

How many minutes does it take to spot clean 2,000 cleanable square feet, including emptying trash and relining the can, spot wiping, spot dusting, and picking up debris from the floor?

What time should be used? In the specialist section under light duty, the time value for LDT–1 is a production rate for these tasks.

Cleaning time can be calculated as the amount of square footage to be cleaned divided by the production rate multiplied by the time in minutes.

2,000 square feet/1,000 square feet x 3.62 minutes = 7.24 minutes

Fixture Method

How many minutes does it take to clean a restroom with 10 fixtures, including emptying trash; cleaning and disinfecting fixtures, mirrors, and partitions; replacing supplies; dusting; sweeping; and wet mopping the floor?

What time should be used? In the restrooms section under restroom cleaning, the time value for RCL–7 is a production rate for these tasks.

Cleaning time can be calculated as the number of fixtures to be cleaned multiplied by the production rate in minutes.

10 fixtures x 3 minutes per fixture = 30 minutes

Cleaning time consultants

If you are struggling with cleaning times, production rates, and establishing staffing levels, contact [email protected] for more information and be aligned with a subject matter expert specific to your industry type a geographic area.

Cleaning Industry Alert

Check out the below ISSA Cleaning Industry Alert to hear more from ISSA Director of Education, Training, Certification & Standards Brant Insero on what you can find in the latest edition of the ISSA Cleaning Times, which was released in April 2021. And be sure to order your own copy here.


About the Author.

Brant Insero is ISSA director of education, training, certification and standards. He can be reached at [email protected]; phone, 847-982-0800.