How to Calculate Cleaning Times

Categories: Bidding & Workloading, Cleaning Applications

| March 20, 2018 << 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—if you know where to look.

There are several sources of production rates. Some of the most widely available are published by industry associations, including ISSA’s 612 Cleaning Times, APPA’s Custodial Staffing Guidelines, BSCAI’s Production Rate Recommendations, and Building Owners and Managers Association International’s Cleaning Makes Cents. These provide excellent general guidelines for cleaning times and a good foundation to use for your business.

But because there are so many variables—cleaning frequency, customer expectations, building surfaces, equipment used, and level of quality, to name a few—and accurate production rates are so essential, the best practice is to develop your own building-specific rates. Conducting your own times study is one of the best methods to determine the production for a given task.

How to Perform a Time Study

1. Choose a task
2. Measure the area
3. Note building variables
4. Observe and record
5. Average the rates
6. Adjust for variables
7. Fine-tune your rates

The following example comes from ISSA’s SmartStaffing Bidding & Estimating Guidebook.

Task: Remove trash
Area: 15,000 square feet
Density: Normal, no variables

Use the following formula to determine your production rate:
60 / (average minutes from time study) x (number of square feet in the study)

Cleaner Time to Complete
Cleaner 1 33 Minutes
Cleaner 2 27 Minutes
Cleaner 3 30 Minutes
Cleaner 4 30 Minutes
Cleaner 5 32 Minutes
Cleaner 6 28 Minutes
Total Time 180 Minutes



Average Time 180/6 = 30 Minutes

In this study, the formula would be:
60 / 30 x 15,000 = 30,000 square feet per hour

Since there were no variables, we now know that the base production for trash removal in this building is 30,000 square feet per hour.