Bulk up your cleaning routine

Three easy ways to spend less, waste less, and clean more

One of the most popular tips you hear for cutting waste and expenses is to buy in bulk. Especially when you’re talking about cleaning and janitorial supplies. It’s a great suggestion. It works. But what if you don’t have the room (or desire) to store boxes and boxes of supplies? Do you have to choose between overstocking and overpaying? No. You don’t. We’re sharing three ways that you can get the benefits of buying in bulk without adding bulk to your supply shelves.

1. Look at a new cleaning solution.

If you’re like many offices, you buy ready-to-use cleaners, like a multipurpose spray. You save a lot of money (and space) if you buy concentrated cleaners, but who has the time or patience to juggle a spray bottle and a jug of concentrate and a measuring cup and funnel just to make a usable cleaner? And, honestly, chemicals can be a bit scary. Luckily for those of us with small supply cabinets and little knowledge of chemicals, there are new products from companies like Procter & Gamble and Boardwalk that make it easy. Just hook the jug to a faucet, push a lever, and instant cleaner. The jug itself dilutes the concentrate to the right level every time. The jug doesn’t take up much space and each one will make seventy spray bottles of multipurpose cleaner. Imagine only having to reorder cleaner once or twice a year!

2. Make a clean sweep.

Disposable floor dusting and mopping cloths (like Swiffer) are popular in a lot of offices. They’re easy to use and work well, but they lead to a lot of waste because they’re only good for one use. You go through them quickly so you have to buy a lot of them, which takes up valuable space in your cleaning closet. Switching to microfiber dusters is a simple way to cut back on waste and wasted space. Each microfiber cloth can be used hundreds of times before it needs to be replaced. Buy 5-10 and you could be covered for a year or more. Boardwalk makes a great starter kit with supplies for both dry and wet mopping, plus some bonus multipurpose cloths. Rubbermaid also offers a full line of products for a wide variety of uses and environments. Microfiber cloths are also great for dusting surfaces and for end-of-the-day cleaning in your breakroom or bathrooms.

3. Take a hard look at your towels.

Did you know that on a cost-per-towel basis kitchen towels are one of the most expensive options? It’s true. And they’re most likely the ones that you’re using to clean. When you sop up a mess in the breakroom or dry your coffee cup. When you wipe down desks or counters. When you clean windows or screens. You’re probably using a lot of towels. If you want to cut back on waste and expenses, switch to a hardwound towel. Hardwound towels are unperforated towels wound tightly around a center core; a dispenser cuts them to size. You’re probably used to seeing them in restrooms, but they can be used throughout the office. Put one in the breakroom and another in the mop closet or warehouse. You’ll get the same ease and cleaning power, but you’ll spend much less. Hardwound towels are generally the most cost-effective choice. And if you use the same towel in all of your dispensers you’ll have fewer items to store on your supply shelves.