What Is the Difference Between In-House and Contract Cleaning?

Cleanliness is a fundamental aspect of any business or organisation. A clean and well-maintained environment not only creates a positive impression but also contributes to the health and well-being of employees and visitors. When it comes to maintaining cleanliness, businesses have two primary options; whether to opt for in-house cleaning or to employ the services of a professional contract cleaning company. We have identified the key differences between these two approaches, helping you make an informed decision about which one is right for your company’s needs.

In-House Cleaning

In-house cleaning involves hiring and managing a dedicated team of cleaning staff who are directly employed by your organisation. These employees work directly for you on your premises and are responsible for maintaining cleanliness and hygiene.

Benefits of In-House Cleaning


With in-house cleaning, you have direct control over the cleaning staff, schedules, and procedures. You can tailor the cleaning process to meet your specific requirements.


In-house cleaners become familiar with your facility, its layout, and your organisation’s unique needs over time. This can lead to more efficient and effective cleaning.


Since the cleaning staff are part of your organisation, they have a strong sense of accountability to maintain high standards of cleanliness.


You can adjust cleaning schedules and tasks as needed, responding quickly to changing circumstances or priorities.

Challenges of In-House Cleaning


Employing and managing an in-house cleaning team comes with overhead costs such as salaries, benefits, training, and equipment procurement.

Management Responsibility

Managing cleaning staff requires time and effort, diverting resources from core business activities. If you are unfortunate and have a high turnover of cleaning staff, recruitment could be added to your role!

Limited Expertise

Your in-house team may lack specialised knowledge and equipment for handling specific cleaning tasks. You would be responsible for organising training for your cleaning team, which may be quite specialised, for example gaining knowledge of hazardous chemicals and products.

Contract Cleaning

Contract cleaning involves outsourcing your cleaning needs to a third-party cleaning company. These companies provide trained personnel and equipment to clean your premises according to agreed-upon schedules and standards.

Benefits of Contract Cleaning


Contract cleaning often proves cost-effective as you only pay for the services supplied, avoiding the overhead costs of hiring and managing in-house staff.


Contract cleaning companies specialise in cleaning services and have the expertise, equipment, and products, and sometimes qualifications needed to tackle various cleaning challenges.


Contract cleaners follow predefined cleaning schedules and standards, ensuring a consistent level of cleanliness. If a cleaning team member is absent for any reason, the cleaning contractor will supply a replacement, ensuring there is no interruption to services.

Time Savings

Outsourcing cleaning responsibilities frees up your time and resources to focus on your own business activities.

Challenges of Contract Cleaning

Limited Control

You have less direct control over the cleaning staff and processes, which may lead to concerns about quality and responsiveness.

Lack of Familiarity

Contract cleaners may not be as familiar with your facility’s specific needs and layout, potentially resulting in less efficient cleaning.

Communication Challenges

Effective communication with an external cleaning provider is crucial to ensure your expectations are met.

Key Differences

Now that we’ve explored the benefits and challenges of both in-house and contract cleaning, we can summarise the key differences between the two approaches:

In-House Cleaning

  • Direct control over cleaning staff and procedures.
  • Familiarity with your facility and organisation’s needs.
  • High level of accountability.
  • Flexibility to adjust cleaning schedules and tasks.
  • Higher overhead costs.

Contract Cleaning

  • Cost-effective due to lower overhead costs.
  • Specialised expertise and equipment.
  • Consistent cleaning standards.
  • Time-saving, allowing focus on business.
  • Limited direct control over cleaning processes.
  • Potential communication challenges.
  • Making the Right Choice

The Decision is Yours

The decision between in-house and contract cleaning ultimately depends on your organisation’s specific needs, priorities, and resources. Here are some considerations to help you make the right choice:


If cost-efficiency is a primary concern, contract cleaning will almost certainly be the better option. However, if you have the budget to support in-house cleaning, you may want more control over the process.


Consider the complexity of your cleaning needs. If your facility requires specialised cleaning, such as healthcare, CQC or industrial cleaning, contract cleaning companies will have the necessary expertise.

Control vs. Convenience

Assess how much control you want over the cleaning process. In-house cleaning offers more control, while contract cleaning provides convenience and time savings.

Facility Size and Complexity

The size and complexity of your facility can influence your decision. Large or complex facilities may benefit from the resources and expertise of contract cleaning companies.

Quality Assurance

Evaluate the track record and reputation of potential contract cleaning providers to ensure they can meet your cleanliness standards.


In-house and contract cleaning each have their advantages and disadvantages. The choice you make should align with your organisation’s specific needs, budget, and priorities. Whether you opt for direct control with in-house cleaning or the convenience of outsourcing to contract cleaners, maintaining a clean and hygienic environment is essential for the success and well-being of your business and its employees.

Here at Brightr, our team of cleaners are expertly trained to deal with the differing requirements which can be presented to them when carrying out commercial cleaning services. After an initial visit from one of our supervisors, we will recommend how often our cleaners should visit, how often they should clean particular areas and how often a deep clean may be needed. We won’t just duplicate an existing contract as we want to make sure you get exactly what you need from our services.

If you’d like a quote tailored to your requirements, get in touch here.