Are your commercial cleaning consumables trashing your budget? Find out how to track your supplies and save money.

If there’s one group of items that we seem to fly through in the janitorial industry, it’s cleaning consumables. Trash bags, gloves, toilet paper, and soap sometimes feel like precious commodities that are gone almost as soon as they get delivered. 

Of course, these are necessary expenses. You can’t restock a bathroom without soap and paper products. Employees can’t clean without critical safety supplies like gloves. There are ways you can conserve these items and make sure you’re getting as much use out of them as possible. 

Still, your team needs a steady supply of these commercial cleaning consumables. That doesn’t mean you need to let this be a source of stress. Once you get your tracking down, everything else, from budgeting to ordering, becomes easier. 

Keep track of inventory, work orders, and more with Janitorial Manager. Learn more today with a free discovery call!

Cleaning Consumables

Tracking your cleaning consumables the easy way

One of the most significant factors in tracking your commercial cleaning consumables is whether your supplies are all in one central location or delivered directly to and stored at client sites. In either situation, however, organization is critical. 

A place for everything and everything in its place, the saying goes. Make that your mantra for storing your cleaning consumables. For example, cleaning solutions go on the bottom shelf, and maybe you arrange it to go from cleaners to disinfectants to sanitizers from left to right. Perhaps you have hand soaps and toilet paper on the shelf above that, while the top shelf holds gloves, eye protection, and so on. 

That makes it much easier to find inventory items, and, along with your official inventory list, you can keep an unofficial visual inventory. But, what happens when you store goods in multiple locations? 

Ideally, you can have a similar storage arrangement no matter where your items are located. That helps with tracking, of course, but it also makes it easier for employees to find the tools they need even if they move from one site to another. 

Even so, you’re better off keeping as many supplies as possible in a central location, like your office. That makes it much easier to track your cleaning consumables and maintain better control of your supplies. 

Next, you’ll need to inventory your supplies on a regular schedule. That could be a count at the end of each shift or once each week. What works best will depend on how spread out your supplies are. Additionally, the volume of supplies you have on hand will factor in here. 

The important part here is not how often you inventory your cleaning consumables, but that you do it on a regular schedule. Your goal is to determine patterns. For example, how many boxes of gloves do you use in a week? What is the average usage rate for cases of toilet paper? 

These numbers may change seasonally or around events. For example, if you work at a school, you’ll go through fewer supplies in the summer. But once you have a history of tracking your supplies, you can see where these bumps and dips happen. 

That leads to budgeting for these cleaning consumables. Once you have an average of how much you use, you can start planning for the expense. This may also help with your bidding, since you’ll have a better idea of what your break-even point is. 

In fact, if you use Janitorial Manager, supply budgeting is built right into the software. You can even set and track budgets for individual locations and for each client. 

Now, what about the actual tracking and inventorying? That’s the easiest part. Your supplies are organized, and if they’re in one location, you just go through and count. 

Soon enough, you’ll see patterns emerge, and you’ll be able to more easily figure out if there are discrepancies in the number of cleaning consumables you’re going through. 

That’s just one of the many benefits of tracking your inventory. What other benefits can you expect?

  • Tracking inventory helps ensure the supplies your team needs are always in stock.
  • It prevents the need to make last-minute and rush orders, saving you money on shipping charges. 
  • It’s easier to determine if there’s a significant change in how many supplies your team is going through.
  • Tracking inventory regularly makes it clear when there’s a discrepancy in the billing.
  • Tracking inventory keeps you aware of discrepancies in product and supply usage. 
  • With cloud-based inventory management (like that available with Janitorial Manager), a team leader can input supply numbers from other locations, so you don’t have to go to each site. 

Believe it or not, tracking your supplies takes much less time than most people realize. And once you get your rhythm down, it’s even easier. Plus, in the long run, it saves you a lot of time and headaches.


If you are ready to take your cleaning organization to the next level, take advantage of a free call with Janitorial Manager to see how our software can make your janitorial operation more successful.