Ask the Building Maintenance Experts
Solutions for Your Toughest Problems

ICAN  Q & A  Home

Friday, October 09, 2015


What is a good standard amount of sq. ft. one person can clean per hour? What is the standard time to clean a normal sized restroom? We have assigned 36,000 sq. ft. to each cleaning person here at the university. I have been asked by the university to track the amount of time each worker spends cleaning his or her area. Where should I start?


Answer # 1.
The amount of time is takes to clean is very dependent upon the work methods employed by your custodians.
For instance, if a custodian is using a bucket and mop system, the average time is approximately 2.5 to 3 minutes per fixture (toilet, urinal, sinks). However, if the custodian is using a restroom cleaning machine, then the time may drop to as low as 1 minute per fixture.
The other factor that affects this time estimate is how frequentlya restroom is serviced, as well as spot cleaned. Frequent spot cleaning and replenishment will reduce the actual time spent when the facility is thoroughly cleaned.
Your assigned sq. ft. assumes each custodian can actually clean 4500 sq. ft. each hour for a full 8 hour shift. If they can keep up that pace, you are fine. If not, something will be skipped.
I would recommend you concentrate on quality assurance guidelines rather than a square footage factor.
Perry Shimanoff
MC2 Management Consultants

Answer # 2
When you study educational custodial FTE coverage, you find a range from 20,000 to 35,000 square feet, based on daily cleaning assignments and the
amount of non-cleaning tasks that are required. It is not uncommon for non-cleaning tasks to comprise over 20% of the first shift responsibilities. Second shift cleaning can run under 5% for non-cleaning job responsibilities.
APPA's (Association of Physical Plant Administrators) Custodial Staffing Guideline shows a coverage of 34,000 square feet for level 4, which is described as moderate dinginess.
Rest room cleaning will be the most labor intensive with rather slow cleaning rates. Skip cleaning (omitting specific tasks on certain days) will result in higher production times. To assess your own times, you can design a small index pocket card for each custodian listing each job task and the
time required.
Gary Clipperton
National Pro Clean Corp
(719) 598-5112