5 Best Practices for Cleaning in a Retail Setting
See Our Suggestions for Cleaning Commercial and Retail Facilities Effectively
2 May, 2022 by
5 Best Practices for Cleaning in a Retail Setting
Capital Equipment Hire, Emma Dimech

5 Best Practices for Cleaning in a Retail Setting

Anyone who works in retail knows that the presentation of the store is one of the highest priorities to maintain a good impression of the brand and its offerings. Where cleaning is almost always a functional necessity, commercial and retail premises need something more from it: it needs to give the “wow” factor.

Below we will summarise some of the best practices for cleaning inside retail settings to maximise the performance and to provide the best experience for staff and customers.

1. Prioritise High-Foot Traffic Areas

Depending on the layout of the premises, Retail Managers should consider creating a cleaning plan to ensure all areas are addressed in the most efficient and effective way. Breaking down the floor plan into sub-sections can be a great way to identify key cleaning areas, such as checkouts, product aisles or loading docks. This will also help determine the cleaning frequency.

Areas with high foot traffic should be prioritised for daily cleaning to maintain a consistently clean premises where customers or suppliers will be present the most. Commercial premises that may handle food or other perishable items should also consider daily cleaning for hygiene purposes. Depending on the industry there may be policies or standards enforced with minimum cleaning guidelines companies must adhere to. 

Generally cleaning in a retail setting should involve prioritising high-foot traffic areas to manage areas of high dirt traction. 

2. Use Cordless Equipment

To maintain the safety of the public, staff and operators, cleaning equipment that is electric powered poses a serious tripping hazard when operating. These sorts of accidents can be very costly for a business and can be highly distressing for staff and customers. With recent innovations of new modern equipment, there are many cordless alternatives for vacuum cleaners, floor scrubbers and carpet extractors. 

One fantastic example of a cordless range is i-team’s eye-vacuum and i-mop scrubber series. Both of these machines are compatible with i-power 9 or 14 batteries, meaning you can save on battery costs by interchanging the batteries based on what needs operating. This also allows future investment with i-team products.

It is highly recommended Retail Managers consider cordless cleaning equipment alternatives. By removing the risk of tripping when operating, it allows a safer experience for staff and customers. 

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3. Use Low-Noise Equipment

Cleaning in a retail setting is very comparable to cleaning in a hospitality setting due to the focus on customer experience. Retailers invest thousands of dollars in floor plan designs to create the most pleasing shopping experience for all. This has a direct impact on sales and the loyalty of customers. Low-noise cleaning equipment should be a priority investment to ensure as little disruption to customers as possible. One of the best ways to determine sound levels before purchasing is the dB(A) rating. dB(A) is a specification included in most cleaning equipment brochures to measure the sound level via a decibel scale. The higher the level, the louder it is. 

Be mindful that the more powerful the machine is, the higher the sound levels typically are due to the motor power. At times cleaning power may be sacrificed for quieter use. If you are still unsure of the sound level after comparing the dB(A) of multiple machines, think about trialling the equipment to see first-hand the level of noise. The recently released co-botic 1700 operates on 65-73 dB(A), the eye-vac 5 on 62-63 dB(A) and the VP300 Eco vacuum operates on 69 dB(A) for comparison. You can compare all equipment specifications using Capital Equipment Hire’s ‘Compare’ feature on the website.

4. Invest in a Easy-To-Operate Cleaning Machine

Larger retail premises will have a team of on-the-floor staff to clean and maintain the premises on a rostered basis. This will mean cleaning equipment will exchange many operators on a frequent basis, which can lead to machine damage or machine misuse if not operated correctly. Poor training or machine complexity could be reasons for reduced cleaning effectiveness. 

It is important Retail Managers procure a cleaning machine that is suitable for the operator/s. Some cleaning equipment is designed for professional cleaners only, where a more simplified machine choice such as the Tennant T291 Walk-Behind Scrubber or the Nilfisk SC901 Walk-Behind Scrubber could be appropriate. 

A cleaning machine considered to be ‘simple to operate’ usually features a basic operating panel to change cleaning settings, as well as yellow touchpoints to provide step-by-step daily maintenance guide. Surprisingly for some, ride-on cleaning equipment such as the BR855 scrubber are in fact safer to operate than walk-behind units, due to increased operator visibility. With any cleaning machine purchase, Capital Equipment Hire undertakes complementary training sessions for customers to ensure operator confidence before use.

5. Undertake Deep Cleaning During Closing Times

Cleaning practices are essential for daily maintenance of an area, but any facility will still need designated deep cleaning times to refresh the site. Scheduling a deep clean using a walk-behind or ride-on cleaning machine during closure times can be a great opportunity to refresh the retail area. These heavy duty scrubbing or sweeping machines can provide different levels of cleaning aggressiveness depending on the floor material and dirt type. One great option we see customers opt for often is hiring a walk-behind scrubber or sweeper every 12 weeks to undertake a deep clean. Another option is when a clearance sale or season refresh to the shop is occurring, take the opportunity to give the place a big clean too.


Cleaning in a retail setting is not one size fits all and can vary significantly depending on the industry at hand. Consider more than one cleaning equipment option to best clean different sections of the shop area when needed. Purchase or hire options can both be very reasonable solutions depending on the specific site profile.

If you feel stuck as to what is best for you, please contact our friendly team who would be more than happy to take the time to understand your specific needs. We also offer complementary demonstrations of our equipment at your convenience.