Types of Janitorial Supplies and When You’ll Need Them

Types of Janitorial Supplies and When You’ll Need Them

As custodians, we’re accustomed to seeing over-flowing trash cans, dirty floors, and windows covered in fingerprints. As customers, we’ve all also encountered a poorly maintained restroom and can remember the impression it left. When the cleanliness of a business is neglected, it leaves a negative image with the customer and that in turn has a direct impact on business itself. Custodial crews perform a vital service for businesses. In addition to being better for business, clean buildings promote good hygiene, reduce the spread of sickness, and can increase productivity amongst employees – after all, no one wants to work in a dirty and unsanitary environment. It can be challenging being a custodian but having the right tools and equipment can make it easier for you to do your job more efficiently.

Here are some of the supplies and equipment you’ll commonly use and when you’ll need it:

Custodial cart

This cart consists of various parts and sections - ideal for moving around your supplies. It allows you to easily transport your tools from place to place. It usually contains the broom, dustpan, mop, mop bucket, cleaning products, and a waste bucket for the trash.

Mop, bucket, and wringer

There will be areas of the floor that can only be properly cleaned with a mop and bucket. Commercial mop buckets have a built-in ringer and hold a large amount of water. If juice spills or there’s a leak, you’ll want a mop and ringer on-hand to clean up large amounts of water with ease.

Cleaning cloths

Microfiber cloths are more cost-effective and durable than cotton cloths. They’re typically larger and more absorbent allowing them to remove more bacteria. Microfiber cloths hold a positive charge. Dirt, dust, and grease all have a negative charge. Therefore, the microfiber attracts germs, dirt, and grime to remove them from surfaces. These are great for wiping down surfaces.


Besides microfiber cloths, custodians also use microfiber dusters to sweep the floors before mopping. Dusters are a type of mop that uses a dry fabric head to collect dust, dirt, sand, and other small debris from surfaces. In some cases, using a microfiber cloth is sufficient enough for the floor - no mopping needed. They require no cleaning solution, which is a huge benefit. Dusters with expandable handles capable of reaching high up and low down are always very useful. Dusters are useful when you don’t have to mop up a mess, but instead, just need to give the floor a thorough sweep.


Sweeping is a standard part of janitorial maintenance. Dry brooms feature either plastic or natural fiber bristles. Natural fibers may include broomcorn or palmyra fibers. Plastic fibers are commonly made of polypropylene. Brooms may also have angled bristles to reach into corners or around tight spaces. Specialty scrub brushes may be used to clean porcelain, ceramic tiles, and grout.

Vacuums and Carpet Cleaners

Carpet cleaning machines may be used for heavy stains. There are various types of carpet cleaners available depending on the required level of cleaning. Custodians always vacuum clean carpets and rugs before cleaning out dirt and stains. Sometimes stains can just be spot cleaned. For heavier stains, you may need the help of a steam cleaner or various carpet cleaning machine. As an example, a “carpet extractor machine” uses an electric pump to force detergent deep into the carpet pile then pulls the liquid out.

Floor Buffer

Buffers strip or remove the wax from a facility's floor. Depending on the floor pad buffers can also be used to strip, clean, or scrub the floor to remove dirt and scuff marks.

Floor Polisher

This machine is similar to a buffer in terms of effect, but it doesn’t strip or scrub. A floor polisher creates a smoother surface on a floor so that it looks clean and shiny.

Long-handled toilet cleaning brush

Toilets always must be cleaned. A long handle keeps you from having to get too close to the bowl while cleaning.

Cleaning supplies

A variety of cleaning supplies are needed. A good multi-purpose clever is essential. Along with a glass cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, and of course, disinfectant. There are countless cleaning products on the market. Green cleaning products are the safest for you and the environment, but it’s a matter of preference when it comes to supplies.

Safety signs

Slippery floor and caution signs are important to warn people and prevent slips and falls.

Allston Supply has all your custodial supply needs covered. We’re dedicated to creating cleaner, safer, and healthier work environments. Contact us for information about the products and services we offer.