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When Should You Bulk Buy Cleaning Supplies?

26 April 2023

Jennie Hollingsworth

When it comes to ordering cleaning supplies, you may already have a system in place. But is it one that delivers the best value? What if by reassessing your order habits you could cut costs, save time, reduce your carbon footprint and limit the risk of future supply issues? All of this can be achieved, and more, simply by implementing a bulk-buy ordering system for your cleaning supplies.

We’re not just talking about adding a couple of extra bottles of disinfectant to your shopping list, we mean a structured bulk-buying process which will deliver a tangible difference. Here at phs Direct, we are the experts on workplace consumables and have both the experience and expertise when it comes to the most efficient procurement process for cleaning supplies. Allow us to help you rethink the way you operate and explain the benefits of bulk buying.

  • Save money: This is the most obvious reason to bulk buy but ultimately the most important in the business world; cost savings. Firstly, by upgrading your cleaning products to larger sizes you will get more, for less. For instance, a 250ml antibacterial spray may cost £2.50 whereas a 500ml bottle may cost £4. Immediately that’s a £1 saving for every bottle you buy. Multiply that by the number of bottles you’ll fly through a year and the savings start to tot up. Secondly, deliver extra savings through multiple purchases; if one bottle costs £4 but bulk buying a case of 20 bottles costs £60, that’s a £20 saving. Based on using a case a month, that’s an annual cost saving of £240. And that’s just one product.
  • Save on delivery costs: When you order just a couple of items, you’re likely to have to pay delivery costs on getting these distributed to your premises. That’s if you’re not already spending your precious time going out and buying these items yourself. By bulk ordering, you can beat the minimum order value and get your cleaning supplies delivered directly to your door, for free.
  • Avoid inflationary price increases: By bulk buying cleaning products in one go, you’re locking in the price you pay. This means you’re future proofing your business’ budget from any future price increases whether due to cost of living and inflationary pressures, Brexit or times when demand soars (the pandemic being a case in point here!).
  • Safeguard against supply issues: Now that we’ve mentioned the pandemic, let’s remind ourselves of the supply issues which ensued as a result. Lockdown restrictions saw global production lines temporarily shut down at a time when the demand for cleaning products was about to surge, leading to widespread shortages. By stocking up on all your supplies, you’re making sure you’ll have everything you need for the foreseeable future.
  • Save time: You may not think it takes too long to order a few bottles of floor cleaner and boxes of toilet roll. However, the cleaning needs of a building can be quite complex and you’re likely to need a lot more products than perhaps you might appreciate; from paper towels, period products, soap and first aid kits to carpet cleaner, oven cleaner, window spray, air freshener and bin bags. And that’s not half of it. Ordering and sorting all your cleaning supplies will take time. By switching to bulk buying and doing one larger shop rather than multiple smaller shops, you’re being your own future friend by saving time.
  • Reduce your carbon footprint: By upgrading to larger-sized products rather than multiple smaller products, you’re reducing the amount of product materials you use – lowering your demand for plastic as well as the cost of disposing of this waste. And by ordering all your cleaning supplies at once, you’re further reducing packaging waste as it will all be delivered in one order. As if that wasn’t enough, you’ll also reduce the amount of carbon emissions by getting everything you need in one delivery.

If you’re ready to convert to bulk buying, there’s one or two things you need to be mindful of. Before you get too gung-ho with ordering your supplies, first take care to ensure you have adequate storage facilities – you’ll need plenty of cupboard or storeroom space where cleaning items can be stored safely. This includes being out of direct sunlight, at a consistent temperature and where they’re not likely to cause a hazard. This means away from electrical circuits, emergency exits and most certainly not in your accessible toilet. We’ve seen it all.

Second, be sure that the products you’re ordering are right for you. Only choose good quality products you use frequently, consume a lot of and that you know you’ll need in the future.

Finally, make sure the products have a long shelf life so they don’t expire or lose effectiveness in storage. Products which are prime for bulk ordering include soap, sanitiser, surface cleaners, washing-up liquid as well as paper supplies such as tissues, toilet roll, blue roll and paper towels. You can also add any equipment to that list from brooms and mop heads to bin bags, cloths and gloves. However, some products are not recommended to store for long periods including bleach which can degrade over time and drain cleaners and ammonia which are corrosive.

Any business can reap the benefits we’ve mentioned from bulk buying; whether you’re large or small and no matter what sector. Larger businesses may realise greater cost savings because they use more cleaning products in the first place and are likely to have stronger purchasing power. But even if you’re a smaller enterprise, each benefit will still apply and the cost savings may make a more meaningful difference to your bottom line. From an industry point of view, bulk buying makes sense whether you’re in healthcare, hospitality, retail, manufacturing, education, food or are part of the cleaning sector.

To bulk order your cleaning supplies today, visit phs Direct. Or, if you’d like support in identifying how you can rationalise your cleaning purchases while saving money, ask about our free consumables audit.