Many businesses establish commercial cleaning contracts with janitorial services, assuming that, because these services’ business structure revolves around cleaning itself, they have nothing to worry about regarding their workplace’s cleanliness. However, many commercial cleaning businesses commit the same common cleaning mistakes when tidying your place of work.
Whether you’re an office manager for a large company, or the owner of a small business just trying to keep things clean, it’s important to keep an eye out for these common commercial cleaning mistakes in order to ensure that your workplace is acceptable to you and your employees, as well as presentable to potential clients.
Regardless of whether a surface looks clean at first glance, surfaces like tables, counters, and desks should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after each use. Microscopic bacteria and viruses often live on these and other flat surfaces, so taking the time to wipe them away with the proper cleaning product or disinfectant mitigates the spread of germs in the workplace. By taking a few moments to disinfect surfaces that don’t appear outright dirty, you can avoid this common cleaning mistake.
Similar to assuming that surfaces are clean, forgetting to disinfect surfaces and high-touch points daily is a big cleaning mistake that can contribute to the spread of germs throughout the workplace. Door handles, elevator buttons, light switches, keyboards, and phones are a few examples of high-touch areas. Using the proper disinfectant on these throughout the day can kill off germs and reduce the risk of spreading them.
Just because something is out of sight or hard to reach doesn’t mean it should be put out of your mind when cleaning your workplace. Many hard-to-reach areas collect more bacteria than other places throughout the workplace because they aren’t cleaned as regularly. For example, behind the office kitchen’s microwave may not seem like it’s that dirty, but over time, it collects quite a bit of food particles or grease. Left unchecked, this debris will decay, creating more work to deal with later, especially if you end up having to deal with pests or mold.
Your mother probably already told you when you were young: blot, don’t scrub, a stain. Whether something is spilled on a carpet or upholstered furniture, scrubbing the stain can spread it around and drive it deeper into fibers, which can lead to them being permanent. When cleaning stains, instead consider using an old cleaning cloth combined with the proper oxidizer or surfactant—such as hydrogen peroxide or hot water and dish soap—to blot the stain. Blot it until the cloth comes up clean, then soak up excess water with a dry cleaning cloth to prevent the growth of mildew in the wet carpet.
Communal bathrooms contribute to about 40% of your workplace’s bacterial load, which is why it’s important to make sure they stay clean during the workday. Toilet paper, hand towels, and hand soap all need to be stocked, and special care needs to be taken to keep the toilets and sinks clean. Using the proper cleaning equipment like toilet brushes, cleaners, and disinfectants helps prevent stains and smells from taking over your communal bathroom.
Neglecting to empty your trash cans when needed can present you and your employees with a variety of problems, such as off-putting smells and the possibility of attracting pests or rodents. Food waste left in trash cans for too long can also start to leak through to the flooring or carpet, causing stains and spreading those same smells across the workplace. To avoid this cleaning mistake, make sure that the trash is taken out regularly or when the bin is full. In the long run, regular trash removal will keep your workplace looking tidy and smelling good for potential clients.
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Just because a disinfectant or cleaner is harsher or has a higher concentration doesn’t mean it cleans your office more thoroughly. In fact, consistent exposure to certain harsh chemicals can have a negative effect on your employees’ health. Exposure to some harsh all-purpose cleaners can lead to dry, rasping coughs or headaches. Instead, consider using a green cleaning agent—even something as simple as a 1:1 solution of vinegar and water. This type of cleaning agent won’t negatively affect your employees’ health.
When cleaning your workplace, it’s important to make sure that chemicals and cleaning agents are being used properly. That is, per the manufacturer’s instructions. If you use the right type of cleaner on the surfaces it’s designed for, you’ll create less chemical buildup and clean more effectively. It is a common cleaning mistake to assume that cleaners and disinfectants can be used interchangeably, so take care to read the instructions ahead of time.
By nature, windows and glass doors provide a glimpse into your workplace environment. Dirty or streaky windows come off looking neglected or hastily cleaned, and that reflects on your business. To avoid this common cleaning mistake, consider cleaning your windows on overcast days. On sunny days, the heat from the sun causes window cleaner to evaporate faster, leaving residue on the window that can only be seen later.
It’s important to make sure that cleaning equipment is properly cleaned and sanitized before being used. When old or soiled mops, cleaning cloths, or other cleaning products are used to clean your workplace, they can actually spread germs and bacteria around a variety of surfaces. For example, a cleaning cloth used to wipe the seat of a toilet should not be used to clean an office’s kitchen counter—doing so would be one of those cleaning mistakes that cause cross contamination, which poses a hazard to employees.
Many businesses may find that their current commercial cleaning contracts and janitorial services aren’t quite up to snuff. The workplace may feel cluttered or dingy despite daily cleaning and disinfecting, because their current contracts make some of these cleaning mistakes. But, with Carlson, there’s no need to worry. We have been providing consistent, thorough cleaning and building management for our partners.. If your workplace isn’t getting the love it deserves, give us a call.