Monthly Archives: February 2019

How to Keep Your Office Germ Free (with Cleaning Checklist)

sick employee holding head at officeThe amount of money lost by US employers is staggering; sick employees cost the US more than 500 billion every year. Any business owner or manager can attest to the fact that sick employees are a major disruption. Sick employees can attest to the fact that sick days are no fun and that germs can spread like wildfire through the office.

Fortunately, there are strategic ways to prevent the spread of germs and stop the transmission of flu, cold, strep, and other illnesses. The easiest way is to make disinfecting wipes available to employees. Wipes can be stored with cleaning supplies and in common areas where employees can use them to clean equipment.

Hand washing is the next line of defense. In busy offices where employees can’t get away, strategically-placed hand sanitizer is an easy way to prevent the spread of germs. Hand sanitizer should be put out in areas where employees have convenient access, such as common areas.

When even the best efforts to stem the flow of germs fails, a full workplace disinfection is the only solution. Office cleaning can be done during by internal staff during business hours (using the workplace disinfection checklist below) or completed by a commercial cleaning service after-hours. A commercial cleaning service tasked with an after-hours disinfection minimizes disruptions and ensures that the cleaning is done all-at-once or periodically to rid the office of germs.

Office Disinfection Checklist

  • ___ Wipe down door knobs (exterior & interior)
  • ___ Disinfect printer, scanner, and fax machine controls
  • ___ Wash candy bowls
  • ___ Clean desktops and staplers
  • ___ Disinfect phone cradle, handsets, and headsets
  • ___ Remove germs from every computer keyboard and mouse (use this step-by-step guide on disinfecting computer keyboard)
  • ___ Disinfect trash cans
  • ___ Wipe down office chairs
  • ___ Clean all conference room furniture, including countertops, tables, and chairs
  • ___ Sanitize the kitchen
    • Kitchen faucet
    • Kitchen appliances (toaster, microwave, stove, etc.)
    • Chairs and tables
    • Kitchen refrigerator (door, handle & interior)
    • Kitchen cabinet knobs
    • Dishwasher controls
  • ___ Disinfect the coffee maker (all handles and controls)
  • ___ Sanitize the bathroom
    • Faucets
    • Paper towel dispensers
    • Counters
    • Bathroom door handles
    • Hand dryer controls
    • Toilet seats and handles
    • Stall door handles
    • Stall garbage cans
    • Soap dispensers
    • Bathroom waste receptacles

5 Cleaning Steps that Solve Dirty Winter Floors

snow covered backyard where snow is tracked in and makes floors dirtyWhile the winter snow may make for some beautiful scenery outside, the snow and ice can wreak havoc on all types of home flooring. Even the most durable floors are susceptible to long-term damage from dirty footprints and snowy puddles, but there are steps you can take to keep floors clean through all the wintry weather that Mother Nature throws at us.

Start outside.

The logical first step is to keep all the snow, ice, and gravel before it reaches the floors. Clean sidewalks and driveways as thoroughly as possible. Use salt to thaw remaining ice and snow. Put down doormats outside all doors to catch the snow, ice, and salt. The latter can be one of the chief causes of damage and dirty floors.

Put down rugs.

Interior rugs are a great way to add interest to a room, but they are also a safeguard that protects floors from damage. Place rugs by all exterior doors and in high-traffic areas, such as hallways and foyers. If you have pets in the home, train them to stop on mats and rugs inside the doors (before they track it in). Clean off their paws with a towel or rag (and any other parts that are covered in snow and mud) to minimize the mess.

Regularly sweep away debris.

When dragged along the floor, gravel, salt, and ice can scratch the floor. Lessen your risk by regularly sweeping hard floors or vacuuming carpet to remove the debris (or include it on the list of tasks for your home cleaner, along with a dry mop). Be careful about cleaning tools that push the debris into the floor; this can also cause scratches on hard flooring.

Dry mop.

Salt and dirt can build up on hard floors, leaving a residue that can wear down the floor finish and wear down flooring. After removing debris with a good sweep (this prevents scratching), do a dry mop with a cleaner to remove any build-up. Choose the floor cleaner carefully; some cleaners may void the floor warranty, while others may not remove salt residue.

Schedule a floor deep cleaning.

All flooring, hard and carpeting, needs a regular deep clean. For carpet, a deep clean can remove allergens and revitalize carpet fibers. A tile cleaning removes stains from grout and makes tile look like new. Though deep cleaning is not complicated, it does take time. If you’d rather leave the job to the professionals, schedule a floor deep cleaning.

Hardwood floors need a deep clean to keep them from looking dingy, though the exact cleaner for a deep clean depends on the floor finish. Vinegar (diluted in water) has long been touted as the ultimate hardwood floor cleaner, but should only be used after consulting the manufacturer. If it is not recommended, don’t use it because vinegar can damage the floor finish. When deep cleaning hardwood floor, always be careful about not leaving puddles on the floor. Water left on the floor can permanently damage and stain the floor; use fans and dehumidifiers to control the humidity and prevent damage.

10 Cleaning Tips that Protect Office Floors from Snow

office space in a facility where they are analyzing outsourcing or in-house cleaningProtecting office floors from the ice, snow, and salt that comes with our freezing Midwestern winters is more than just an effort to keep your office presentable. Well-cared for office floors are an effort that also keeps office staff safe and lengthens the life of office floors.

The effort to protect office floors starts outside the door. Often, the culprit of dirty floors is neglected sidewalks and parking lots. Office staff and visitors track the grime in, creating a build-up that can be difficult (and more expensive) to remove.

For that reason and for staff safety, extra care should be taken to keep parking lots clear of snow and ice. Designate a staff member or service who is responsible for the task and ensure that the parking lot is cleaned prior to and whenever our snowy Wisconsin winter strikes.

Lobbies

  • Add rugs by all exterior doors to protect floors from salt and snow that is tracked in.
  • Replace rugs and mats as they get damaged and worn.
  • Vacuum and mop lobbies regularly to keep them clean and safe.

Carpets

Hard Floors

  • Use a light mop to remove melted snow and salt. (This is also an important safety measure.)
  • Mop floors regularly to remove salt, which can damage and wear down floors.
  • Schedule a regular floor stripping and waxing.
  • Don’t miss a deep cleaning, which can cost more if salt and dirt build-up.