What Are The Most Common Office Cleaning Mistakes Most Businesses Make?
Whether you work at a desk or in a job where cleaning isn’t part of your daily duties, cleaning is part of your workday. And if it isn’t, it should be. Different jobs may require different cleaning skills to be employed, but everyone should help keep their workspace hygienic and tidy. Everyone makes mistakes, but there are common office cleaning mistakes people should work hard to avoid.
Leaving Desks Messy – This Can Lead to a Cluttered Mind
A clean desk is a relative term to some extent, but anyone who has ever worked in the same office as other people knows there is always at least one person whose desk is a FEMA-worthy disaster area. He is the guy or gal in the office who says things like, “But I know where everything is in there,” and they’re lying.
Disorder spreads, and when employees leave their desks in disarray, that disarray likewise tends to spread– to their work, to their fellow employees, to their thought processes. At best, an employee faces a cluttered desk at the beginning of each day, which is not conducive to a good start.
Everything on a desk should have its place, and the small amount of effort it takes a day to put things where they go when someone has finished with them is well worth the investment of time. The messy desk is one of the office cleaning mistakes that are easily remedied and can make a big difference.
Not Using the Correct Cleaning Supplies for Different Surfaces
All-purpose cleaners are not the panacea their description makes them out to be. Just like you cannot put olive oil in your car’s engine even though it is technically an oil, you similarly cannot expect one cleaning product or implement to work in every situation.
Some spills need antiseptic products but spilled coffee does not. Cleaning restroom fixtures is not the task for window cleaners. And the office vacuum cleaner may not be appropriate for every flooring surface in your building. To clean effectively, one must use the right tools for the job, no matter what it is.
Custodial staff members know this, so they do not roam the building with one bottle of cleaner and one rag. While that combination might be right for counters in the break room, it is ineffective for window cleaning, and no carpet in existence responds well to it. Just like you would in your home, you need to have all the cleaning supplies and cleaning solutions on hand that apply to your office space.
Ignoring Spills and Stains on Carpets, Rugs, and Furniture
Admittedly, most people have, at some point, backed away from a spill and left it to settle because they did not want to take the blame for it. Others take the “that’s not my job” approach, while some just don’t want to clean up a mess, even if it is theirs.
However, in addition to being inconsiderate and slovenly, actions like these can cause long-term damage to the surfaces suffering the spills. And spills left untended turn into stains, which are much harder to clean than it would have been to tend to the spilled material when it was wet.
While some furniture might be more resistant to spills and stains, they still need to be cleaned, if for no other reason than to keep everyone in the habit of cleaning messes when they happen.
Employees should know this is expected behavior, and once it becomes a part of the office culture, everyone will live in a cleaner workspace.
Using Harsh Chemicals That Could Damage Your Health or the Environment
The opposite of using one product for every cleaning job and leaving spills to fester is using cleaners containing harsh chemicals. At the very least, using the wrong products may give off pungent and acrid odors that make for an unpleasant work environment.
The worst-case scenario involves sickness in employees because of the fumes or incurring long-term damage to their bodies due to unsafe chemicals.
There is also the environment to consider. Some cleaning products harm air quality, poison groundwater when improperly disposed of, or harm animals. Cleaning products designated as organic or environmentally safe will be better for everyone involved.
When choosing cleaning supplies, if you are unsure as to what you should consider and you make your decision, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides a comprehensive list of properties of good, environmentally safe cleaning products.
Cleaning with Dirty Mops or Sponges
On an old episode of “Friends,” Joey mocked Chandler for saying Joey got his soap dirty, he argues that soap cleans stuff, so how can it get dirty? While people may not consciously think this way, actions speak louder than words. Using a dirty mop is a big no-no.
Mopping the floor with a mop that’s been used daily for a week is doing no one any good at all. If one of those days involved mopping up something hazardous like blood or vomit, every place “cleaned” with that same mop in the following days was treated with biohazardous waste instead of being disinfected.
And once your sponge or dust cloth has an unpleasant odor wafting off of it, that sponge is telling you it needs replacing. Clean your things with clean things.
Forgetting to Clean Under Desks, Cabinets, and Other Hard-to-Reach Areas
Give Alan in Accounts Receivable the benefit of the doubt and assume he forgot, but most people have worked with those who everything short or refuse to do anything requiring any real effort. If cleaning spots that are hidden or easily overlooked is an issue for employees, perhaps they need gentle reminders.
Still, cleaning the kitchenette is not nearly effective if any crumbs have come to rest under the toe kick-get left for the critters. Forgetting to clean specific visible areas complicates the cleaning process and can make office life unpleasant at least, less sanitary at worst.
Forgetting to Clean the Bathroom
Rare is the person who likes to clean the bathroom. Nevertheless, it must be done, as this is the one spot in the office arguably more full of germs than any other. When it comes to the culprit behind unpleasant odors, this is the place to consider first when trying to figure out where that smell is coming from.
Bathrooms require regular maintenance lest they become filthy sources of stress for everyone. Whether office workers are assigned a rotating schedule to clean bathrooms, or a custodial staff handles them, this task cannot be overlooked, or no one will be happy.
Ignoring the Trash Can Until It’s Overflowing with Garbage
The trash cannot serve its purpose if it is too full for anyone to throw any more trash into it. Worse, if the garbage in the can is organic, a can left unemptied long enough to overflow has been there long enough for that food to start to smell and attract insects and rodents.
Like cleaning bathrooms, emptying trash cans should be a daily– or at least regular– action. And people need to be reminded that if their trash can is that full, they need to empty it– especially if it’s Tuesday morning and the cleaning crew won’t be in until Wednesday night. Leaving things to rot is not a better solution than taking a minute to empty the trash.
Not Disinfecting Common Areas Daily
Even leaving out the age of COVID-19, disinfecting surfaces is essential. Perhaps an individual’s desk does not need this every day, but areas used by multiple people are gathering places for germs and other pathogens. Especially susceptible are areas where multiple people eat or gather regularly.
It takes one sneeze to send the cold virus to a lunch table where it can make its way to other hosts for days on end until someone disinfects that surface. Disinfectants should be a pillar of any cleaning routine, and even more so in public areas.
Not Having a Routine Office Cleaning Plan
Spring cleaning can be rewarding, but it is not a substitute for a cleaning schedule. Every office staff member should be aware of what needs to be cleaned (even if that office has a dedicated cleaning staff, even if that stuff comes in every day) and when.
Cleaning successfully depends on a routine, and when everyone in an office is involved with cleaning, that routine will help ensure that everything gets done correctly and on time. Forgetting to wipe this down or clean that one spot can bring everyone down in ways as diverse as their morale to their health.
Take the time to acquaint everyone in the office with cleaning supplies on hand, expectations, and cleaning schedules to be followed. Life in a clean office space is much more pleasant than the alternative, and avoiding this and other wrong cleaning habits can make everyone’s lives a little bit better. Get a cleaning company that you can trust! For a wide range of commercial cleaning services, contact Executive Cleaning Services today.