Detroit Janitorial & Cleaning Services Blog

Is Your Cleaning Company Putting You In Danger With Dirty Rags?

Posted by Bob Abraham on Wed, Jan 18, 2017 @ 11:57 AM


commercial cleaning, cross contamination, office cleaning livonia, detroit janitorial comanies

Commercial Cleaning Shouldn’t Make Your Facility DIRTIER

As Facility Managers, we contract with commercial cleaning services to make our spaces cleaner not dirtier. We utilize our office cleaning companies to prevent the spread of illness causing bacteria and germs not make it more likely. But if your commercial office cleaning company isn’t utilizing best practices like a color coded cleaning cloth system, they are putting you, your facility and your building occupants at risk for the complications of cross-contamination. In most office building and workplaces, cross contamination is already an issue as you have so many people in and out of your building and a multitude of surfaces that see many hands during the course of the day. It is already very easy for one employee to pass germs to others through touch points and hot spots, those oft touched surfaces like light switches, door handles and shared equipment like phones and computers. The best commercial cleaning companies limit the spread of disease causing germs by focusing on hot spots and touch points. And yet, if your janitorial services company is lax on carefully and consistently assuring that they are not contributing to cross contamination hazards, then they are likely making the threat worse. If just touching a communal surface can spread disease, imagine how much risk is increased if dirty, germ infested towels are used throughout your facility? All it takes is a towel used to wipe toilet seats in the restrooms being used to clean general office areas and you have virtually guaranteed more disease-causing germs spread throughout your facility and even more efficient disease transmission. That means more employee absenteeism, lowered productivity and even higher employee turnover. All because your commercial cleaning service couldn’t be bothered to safeguard health by adhering to janitorial best practices.


With A Color Coded Towel System Your Desk Won’t Be Wiped With the Same Towel As the Toilet

It's hard not to pick up your phone, turn on the light or grab the computer mouse without wondering what grossness lingers on the surface. Reduce or eliminate the risk of cross contamination by insisting your janitorial services company use designated colored towels for specific tasks and areas. This easy to implement and easy to use system uses color-coded mop heads, buckets, rags, microfiber cloths and other hand tools to designate what gets used where in a clear, easy to use and easy to track method. The commonly used standard in color-coded towels is red for high-risk areas such as toilets and urinals; yellow for low-risk restroom cleaning like sinks and mirrors; blue for general cleaning (dusting, window cleaning, wiping desks, etc.) in other areas of a facility; and green for food-service areas. Assuring tools used to clean high-risk areas are easily recognized and used exclusively in those areas can virtually eliminate cross contamination and reduce colds, flus and worse in your facility.


Getting Your Commercial Office Cleaning Company On Board

If your cleaning services company isn’t already utilizing color coded rags, they aren’t aligning their practices with janitorial industry best practices. Your commercial cleaning service should make it a priority to use this easy, effective practice that reduces and eliminate cross contamination and they should get their office cleaners on board. A color-coded cloth system  helps cleaning teams keep track of their towels with an easy, visual coding system. The system quickly becomes routine and habit making it easy for office cleaners to adhere to best practices and keep cross contamination risks low. This means better sanitation and cleaner, healthier workplaces.


Training Office Cleaners On the New Color Coded Cloth System

Of course, anytime you implement a new system there is a learning curve, and yet, using color coded towels makes work easier, simplified rather than more complex. This easy change is typically welcomed by cleaning staff but it does require some training and reinforcement. In the beginning, many janitorial companies will post a color-coding chart offering cleaning staff an easy, clear visual. When office cleaners are aware of the risks presented by cross contamination through towels and are given a clear, simple system to avoid it, most care about health and doing their best in your facility. Color coded towels and cloths can even offer employees a sense of responsibility and engagement by enlisting them in the fight to safeguard the health of your facility’s occupants.


Color Coded Cleaning Towels System Also A Powerful Management Tool

Not only does this color coded cloth system make things easier for cleaning staff, it can be a powerful management tool. The use requirements for varying towel colors makes it easy for supervisors to determine whether the individual or team is cleaning as required. You and your cleaning company can quickly get an idea of how things are going when observing cleaners at work or even laundering cloths and mop heads. Let's say twelve red mop heads are generally used to in your building and now there are only 4 mop heads to wash, an observant supervisor is made aware that either mop heads aren’t being replaced often enough or the area in question isn’t being cleaned as required. While it isn’t the only quality assurance a janitorial services company should use, it is an effective one.


Limit Cross Contamination & Set Your Facility Up For Success

Color-coding cleaning items may be a new way of doing things but the reality is that it is a significant improvement over the old way of doing things. It is reasonable and low cost to implement and your facility deserves this assurance of health and quality from your commercial cleaning company. All facilities benefit from the use of color coding systems, including those industries that require health care cleaning, school cleaning, industrial cleaning, office cleaning and more. Color-coded cleaning cloths offer many advantages to both cleaning companies and the customers they serve. Reduce the risk of cross-contamination, control infection and get the quality cleaning deserve in your facility. Here at Stathakis, we use the color-coded cloth system company wide in an effort to further reduce the risk of cross contamination and systemize efficient, health conscious cleaning practices.

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Tags: Commercial Cleaning, Janitorial Services, Industry Best Practices, Office Cleaning, Healthy Work Environment

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