The annual spring clean is the perfect time to teach employees about the correct cleaning practices and encourage a collective effort to keep workspaces safe. We spoke to Fiona Mcguiness, Health, Hygiene and Safety Specialist, to share a few helpful cleaning tips.
What are the benefits of spring cleaning?
“There are so many – improving efficiency and organisation, creating a healthier and safer place to work for all employees, increasing productivity and even lowering absenteeism,” says Fiona.
Tip 1: Know the difference between cleaning and disinfecting
“Cleaning and disinfecting are often interchangeably used but they are two separate steps in the cleaning process. Knowing the difference between the two is very important,” says Fiona.
“To disinfect a surface, you have to thoroughly clean it first because the presence of dirt and grime can reduce the effectiveness of disinfectants and alter their ability to kill germs,” informs Fiona.
“Keep in mind, disinfectants won’t have any effect if they are sprayed and immediately wiped away. You need to let them rest and activate on the surface before you wipe, otherwise you’re just removing the product and not actually coating the surface. Each product has a different resting time so make sure you check labels for instructions.
“Always remember to wear the correct PPE when cleaning and ensure that the Safety Data Sheet is readily available for all chemicals that are on site,” says Fiona.
Tip 2: Use the right products and techniques for different surfaces
“There’s a huge variety of products made for different surfaces and purposes. Always read product labels and follow instructions to get the best results out of your product.
“For general office cleaning, surface wipes are ideal because they’re accessible, easy to store and can be disposed of after use to prevent cross-contamination,” says Fiona.
“For hard surfaces such as desks, floors and kitchen countertops, remove dirt and grime using a detergent-based product first. Start from the cleanest section and move towards the dirtiest section. When cleaning the floor, always use a wet floor sign to reduce the risk of slips and falls. You can then disinfect with a surface wipe or spray.
“In terms of soft surfaces, items that can’t be wiped clean or washed in a washing machine should be steam cleaned using hot water extraction. This method involves injecting a combination of water and cleaning agents into the surface and removing soil with a vacuum. A spot cleaner can be used for smaller areas that require cleaning. There are specialised spot cleaners and chemicals specifically designed for cleaning carpets and soft furnishings. Disinfectants in aerosol-type spray are great for sanitising the surface.
“When it comes to electronics, not all disinfectant wipes are suitable. This is because they generally contain alcohol-based ingredients which can be quite harsh on your screens. You want to look for cleaning products specifically made for electronics, which are often ammonia-free or alcohol-free, so they don’t damage your tech,” advises Fiona.
Tip 3: Get colour-coded
“If you want to take your spring clean one step further and support sustainable practices in the process, invest in colour-coded bins for your workplace and implement a recycling system. This will take the stress out of sorting waste and encourage employees to recycle correctly.”
“Colour-coded microfibre cloths are a great option to distinguish which cloths were used for different areas in the workplace. For instance, keep blue microfiber cloths for general purpose, red for the bathroom and green for the kitchen. There are also many disposable options out there which can be thrown away after use to prevent the spread of bacteria,” says Fiona.
Tip 4: Reach out to the professionals
If you have any questions or need advice about health, hygiene or safety at work, reach out to an expert. Winc’s dedicated Health Hygiene and Safety team can conduct site surveys to identify areas for improvement in your workplace and provide recommendations to ensure the correct cleaning and disinfecting products and procedures are being implemented.
“Our team collaborates with trusted global suppliers to products and services suited for areas of the workplace. Our team can also provide training to ensure that cleaning products are used correctly and safely,” says Fiona.
To support your business during the annual spring clean and day to day, view our Spring Cleaning deals online.
Disclaimer: *Health, Hygiene and Safety Surveys are currently only available to existing Winc customers located within metropolitan areas. Applications for a survey will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.