The forgotten areas.....



In a small office environment, it is often the case that everyone has to muck in to get the office to a clean and hygienic standard before the weekend. This might mean, one of you cleaning the loos, and filling up the paper towels, one putting the hoover around, one giving the kitchen the once over, and one emptying the bins. 

However, as these duties aren't really what any of your team signed up to do, and are covered in the 'or any other duties we sit fit' piece of the employment contract, this 'cleaning rota system' will be performed in a fairly lacklustre manner and many places will be missed. So where are these places? 

Buttons and Lightswitches - with these areas being really high touch, and especially with the recent pandemics, these switches need to be cleaned and sanitised more regularly. When you have your team cleaning the office as an add on duty, this is an area that will definitely be missed, so make sure you allocate this job to someone specific. The bacteria that can be left and multiply on light switches and buttons can include E-Coli and Norovirus which can be spread by people not washing their hands after going to the toilet. The amount of people that do this is absolutely astounding! 

The Office Dishwasher - This little beauty will clean all of the mugs, and cups, but there will always be the argument as to who empties it, but because it's no ones specific duty there will be not a soul who volunteers to clean it! Have a look at the filter at the bottom of the dishwasher. I personally like to spray in a Cleaner Sanitiser that is BS EN 1276 (kills all the bacteria E-Coli etc) within 30 Seconds, so that you are staying on top of the bacterial load and stopping it from smelling. Run a self clean cycle, and I do love to shove a bleach tablet every now and again to take the staining off cups and crockery. 

Blinds - These are a nightmare to clean. Brutal. Nobody will volunteer to clean these, particularly the horizontal kind. Here's a top tip. Get a pair of rubber gloves, and pop an old sock over them. Gloves are important in this instance, to protect your hands from the chemical I'm going to recommend. Blinds seem to attract a sticky residue, so you need something that will cut through that stick, something that is high in acid (hence the gloves). Make up a solution of Heavy Duty Degreaser or Lift is also a firm favourite of mine (either will work) and dip your sock covered glove in to it. Squeeze your hand over the bowl and then put your thumb under a horizontal blind and your forefinger on top and run it along the blind. The degreaser will break down the sticky residue and lift off any dirt. Take another sock one you have completed the full blind, and dip it in water and wipe off any degreaser residue. 

Vent grates and extractor fan intakes can get really dusty, as airflow leads dust particles straight to them. We don’t spend much time looking at these parts of an office, but they can contribute to the overall dustiness of an environment. They can be a bit tricky to reach sometimes, so make sure you’ve got all the cleaning equipment you need – like extendable dusters and step ladders.

Fire Extinguishers - Often ignored until its time for the yearly service, the office Fire Extinguisher is left to gather dust, and act as an unloved and unwanted ornament.  The dusty Fire Extingusher is not a good look for any office, so just make sure it is given the once over with a cloth every now and again. 

Plants is another area that often get left to gather dust. If possible, take them outside and give them a good dust down with a hose! Just spray some water on them, they love it and it keeps them clean! 

Walls and Baseboards - Dust and grime can cling to vertical surfaces as well as horizontal ones. Start at the top of the wall and work down using a duster that traps particles. Finish by cleaning away any stray marks or body soil that may be around light switches and doorknobs. Finish your wall cleaning by paying attention to baseboards. An amazing amount of dust can collect on those tiny ledges. In rooms like kitchens and baths where there is more humidity, you'll probably need to wipe the baseboards down with a damp cloth because the moisture has turned the dust into soil that clings to the surface.

In order to get these forgotten areas cleaned, simply add them to your cleaning rota, and make sure that everyone that comes into your office environment gets the right first impression.

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This blog was written by Anna ArmstrongDirector of Sales and Operations at Astral. Please get in touch if there are any particular topics you would like us to talk about on the blog!


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