As the seasons change and the weather brings that familiar sting to the cheeks, it’s time to start thinking about cleaning to prevent the spread of infectious diseases and viruses. Of course, no cleaning regiment is comprehensive, but when used in tandem with other prevention practices, cleaning can be extremely important.

Each year, millions of days of work are lost due to illness. There are many ways in which your custodial staff can help reduce these costs:

1. Color code your cleaning cloths and sponges! There’s no need to take the contamination from cleaning a desk or bathroom or a room with a sick person in it and use that same cleaning tool to spread those germs to another room. Color-coding can really help make a difference.

2. When cleaning floors, give priority to those rooms where people actually come into contact with the floor! It might seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised how often floors where children play or floors where people actually sit on the floor are not given high priority. Rooms with high-touch floors should get fresh, clean mop water — don’t reuse water from other rooms!

3. Focus on disinfection. These are important, powerful tools but they are also frequently potent chemicals, so be sure to use them sparingly and only in the most necessary places where disinfection is critical. Otherwise a general-purpose cleaner should be fine.

4. Don’t forget about your delicate electronics — computers, keyboards, phones, printers, etc — you might want to think about UV lights to kill pathogens on these things that are often overlooked during cleaning.

5. Keep your equipment clean! Make sure the tools you’re using are as clean as possible, as we take them from one area to another.

6. Entryway mats. These are a great way to stop germs and contaminants at our entranceways before they ever make it into the building.

7. Make sure your custodial staff uses good hand hygiene.

These are easy but critical steps that you and your janitorial staff can adopt as we head into the colder months. These cleaning tips can help your janitorial staff become a key weapon in the fight against flu season and your facility manager will thank you!

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