Winter is Coming: Tools for Winter Cleaning
Enjoying that pumpkin spice latte? Well drink up. Autumn comforts are fleeting. That pleasing bite in the air will turn bitter, those gloriously-colored leaves will morph into brown mush piles and Starbucks will eventually run out of that magical elixir. Oh, and the weather will turn wild. Snow, rain, ice and slush are on their way, as is a mess of sand, salt and grit tracked into your facility. Luckily, the right tools for winter cleaning will keep your business clean and healthy right through spring.
Wipe Your Feet
Winter cleaning starts in the parking lot. Keeping this area as snow-and-ice-free as possible will cut down on the moisture and debris tracked inside your facility. A series of walk off mats at the entrance will trap water, grit and salt at the door. Some businesses even include a politely-worded sign, directing customers and employees to wipe their feet before entering.
But the best mat system or most expertly written signage won’t keep all the salt, grit and moisture out of your facility. And that’s a problem. Puddles create a slip-and-fall hazard while salt and grit can ruin hard flooring finishes and prematurely age carpet. Direct employees to dry puddles immediately; an autovac makes this job quick and easy.
Salt is harder to deal with. It stains. It abrades. And enough of it will eat through hard flooring finishes. Unfortunately, salt’s high pH makes it difficult to remove. Traditional cleaning supplies will just smear it, leaving a sticky surface that attracts more dirt and grit. To fully remove salt clean with an industrial-strength neutralizer mixed with water and vacuum dry. Do not air dry as the residue will remain behind.
Let the Sun In
Windows should not be neglected during the cold months. Regular cleaning keeps them sparkling clear, lets more light into the facility and creates a brighter, more productive environment. More sunlight will also help dry wet surfaces, cutting down on potential mold growth. A squeegee system makes winter window cleaning faster and easier.
Winter also brings an uptick in cold and flu outbreaks. Protect employees and customers by cleaning to remove germs, viruses and pathogens. Pay special attention to places people put their hands. These touchpoints--light switches, hand rails, door knobs, elevator buttons and every surface in the restroom—are where viruses and germs hang out. Clean and disinfect these surfaces daily, more often during a known outbreak.
Click here for more tools for winter cleaning.
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Amy Milshtein covers design, facility management and business topics for a variety of trade publications and consumer magazines.
Her work has won several awards, most recently a regional silver Azbee Award of Excellence.
She lives in Portland, OR with her family and Clyde, a 15-lb tabby cat. Once an avid hiker, these days she finds herself on the less-challenging -but-still-exciting 'creaky knees' trails.