You Cleaned My Sink With What?

by Compass Cleaning Solutions • January 30, 2017
Compass Cleaning Solutions
Today we continue our discussion on Critical Questions You Should Always Ask Your Janitorial Service Provider before you hire them.

Have you ever wondered what towel or mop the cleaning crew used to clean your break area and what area or surface was cleaned with it just before the cleaning crew cleaned the break area? There are public undercover videos showing hotel housekeeping staff cleaning the vanity counter and sink (and worse, glasses) with the same towel used to clean the toilet just minutes before. As gross as that sounds, it really does happen. There is a solution and a quality janitorial service provider will take measures to keep that from happening.

The process that is most easily adopted and monitored is a color coding process or system. Typically one color of towel is used only for the bathroom fixtures (usually red) and other colors are used for hard surfaces and counters, windows and stainless. This also applies to the mop pads being used (red for restroom floors and other colors for other areas). By the way, ask what kind of mop is being used. If the company you are considering is not using a flat mop and microfiber system tell them thanks, but no thanks. Cotton string or rope mops rarely if ever get washed and are great breeding grounds for bacteria. Always ask your janitorial service provider what process and tools they use, then check to make sure they follow through to your satisfaction.

Cross contamination in medical offices is also a huge concern. Individually colored towels and pads can be used to clean a specific exam room and then put into a laundry container for future laundering, while a clean towel and pad can be used for the next exam room, thereby eliminating cross-contamination (bacteria or blood borne pathogens) from one room to another. One color can be used for exam rooms while still another color can be used for the break area and nurses stations. If your service provider uses a system like this not only are patients less likely to be exposed to bacteria but your medical staff will also be at less risk.

Color coding is an easy and efficient way for cleaners to keep things straight as well. In many cases you will find cleaning techs who do not have a strong command of English, because it is not their first language. If we were using signs and written instructions there is a good chance mistakes would be made. But everyone understands colors and with a bit of verbal instruction the process can be made simple and effective. At a glance a supervisor or even a client can determine if the proper towels and mops are being used which protects the client and their customers.

If the janitorial service provider you are considering has no clear plan for eliminating cross-contamination from one area to another it would be wise to move on. Regardless of whether you are in a professional office, a school, a restaurant or a church, don’t be afraid to ask specific questions about the type of mops and towels, cleaning products and the process used. Its your work space and you have a right to know.