Dirtiest places in the office - desktop

The Dirtiest or Germiest Places in the Office

These Areas Should be the Focus of your Office Cleaning Efforts

The average office worker spends 40+ hours a week at the office, so it’s important that it’s a clean, healthy environment. When it comes to office cleanliness, there are some obvious places for germ collection. The first ones that come to mind for many people are the staff washroom and the computer keyboards. True, those are among the top absolute germiest places at work, shown to harbour E. Coli, Salmonella, Staph and Norovirus (a close relative of Covid-19). However, there are still quite a few other tricky areas you may not think about, like cabinet handles or the start button on the photocopier.

The Staff Kitchen

Coffeepot handles, the brew button on the Keurig, the fridge handles… not to mention the fridge itself, are all hotbeds for illness-causing germs and bacteria.

The kitchen sink is another area that needs to be cleaned and sanitized regularly, including that nasty sponge that hasn’t been replaced in months. If the sponge is still in decent shape, squeeze it out, run it under fresh water and pop it into the microwave for 2 minutes. It’ll be sanitized and ready to go. Do this every day to keep from unintentionally spreading germs to staff dishes, including the coffee mugs. Replace the sponge every two weeks and replace washcloths daily to make the kitchen a much healthier space.

Speaking of coffee mugs, they’ve been found to be big carriers of germs, so it’s a really good idea to have each staff member stick with one favourite cup. These mugs should also be thoroughly washed daily with the clean sponge or put through the dishwasher on a hot water cycle.

The fridge is another common culprit and should be cleaned out regularly, removing any food past its prime, moldy containers, dried up spills and anything else that doesn’t belong.

Basically, any high-touch surfaces should be sanitized daily or even more frequently. This includes handles, faucets, cabinet doorknobs, microwave buttons, the watercooler and anything that is used frequently.

DesktopsDirtiest places in the office - desktop

Moving to where the magic happens. Desktops receive heavy use, as do the tools on top of them. The phone handset, mobile phone, pens, computer keyboards and mice should all be sanitized daily, whether that’s by the user or a reputable cleaning company like Mayfair Building Services.

Our mobile phones travel everywhere with us, and we’ve all heard by now about how they’re dirtier than a toilet seat, so before you plunk it down on your desk, it’s a good idea to give it a wipe down. On the subject of phones, headsets are a great way to help lower how much a phone’s handset is being touched and keeping the keyboard clean will definitely help to keep your workstation clean. Try this to clean your keyboard:

  • Unplug (if corded) and turn the keyboard upside down. Gently shake out any debris
  • Use a can of compressed air to remove anything else that might be stuck between or under the keys
  • Wipe down the keys and surrounding spaces with disinfectant (a mix of bleach and water works perfectly—see directions below)

The Main Office

Areas in the main office spaces to consider are the photocopier, which often serves as the office “watercooler”, mail equipment, doorknobs, stair rails and elevator buttons.

Basically, you’ll want to focus once again on the high-touch areas that are touched by many different people throughout the day. It’s not pleasant to think about, but especially during a pandemic, you’ll want to be vigilant about keeping the space as clean as possible.

Staff members might want to keep a pack of sanitizing wipes at their desk to help them do everything they can to avoid the spread of germs—particularly during this ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the cold and flu season.

The Staff Washroom

Bathrooms can be gross and that goes double for staff washrooms that get used all day, every day. The doorknob, any stall handles, faucets, paper towel dispensers and other high-touch areas should be sanitized daily and deep cleaned regularly.

Because germs are sprayed out every time a toilet flushes, it’s a good idea to have toilet lids installed to stop that from happening. This prevents the spray from hitting the counters, sink, faucet, and anywhere else within close range. Staff members can also use a piece of paper towel to turn the faucets on and off, and to open and close the door. Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer and hand soap within reach to encourage staff to wash their hands and sanitize after using the washroom.

It’s not a lovely subject, but it’s important to know how to identify and prevent those germ havens in the office environment. The good news is that nearly everything in the workplace (check manufacturer directions to make sure) can be given a good swipe with a sanitizing wipe or paper towel and a bleach solution.

Try this mixture to make your own basic disinfectant and keep a few bottles handy throughout the workplace.

  • Mix ¾ cup of bleach with 1 gallon of water
  • Dip your cloth or paper towel and wring out the excess, leaving it damp instead of dripping
  • Wipe down all the surfaces thoroughly
  • Let the solution sit on the surface for 5 minutes
  • Dip a new cloth or paper towel into warm water, again wringing out the excess
  • Wipe the bleach solution off the surfaces

 

With the demands of the workplace, it can feel daunting to take on the responsibility for keeping the office sparkling clean and thoroughly sanitized. Particularly now, when many workplaces have lower staff numbers and are extra conscious about keeping everyone safe and healthy, it can feel like a major job. That’s why it’s our job. We focus on making your workplace as healthy as it can be, so you don’t have to. At Mayfair Building Services, we will take the stress and worry out of getting and keeping your workplace as clean as it can be. Whether you need a one-time, daily, weekly or monthly deep clean, we have been experts in the commercial janitorial industry for over 30 years in the Metro Vancouver region. Contact us today to schedule your first appointment.

Washing Hands. Cleaning during a pandemic

Cleaning During a Pandemic

Cleaning and Disinfecting- Preventative Measures During a Pandemic

When COVID-19 hit British Columbia in the spring of 2020, those who couldn’t get disinfectant wipes or bleach (or toilet paper!) stocked up on hydrogen peroxide to wipe down their doorknobs, groceries, and even their shoes. Cleaning became paramount and we questioned the safety of everything around us.

Now, as the pandemic wears on, it’s become commonplace to see a bottle of sanitizer or a wash station near the entrances of every commercial and retail building. Consumers are urged to wear masks, and stick to social distancing and other measures of prevention.Washing Hands. Cleaning during a pandemic

These measures help, but cleaning and disinfecting commercial buildings goes far beyond ensuring everyone who enters has a mask and clean hands. This is where Mayfair Building Services comes in.

Effective cleaning, disinfecting, proper PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), using approved products, and following stringent procedures are key in the fight against the virus.

 

Cleaning Services Workers are Key

Cleaning services workers are now classified as front-line employees. Our experienced cleaning staff are working more diligently than ever to keep you and your staff safe and healthy.

We highly recommend that you hire a professional cleaner for your commercial space for regular deep cleaning and disinfecting. This will make it easier for you and your staff to focus on the business without worrying about reducing business hours to spend more time cleaning.

In the meantime, this guide to cleaning and disinfecting during the pandemic will help to safeguard your workplace.

 

Cleaning

Cleaning refers to the cleaning of dust, dirt and debris from hard and soft surfaces. Vacuuming, sweeping and mopping will clean a floor, but only a proper disinfectant will eliminate harmful microbes.

According to CTV news, Health Canada has approved 222 cleaning products that are effective against COVID-19. If you absolutely cannot find cleaning products, you can make your own. The most basic cleaning product out there is a mixture of two parts water with one-part dish soap, and an antibacterial oil, such as tea tree oil.

Cleaning soft surfaces can be a little more challenging. Communal couches, carpeting and padded task chairs all need to be regularly cleaned and disinfected. Refer to the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions or use a gentle soap and water solution on soiled areas. Removable textiles like cushion covers or cleaning cloths can easily be washed in a hot water cycle with regular detergent or bleach.

 

Disinfecting

Cleaning reduces germs and disinfecting takes care of the remainder of germs by using chemicals.

Disinfecting and cleaning go hand-in-hand. You can’t really clean without disinfecting nor disinfect without cleaning first. In fact, spraying a disinfectant on a messy surface can deactivate the disinfectant and actually spread more bacteria around. And cleaning without disinfecting can encourage the spread of bacteria.

Accepted disinfectants include bleach, hydrogen peroxide, isopropyl alcohol and store-bought disinfectant solutions. Note that things like lemon juice or vinegar do not work to stop COVID-19 and are not approved by Health Canada, the EPA, or the CDC. A full list of EPA approved disinfectants can be found here.

Disinfectants are used after cleaning a surface and should be used frequently on high-touch surfaces like countertops, doorknobs, light switches, keyboards, and phones.

It’s important to ensure that the disinfectant is wet for the entire contact time listed on the product’s package. For instance, hydrogen peroxide should be left wet on the surface for 1 full minute before wiping with a clean paper towel.

 

Organizing Your Cleaning Efforts

For best results, time cleaning and disinfecting for less busy periods during the day, and after the store or business is closed for the night. Traditionally, this is when we come in to do a thorough clean.

It can also help to designate specific employees to take care of the cleaning during a shift. This lets them clean effectively while other employees take care of other aspects of the job, like serving customers. This reduces the risk of any cross-contamination, especially in the food service or hospitality industry. Always try to time cleaning to limit custom and staff exposure to cleaning products and potential fumes.

  • For high-touch surfaces, regular cleaning and disinfecting at least twice a day is ideal.
  • Frequently used items like debit machines should be cleaned and disinfected after every customer
  • Doorknobs, counter-tops and any shared equipment (ie. Point of Sale systems) should be cleaned and disinfected as frequently as possible
  • Washroom facilities should be cleaned more often

 

Important Safety Tips for Using Cleaning Products and Disinfectants

  • Never mix your own disinfectants
  • Never use high concentration alcohols near sources of ignition
  • If using bleach, mix 3 Tablespoons of bleach with 1 Litre of water *Never mix bleach with another substance. This can create harmful fumes.
  • Use all cleaning products and disinfectants in a well-ventilated area
  • After cleaning, throw away any disposable items like gloves or masks
  • Keep lids on containers closed to prevent spills
  • Wash your hands after using cleaners and disinfectants

 

Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

The number one way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to practice good hygiene. Clean hands that touch surfaces have very few germs to spread around, and surfaces that are thoroughly and frequently cleaned and disinfected won’t support any germs that might have transferred.

  • Clean your hands often. Use soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Maintain a safe distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Wear a mask when physical distancing is not possible.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with your bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell.
  • If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention.

 

At Mayfair Building Services, we have a loyal client base throughout the Burnaby, Coquitlam, Langley, Surrey and White Rock areas. We know these times can be challenging and overwhelming. When you book cleaning services with us, we take just one more task off your plate, providing peace of mind and the knowledge that your workplace is the healthiest it can be. Whether your business needs a deep clean or you’d like to explore a continual cleaning schedule, contact us today for a free service quote.