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.