How (and When) to Deep Clean and Sanitize Your Warehouse

For a successful operation and streamlined efficiency, regularly cleaning the warehouse should be a top priority for businesses in any industry. Studies have shown the clear connection that cleanliness has with overall job satisfaction and productivity

If you are not keeping your warehouse clean and organized, you are not ensuring employee health and safety. Accidents and illness can lead to missed work days and potentially hazardous consequences, especially in logistics facilities.

Keeping a cleaning routine can optimize the pace and workflow of your employees. It is critical to talk with your staff to set common expectations and solicit feedback to assure buy-in. Adding extra tasks can inspire the “it’s not my job” mentality and keeping expectations reasonable and fluid can avoid contention. Depending on the size and structure of your warehouse, you may find that having a professional cleaning service perform regular deep cleans is most efficient. 

If you feel your staff is ready to take on the rigorous task of a deep clean, understanding how to prioritize duties and create a step-by-step process can greatly improve the speed, consistency and efficiency of the chore. Follow these guidelines on how to deep clean and sanitize your warehouse to keep your operation running smoothly and employees happy.

When to Deep Clean Your 

Arranging a convenient cleaning time is largely dependent on who is going to perform the cleaning: inside staff or an outside professional cleaning service. Warehouse cleaning is an hours-long task that needs special time allotted to prevent interruptions in the normal workflow.

If you are hiring a professional cleaning service, warehouse operating hours should never be set aside for a deep clean. Having them occupy the same space as warehouse staff trying to do their job hinders productivity for everyone. Schedule the crew to clean on weekends, evenings after close or even early morning before your first employees arrive, depending on what would be convenient for their team and yours.

With an in-house staff, it can be hard to find a time for everyone to be fully and readily available for a deep-clean. Ideally, if you can set aside several hours specifically devoted to the task, you can finish quickly and ensure everyone is held accountable to their role. Try to incentivize them to stay extra hours after work or come in on a weekend. In many instances, this is not feasible and you must find a slow period during a normal work day to set up a deep-cleaning.

Warehouses that see a lot of traffic and significant dirt buildup should try to schedule a monthly deep clean. Others may need to only schedule their deep cleans once every three to six months. At a minimum, warehouses should be cleaned top to bottom at least twice annually.

How to Deep Clean Your Warehouse

It is important to note the difference between a deep clean and regular cleaning. Deep cleans are particularly essential to remove large buildups of dirt, dust, mold and other grime that accumulates in the often hard-to-reach and untouched areas. If left to fester, these can cause serious health issues and operational slowdowns.

Regular Cleaning Routine

Everyday cleaning tasks are a part of deep cleans but should be done as they arise to prevent injury and maintain daily operations. Part of regular maintenance cleaning includes:

  • Sweeping, mopping and vacuuming large buildups or spills on the floor as they are noticed.
  • Allotting 5 to 10 minutes at the end of every shift to clean individual workstations. They should be ready for use by the next person.
  • Empty garbage and recycling bins daily. Have one available at each workstation if possible.
  • Assign cleaning zones as necessary for light sweeping, debris pick-up, organizing and wiping down equipment.
  • Keep brooms, mops, vacuums, wipes, spray cleaners, gloves and floor cleaners readily available for clean-as-you-go and end-of-day chores.

Deep Clean Checklist

When you are ready for the deep clean, you will be integrating many of the everyday cleaning tasks into an exhaustive top-to-bottom effort. 

Assign each employee a responsibility zone, trying your best to remain equitable in the amount of time and attention each zone requires. Make sure expectations are clearly laid out and employees agree on their assigned zone to prevent delays, miscommunication or disagreements in the process.

For the first few cleans, have your team note any issues they faced, materials they needed and the amount of time it took to complete the task. This will allow you to adjust and prepare to increase the speed and efficacy of subsequent cleans.

Follow this checklist to ensure all areas and key focal points are covered:

  • Prep the area: Remove all mobile machinery, vehicles and other large items to open the space and improve the cleaning process.
  • Clean high areas first: Debris travels down so avoid additional cleanup by starting with high up dust and dirt on walls, vents, cooling ducts, windows and top ledges of pallet racks. Use extension dusters and cleaning spray as needed to work through stuck-on grime.
  • Sweep floors and vacuum rugs: Take time on this step as floors are a primary source of dust and dirt on fixtures and inventory. As the normal operations proceed, debris on the floor gets kicked up and settles just about everywhere so this step serves as an appropriate preventative measure.
  • Disinfect high touch surfaces: Use disinfectant wipes and sprays on any high touch areas. These can include machinery, printers, keyboards, monitors, door handles and bathroom fixtures among others. Make sure machinery is turned off, using lockout procedures as necessary. Throughout the process, if unsafe areas or materials are noted, make sure they are communicated and labelled as necessary to prevent future injury.
  • Deep scrub floors: After sweeping all the material that accumulated on the floor from the dry clean, thoroughly wet mop the floor to remove any remaining dirt. Use degreasers to pick up stubborn stains from spills, tire marks or shifted machinery and inventory.

Your warehouse cleaning efforts can require fine-tuning even after several runs. The important thing is to communicate effectively and solicit feedback to ensure that the tasks are fair, within reason and effective. If you feel that the cleanup requires more than is reasonable to expect from your team, consider hiring a professional cleaning service. 

At Dallas Janitorial Services, we have a detailed understanding of the importance and breadth of warehouse cleaning. The services provided by our crew are executed with the highest quality equipment and expert touch, backed by a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee. Contact our team today for more information on how we can help ensure the productivity of your workplace and the wellbeing of your employees.

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