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5 Tips for the Safe Storage and Use of Cleaning Supplies

Organize Cleaning Supplies
A business manager may focus on the acquisition of cleaning products and a schedule for the janitorial team without any thought about the safety of the storage for the items the team uses. The storage of cleaning chemicals and equipment is an important consideration because it has a lot to do with the safety, effectiveness, and the cost of the services.

1. Establish Cleaning Schedules

Establish cleaning schedules for the tools and equipment. Clean off scrub brushes and brooms at the end of each shift and soak in a bleach solution once a month to disinfect. Allow wet rags and mops to hang over a drainage area until dry before tossing in a laundry bin to avoid mold. Wash laundry at least once a week to prevent overflow and odor.
Wipe down all equipment and the handles of mops and brooms at least once a week. Empty vacuum canisters daily. Replace mop and broom handles when they become too worn too clean properly. And empty and wash all used cleaning carts after every shift and take all the garbage to the dumpster at least once a day.

2. Organize the Storage

Avoid overstocking a supply closet because chemicals could tip over, and a leak may go unnoticed. Cramped quarters increase the risk of reactive chemicals like ammonia and bleach stored too close together. Overfilled rooms also become fire hazards as chemicals sit too close to heat sources or lights. Mold growth may also develop due to a lack of ventilation.
Do not store anything near a heat source. Even laundered rags can have trace amounts of chemicals and oil in the fibers that could cause a fire. Common items like rubbing alcohol (often used to remove gum or other sticky substances from glass or floors) can be extremely flammable and should be stored carefully.  
Throw out older or unused cleaning supplies because the containers can degrade over time and cause a spill. In addition, keeping unused items uses up valuable storage space. Try to order no more than a couple weeks of consumable cleaning supplies at a time.

3. Move Maintenance Supplies

Maintenance and cleaning closets should not be in the same room or closet. A maintenance closet will usually include products that have fumes and are flammable like oil, paint thinners, and paint. The combination of these items along with cleaning chemicals and used rags could become a safety hazard.  

4. Prevent Pathogen Spread

The purpose of cleaning is to make everything look nice and prevent the spread of contagions. Careless cleaning methods can actually cause cross contamination that could make an existing problem even more severe. Organization of materials prevents this from happening. Bins with color coded sponges and rags are a simple method to avoid cross contamination.
Use one color of cleaning tools for counters, one for walls, one for floors, and another for bathrooms. Throw out any mops, rags, or other disposable materials that contact large amounts of biological hazards. Disinfect brooms and scrub brushes and change mop heads after every shift during an outbreak of illness in the building.
Even color-coded gloves can help to prevent the spread of disease. Stock one color to use only when cleaning bathrooms so that everyone must remove and replace their gloves before they begin cleaning other areas of the building.

5. Keep it Secure 

Lock all storage areas that house cleaning products to protect against theft and to limit the access of anyone not on the cleaning team. Random access can lead to disorganization or to spills or other hazards. An unlocked storage closet also puts young children on the property at risk if they decide to explore.
At Evergreen Janitorial Supply Inc., we can help you to keep your business stocked with the items you need for a clean and safe commercial building. Contact us to set up an account.