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Simple Tips to Improve Breakroom Cleanliness

School Cafeteria
The breakroom is meant to be a place where employees can unwind and enjoy their coffee, lunches, or snacks in peace. Too often the breakroom becomes a disheveled and unsanitary mess that no one can enjoy. A few changes can restore the appeal of the employee area and make it a better place to take a break.

Organize the Room

Start the cleanup with some organization. Label all shelves, cupboards, and drawers so employees can easily return everything to its original spot. Bring in small bins or baskets for corralling small items like condiment packets or silverware to keep them contained.
Buy inexpensive food storage containers or plastic baggies for common use so that employees with leftovers can store their food in a sealed container. The container prevents food spills and controls some food odors. Dry-erase markers make it easy to label the bags and containers, and the ink washes off for reuse.

List Behavioral Expectations

Devise a rule list for how everyone should use the breakroom. Expect all employees to clean up any spills they cause. Insist on names and dates on all packages since outdated food in the refrigerator is unsanitary and clutters the space. Explain that unlabeled items will go in the trash and that dated items cannot stay for more than a week, with possible exceptions for items like condiments.  

Stock Cleaning Supplies

Keep cleaning supplies handy to prevent any excuse for not cleaning up a mess. Have basic supplies on hand like dish soap, an all-purpose cleaner, and some glass cleaner. Include disposable gloves and paper towels for small spills and cleaning rags for larger tasks. Make sure that a broom with a dustpan and a mop with a bucket are available.
Use disposable cloths for dish and surface cleaning instead of sponges, since sponges hold onto germs and are difficult to keep sanitary. If your employees prefer sponges, keep them in a bowl of water with bleach added. Make a note for anyone using the sponge to rinse it thoroughly before use to remove the bleach.

Assign Specific Duties

Assign a couple of people each week to oversee the cleaning in the break room. Have a chart for daily and weekly cleaning tasks posted in the room. The employees can initial the chart after the completion of each task. Give the employees with this duty an extra 20-30 minutes towards their lunchtime to make the assignment more desirable.
In addition to cleaning, remember to give someone the task of replenishing consumable items. The list should include anything kept for common use in the room like sugar packets, napkins, and tea bags. Employees are less likely to make a mess searching through cupboards when the items they want are readily available.

Remember the Details

Germs don’t just linger in the most obviously dirty places. Some other germ-riddled areas to address regularly include the handles or buttons that people touch often. Include these spots on a cleaning list as well.
Some of the surprising places where bacteria can linger include the handles of the microwave door and the refrigerator as well as the faucet handles on the kitchen sink. The buttons on vending machines and the light switch are also places that should be wiped down often. 
Breakrooms give employees a place to recharge so they can return to work with a renewed energy and a good attitude. This does not happen when people spend their time trying to avoid a mess. At Evergreen Janitorial Supply, we have everything you will need to keep your breakroom sparkling clean. Visit our website or call us to see how we can help.