But look a little closer. There are some remarkably grubby office areas that can easily be overlooked. Areas that you or your cleaners may have forgotten in pursuit of the bigger picture.
This is where germs may lurk, or allergies may be triggered, so it’s important to remember to clean them. Are there any on our list that you have forgotten?
Our top 10 places in the office that probably need a clean
- Door handles – You may wipe down the paintwork, and remove fingerprints from your doors but have you ever considered the handles? These are the most likely places for dirt and germs to gather – and transfer from one person to another. A study by Worcester Polytech Institute in America found 1323 bacteria colonies across 27 door handles on a busy university campus. A daily clean of door handles is the best way to minimise the risk of germs spreading around the office.
- Blinds – Office blinds -whose bright idea was that? Louvre blinds multiply the surfaces for dust and dirt to gather. Left uncleaned, they are a real health hazard to anyone suffering from dust mite allergies. See the section at the end of the blog for our recommended solution.
- Office plants – Having plants in the office is a great idea. They have been shown to reduce stress, increase productivity and to clean the air. But if no one is tending them, they will gather a layer of dust which prevents them from photosynthesising. A regular wipe with a damp cloth will ensure they continue to remove carbon dioxide and other unwanted gases from the air.
- Light switches – Light switches fall into the same category as door handles, although they are generally not touched by as many people. However, they are even more likely to be overlooked than door handles, so add them to your cleaning schedule.
- Your mouse and keyboard – Here is where the highest concentration of microbes is often to be found. And it has a lot to do with not washing your hands properly! You don’t need us to go into the details but try our quiz about germs. This includes a great guide to effective hand washing from hand care experts, The Deb Group.
- Behind the radiators – Getting behind the radiators is a difficult task but one that is particularly important to keep dust to a minimum. The World Health Organisation estimates that 11% of asthma is triggered by workplace dust, fumes or gases. This results in millions of lost work days. Check the back of your radiators now and see if they are contributing to the problem.
- Your office chairs – Often forgotten in cleaning schedules, office chairs should be sanitised as much as desks. The same hands that tap the keyboard and guide the mouse pull up the chair by the arms – but who thinks to clean the chairs?
- Your mobile phone – You probably know by now that your mobile phone has around 10 times more germs than a toilet seat. But did you know that in one study, faecal matter was found on 1 in 6 mobile phones? Phones are rarely cleaned, and they are held close to the mouth and nose. This means there is a high potential for germs to be ingested.
- Behind the computer monitors – Your cleaners may wipe over desk surfaces, but have you checked the dark corners behind everyone’s monitors recently? This is another space which is easy to forget. The build-up of dust and dirt can be shocking – and dangerous too, for those with allergies.
- Office fans – A dusty fan blows back dust and dirt into the air and unfortunately fans are dust magnets. Turn off the fan and use a vacuum to remove most of the dust. Then wipe clean with a damp microfibre cloth.
Your cleaning kit for the forgotten spaces
From a cleaning perspective, these forgotten areas fall into three categories:
- removing dust and dirt from hard-to-get-to places
- cleaning and sanitising office equipment, and
- removing dirt and germs from areas that many hands touch.
For the dust, invest in a Vikan Hi Dust Microfibre Kit. The extending pole hits the high spots, mitts help you to tackle areas such as blinds and the interior mop handle and flexible head gets into all the awkward spaces, such as behind the radiators.
For cleaning the dirt and germs, try a cleaning solution that is both eco-friendly and effective against almost all the germs you can throw at it. Cleantec Pro 3 Anti Bacteria Multi-Purpose Cleaner kills 99% of known germs and is bleach-free.
Add to your armoury, a stock of microfibre cloths and you are on your way to conquering the forgotten areas in your office. It will not only look clean, it really will be clean and safe for all your staff.