COMMONSENSE CLEANING AND MAINTENANCE (A focus on public spaces)

 
My grandmother, a domestic goddess, once told me that as she carried me around when I was a toddler, I was always fussy about things being just so. Well, I assure you that I have not changed. Some might even refer to me as finicky. I have simply never gotten comfortable with passable :-).
Today, as I go with my family to different places, I am very particular about where I will eat, sit to watch a movie, utilize a public restroom, and so forth. While I don’t want to ever be considered anti-social, I do not accept inept cleaning standards.
 
When a public place is dirty, I speak up, seeking out the owner, the manager or a supervisor. What Ask Cindy knows for sure is that if you make a knowledgable and deliberate effort to clean, doing so will successfully eliminate dirty circumstances.

A cleaning schedule for any public facility will have every surface and appliance item on a cleaning checklist. Ongoing cleaning frequency eliminates the guesswork for eradicating settled germs and bacteria. Anyone can keep objects clean with proper technique and sanitizing solutions. This type of cleaning applies to public restrooms, restaurants, classrooms, and offices. Also, as a society, we must demand higher standards for public facilities. Microorganisms cultivate in petri dishes, not human beings. Public spaces that are dirty are just offensive and smelly.
 

 It is not acceptable for proprietors or managers to offer dirty restrooms and dirty common areas in public establishments, especially, as we patronize these places. When we let them off the hook unchallenged, we are saying that we are agreeable to these circumstances.

 

Now, the question might be, can we expect anyone to walk the walk? Yes, it can be challenging, but a determined approach with well trained staff investigating public activity within and around a public space restroom(s) busy periods will establish ongoing cleaning frequencies. This is the starting point for cleaning success.

 

When my company was contracted to clean the anchor property, Sports Plus (300,000 sq. feet) located in New Roc City, in New Rochelle, New York I realized after reading their utilization plan for this space that we would need additional housekeepers to police the bathrooms and garbage pails throughout the facility. I highlighted this piece of information in my bid/proposal. After all, in order for me to do my job well, the client needed to understand what it would take to prevent smelly bathrooms and overflowing garbage pails throughout this high trafficked public arena.


Our other cleaning responsibilities included the cleaning of two on-site restaurants, a retail store, two food concession stands, a professional ice arena bleachers, locker rooms, entrances, offices, interior walkways and hallways, elevators, shower stalls, locker rooms and many video games/consoles with acrylic fronts.

 

Under Ask Cindy’s watch, every item in the space was on a schedule for cleaning. The operations manager was so impressed with this passion for clean, and realized how this due diligence would make his job easier. Our company’s bid sheet beat out 26 other cleaning companies. Ask Cindy was a diligent cleaning operation. Naturally, I would spend time on site during all shifts to live the housekeeping experience first hand. Management by walk around will always correct any miscalculations related to the tasks at hand. I was determined that the operations person would not have to micromanage Ask Cindy or my staff pertaining to cleaning tasks. This type of dignity made America the beautiful!

 

Established cleaning frequency is all about the culture and usage of a space; when a cleaning service bids on a job, a study of how the space is used must be done. After all, public spaces are utilized differently. A personalized cleaning plan for a specific space or venue is the only successful approach for eliminating dirty bathrooms, floors and so forth.

 

IT'S GAME TIME:

 

  1. The janitor’s closet must be clean and organized at all times. This point sets the tone for organized cleaning.
  2. Daily cleaning of public bathrooms should be done with bleach and germ eliminating products. The best germ killer is a bacterial enzyme eradicator. It should be used inside public toilets and urinals after the general cleaning and sanitation process. This will eliminate remaining organisms. Surprise, unpleasant odors will disappear, as well.
  3. Now, what about the cleaning cloths that are used in these areas? Disposable cleaning cloths is the only answer. This will prevent cross contamination. By all means using a different cloth for the many different surfaces with its many sides is the right thing to do.
  4. Automatic air fresheners should always be in place.
  5. The bathroom mop should be dedicated for the bathroom floors only. The mop head must be washed clean nightly. My standard is that all mop heads in my company’s operation must be clean to the naked eye and stored upright for air-drying. Mop head changes should be scheduled.
  6. The broom that sweeps the bathroom floor is labeled and dedicated for bathrooms only. Using the same broom and mop for all areas only cross contaminates.
  7. Light fixtures, interior walls, paper towel boxes, toilet paper holders, urinals, bathroom stall walls and doors, entrance and exit doors, should all be on a cleaning schedule. I state to my staff, if we do not clean an item, then you must want the client to do it! This always comes with a smile.

 

Cleaning and maintenance of public areas is dirty work. Clearly written schedules of the required work, with realistic timelines, functional ergonomic tools, and appropriate cleaning chemicals, will navigate one through cleaning tasks. Cleaning and maintenance with a common sense approach, requires good work ethic, discipline, ergonomic equipment, safe cleaning solutions, and a comprehensive plan.

Overall, public spaces are dirty and these undesirable circumstances negatively impact our sensibilities. Let’s ask business proprietors to keep their space(s) clean. As consumers, it is advantageous to both sides!

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