Though it pains us to have to mention this, we have seen some pretty dirty warehouses over the years. For some reason, business owners have a tendency to overlook their warehouses when setting up industrial cleaning schedules. Warehouses seem to be the forgotten stepchild in the cleaning game. As a leading provider of commercial cleaning services, we think this is a mistake.
Granted, it can be difficult to keep an active warehouse as clean as an office. Constant movement of materials and inventory creates dirt. That says nothing of the equipment that tends to dominate warehouses: forklifts, trucks, pallet jacks, etc. But cleanliness is just as important in the warehouse as it is throughout the rest of your facility. A dirty warehouse is potentially unsafe. It also invites germs and airborne pathogens.
Your Warehouse Is a Storage Facility
There are some important things warehouse operators need to know about keeping their facilities clean. It all starts with understanding the fact that a warehouse is a storage facility. Regardless of the industry your company is currently involved in, you use your warehouse to store equipment and supplies. If you sell products to customers, they are probably stored in the warehouse as well.
Every piece you have in storage is a potential germ carrier. Every piece has the potential of being contaminated by pathogens that come into the warehouse from the outside. Keeping the warehouse clean limits exposure, thereby reducing the chances of spreading germs.
Your Warehouse Is Also a Workspace
Storage is the main purpose of your warehouse, but keep in mind that it is also a workspace for some of your staff. It’s probably the primary location for the shipping and receiving department. That means you have employees moving about the space throughout the day. They need a safe and clean environment to work in.
Warehouse cleaning is as much about eliminating dirt and debris as it is controlling germs. It is about keeping travel lanes open and aisles free of clutter. It’s about making sure floors remain free of any chemicals that could promote slips and falls. Warehouse cleaning keeps everyone safer, boosts productivity, and actually limits your company’s liability.
Sanitizing and Disinfecting Aren’t the Same
Let us close this post by discussing sanitizing and disinfecting. Although the two terms tend to be used interchangeably, they aren’t the same thing, exactly. Allow us a minute to explain.
Sanitizing is a cleaning process designed to reduce germs to a safe level. You are getting rid of the majority of the germs, so to speak, without going to the extent of having to eliminate them entirely. Sanitizing is the less intense of the two processes.
On the other hand, disinfecting is a process intended to eliminate all germs by killing them. Another key component of disinfecting is that it is generally reserved for services that are prone to germs – like doorknobs, light switches, countertops, and toilets.
In the warehouse, you might sanitize the warehouse floor on a regular schedule. In between, you surface clean with a mop or a commercial floor cleaner. On the other hand, the cleaning staff makes a point of disinfecting surfaces when they clean the washrooms. They also routinely disinfect high contact areas throughout the warehouse environment.
Your warehouse is both a storage space and a workspace. Though it may be difficult to keep the warehouse as clean as the office, regular cleaning is still important. The cleaner you keep the space, the safer and more productive it will be. Consider bringing in a commercial cleaning service if your in-house crew isn’t up to the task.