Periodically I like to get back to the basics of cleaning since we all can benefit from reminders along the way for the steps necessary to clean a facility effectively and safely.

Remember that the front (and possibly side) entrances are very important as to appearance. Most custodial operations are judged by their restrooms (odor, stocking), hallways and entrances. Since the challenges to cleaning will vary with location and climate, the following suggestions may need to be adapted to reflect conditions unique to your area. Of course, if outside cleaning is not part of your tasks or of little concern, go on to the next article.

Walk off mats pay for themselves in capturing soil and moisture if they are maintained correctly. Even though they may not look soiled they should be vacuumed, swept and/or shaken on a regular basis. If the entrance area can be kept free of grit and soils the insides will be easier to maintain. If weather permits, mats should be hosed off on a Friday to allow them to be dry by Monday. Another option is to utilize a mat service that rotates clean mats on a regular basis. A dirty, worn mat should be replaced.

Inspect and pull trash from any outside receptacles so that they do not become attractions to birds, cats and other scavengers. Use your nose to detect the need for thoroughly washing any containers that may have become soiled especially if the liner was damaged. Always inspect and spot clean any lids that become soiled. Inspect and clean door glass and side glass inside and out as needed. Give special attention to trim that can become dusted or soiled by birds or spider webs.

Remember that first impressions count and entrances are at the top of the list. Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or