It is always tempting to clean simply for appearance with the belief that if it looks clean, it is clean enough to satisfy the contract requirements. Unfortunately cleaning to that standard can be dangerous for both the tenant and visitors as well as create future problems. A table, doorknob, toilet seat or other surface may look clean yet harbor pathogenic microorganisms that can increase absenteeism and cause other performance issues.


Remember that cleaning (or called sanitizing) can kill between 60 to 99 percent of the germs present based on the products and procedures used to clean the surface. Some of you may have a different percentage due to your own experience or interpretation. Simply using a clean microfiber cloth with a neutral detergent that removes the soil (and possible food for germs to feed on) is more effective that using a soiled cloth soaked in a weakened disinfectant. Remember that soil load and other factors can affect the disinfecting properties of many chemicals and can lead to a false sense of safety. 


Think of how often a surface is improperly cleaned and the transmission of disease is increased by simple negligence and poor training. Take a moment to observe a table being bussed at most restaurants. The worker does not wear gloves; yet a moment before was handling a broom or other contaminated object. They reuse a cloth sitting on the workstation that probably has not even been rinsed, much less sanitized from last use. They pick up the salt, pepper, ketchup, etc. bare handed and place them in their correct location. They then spray the table without allowing any dwell time and promptly wipe it with the soil-loaded cloth. The next guests sit down trusting the table has been at least sanitized — but we know better. 


Your comments and questions are always welcome. 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