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.

Although many cleaning tasks have fallen by the wayside in an attempt at keeping labor costs as low as possible, it is important that custodians be trained in the proper techniques of cleaning. An example is cleaning a desk, rails and/or other furniture. I am noting more and more furniture with dust accumulations along the trim as well as lamp shades, door jambs, chair rails and other surfaces that tend to accumulate dust over time. Vacuuming chair and couch fabric (especially black or dark colored) is not being performed nearly as often as it should. Following are four areas to consider:

1. Partition glass and skylights are important for appearance sake. Fingerprints, smudges, tape and just plain film can really make a difference in the appearance of cleanliness.

2. Light switches and areas around doors are important. This includes door knobs, the door itself especially push panels, kick panels and areas that can accumulate soiling from hands in the course of an average day.

3. Walls (especially in high use areas) can acquire bumps and abrasions that can be removed or lighted using a chemical sponge. Beware of some paints that will rub off easily especially if chemicals are left too long on the surface.

4. Picking up staples and paperclips while pulling trash is important especially if you are using a vacuum cleaner with a beater bar and belt. You may consider attaching a magnet (that should be cleaned regularly) to capture the metals before they get sucked into the fan motor.

We will look at vacuuming and other floor work in a future article. 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