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.

It is vitally important that custodians do not lose time and productivity due to inadequately set up carts, lack of supplies, broken equipment or lack of training. My best example is a building with about 15 workers using the zone cleaning system to its maximum benefit. Each worker had an assigned floor or area that the onsite supervisor had time studied. Each cart was set up and ready when the workers arrived. As they clocked in, they reviewed their schedule for the night and either started work immediately or sat down for a brief meeting. Based on my timing, most custodians were on task within 5-7 minutes of checking in primarily due to slow elevators. Most did not have to come back to the office since their carts were ready and properly stocked.

Each cleaner had mop changes, sufficient chemicals, clean cloths and sufficient supplies to perform their tasks with minimum interruptions. They had a listing of areas to be detail cleaned for that night and had been trained on how to document any interruptions or equipment issues. Upon returning to the office, they were greeted by the onsite supervisor who reviewed their chemical usage, asked leading questions and made sure all supplies had been used correctly.

When I asked her how she developed such an organized system, her response was enlightening: "I really do not like to do any additional work so come in early to set up the carts, always keep clean rags/mop heads in stock, provide respectful support to workers and retrain immediately if I see the need.

Some of you may be asking for this lady's name and contact information but that is privileged. 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