Flooring, Heating and Cooling, Maintenance and Operations, Sustainability/Business Continuity

Back to Basics: 7 Interior Places to Tackle for Spring Cleaning

Back to Basics is an article series that highlights important, but possibly overlooked, information facilities management professionals should know.

Now that spring is here, most of us are looking forward to warmer weather. But first, it’s time for facility spring cleaning! Every facility has its own unique needs based on its type, whether it’s educational, governmental, commercial, industrial, or recreational. While some organizations contract out their cleaning work, other organizations leave it up to the facilities management department to keep things nice and shiny.

If your team tackles cleanliness, here are seven interior places that should be targeted for spring cleaning:

1. Floors and Mats

Remove rock salt and brine that’s been tracked onto the floors of your facility from the parking lots and sidewalks. Tile floors should be cleaned by stripping the old wax and putting on a new layer of wax, and consider sanding, remarking, and resealing wooden floors every 10 years. As for carpets, use hot water extraction by spraying water and detergent. Additionally, don’t forget to clean floor mats both inside and outside the entrances to your facilities.

2. Walls

Consider whether your walls are covered with fabric or paper, are coated, or have durable paint. Special attention should be paid to historic structures that might have been repainted with reproduction or modern paints. Consider cleaning walls weekly, but they should certainly be cleaned immediately if there’s blood or body fluids on them. Dry methods of wall cleaning include using brushes or a broom, and wet methods include using soap and a liquid on a sponge to control streaking.

3. Ceilings

Just like with walls, ceilings can be cleaned using dry or wet methods, but for high ceilings, consider using far-reaching brooms. Some experts advise cleaning ceilings every 3 to 6 months. For better results, use a vacuum to prevent dust from falling onto customers and employees. Also, consider renting lift equipment if cleaning ceilings 20 feet or higher and doing cleaning during the day when natural light will complement artificial lighting to help you see better and remove even more dust and dirt!

4. Windows

Consider cleaning both the inside and the outside of your windows at least twice a year—the spring season is a great time to do it! For interior cleaning, use a damp lint-free cloth, and spray glass cleaner on the windows, staying away from edges and non-glass surfaces that could be damaged by the spray. Don’t forget to dry the windows with a squeegee or clean lint-free towel. Use a high-pressure spray nozzle with liquid dish soap to clean the outside of your windows.

5. Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)

Clean the unit’s coils by using a wet cleaning process with pressurized water and non-caustic cleaning foam. Use an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered mold inhibitor to keep coils clean and free of mold and mildew. To learn more, check out “Springtime Cleaning Tips for HVAC Coils” on Facilities Management Advisor. Additionally, don’t forget to check and change air filters, inspect vents and ductwork, and calibrate thermostats. Consider replacing thermostats with smart ones.

6. Restrooms

Public perception of your facility can be affected by the cleanliness of your public restrooms, so use a checklist of items that should be cleaned and sanitized every day and another to-do list of things that should be cleaned and sanitized once a week, such as hard-to-reach areas. Everyday cleaning should include toilets, urinals, stall and urinal partitions, sinks, mirrors, countertops, and floors. Check and refill supplies as needed, and don’t forget to disinfect the door handles and light switches.

7. Elevator Cabs

Most multilevel facilities have elevators. Otis recommends dusting them frequently and washing them with stainless-steel finishes with mild soap and warm water. Additionally, it recommends buffing using a soft, clean cloth and using a light coat of silicone or furniture wax on non-lacquered finishes. Scratches should be removed by those experienced in doing so. In addition to cleaning, be sure your elevators are maintained properly. For maintenance assistance, check out “6 Warning Signs Your Commercial Elevator Needs Maintenance” on Facilities Management Advisor.

Learn More

The early days of the COVID-19 pandemic led to increased facility cleaning, and it’s important to keep up the momentum even though the worst of the pandemic is over. For additional spring cleaning tips for both inside and outside your facilities, read “4 Ways to Prepare Your Facility for Spring” on Facilities Management Advisor. Additionally, consider using green cleaning solutions that are more sustainable. Learn more by reading “Spring Cleaning with a Twist: Rediscovering Critic-Acid-Based Solutions,” also on Facilities Management Advisor.

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