Did Your Cleaning Crew Use Bathroom Rags on Your Desk? Understanding Cross-Contamination

Published On: September 15th, 2023

Warning: Once you learn what we’re about to reveal, you won’t be able to forget it. So, proceed with caution. Here’s the shocking truth: unless your cleaning company has a strict cleaning procedure and proper training, they might use the same cleaning rags in the bathroom and on your desk.

How does this happen? How could someone ignore the most important rule about preventing contamination? It’s quite simple. The cleaner wheels a janitor’s cart with cleaning rags and chemicals around the building. As they move from place to place, they pick up the necessary cleaning supplies, grab a rag, and start cleaning. If your office is cleaned after the bathroom, and there’s no clear system for using different rags, your desk might end up cleaned with the same rag that was recently used on a urinal. Pretty unpleasant, isn’t it?

So, how can we prevent this from happening? What systems should be in place to avoid this cross-contamination issue? Your cleaning service provider should have three key processes in place.

Cleaning Routes and Carts

If more than one person is responsible for cleaning your facility, it often makes sense for one person to take care of offices while another handles restrooms, breakrooms, and other common areas. Even if there’s only one cleaner, there should be a clear separation between the cleaning routes for restrooms and other areas. Ideally, separate carts should be used for restrooms and breakrooms. While this doesn’t completely eliminate the risk of cross-contamination, it’s a step in the right direction.

Distinct Rags

A reputable cleaning company should have a specific rag system, where certain rags are designated for particular uses. For example, some companies use color-coded microfiber rags. Rags of one color, like red, are exclusively used for restroom fixtures. Other rags are used in offices, breakrooms, and common areas. In some cases, disposable rags or paper towels are used in restrooms, further preventing cross-contamination. The methods may differ, but the goal remains the same: using specific rags for specific areas.

Comprehensive Cleaner Training

Lastly, a janitorial company should provide thorough training for new cleaners to ensure they understand the methods to prevent cross-contamination. Having cleaning routes, separate carts, and a rag system won’t be effective without proper implementation. Training is vital, especially during the first few weeks on the job. Make sure your cleaning provider offers new-hire orientation, on-the-job training, and supervisor follow-up. A robust training program and effective cross-contamination measures will prevent the unpleasant scenario mentioned above.

In conclusion, the janitorial industry often sees many new vendors with minimal entry barriers. Some of these vendors might lack the processes we’ve discussed. Before choosing a janitorial service, inquire about their cleaning procedures to avoid any unpleasant surprises.”