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News and Useful Information


Help Stop the Spread of Disease

Help Stop the Spread of Disease
January 15, 2020
By John Dilena

Serious outbreaks surrounding various strains of influenza, MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), E. coli (Escherichia coli), and Salmonella alarm the public and can be a reason why a business loses employees and patrons. As professionals in the hospitality, education, healthcare and commercial maintenance industries, we all have a responsibility to make sure we are not contributing to the spread of infection.

Color Code your Cleaning

You might wonder, how can I prevent the spread of germs that cause illness? Establishing a color-coded cleaning program is one way you and your staff will help prevent cross-contamination by using different colored cleaning products when sanitizing a bathroom than you would a common public area or a food preparation station.

For proper infection control when cleaning specific departments, it is highly recommended you always begin with the cleanest areas and finish with the dirtiest. For example, if you plan to use the same colored cloth in the restroom, it would be strategic to start with either the sink or shower and finish with the toilet.

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Differentiate Specific Tasks And Departments

Typically, a small handful of colors are used to clean different departments in a facility or for specific tasks or jobs. Although there technically is not a "color standard" in the U.S., there are general trends that have emerged many have come to observe you can easily adopt today:


    Used in areas with a higher risk of cross-contamination and spread of infection - most commonly for cleaning restroom areas including toilets and urinals.


    Used for cleaning objects and surfaces in rooms and lower risk areas of restrooms including sinks.


    Used in areas where food is handled and prepared.


    Used in lower risk areas such as common areas and for general purpose cleaning of surfaces such as glass and mirrors.

Other colors can be used in place of or in addition to the aforementioned colors, including pink, orange, purple, grey, black and white.

When implementing your color-coded program, you will want to consider matching the color of your towels and cloths, rags and mops with the color of the chemicals or bottles you are using to clean.

For instance, if you are cleaning windows using a blue spray bottle, sprayer nozzle or label, consider matching them up with blue cloths.

Colors can bridge Language Barriers

Color is a universal language that is recognized by almost anyone regardless of one's native language. By applying color to your cleaning program, you are breaking down any language barrier that may exist between you and your staff. This is extremely important because it removes the degree of uncertainty, resulting in consistent cleaning results from entire staff.

Implementing a color-coded cleaning program using different colored towels and cloths, rags and mops to represent each task, job or department will help to eliminate confusion among your staff while also simplifying their training. Moreover, having a poster with illustrations representing your color-coded program can be very helpful and beneficial for training employees as well as ensuring the consistency of your program.

When it comes to setting up your color-coded cleaning program, there are several different towel and cloth, rag and mop options available depending on the application and the departments on which you wish to focus. Some of the most popular choices for cleaning programs include microfiber cloths and mops, and terry towels. All of these options are made of different materials, which can further help to distinguish what to use for a specific task.

Microfiber Cloths And Mops

Microfiber is a lint-free synthetic material that has been around for nearly a decade and has become one of the most preferred cleaning materials used in the professional cleaning industry. Microfiber is constructed with millions of microscopic hooks that attract, absorb and remove all kinds of dirt, dust and bacteria from surfaces. These fibers trap dirt, dust and bacteria until washed, so the same cloth or mop head can be used for a longer period of time than traditional cleaning cloths and mops. Microfiber is also popular because of its versatility and ability to clean with or without the use of chemicals and microfiber cloths and mop pads are available in many colors, sizes and styles.

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