Colour coded cleaning solutions are everywhere, from hospitals to commercial kitchens. But, unless you’ve used this method as part of your job, it may be something you’ve not noticed before.

However, whether you’re setting up your own business and need to be aware of cleaning systems, or you’re trying to introduce new cleaning ideas to your current setup, understanding how using colours works and how this can be useful can be hugely beneficial.

Here’s a look at what this technique involves and how it can help you.

What is colour coded cleaning?

While it’s not a legal requirement to have a colour coded cleaning system if you’re a cleaner, it’s long been considered a useful tool to easily keep on top of cleaning processes. First introduced in the 1990s by the British Institute of Cleaning Science, this practice involves colour coding cleaning equipment to ensure that hygiene standards are maintained.

There are four colours that apply to this method and these colours are used to hep employees distinguish between the different cleaning tools and where they need to be used:

  • Red – applies to high-risk areas such as toilets and washrooms
  • Yellow – this is for kitchen and food preparation areas
  • Green – green applies to public areas, such as lobbies, meeting rooms, and waiting areas in office blocks and hotels
  • Blue – low-risk areas where the chance of bacterial contamination is low

These colours act as simple shortcuts that ensure workers know where each piece of equipment is needed.

The primary purpose of this system is to avoid cross-contamination, which in turn reduces the risk of infection. Using one sponge to clean tables in the cafeteria and then the desks in a meeting room, for example, can spread bacteria that could potentially be harmful to staff, clients, or guests.

Take a hotel, for example. If toilets used by the public are cleaned, then the cleaner knows to stick to the red mop and swap this for the yellow mop when tackling the restaurant.

Other benefits of colour coded cleaning

While avoiding cross-contamination is the primary reason to invest in cleaning essentials in the four key colours, there are other benefits of introducing this system.

First, it introduces good cleaning practices. A colour-coded system is more likely to make workers aware of the risks that can occur if areas aren’t cleaned properly. It can also encourage a rigorous cleaning timetable as different staff members can be given certain colours to focus on as part of their role.

Additionally, it can be beneficial for your reputation. Investing in a robust cleaning setup can have a positive impact on those who enter your offices or visit your restaurant, so you could find that you enjoy repeat business and encounter more customers or clients as a result.

Types of colour coded equipment

There are several ways to create a colour coded system. Focus on the key equipment to start with and go from there.

So, buy dust pans and brushes to ensure segregation between different areas, along with mops and mop buckets. You’ll also need cloths that are easily identifiable for different areas. Once you have these building blocks, you can add to each colour-themed cleaning station.

Will you introduce colour coded cleaning at your workplace? What tools will you invest in first?