The Art of Colour-Coded Cleaning Products

Colour coded cleaning equipment with mops and cleaning products

Colour-coded cleaning products are commonly used across various industries, including restaurants, hotels, schools and other places too! But what exactly is colour coding, and how can it help cross-contamination issues and organisation in the workplace? Here at UK Cleaning Supplies, we’re about to help you understand the importance of colour-coded cleaning equipment and how it can help your business.

So, what is a colour-coded cleaning system?

A colour-coded cleaning system had been designed to designate a specific colour set for cleaning equipment for various purposes. To the eye, a room could look clean after a quick hoover and mop, but then you have to think, is it actually clean? Invisible contaminants such as germs and bacteria can stick to cleaning tools and transfer from one surface to another.

To prevent this, having colour-coded cleaning products will lower the risk of spreading germs across surfaces. This system generally works with 4 different colours to highlight which cleaning equipment should be where and is used throughout a range of different industries.

What are the benefits of colour-coding your cleaning supplies?

A colour-coded cleaning system is helpful because it provides a simple and easy-to-understand system for maintaining cleanliness and hygiene within an organisation. Listed below are some benefits:

1. The Prevention of Cross-Contamination

Cross-contamination happens when germs and bacteria spread from one surface to another, which can make people sick. For example, if someone uses a red cloth meant for cleaning bathrooms to wipe tables in a breakroom, the germs from the bathroom will transfer to the dining tables, putting customers at risk of becoming ill.

2. Safety Enhancements

Some cleaning products are hazardous and should only be used in certain areas. For example, products containing bleach should only be used in bathrooms and not in food preparation areas. By having a colour-coded cleaning system, staff can easily identify which cleaning equipment to use and reduce the risk of accidents or illness through cross-contamination. Reducing risks will promote a safer environment for all users of the area, which can further lead to a better reputation for the company.

3. The Improvement of Workplace Efficiency

Colour-coded cleaning equipment is like a secret code that makes cleaning more accessible and efficient. Using different colours for different cleaning equipment makes knowing which one to grab for each task easier. So, if you need to clean the bathroom, you know that the red mop is the one to use, and if you’re cleaning the kitchen, you need the yellow mop. This means you can get the job done faster without wasting time figuring out which equipment to use.

4. The Simplification of Training for New Staff

The colour coding cleaning system is easy to understand and remember, making training easier and faster. New staff can learn the ropes in no time, and with a colour-coded system in place, cleaning staff can be sure they are using the correct cleaning equipment in the right places without second-guessing.

What 4 colours are used to prevent cross-contamination?

When it comes to colour-coded cleaning, the following four colours are typically used: red, green, blue and yellow. Each of these colours will be allocated to a different area within the workplace or sometimes in domestic properties. It’s important to note that no national colour coding system exists, and each business may use different colours. In most situations, the following colours will be used for these areas:

Red coloured cleaning equipment is typically used for cleaning high-risk areas such as toilets, urinals and other washroom fixtures.

woman mopping in the bathroom use red bucket and mop

Blue coloured cleaning equipment would be used for low-risk areas such as lobbies and reception areas, as well as for general cleaning of mirrors and windows.

blue cleaning supplies on a blue background

Yellow coloured cleaning equipment is typically used for cleaning food service areas such as kitchen countertops, food preparation areas and dining tables.

person cleaning oven hob with yellow cloth

Green coloured cleaning equipment is often associated with cleaning dining areas and breakrooms. Generally, any sort of public area.

women cleaning up floor with green dustpan and brush

What equipment should be assigned to each colour?

The types of cleaning equipment that should be colour-coded may vary depending on the business. You should generally have colour-coded cleaning cloths, mop heads and buckets. Other equipment you may want to colour code could include dustpans and mop handles.

Is it a legal requirement to colour-code cleaning equipment?

There is no legal requirement to use a colour-coded cleaning system; however, industries such as healthcare and hospitality services have guidelines that recommend the use of these systems. The British Institute of Cleaning Science (BISCs) and the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) also argue that these measures should be in place to prevent injuries and serious illnesses.

In Summary

In conclusion, colour-coded cleaning is a simple and effective system that can be adopted by various industries to maintain cleanliness and hygiene standards. By designating specific colours to different areas and equipment, cross-contamination risks are significantly reduced, efficiency is improved, safety is enhanced, and staff training is simplified. 

While there is no legal requirement to use colour coding, it’s highly recommended by regulatory bodies as a best practice for preventing cross-contamination. Ultimately, adopting a colour-coded cleaning system will promote a safer environment and improve your business’s reputation.

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