Colour coded cleaning is a common practice in businesses to prevent the spread of germs.
Implementing this cleaning system is a good way to reduce infections and cut costs in your workplace.
Find out what colour coded cleaning is and how to implement it to improve your business.
What is colour coded cleaning?
Colour coded cleaning is the practice of colour coding cleaning equipment to be used in certain areas to prevent cross-contamination.
There is no national or international standards in the cleaning industry but the British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc) created this colour coded cleaning system in the 90s and it has become common practice.
You should check if any staff are colour blind before implementing this system and if so, you can use a numbered system instead.
Do I have to use colour coding?
No but it is advisable.
COSHH legislation means you need to do a risk assessment including the prevention or control of exposure to biological agents.
Colour coding cleaning is a way to do this.
The benefits of colour coded cleaning
There are multiple benefits of using the colour coded cleaning system, the main one being an overall healthier and safer environment.
The use of a colour coded system by front-line staff in healthcare has proven to be successful at reducing cross-contamination.
This stops the spread of germs and has been effective at infection prevention in hospitals.
One hospital reduced their rate of C. difficile to zero. C. difficile increases hospital costs by 40% per case and means longer stays for patients.
So, not only did this drastically cut costs for the hospital but it also meant improved patient care.
Speeds up training
Training of cleaning staff can be quicker when you implement a colour coded cleaning system.
It is a simple process that can be understand by staff even if they speak a different language, it is easy to understand colour coded cleaning areas.
When there is one clear system for cleaning it means everyone follows the same rules for consistent cleaning.
This helps to keep a high standard of cleanliness in your workplace.
Using a colour coded cleaning system means you are using reusable cloths and reusable cleaning equipment.
This is better for the environment as you aren’t using as many products and it is good for your reputation to incorporate sustainable practices into every part of your business.
Consumers are increasingly choosing to purchase from businesses who show concern about their impact on our planet.
When you have reusable cleaning equipment, you don’t need to purchase these nearly as often which saves money, storage, and the hassle of reordering them.
How to use colour coding cleaning?
The main rule of colour coding cleaning is to work from the
cleanest area to the dirtiest area.
This reduces moving germs from bacteria hot spots to clean
areas, spreading the bacteria and causing infections.
Firstly, you assign a certain colour for certain tasks. For
example you may use red cleaning supplies for bathrooms, showers, and toilets.
This means red is the only colour to be used in bathrooms
whether it is cloths, mops, or other cleaning equipment.
What are the 4 colours of cleaning?
There are 4 main colours used in colour coded cleaning, but
more can be added if needed.
As long as the colour is identified for a particular task
and area and this is communicated to everyone.
The colours tend to change depending on your workplace, for
example yellow colour coding for cleaning in care homes will not be used for
the same as yellow in hospitality.
Generally used for high-risk areas such as toilets
floors, showers, and toilets.
Blue colour coded cleaning equipment is generally used for
lower risk areas such as general areas.
Generally used for food
and bar areas.
Yellow colour coded
cleaning equipment is generally used for clinical use and isolation
areas in healthcare and for the kitchen
and food prep in hospitality. In offices it is generally for
What cleaning equipment should be colour coded?
Everything including mops, cloths, gloves, brushes, and buckets.
How should I store colour coded cleaning?
You should store
colour coded cleaning items separately. There is no point cleaning
different areas with a certain colour and then putting them together in
This will create cross-contamination which is exactly what
you’re trying to prevent.
Items like brushes and mops must be stored with the head
down to prevent contamination of handles.
How to implement the guidelines
Make sure everyone who may do any cleaning is aware of the colour coded system and how to use it.
This can include not just your in-house cleaners and porters but other members of staff.
For example, hospitals have cleaners, but nurses may also need to clean up at times.
Use a cleaning service
It can be hard to ensure accountability for cleaning in the workplace, especially if it is left to general staff.
Such as expecting office staff or chefs to do this as part of their job.
By using a cleaning service, you ensure a high standard of cleaning in your workplace which will save you money in the long term, reduce infections, and create a healthier and safer workplace.
Use colour coded signs
Display colour coded signs in your workplace that show the correct way to
practice this system.
You should monitor the colour coded system and do regular inspections and training to ensure it is being carried out effectively.
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There is no national or international standard for cleaning, but colour coded cleaning has become a common practice.
Colour coded cleaning involves assigning a certain colour of cleaning equipment to certain areas to prevent cross-contamination.
This cleaning practice can help reduce costs, prevent illness, and ensure a clean and safe workplace.
The main cleaning colours are red, green, blue, and yellow, but more can be added as needed.
It is important to train everyone in the use of this system and monitor it regularly.
If you’d like to benefit from reduced costs and a cleaner workplace, then check out our cleaning services.
At StainlessCleans we guarantee we’re better than competitors because:
– We don’t have agency staff, only our highly trained team and you’ll get the same cleaner(s) every single time. They’ll get to know your business and tailor your cleaning to your needs.
– We have no extra charges or hidden fees. Once we quote you, that’s the price.
– We offer weekend services.
– We file your reports and certificates.
– You can contact your cleaner directly if you wish.
Book your FREE site survey today and you’ll get a hygiene status report to let you know what
you need to do to improve cleanliness (before an inspector tells you).