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How to Clean Warehouses

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A cluttered and dirty warehouse can hurt your business in a few ways. For one thing, it contributes to a disorganized and off-putting work environment, which can hurt employee productivity and morale. For another, when boxes are stacked haphazardly in the warehouse they impede the process of filling orders on time. A dirty and cluttered warehouse can also pose health hazards to employees. When you organize and clean the warehouse, you can make your business more productive and orderly. The trick is doing it the right way.

Preparation

Before you can start cleaning, you need to prepare the surfaces for the process. Move forklifts and other mobile equipment out of the area that you want to clean. Have the forklifts pick up pallets and move them out of the way, if necessary. If there are any other obstructions they should also be taken out of the path of cleaning.

Floors

Use a large dust mop to sweep up all debris on the floor. While a variety of chemical products are available to clean the floors, they might pose a health risk to employees who are cleaning the floor and can also corrode the floors. For tire marks from forklifts and other industrial equipment that create unsightly stains on the floors, polishing the concrete is preferred by OSHA and is more environmentally friendly. This process involves using coarse diamond segments that are bonded in a metallic matrix. Another option is to use a scrubber with pads to help remove scuff marks and create a glossy impression. A scrubbing machine typically contains a solution and shampoo tank that you should fill with industrial floor cleaner and water.

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High Places

Many warehouses have spaces that are hard to reach, including ceilings and windows. These areas are a breeding ground for pollutants such as dust, carbon buildup and residue from your heating and cooling system. Pollutants can also fall from high places onto your warehouse floor, making it unsanitary. Use a HEPA vacuum to help suck up this debris. Next, use an industrial sized squeegee to clean the windows. Add a squirt of dishwashing liquid to a bucket of warm water for your cleaning agent. Power equipment can help raise cleaners from the ground level to the heights necessary to reach to clean the ceiling and windows.

Standards

By establishing consistent standards for cleaning your warehouse, you can streamline the process for your employees. Consider creating a checklist for the individuals responsible for this task. For example, the checklist may include removing all debris from the aisles, returning items to their proper locations and stacking pallets neatly. You might also include tasks that are completed on a less routine basis, such as stripping the floors once a quarter or dusting shelves or racks once a month. Loop employees into your cleaning goals by requiring them to clean their stations before they leave for the day.

About the Author

Samantha Kemp is a lawyer for a general practice firm. She has been writing professionally since 2009. Her articles focus on legal issues, personal finance, business and education. Kemp acquired her JD from the University of Arkansas School of Law. She also has degrees in economics and business and teaching.

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