Top 10 Cleaning Mistakes That Businesses Make

Cleaning your business poses a significant challenge, especially if you have an intricate or highly specialist premises that needs tending to. The time and effort that it takes to manage cleaning operations and keep your premises looking spotless will become a large drain on a manager’s week. According to research, only three-fifths of a manager’s time adds value to the business, and taking care of additional admin tasks such as cleaning operations will only reduce that time further.

Even so, many companies will try to keep their cleaning in-house or hire services only as and when needed. As a result, it’s all too easy for mistakes to be made that harm your site’s overall cleanliness and puts workers and clients at risk of illness or accident. Some of these mistakes may go unnoticed, and might even seem like the more appropriate thing to do, but the consequences that they have in the long run are not worth it by a long shot.

In Vanguard Cleaning’s latest article, we’ll discuss the common cleaning mistakes that businesses make, outline why these mistakes result in a worse cleaning outcome, and explore how to avoid these schoolboy errors. Finally, we’ll examine how Vanguard can solve these cleaning mistakes with our professional and detailed approach.


The 10 Worst Cleaning Mistakes Businesses Make

The following mistakes are some of the most common that we see businesses make when it comes to cleaning their premises.

1. Only Cleaning When It Looks Dirty

It can be tempting for many businesses to organise cleaning only when their premises appear visibly dirty. That way, businesses think they get the most out of their money, and avoid spending on excessive cleaning services that may seem redundant.

Unfortunately, once your property becomes dirty, the situation is already worse than it looks. Bacteria and germs can fester on any surface, meaning your workplace doesn’t need to look dirty for the risk of infection to be substantial. In research that may shock many, the average office desk contains 10 million bacteria, which amounts to 400 times more germs than the average toilet seat. Keeping this in mind, letting your premises collect germs and grime runs the risk of spreading illness through your workforce, causing absences and impacting your productivity.

Scheduled cleaning is the solution to this problem – it’s far easier to stay on top of cleaning instead of fighting a losing battle once the damage is already done. To implement an effective schedule, assess your premises and determine which areas pose the greatest risk, then create a schedule that tackles each area regularly and maintains a high standard of cleanliness across your building. On top of the increased cleanliness, this has additional benefits of improving the appearance of your building and raising employee morale.


2. Cleaning From Bottom To Top

When cleaning your premises, it can be difficult to know where to start. As one of the dirtiest areas in a building, the flooring and carpets may seem like the ideal place to begin, but these areas should be tended to last.

This is because, as you clean your hallways and rooms, dust and debris will fall from walls, ceilings, furniture, and objects. All of these particles and grains will eventually fall onto your floor, meaning that if you cleaned this area first, it will immediately become dirty again. Make sure to clean from top to bottom, brushing everything onto your floor before giving it a thorough vacuum and clean to avoid wasting your time and doing the same job twice.


3. Using The Wrong Products

With a broad range of cleaning products on the market, using the wrong chemical for the wrong surface is an all-too common mistake. Knowing the differences between certain products such as disinfectants, sanitisers, detergents, and bactericides, and which one will work the best for which situation, can be surprisingly difficult.

If the wrong product is used incorrectly, it can damage the surface it is used on, leaving marks or even destroying the actual material. This is especially concerning for electricals and specialist equipment, as incorrectly cleaning these items can cause substantial damage and result in an expensive repair or replacement bill. Of course, many chemicals are also toxic to humans, and careless use (such as spillages or forgetting to ventilate) can cause injuries or worsen medical conditions like asthma.

To avoid using the wrong products, make sure to research which chemicals are appropriate for which surfaces before you begin. It may also be a good idea to carry out a COSHH risk assessment for safety, as well as making sure to use proper PPE and store chemicals correctly.


4. Avoiding Deep Cleaning

Understandably, deep cleaning sounds like a headache to many businesses. Such a thorough clean can be highly disruptive, requiring equipment to be pulled out and moved around, whereas staff may be prevented from accessing all the tools they need. For these reasons, your business’s operations may need to be limited or even paused entirely while the deep clean is carried out, which will no doubt impact your bottom line.

Nevertheless, deep cleaning is a necessity for your businesses, allowing for a premises-wide refresh to clean areas that are usually overlooked or avoided. These nooks and crannies can collect (and more crucially) spread grime to other parts of your building, so a periodic deep clean is crucial for keeping on top of your premises’ hygiene and preventing dirt seeping into more regularly used areas. It also provides the ideal opportunity to clean walls and ceilings, which only need to be looked at once or twice a year.


5. Not Encouraging Cleanliness

Company culture can go a long way in keeping your premises clean. If standards are not upheld, employees may become used to living and working in a dirty environment. Simple, routine things such as not tidying their messy desk, or failing to clean up after themselves when they use the kitchen, contribute to creating the ideal breeding ground for bacteria.

As reported by the World Bank, the promotion of good hygiene practice is the most cost-effective way to reduce disease and infection. As a result, encouraging your employees to take a proactive approach to hygiene can make a world of difference. This can be done in a number of ways – creating rotas for emptying dishwashers or taking out bins, putting up posters with instructions on how to wash hands or clean surfaces, and placing reminders to empty the fridge or clear away rubbish.

If an extra step is needed, there is always the option of requiring your workforce to complete mandatory training, or sending out comms to remind employees to take personal responsibility for their desks and workplace. By placing emphasis on these simple, everyday changes, you can make a surprising difference to the overall cleanliness of your premises.


6. Leaving Air Ducts Dirty

Good air quality is extremely important, especially for those with conditions such as asthma or other breathing difficulties. Unfortunately, ventilation systems such as heating or air conditioning can do more harm than good, and are often overlooked when it comes to cleaning your premises.

Dust and dirt can quickly build up in air ducts, meaning whenever you use these systems, harmful particles will be spread around your business. While some people may be more affected than others, bad air quality will impact everyone, leading to increased rates of sickness and absences. For an increased level of hygiene, ventilation systems, air ducts, and filters need to be cleaned periodically. Given the nature of these systems, it may require a specialist job, but it is well worth the effort to tackle any ongoing harmful effects.


7. Neglecting Window Cleaning

There’s no way around it – we’ve all seen grimy windows in our time, and there is little more off-putting when looking at a building. Dirty windows will leave a poor impression on visitors and staff, and turn customers to your nearest competitor.

For the appearance of both your exterior and interior, professional window cleaning will make a key difference. Not only will squeaky clean windows improve the look of your premises, but it will allow more light inside, which can save money on energy bills and improve employee morale. As for retail or customer-facing business, shining windows will also attract more custom, adding value to your products and store.


8. Not Cleaning Touch Points

Touch points refer to anything that is commonly touched by hands, including door handles, handrails, light switches, phones, elevator buttons, faucets, toilet handles, and sign-in points. Given that around 70% of common illnesses are spread by hands that have touched everyday surfaces, failing to regularly clean these key problem areas will increase the likelihood of infections spreading around your premises.

Most touch points should be cleaned daily to prevent transmission, especially if your business is experiencing an outbreak of illnesses. It may also be useful to have hand sanitiser stations located around your business, in a similar style to measures implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic, to help keep hands clean. Some places, such as medical facilities or care homes, are especially vulnerable to the pathogens found on touch points, so cleaning these areas multiple times a day may be necessary.


9. Cleaning During Office Hours

Whether you are using a cleaning company, or are running cleaning operations yourself, having a cleaner attend during office hours is highly detrimental. While it may seem more convenient to have cleaners in the daytime, and hence allow your business to be fully locked up at closing time, the disruption this will cause is unneeded.

Important work and meetings will be distracted by the noise and movement of a cleaner, whereas customers may be inconvenienced by cleaning equipment blocking their way. For these reasons, and to ensure cleaners have the full capacity and space to work, cleaning should be scheduled for either before or after work hours. While some cleaning companies may restrict what times they can clean, rest assured that others – like ourselves, always strive to fit around our clients requirements.


10. Hiring In-House Cleaners

As mentioned above, running your cleaning operations in-house is a challenging and time-consuming task. Not only would you have to train cleaners up to scratch yourself, but you would also need to purchase expensive cleaning equipment, conduct your own risk assessments, sort out your own supplies and products, and manage your own quality assurance and auditing procedures. For large, complex premises and small businesses both – the workload becomes a lot, especially for those who don’t have dedicated cleaning expertise.

As a result, a commercial cleaning company may be the answer. With the equipment, training, and experience to resolve all your hygiene-related issues, leaving it to the professionals is a great way that you can avoid some of the most common cleaning mistakes.


How Vanguard Can Help You Avoid These Mistakes

Investing in a professional cleaning company like Vanguard brings with it a plethora of benefits. First and foremost, our staff are trained with industry-leading procedures that are accredited by British Institute Of Cleaning Science (BICSc), meaning they have the knowledge and skills to implement cleaning best practice across your premises. Together with specialist cleaning equipment, our staff can clean a range of environments and rooms to an exceptional degree.

Vanguard is dedicated to tailoring our services to the needs of you and your business. Whether you need us to clean before, after, or during your business work hours, we are committed to being as flexible and adaptable as possible. This is part of our signature approach to service excellence, which includes comprehensive auditing procedures and client feedback sessions to ensure you get the best possible service from our team.

In addition to regular and daily cleaning services, we offer a range of solutions to enhance your business’s hygiene. These include:

  • Enhanced Deep Cleans
  • Window Cleaning
  • Floor Cleaning
  • Washroom Services
  • Specialist Cleaning


For a quick, free quote from our knowledgeable team, please reach out using our enquiry form or by calling the number listed above.