Written by Desert Oasis Cleaners

Warehouse Cleaning Tips

Warehouse Cleaning Tips

If you own a business or manage a warehouse you might be searching for warehouse cleaning tips.  Maintaining a clean warehouse is a main factor in having a high productivity and effective warehouse.It can provide capabilities for moving more product in a smaller time frame, with reduced accidents and safety issue which inspires a higher amount of morale while producing better work conditions for employees.

16 Warehouse Cleaning Tips

The warehouse at your industrial, commercial, or retail location is typically a hive of activity and a storage area for valuable products or raw materials.  Keeping it clean helps employees stay healthy, safe, and products ready for shipping out or customer pickup.  A clean warehouse simply works better, has less accidents, and fewer sick days due to the spread of germs.  Desert Oasis Commercial Cleaners has been cleaning warehouses for many years and discovered the best tips to help you keep your warehouse clean including:

1. Use racks and shelving to maximize warehouse space.

No matter if it is a workshop, warehouse, an office, or supermarket, any space is able to benefit from a well-designed shelving and racking layout. The key factor is to increase the ease of accessibility, inventory control, safety and there is an added benefit that a well-designed layout can eliminate the need of relocating to a larger warehouse with efficiently using space in a more optimal method.

2. Keep available space organized using floor labeling

When it comes to organizing a warehouse, floor markings and labels are an approach that is cost-effective. It can be used for marking traffic flow, or route of forklifts.

Designated parking spaces for forklifts not in operation, pallet positions and locations also help avoid product from being placed in locations that are inconvenient or a safety concern.

3. Using barriers for organization and safety

There are many things that a barrier can be used for: keeping staff protected from moving machinery, preventing cosmetic damages to stock, or prevention of blocking certain areas off when not in use. Using a portable expanding scissor barrier can be useful, they are transported easily between locations as needed.

4. Using ergonomic equipment

A company can use ergonomic equipment to regularly meet their objectives while maintain a healthy employee morale. A businesses success often depends on the well-being and health of employees, by using ergonomic equipment within a warehouse, the liability issues are reduced, as well as employee exhaustion and stress. When employees are overworked, it ultimately leads to reduced productivity. A higher productivity level translates into higher quality work, more sales, and reduced amount of mistakes that saves the company money.

5. Store high-volume product by shipping areas

By placing the popular products where they are more accessible and closer to shipping areas they can be retrieved quicker. This will will help keep things organized. They keyword is ABC analysis, and doing your homework is important to keep things efficient.

6. Provide plenty of waste bins, while keeping them regularly dumped

There are many typical materials associated with a warehouse, including bubble wrap, cardboard boxes, paper, plastic wrap, etc. These need to be disposed of properly to avoid accumulated packing materials which create a large mess in a short amount of time (sometimes in just a few hours).

The best warehouses provide recycling and garbage bins throughout the building to help encourage workers to dispose of material properly.

Keep waste cleared regularly to avoid bins overflowing, which leads to additional trash laying around. Garbage bins should be emptied before they are completely filled.

7. Develop a cleaning schedule plan

Cleaning plans should address areas with higher traffic areas, such as docking areas that tend to have accumulated packing materials. After identifying zones with the most clutter, assign priority for cleaning duties on a daily, weekly, or a monthly cleaning.

8. Assign employee and zone responsibility

Each employee should be responsible for their assigned zones. As the majority of employees will specialize in a particular zone, make it a rule that each employee’s zone needs to be cleaned prior to leaving for the day.

These responsibilities can include picking up garbage, sweeping, dusting to washing equipment and floors (within safety standards). Idled moments can be converted into useful labor time by cleaning on slower days.

Create and use a rating sheet to inspect areas, while assigning specific times during the work week or month for employees to clean their assigned zones thoroughly.

9. Recycling

The three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle is a simplified term that can be implemented and ensures better organization for the company. When running a ‘green’ warehouse, the simplicity of the system is that the majority of items are recyclable.

  • Reduce: Keep garbage and clutter cleaned, so no unnecessary materials are accumulated.
  • Reuse: Over half of pallets get tossed out after a single use. Getting in a habit of reusing resources can be an extremely sustainable action for the environment, even in small amounts.
  • Recycle: The majority of wood, paper, metal, iron, steel, and glass can be recycled.

10. Reviewing and evaluating your design

It does not matter how organized your warehouse might be, if a company’s sales increase yearly, eventually a new warehouse design layout will be required, even an entire new warehouse may be required. Because the warehouse space requirements naturally change over time, it is greatly recommended that warehouse designs are re-evaluated every 3 to 5 years, depending on how company sales increases.

11. Clean as You Work

Developing a “clean as you work” cleaning program will help relieve some of the cleaning duties needed after dirty work. If your machine creates a lot of shavings, or your work results in wasted packaging material at individual stations, have employees clean those areas before the task is considered complete. If work results in wood chips on the floor, have the employee who created them clean that zone.

12. Quick Spill Clean Up

Spill can be one of the most dangerous in your warehouse.  Whether it’s a spilled drink, a product, cleaning supply, or raw liquid material quick spill clean up is a key to a clean and safe warehouse.  Having your team ready with clean up supplies such as mops, paper towels, and safety equipment is important.  For any dangerous, corrosive, or hazardous liquids goggles, gloves, and other safety equipment should be readily available.  When spills happen quick clean up is a must and deep cleaning should be done to remove any residue by your cleaning company or janitor.

13. Turn Inventory Regularly

If you have stock that simply doesn’t move it will collect dust.  As employees work in the area dust will get stirred up and cause you to need to clean more often.  It’s important even for non perishable items to get rotated out as new stock comes in.  Get the older stock turned to the front as new shipments come in to make sure the dusty boxes or containers make it out of your warehouse and don’t increase cleaning activities.  It will also help keep your employees healthier when there isn’t excessive dust in your warehouse.

14. Restroom Cleaning

All warehouses need restrooms for employees and office staff.  Many other warehouses are also places where will calls are and customers may come to visit.  No matter who is at your location on a regular basis bathroom cleaning should be a priority.  In addition to just making it nicer to work at a location bathroom cleaning is pivotal in preventing the spread of viruses and germs.  Property owners can do the cleaning themselves, hire a janitor, or simply allow their commercial cleaning company to come in on a regular basis to take care of the cleaning.

15. Breakroom Cleaning

Another important area for cleaning is if you have a breakroom or kitchenette.  The sink, countertop, microwave, tables, and chairs in your breakroom get dirty quickly.  If messes are left people’s food can get contaminated from germs left in the kitchen.  In addition, messes that are left on tables and chairs can end up staining people’s clothing.  This sends them back to work looking disheveled and unkempt.   Lite cleaning by each employee as they use the breakroom is a must, but a deep cleaning that disinfects surfaces will help avoid the spread of germs.

16. Warehouse Office Cleaning

Your company likely has a warehouse managers office, HR offices, and other staff that might be in or near the warehouse.  It is important to also keep these areas clean to help staff stay healthy and areas presentable.  Messy offices do not present the authority of managers properly and will undermine the respect that employees sense is deserved.  Commercial cleaning services for warehouses will keep the office areas of your business clean and ready to take care of business.  Best of all if you’ve got unexpected visitors from partners, suppliers, vendors, or others your office areas will always be ready to welcome people in proudly.

How To Reduce Dust In A Warehouse

The largest contributors to dust in warehouses is wood and cardboard dust.  However, forklifts also add to the dust and diminished indoor air quality in your warehouse.  Better use and maintenance of forklifts can help maintain healthier conditions for your workers.  In addition, some warehouses are outfitted with microfog systems which help remove particulates from the air.

Reduce Airborne Dust Levels

The best way to control dust in your warehouse is to sweep and clean your floors regularly.  Warehouses are typically large areas which would take a long time to sweep with a broom.  Electronic floor sweepers cut the job down significantly and helps keep the time needed to maintain dust levels reasonable.  In addition, forklifts can be outfitted with barriers which help prevent dust from being sucked upwards and made airborne.

Test Forklift Emissions

Forklifts have exhaust just like vehicles and should be maintained so they are not unduly contributing to your indoor dust problem.  While this isn’t the largest contributor to dust in warehouses it is a consideration and should be monitored.

New Forklift Tires

Older forklift tires leave black marks on your floors and add to your indoor dust problem in your warehouse.  Options for improved higher quality black tires for tires made from silica help reduce dust in your warehouse.  Cheap tires wear out faster and contribute more dust in your warehouse.

Minimize Forklift Tire Wear

Another way dust can be reduced in your warehouse is to train forklift drivers to drive more conservatively and improve your floor conditions.  Hard turns, rapid acceleration, and over weight loads all contribute to tire wear and dust.  In addition, potholes, large cracks, and rough patches in areas your forklifts drive will eat at their tires and contribute to dust.  To reduce dust drive more conservatively and consider having your floors resurfaced or epoxy floor coatings added.

Why Is Cleaning Warehouses Important?

There are 3 main reasons cleaning warehouses is important.  It instills a greater level of pride by being presentable, cleaning makes it safer, and it can improve efficiency.   Read more about each reason keeping your warehouse clean matters.

Pride in Presentation

The warehouse can be a place in your organization that sometimes is out of sight, out of mind.  This allows employees to be lax in keeping their work area clean and even affect they way they present themselves.  A clean warehouse with shelves dusted, clean floors, and tidy terminals helps staff maintain respect for their surroundings and their job.

Clean Warehouses Are Safer

Whether it’s chunks of cardboard, oil slicks, or piles of torn shrink wrap debris on the warehouse floor poses safety risks.  Staff can be carrying items and slip and fall and some warehouse machines need a clean and safe floor to operate.  A stock picker or forklift is a serious liability if they get out of control or hook onto debris that pulls products or raw materials off shelves.

Improved Warehouse Efficiency

While a clean floor is a safe work habit it also impacts efficiency if there’s garbage all over the place.  As products or raw materials are unpacked, or wrapped to ship, there’s usually some waste.  Having habits that immediately clean this waste up keeps employees safe and focused on the task at hand.

Lower Accident Risk With A Clean Warehouse

A warehouse that is dirty or disorganized results in higher risk of accidents, being less efficient and employees tend to adopt attitudes with les care and lower morale regarding the work area, with an end result that affects their efficiency, accuracy, and overall performance. Furthermore, dirt leads to equipment and machines having malfunctions, costing both time and money to repair. Packing materials incorrectly discarded, such as plastic wrap and pallets can become obstacles for a forklift or tripping hazards. To avoid these, people and forklift drivers may attempt to avoid them by driving or walking into areas they should not, or simply run the obstacles over leading to damaged machinery or product.

It is important that warehouses provide clean and open aisles without obstructions, so people can safely move, including heavy equipment and inventory transportation. Also, warehouses should not be moldy or dusty for the respiratory health of workers.

Schedule Warehouse Cleaning Services

Your company and warehouse are hives of activity and in busy warehouses trying to have warehouse workers keep up with cleaning duties is many times impractical.  Warehouses need to be kept clean and be professionally sanitized to help remove bacteria and germs to keep your employees healthy and productive.  Desert Oasis Commercial Cleaners provides detailed and reliable warehouse cleaning services to the businesses of the Phoenix, Arizona Valley.  If your warehouse in Phoenix could use some help on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis give a call for a free warehouse cleaning quote. Download the Warehouse Cleaning Tips PDF so you can take these tips with you.

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