If you’re running a warehouse, your focus is probably on maximizing storage and moving goods in and out efficiently and profitably. Who has time to think about cleaning?
However, if you ignore the housework, it could end up biting you, risking staff illness or accidents and maybe even damage to the goods. It could jeopardize your business.
Use these tips to keep a warehouse clean and discover what it can do for your business.
How Do You Keep Your Warehouse Clean and Safe?
Cleanliness is risk reduction in business. Here’s how to manage your warehouse cleaning.
1. Design and Schedule a Cleaning Rota
The regularity and type of cleaning your warehouse requires comes down to what you store and how often you move it around.
Most warehouse cleaning schedules have a mix of daily tasks allocated to staff members on the rota plus larger jobs that could be less frequent. The deep cleans require professional contractors annually or even monthly.
Each location should have a provision to indicate that the assigned team member has done the job, with a signature, date, and time.
2. Keep Waste Under Control
Your business and workforce create daily trash. It might include garbage from workers’ lunches or discarded materials after unpacking deliveries.
All garbage should have a designated disposal point based on type, e.g., cardboard for recycling and food waste in an allocated trash can.
Make it easy to dispose of waste in the right place with adequate trash cans. Your warehouse supervisor should have these regularly emptied and put up clear signage.
Responsibility for emptying bins needs to be allocated on a rota or to specific people. Otherwise, staff will ignore overflowing garbage cans because it’s not their job.
Overflowing trash cans means garbage ends up in the wrong place. It creates a health and safety hazard by presenting physical obstacles that could cause trips, falls, or health issues from moldy food.
3. Dispose of Waste Properly
Create proper waste disposal solutions to ensure proper waste disposal. Recycle wooden items like pallets and cardboard. Cardboard boxes take up a lot of room if not broken up and can present a hazard to staff.
Find out from your local waste disposal company what materials can be recycled. Arrange a weekly or monthly collection and advertise your green credentials on your website.
Proper waste management isn’t just an optional consideration—in many states, it’s the law. Different states have regulations on how businesses can dispose of waste, recyclables, e-waste, etc. Make sure you’re up to date on your local laws.
4. Establish Regular Reviews and Assessments
Audit the cleaning protocols on a monthly or quarterly basis. Regular reviews help monitor the effectiveness of the regime.
Regular reviews are critical if you have a stock change that creates new challenges, like extra packing waste or a need to protect vulnerable goods like perishables.
Audits also pick up seasonal changes that create their own cleaning challenges, like rain and snow in the winter, which might mean an extra focus on floors in areas with high footfall.
5. Don’t Ignore Hard to Reach Areas
Out of sight, out of mind…it’s tempting to subscribe to this, but you could be storing up a heap of problems if you overlook hard-to-access places.
Dust collects everywhere in a warehouse whether you can reach it or not. Most commonly, this will be in the ceiling space on fans, lights, metal gantries, and high shelving.
Due to the safety issues associated with working at height, cleaning these areas is a job for professionals. Factor it into the cleaning rota on a regular basis.
6. Keep the Right Cleaning Products Stocked
Running out of the right cleaning products and equipment, like hand soap and garbage bags, is another reason your cleaning regimen fails.
Allocate the task of ordering products to one or two warehouse managers who can keep an inventory and replenish supplies when stocks are low. Efficient ordering will help manage your budget as well.
7. Deep Cleaning
High-touch points like light switches and door handles can transmit diseases in communal areas, spreading infection within hours.
Make sure your cleaning protocols include cleaning these high-traffic and high-contact areas. Cleaning and sanitizing to a microscopic level helps protect your employees from the transmission of disease, particularly during the winter, when workers are more likely to get sick.
8. Review Vehicle Movements and Staff Traffic
Efficient working processes can actively minimize mess and dirt. Review your handling and movement protocols from a cleanliness perspective. There are bound to be changes you could make to introduce cleaner working practices.
9. Plan the Warehouse Interior
Consider installing more effective storage, like shelving, to keep goods off the floor. Your inventory will stay cleaner, too, if it’s not low to the ground, where dust and dirt accumulate.
Consider closed storage to minimize dirt exposure for items that remain in the warehouse for extended periods.
Well-planned storage means a safer workplace for employees and a more efficient method of bringing goods in and out for distribution.
10. Use Professional Cleaners
Many companies find they are too busy with their day jobs to manage the cleaning themselves.
Using a professional team is safer and more efficient. Cleaning can occur off the clock or when the warehouse has less staff or no one is working.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Often Should a Warehouse Be Cleaned?
The answer to this depends to some degree on what you store. Food items and perishable goods require a constant cleaning regime to avoid contamination and vermin problems.
Warehouse cleaning schedules should be daily, monthly, quarterly and annual, with three or four audits a year to ensure that the protocols are fit for purpose, especially if stock changes.
How To Remove Excess Warehouse Trash and Garbage?
There is a variety of recycling, and waste-handling service options to choose from that can be scaled to keep your operations running smoothly. Check with your municipal garbage service provider for their commercial waste hauling options.
For any excess garbage that needs immediate pick-up or when needing to clean out an entire warehouse, contact your local commercial junk removal service, like Nixxit. Nixxit offers businesses professional warehouse cleanout services and can help rid your business of any unwanted items like excess cardboard, packing material, palettes, e-waste, furniture, and more.
Why Is It Important to Keep a Warehouse Clean?
A clean and tidy workspace protects the health of your workers and your business. Cleanliness and organization are not just the hallmarks of an efficient and well-run company but a safeguard for your goods and staff.
A clean and well-organized workspace is pleasant to work in, plus it is effective and efficient at optimizing storage space. A dirty warehouse can cause issues like respiratory diseases from dust and grime. It could also damage the stock.
Need Junk Removal? Get in Touch
Whether you need a one-off clear-out or regular junk and garbage disposal services, contact the professionals at Nixxit Junk Removal. Our service is reliable and efficient, plus we recycle and donate as much of the waste we collect as possible, so you can do your bit to help the environment.