Colour coding cleaning materials and tools is not new to the industry. This concept has been used for years in the food industry to separate different areas of food prep to prevent potential cross contamination. The cleaning industry introduced this concept many years ago to separate tools used to strip floor finishes from the ones used to apply floor finishes. One area where colour coding has seen an increase in use is in the use of hand cloths to clean above the floor surfaces. Microfibre hand cloths are available in a variety of colours and have simplified implementing a colour coded cleaning plan.
Microfibre hand cloths are made with an ultrafibre that picks ups dirt and bacteria off of surfaces and prevents the dirt and bacteria from being re-deposited unto other surfaces. Most microfibre cloths can withstand repeated washings. When used with the proper folding hand cloth technique and an even hand pressure, up to 80% more dirt and bacteria can be captured when compared to traditional cleaning cloth methods. By adding a colour coding selection to the cloths and a one cloth per area cleaning strategy, potential for cross contamination can be drastically reduced. Though there is no national standard for what colour scheme to use for which applications, many facilities have adopted National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) National Colour Coding scheme for cleaning materials.
Red and pink cloths are often used in washrooms as the potential for cross contamination is greater. With training and a quality control program, preventing the same cloth used to clean a washroom to be used to clean an office o patient room can be avoided.
Green cloths can be considered a general purpose cloth to use to clean offices, patient rooms and common areas. In healthcare settings it can be also be chosen for use in food preparation areas at the ward level
Blue cloths can also be used to clean above the floor surfaces in common areas. Often glass and polished surfaces are cleaned using a special blue microfibre cloth. Glass cleaning cloths have a specific silky texture to reduce the potential for spots and streaking.
Yellow cloths are used critical isolation areas in healthcare settings. In an office setting they can also be used to clean areas where the potential for cross contamination is greater such as a cafeteria or microwave area.
Don’t forget the importance of training the cleaning personnel on how to use these cloths properly. Proper training will increase the cloths cleaning effectiveness and lower the risk for potential cross contamination. Training should include a section on the importance of cleaning personal contact points such as door knobs, light switches and hand rails.
By using microfibre hand cloths and a colour coding policy, your facility can be both cleaner and healthier. The long life cycle of these cloths make them a suitable choice to reduce the impact of the cleaning process on the environment. Microfibre hand cloths can address both your workplace wellness and sustainability concerns.