cloth towels hanging to dry under the sun

How to avoid cross contamination in the office

How clean is your phone??

Cross-contamination in the office is an area of discussion, especially when the coughs and colds start. These discussions centre around how can we avoid bacterias and germs from moving around the office.

A recent study in the UK found has looked into how dirty are our smartphones? They found amazingly they are dirtier to the tune of having 10  times more bacteria, per square centimetre than a toilet seat.

The report goes on to say you touch your phone up to 3000 times a day. And you even press it against your face!!!

I know I clean toilet seats, but I certainly would not be pressing one against my face.

There are ways to keep your phone clean. An alcohol wipe will get rid of many of the lurgies on your phone. But in the office, regular cleaning is a must to avoid cross-contamination.

At work, for instance, you may be working away at your desk, and you need to leave the room. The door handle that was previously touched by someone with a cold, is now embraced by you transferring bacteria onto your hands. You go to the coffee machine and press the same buttons that someone did who was preparing their food earlier, again transferring more bacteria onto hands that thought were clean.

It does show up, how keeping germs at bay, is a problem as we go through our daily lives at home and work.

The issue of cross-contamination in the office is something that we at NRE address whilst cleaning.

One of the simplest ways we do this by the use of different cleaning cloths and mops, to prevent bacteria transfer and leave you with a safer office to work in.

Colour coding cleaning?

Colour coding is key. In the cleaning industry, there is a set standard of cloth colours and each colour is used in a different areaavoiding cross contamination in the office

In general areas, Blue cloths are used

Green cloths are used in kitchen or food preparation areas

Red is used in toilet or washroom areas

And Yellow is used in infection or isolation areas

Added to this the mops, brooms, even gloves are coded for these uses

How does this work?

In one of the offices, we are tasked with cleaning the cleaning methods would be as follows.

  • The desks, door handles and general areas would all be wiped down with a blue cloth and spay and wipe disinfectant. If the office was larger, then more than one cloth would be used.


  • The kitchen would be wiped down with a green cloth, using the same spray, with all touchpoints on equipment being wiped over.  The microwave, kettle, taps as well as the counter where food was prepared as well as the areas for eating. Again, if needed 2 cloths would be used.


  • The toilets are slightly different in that at least two cloths would be used as a minimum. One to wipe the doors the sinks and other touchpoints and another to clean the toilets themselves. The spray used is also different being a stronger disinfectant and the toilet bowls have a thicker liquid applied which is brushed off.

Extra toilets in an office would again mean extra red cloths. The mops used are red only mops, as are the buckets used to hold the water

Clean, reset, start again?

We arrive back from cleaning, and the cloths and mops are sorted out into their colours and washed separately.  To ensure we reduce cross-contamination as much as possible.

Once everything has been dried properly, they are repackaged up for the next time they would be required.

So next time you see someone using the same cloth to clean all areas of your building. Or worse still see someone using the red cloths to clean the kitchen.

Ask them what they are doing and if there is a better way…..or maybe get them to wipe your phone with the toilet cloth, would be cleaner than what it is now!!!!!!!!

If you want to know more about cross-contamination in the office and ways  NRE  can help you. Then give us a shout and we can explain the lengths we go to keep you germ-free.

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Keep your business clean. Book NRE today.

Leave your office or commercial building in our hands. The NRE Cleaning team will keep it healthy and spotless – it’s what we do best.