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9 Products to Make Spring Cleaning Your Office a Breeze
Feb 22, 2016
By: Benna Crawford
The office genius holed up behind clutter, paper, grime and crumbs, while churning out brilliant solutions to client problems, presents a personal sanitation challenge to you. Whether you're in charge of the entire workplace or just your own workspace, spring cleaning is the annual opportunity to break out the cleaning products and create a healthier office environment.
Floors, Windows, Walls and More
All-purpose cleaners tackle every kind of grime on every kind of surface so stock up on the ones that work for your office. Labels distinguish each brand's strength — from solvents and grease-cutters to detergents and disinfectants. Many all-purpose products combine active agents to focus on particular cleaning challenges. Most have pleasant scents, and a cleaner may be mopped, wiped, sprayed or dusted on, depending on the surface. Hunt for greener cleaners to banish office dirt effectively — biodegradable, eco-conscious and non-toxic labels can help you identify these. But use every all-purpose cleaner in a well-ventilated space and store them safely and responsibly.
The common cold, the fearsome flu, the generic germs that cluster on desks, phones, headsets, keyboards, printers, cabinets, door handles and shared technologies are silent, invisible productivity killers. Provide disinfectant wipes for quick cleaning and handy hand-cleaning throughout the office. After a major spring cleaning, go over every surface with disinfectant wipes to sanitize the space. Wipes come with and without bleach, scented and unscented, and in industrial-size or individual dispensers. Make regular disinfecting part of your ongoing office protocol. You, get a bonus — wiping down a desk and equipment means you have to declutter it first.
Even the cleanest office can suffer from poor ventilation — odors wafting in from the deli next door, a carpet that smells musty after a heavy rain. Clean the office from top to bottom and then ensure the fresh scent lingers by spraying a bit of air freshener in the corners of an entire room and individual workstations. The scent remains longer when it's not dispersed immediately by foot traffic. Choose from spray, solid, infused-oil, gel pearls and decorative flower-shaped fresheners designed to brighten the workplace. Unscented odor eliminators destroy odors with no lingering fragrance. Replace air fresheners in kitchens, break rooms and bathrooms after every major seasonal cleaning and as needed throughout the year.
Dust first. Whatever you dislodge will fall down — and then vacuum the floor. A home office can share the house vacuum cleaner, but it's more convenient to keep a small portable or handheld cleaner tucked in a cupboard for instant access. A small office that doesn't see a lot of heavy traffic might be fine with an upright. Larger offices and busy public spaces require a sturdier, industrial-strength model — a wheeled canister might be a good choice. Whichever style you have on hand, keep the broom closet well stocked with replacement bags and filters, extendable wands, carpet, upholstery, blind and wood floor attachments. For quick spills, a dust pan and broom will have the mess whisked away in no time.
Your Swiffer is your ally in the war against dust and dirt. For carpets, unsealed tile or porous stone, oiled, waxed or unfinished wood floors, a Swiffer sweeper with dry cloths picks up the big particles and traps dry dirt, dust and hair that ordinary brooms miss. On sealed tile and stone, and finished hardwood floors, use Swiffer wet mop cloths for dissolving stubborn grime and soiled spots, and for lifting the dirt off the floor into the disposable cloth — no batteries or electrical power needed. Brandish your Swiffer against office dirt, and save your time and energy for your business.
Computer monitors are dust and smudge magnets. A quick swipe with a tissue just moves the film around and leaves the smudges intact. You need a screen cleaner as high-tech as your office tech. Celebrate spring with an office supply of dry screen wipes and alcohol-free and solvent-free gentle screen cleaners to restore computers to like-new shine. Cleaning fluids and microfiber cloths even decrease static buildup so those sparkling screens stay pristine longer between wipes. Don't risk your monitor's clarity and finish to a general cleaner. Get the product for the task and be sure the team knows where to find the refills.
Half the staff eats lunch at their desks — and so do you. Inevitably, some trace of the bologna sandwich or the Danish finds its way into those inviting spaces between the keyboard letters. Uninvited critters may be delighted at the ever-changing menu but all that excess evidence of lunch — and random hair, dust, minute paper pills and eraser rubbings — will gum up the computer and attract vermin and bugs. Turn each keyboard upside down over the trash basket during spring cleaning. Get serious with a can of cleaning duster with a special skinny nozzle. Blast away, and get stubborn bits with a clean swab and mild solvent that won't harm the computer.
Microfiber cloth is a dust and dirt magnet that comes in various weaves and textures for different cleaning tasks in your office. It does everything — and the cloths are sturdy and washable so you get years of use from each one. Use smooth microfiber to wipe down computer screens, mirrors and glass — dust clings to the cloth. Microfiber works on wood furniture with polish and on wood floors with a mild cleaning solution. Set aside dedicated microfiber cloths for cleaning the sink and toilet and wiping down bathroom tile. Use one for dishes, another to clean the office fridge and shine the lunch tables. Rinse, wring out and air-dry, or toss cloths in the washer and dryer — but skip the fabric softener.
Dishwashing detergents come in an encyclopedic array of colors, scents and capabilities. Do your homework to find one tough enough for your dirty dishes — or whatever the daily office grind produces — but mild enough to baby your hands. Eco-friendly, washing-up liquid keeps the office lunchroom green. Antibacterial detergent cleans up germs. Some pH-balanced formulas can handle grease and burnt-on food and won't leave spots or film. One dishwashing liquid developed for industrial and institutional use cuts through heavy, greasy soil but doesn't irritate skin. The International Bird Rescue organization uses Blue Dawn to clean the feathers of birds caught in oil spills, without harming their skin and eyes. Whatever your choice, consider refilling individual dispensers from gallon containers for greater economy.
Benna Crawford has been a journalist and New York-based writer since 1997. Her work has appeared in "USA Today," the "San Francisco Chronicle," "The New York Times," and in professional journals and trade publications. Crawford has worked in executive management for global advertising and marketing firms, in finance industry regulation, as an educator, and as head of her own successful small business for 15 years.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
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