How to Keep Commercial Buildings Smelling Clean and Fresh

It doesn’t matter if the floors in a building are shiny, the glass surfaces sparkle, and the furniture gleams; if there are unpleasant, strong or foul odors, occupants will feel that your cleaning company is not doing its job. A building’s occupants not only expect shiny floors and furniture wiped free of dust, they also want their buildings to smell “clean”. The cleaning program you use for your buildings not only has to include daily cleaning, but also removing odor causing soil and leaving behind a light and fresh scent.

Before wading through hundreds of air fresheners and deodorizes on your janitorial supplier’s shelves, make sure you’ve thoroughly cleaned the building. This is the first step as it will remove bacteria that can cause odors. There are a couple of key areas that bacteria can really take hold — kitchens and restrooms. Effectively cleaning countertops, sinks and appliances can go a long way towards destroying odor causing bacteria.

Restrooms can have many problems that lead to the growth of odors. By starting with a product that contains a hospital grade disinfectant you take the first step to curbing the growth of bacteria that can lead to unpleasant smells. Cleaning products themselves can contain fragrances that many people may find offensive. Stick with products that have no scent or have just a slight fragrance.

Something else to keep in mind is how you use your cleaning supplies. If you are using rags or cotton cloths for wiping this can make any existing odor problem worse. If you do not wash your cleaning cloths between uses they can spread odor causing germs from one area to another. Think of switching to color-coded microfiber cloths or disposable paper towels to prevent cross-contamination. And then be sure to clean the microfiber cloths daily.

Follow these steps before setting up an air freshening system in your building:

* Make sure that you and your staff use the correct cleaning products for the task at hand, and make sure that you are using the products according to manufacturer’s instructions. For example, are you properly cleaning the grout in kitchens and restrooms? Ground in soil and other contaminants can become a breeding ground for odor causing bacteria.

* Is there enough ventilation? Stale air can cause unpleasant and offensive odors. If the building and especially the kitchen and restroom areas are not adequately ventilated, you may have to prop open doors when cleaning.

* Is there a deep cleaning program in place for the building? The faster you clean spills and debris, the less chance odor causing bacteria has to grow and multiply.

* Are you using products and cleaning procedures that make the odor problem worse? Almost every cleaning product has its own fragrance. Make sure that your all-purpose cleaner, bowl cleaner, disinfectant and other products have one consistent scent. This is best accomplished by using one product line from a particular manufacturer.

Once you’ve thoroughly cleaned the building, work with the building’s owner to decide on the most effective air freshening system. Aerosol fresheners are commonly used, although many add fragrances that merely mask odors rather than remove them. Consider using a system that provides odor neutralization and emits a light mist over time. Look for products containing properties that latch onto and then remove odor molecules as opposed to just spraying a fragrance to cover up odors. When properly used, these products can even remove odors caused by smoke, mold and mildew.

Keeping a building fresh and “clean” smelling will go a long way towards giving the overall perception that the building is clean. Fighting odors begins with a comprehensive cleaning program and not taking any shortcuts. And including an effective air freshener or air neutralizing system at the end of your cleaning process will help to make sure the building’s owner won’t be calling and asking you, “what’s that smell?”

Copyright (c) 2007 The Janitorial Store