What is colour coded cleaning and why is it important?

Commercial colour coded cleaning is a simple and effective hygiene approach that more and more companies are using. In colour coded cleaning, every work area has its own colour-coded commercial cleaning equipment which isn’t supposed to be used in other areas of a facility. The aim of commercial colour coded cleaning is to avoid cross-contamination between different work areas.


What do the different colours mean?

A system of colour codes was developed by The British Institute of Cleaning (BICSc) – a leading commercial cleaning body – in the 1990s. In the BICSc system, every major work area has a designated colour code. The 5 colour codes are red, yellow, blue, green and white.

  • Code Red – red is for toilets and bathrooms
  • Code Yellow – yellow is for infectious areas e.g. hospitals or medical centres
  • Code Blue – blue is for general areas and general cleaning
  • Code Green – green is for kitchen and food prep
  • Code White – white is for operating theatres

A good starting point for commercial colour coded cleaning is the mop and bucket: use a red-coloured mop and bucket to clean the toilets; and a yellow-coloured mop and bucket to clean the kitchen. It’s very important not to swap the mop and buckets around.


What are the benefits of commercial colour coded cleaning?

Commercial colour coded cleaning, which is also beneficial in industrial cleaning scenarios, has many practical benefits.

  • Inexpensive – colour-coded commercial cleaning products cost about the same as “standard” cleaning products without colours
  • Improved employee health, safety and productivity – less chance of cross-contamination leading to staff illness and absence.
  • Lower likelihood of patrons or customers falling ill – due to cross-contamination bacteria.


How does a company implement commercial colour coded cleaning?

Commercial colour coded cleaning is relatively easy to implement. At Abco, we recommend the following 3-stage approach to start with.

  1. Train your cleaning staff on the various colours and works areas. (If any staff member is colour-blind, a simple numbering system can be used alongside the colour system.)
  2. Place coloured stickers, labels or tags on all existing commercial cleaning equipment and chemicals.
  3. Going forward, purchase only colour-coded commercial cleaning products.
  4. Hold colour coded cleaning refresher training courses with your staff every 6 months.

As you’re probably starting to realise, the benefits of commercial colour coded cleaning are hard to ignore. Abco your local supplier of commercial cleaning supplies in Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Sydney – can help you make the transition to colour-coded cleaning products. For further information and assistance, please call us on 1800 177 399.


About the author

Leave a Reply