Once upon a time elevators were thought of as simple means of conveyance that made it easier to travel the floors of a tall building with ease. Everyone squeezed in shoulder to shoulder and someone pressed a button to make the elevator car go up or down to the desired floor. When the doors opened everyone went about their way without a thought.
Then COVID happened and suddenly the close proximity to others and the high volume of people made riding in an elevator a frightening thing. Building and commercial property managers rushed to find ways to hose down elevators in whatever disinfecting solution they could find with reckless abandon.
Of course, elevators have a lot of moving parts and crucial electronics. Many of which can be vulnerable to liquids and different antiseptic cleaning products.
If you are worried about the condition of your building’s elevators, but you also don’t want to be remiss with necessary safety & sanitation, then you might want to consider some of the following tips.
Elevator Cleaning & Disinfecting Tips
To find the best possible cleaning and disinfecting products for your building’s elevators, we need to first look at some key facts about how they operate, as well as the kind of disinfecting products are available at the retail level.
Cleaning Solutions For Elevator Buttons & Fixtures
Right off the bat, the lacquered surfaces on an elevator buttons can become brittle when repeatedly cleaned with alcohol-based cleaners. You should also avoid harsh bleach-based cleaners as they can also have a damaging effect on lacquered surfaces.
As time goes on these cleaners can break down the surface causing it to become rough and can potentially make the numbers hard to read. If you need to clean other surfaces without any sort of lacquered finish, you can use a lower concentration alcohol-based cleaner that is 70% alcohol.
You should also consider the type of wipe or rag you use to clean the buttons and fixtures in your elevators. Ideally, you want to use a non-abrasive cloth such as a disposable paper towel or a microfiber cloth. Microfiber cloths also do a good job of helping to remove dust from interior elevator surfaces. You should avoid using sponges as they have a knack for absorbing bacteria and holding onto cleaning solutions.
The way you apply the cleaning spray can also be a factor. If you are using a spray cleaner, you shouldn’t spray directly onto the panel or fixture. The force of the spray can drive some of the cleaning solutions into the tiny cracks between buttons and seams. This can affect the very sensitive electronics inside the panel itself.
Instead, it’s better to spray the cleaning solution directly onto a clean rag or paper towel to lightly saturate it. Then you can carefully wipe it down. It also lets you control what surface of the rag is touching an elevator component as you go. This lets you quickly change out what part of the rag you are using to ensure that you are applying the sanitizing solution to the surface being cleaned, rather than spreading germs around.
Critical Surface Cleaning In Elevators
It’s important to bear in mind that while high-touch surfaces like buttons and panels need frequent cleaning and sanitizing, they are not the only areas in an elevator that need attention.
Cleaning the Elevator Tracks & Sills
Elevator tracks reside as the threshold between where the elevator meets each floor. The doors slide seamlessly between each side. As a horizontal surface that is essentially part of the floor, the tracks are easily prone to dust, debris, shoe material, and the occasional spills. These substances can get trapped in the textured part of the tracks acting like a magnet for bacteria and viruses. These microbes can then attach to someone’s shoe to track all through your building.
When cleaning your elevator you should use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to remove large particles and dust. Then you can switch to a non-abrasive cleaner to meticulously clean the underlying stainless steel.
How To Sterilize Elevator Doors & Walls
A lot of elevators use stainless steel walls in the construction of the walls and doors. This makes them easy to wipe down and sanitize. Though you need to make sure that you are using a non-abrasive cleaner to remove dust and debris without scuffing the stainless steel’s finish.
How To Vacuum Elevator Floors
A lot of elevators have carpeted floors that need to be vacuumed. Just make sure that the vacuum you use has a HEPA filter. This will help trap any particulate matter without distributing it back into the air.
How To Clean Elevator Mirrors
Just like with the stainless steel walls you want to clean any elevator mirrors with a non-abrasive and non-corrosive cleaner to prevent scratches and scuffs.
Cleaning The Elevator Pit
The elevator pit is the place directly under each elevator. As time goes on dust, drips from spills, and odd pieces of trash can find their way into the pit. While it’s not the sort of place that needs to be cleaned every day, it still needs periodic attention. You should never clean a pit without first having your building’s elevator technician lock out the elevator to ensure the cleaning personnel are safe.
Calling In The Professionals
A lot of commercial property managers will turn to a professional cleaning company like Building Services Inc. to handle all their elevator cleaning needs. We have highly trained technicians with years of experience when it comes to cleaning and sanitizing elevators as well as other professional areas.
At the same time, our professional cleaning technicians have access to commercial-grade cleaning products and equipment. We know the best products and techniques to clean every square inch of your building’s elevators and the state-of-the-art deodorizing products to keep it smelling clean and fresh all day long. Building Services Inc. also has technicians with the training and experience to handle the potentially dangerous task of cleaning your elevator pit.
We are happy to offer flexible scheduling to clean your building’s elevators on your schedule. If you prefer, we can clean your elevators during your normal hours of operation or after the property has closed for the day.