In the janitorial world, Spring Cleaning gets all the love. People bask in the joy that spring cleaning means, as the world warms up. Though in truth, your spring cleaning wouldn’t be so arduous, and your whole retail space will shine after a thorough winter cleaning.
Not only is it a great way to push aside the dust of fall, but it can even freshen your store for the customers who will be flocking in for holiday gift shopping. Even once they’re gone a proper winter cleaning sweeps away the old to make way for the new face of your retail space.
The Ravages of Winter on Your Retail Store
Winter weather and high foot traffic can do a double whammy on your retail store’s floors and display areas. Not to mention the constant threat of melting snow and dripping snow on your carpets, floor mats, and hard flooring. Some of the more common problems retail store owners face in the winter include things like:
- Floor damage from melted snow
- Tracked-in salt
- Slippery surfaces causing mechanical injuries
- Poor air quality
- Finger marks & grime on display cases
- Increased density of cold & flu germs.
The Timing of Winter Deep Cleaning
Winter cleaning in retail stores tends to happen either before the holiday season just as the fall fades away, or immediately after the new year. Both of these times have their own strategic advantages.
Cleaning right before the holiday season ensures that your retail space is fresh and ready for the onslaught of holiday gift shoppers. It does away with the dust and lingering debris of summer and fall. It’s the sort of thing that your customers will notice.
Winter cleaning after the holidays restores your retail space to its pristine condition. This includes benefits like:
- Refreshing high-traffic flooring
- Extracting salt & sand residue from floor mats
- Removing fingerprints from display cases
- Removing holiday damaged holiday decorations
- Refreshing the air
- Optimizing HVAC airflow
The Importance of Winter Cleaning & Sanitizing
A lot of retail spaces embrace winter cleaning both before and after the holiday season for the sanitation benefits.
Before the holidays winter cleaning helps eliminate dust and other airborne allergens that built up over late summer and the fall. It also gives you a clean slate right at the start of cold and flu season.
Post-holiday winter cleaning touches up the sanitary condition of your retail space. It does away with the lingering germs and residue left behind by holiday shoppers. This goes a long way toward sanitizing your retail space for the second surge of cold and flu season that often strikes in late winter.
Making a Winter Cleaning Checklist
Making a thoughtful, comprehensive winter cleaning checklist will go a long way toward making sure that your retail store looks great, while also being clean and healthy for all your employees and cherished customers.
Areas to Disinfect in Your Retail Store
Cold weather and close proximity often combine to maximize the potential threat of cold and flu season. Since so many people congregate in retail stores during the winter, it’s especially important to maintain a disciplined disinfecting protocol for all high-traffic areas.
This includes wiping down and disinfecting things like:
- Shelves & display spaces
- Countertops with merchandise
- Carts & basket
- Door handles & other high-touch surfaces
- Self-checkout stations
Some retail store owners find that it helps to limit their store’s use of self-serve stations when possible. Especially self-serve food stations which are often bacterial hotbeds. Especially in single-serving food service stores where shoppers frequently inspect food items before putting them back.
Winter Floor Maintenance Is Essential
Road salt and sidewalk chemicals are great for maintaining traction for car tires and boots. Unfortunately, it can do some serious damage to interior hard floors and carpeting. Salt and other ice-melting chemicals are worst in the high-traffic areas of your store.
Setting up and maintaining a thorough floor cleaning schedule is essential for extracting excess salt before it does permanent damage.
Here again, the best offense starts with a good defense. If customers have direct access to your retail store from the outside, then you want to place down long floor mats. This will create a semi-absorbent surface to trap melted snow and salt before it makes it to your permanent carpet. Then be sure to swap them out when they become inundated.
- Other things you need to do to maintain good winter floors
- Manually clean floors when wet to prevent slips & falls
- Always set up signs to alert customers to slippery surfaces.
- Install heavy-duty rugs & replace them frequently
- Vacuum and/or sweep floors daily
- Mop hard floors multiple times per week
- Mop within 24 hours after a major snow or ice storm
Improving Winter Air Quality
Air quality is also a major concern during the winter. Weather and the onset of cold and flu season can seriously hamper air quality. This can be compounded by dust build-up as well as particulate debris getting trapped and then passing through dirty air ducts.
The first step in improving air quality in your retail store during the winter is to install air purifiers throughout areas of high airflow
The second step for improving your store’s air quality is to incorporate green cleaning products that tend to leave behind fresh natural aromas without any harsh chemicals.
Maintaining High Touch Surfaces
High-touch surfaces like door handles and display cases are common places where germs are transferred during the winter season. Not to mention the buildup of greasy fingerprints.
Make sure to set up a schedule where all critical high-touch surfaces are wiped down throughout the day, as well as given a thorough cleaning at the end of normal business hours.