Why colour coding is so important

August 8, 2022

Colour-coded cleaning is the process of assigning colours to cleaning equipment to reduce the spread of germs and diseases and increase hygiene in your business. The four main colours and categories we endorse, as suggested by BICSc (The British Institute of Cleaning Science), are:

The Four Colour Codes for Commercial Cleaning

The key to colour coding, of course, is to keep it simple, though it can vary slightly from business to business. The four main colours are:

  • Red: This denotes toilets and washroom areas. It can refer to materials and products used to clean toilet pans and rims, as well as urinals and the floors in this area.
  • Yellow: This is used for clinical areas.
  • Green: This is commonly found in kitchen areas or anywhere where food is prepared. It can include preparation surfaces, all catering equipment and food tech rooms.
  • Blue: This is for general cleaning areas like your office space. It covers areas such as classrooms, offices, corridors, and receptions to name just a few.

Commercial cleaning can vary in places like hospitals where blue will be used for patient areas and yellow is commandeered to be used for isolation areas. Cleaning operatives need to understand what each of these colour codes is used for and which equipment to use. Mops and cloths, for example, can be coloured to match the area and staff should have a list of products that are used in these specific areas to prevent cross-contamination.

Hiring a Commercial Cleaner

When you are looking to take on a commercial cleaning service, it’s always a good idea to check what colour coding they use. If it’s not included in their processes, this should certainly ring some alarm bells and make you think twice about entering a contract.

Professional commercial cleaners will ensure that certain tools like mops and buckets, dust pans and brushes, sprays and cloths are all colour coded for different areas in your workplace. Staff also should be trained to use the right colour in the right location. One idea is to have a colour code guide up in specific areas so that there is no excuse for confusion – these are easy to put together and help act as a reminder to all cleaning operatives.

Colour coding equipment also means that it can be stored properly. You certainly don’t want a mop and bucket that has been used for cleaning the toilet sitting around in an open space where it has the potential to spread bacteria. It also ensures that cleaning equipment for different uses is kept separate.

For any commercial cleaning operation, colour coding should be used extensively, and it pays to check that your company is using the appropriate processes. If they’re not, it might be time to find another supplier. If you would like to find out more about aZtec Commercial Cleaning practices give us a call on 01525 216330 or email