woman wiping office binder/folder

9 Easy Ways To Clean Offices Like A Professional

Are you a business owner without the budget to hire professional commercial cleaning services

Or did your boss just drop a surprise office cleaning task on your desk? Feeling overwhelmed by the thought of tackling smudged windows and taking out overflowing trash on your own?

If either of these sounds like you, don’t panic! You don’t need to hire a professional office cleaning company — not just yet, at least — to achieve a professional clean for your office.

With the right approach and a few expert tips, you’ll learn how to clean offices like a pro, and avoid overworking your peers (or employees) to death (yes, it’s totally possible!)

On the surface, being tasked with the seemingly insurmountable task of cleaning an office space is just for aesthetics. But it goes beyond just that. Office cleaning is important because it keeps employees — like you — productive, happy, and healthy

Making things look nice is just one part of it, but it’s also more about creating a space conducive to productivity, not to mention an office that passes OSHA standards. But that’s for another article.

Okay, I don’t want to waste your time anymore. I’ll give these tips right to you.

Tip #1: Prepare essential cleaning tools and solutions

Have the right cleaning materials at your disposal. Preparing everything beforehand saves you time and ensures the cleaning job is done as thoroughly as possible.
Here’s a basic checklist to get you started:

Cleaning Solutions:

  • All-purpose cleaner for surfaces
  • Glass cleaner
  • Disinfectant wipes or spray
  • Floor cleaner (appropriate for your type of flooring)
  • Bathroom cleaner

Tools and Equipment:

  • Microfiber cloths (these are gentler on surfaces than paper towels)
  • Sponges or scrub brushes
  • Broom and dustpan
  • Vacuum cleaner (with attachments for upholstery and crevices)
  • Mop and bucket
  • Trash bags
  • Rubber gloves (optional but recommended)

Optional Extras:

  • Duster with extension handle
  • Toilet brush
  • Squeegee (for windows and mirrors)
  • Paper towels (for spills and messes)

Tip #2: Divide and conquer cleaning tasks

Any office, big or small can be intimidating to clean especially if you’ve not had any experience. The key is to divide and conquer, by breaking down cleaning tasks into manageable activities. 

Here’s how:

  • Start cleaning Top to Bottom, Back to Front: Door handles, light switches, keyboards, phones, elevator buttons, copiers, and even the office fridge handle—these high-touch surfaces are breeding grounds for germs and bacteria. 
  • To keep your office healthy and presentable, wipe them down with disinfectant wipes or spray. Allow the disinfectant to sit on the surface for the recommended contact time (usually a few minutes) to clean the germs effectively. (Ideally multiple times daily).

  • Delegate cleaning tasks so you don’t have to do it alone. Assign tasks fairly and evenly among your team members based on their skill and availability. 

  • For example, Mark, who’s always early on Fridays, can take on cleaning the pantry for that day, while Sam, who has an eye for detail, could tackle dusting and wiping down surfaces. Perhaps even rotate tasks on a weekly or monthly basis to prevent monotony.

  • Provide clear instructions and expectations because not everyone knows how to clean efficiently. Provide clear instructions on how to complete each task, including the products and equipment to use and any safety precautions (more on this later)

  • Lead by example by getting your hands dirty too. Be part of the cleaning rotation. Remember, you only want to alleviate the burden of office cleaning on your shoulders, but you don’t want to completely take it away from your hands. This will just cause disgruntlement among your peers. Teach yourself how to fish!

Tip #3: Declutter workspaces

office table

This is a tip that doesn’t always have to be a one-time thing. It’s one preventative measure to prevent any office space from accumulating dust bunnies in the first place. 

Encourage your team to embrace the “less is more” philosophy. Put up visual signs, send emails, and office reminders, or remind everyone during Town Halls to clean as they go. 

Here’s a few decluttering tips you and your peers should follow as well:

  • Removing unnecessary items and organize essential supplies

  • Use a binder or a file folder to organize hard copies of documents. Shred or recycle documents that aren’t needed anymore.

  • Communal areas like break rooms and conference rooms can be easily cluttered. Encourage everyone to set things in the proper place after use and regularly clear out accumulated items like single-use plastic, washable dishes, etc.

  • Put up a donation or recycling box where employees can donate unwanted items or recycle materials whenever possible. 

Tip #4: Focus on high-traffic areas

Just as you would focus on high-touch surfaces, you should focus on high-traffic zones like entrances, hallways, and break rooms.

Focus on high-foot traffic zones

Start with high-touch surfaces and high-foot traffic areas where the most activity occurs and where dirt and grime tend to accumulate fast. 

This usually includes office entrances, hallways, breakrooms, pantries, backrooms, lobbies, conference rooms, work desks — you get the picture. These areas need to be the most presentable out of the bunch

Regularly vacuum or sweep the floors to remove dirt and debris tracked in from outside. Wipe down the reception desk and any waiting area furniture. Spot-clean any spills or stains as soon as possible.

Wipe down high-touch surfaces in common areas

For back rooms or break rooms, wipe down countertops, tables, and appliances like coffee makers, microwaves, oven toasters, and fridges. 

If your boss hasn’t considered janitorial cleaning services yet, it’s highly suggested they do. Otherwise, you’ll also have to empty trash bins frequently and disinfect door handles and common touchpoints. 

Tip #5: Floor care is a must

person kneeling and vacuuming floor

Your boss probably entrusted this office cleaning task to you because he knows the consequences of dirty floors to the business. Think about it: office floors take a beating throughout the workday.

Everyone’s coming and going and God knows where they’ve been. Not to mention the spills and tracked-in dirt. All of these, without proper cleaning, can make the floors of any office space look dingy, unkempt, and unprofessional.

Mop and vacuum hard flooring with the right materials

Have your floor cleaning materials ready to sweep or vacuum hard floors. Mop them regularly with a suitable cleaning solution. You can start with a mixture of warm water and a mild detergent or a commercial floor cleaner specifically designed for your floor type (e..g., wood, tile, vinyl, carpet)

Vacuum carpets weekly

Speaking of carpets, vacuum them at least once a week to remove dust and dirt. Consider asking your boss to invest (or investing, if you’re the owner) in professional carpet cleaning services every 6 months to a year to remove deep-seated dirt and stains.

Use proper cleaning products on specialty flooring

If you have wood, tile, or other speciality flooring like linoleum for instance, use appropriate cleaning products and techniques to avoid damage.

For instance, a floor cleaning solution will often be labeled as pH-neutral. These are ideal for wood floors. Dilute the solution in water as per the instructions on the label and avoid using steel wool or abrasive scouring pads which could scratch the surface.

On tile floors, use a degreasing cleaner and a soft-bristle brush to remove grime without damaging the grout.

Tip #6: Let the sunlight in

wallowing in darkness. (And if you have no idea what song I’m talking about, that’s okay too.) Either way, your office shouldn’t resemble a vampire’s lair. Let the sunshine in!

Clean office windows and mirrors by following these tips:

  • Use a streak-free glass cleaner or a water-vinegar mixture. Don’t use harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners which can damage the glass.

  • Not any cloth or wipe will do — go microfiber as the material doesn’t leave out lint or streaks. For larger windows, a squeegee can help remove excess water.

  • Spray the cleaner directly onto the microfiber cloth or window, then wipe in a z-pattern or a circular motion, with overlapping vertical strokes. Don’t clean windows in direct sunlight, as the cleaner may dry quickly and leave streaks behind. You can even wait until sundown if needed before cleaning windows.

  • The frames matter too. Wipe these down with a damp cloth to remove dust and tiny, embedded dirt.

  • Windows, mirrors, and other glass surfaces need regular cleaning to prevent dirt buildup and ensure a clear view.

If cleaning windows doesn’t sit well with you, that’s completely fine. You don’t want your boss to make you liable (or if you’re the owner, make your employees liable) for property damage. That’s not going to make anyone happy. Consider bringing out the big guns and getting a quote for window cleaning services

Tip #7: Keep bathrooms germ-free

person wiping down stainless steel faucet

Let’s face it, bathrooms are the germiest places in any office and probably no one in the cleaning rotation has volunteered to clean it.

But it has to be tackled!

Here are a few tips to help you overcome cleaning any bathroom, not just the office:

  • Daily duties:
    • Replenish toilet paper, paper towels, hand soap, and other supplies.
    • Wipe down countertops, sinks, and mirrors.
    • Disinfect toilets, urinals, and all touchpoints (handles, faucets, flushers).
    • Empty trash bins and replace liners.
    • Sweep or mop the floor.
  • Weekly deep clean:
    • Scrub and disinfect toilets and urinals thoroughly with a toilet bowl cleaner and brush.
    • Clean and polish mirrors and fixtures
    • Mop the floor with a disinfectant cleaner
  • Monthly tasks:
  • Disclaimer: The following tasks may involve working with electricity or at heights, and should be left to a qualified professional if you are not comfortable or experienced in these areas.

     

  • Clean vents and exhaust fans by turning off the power to the fan, removing the cover, and gently washing with soapy water. Vacuum or wipe down the fan blades and housing and leave them to dry completely before reassembling.

     

  • Use a duster with an extendable handle or a ladder to reach high areas. Be sure to turn off the power to the light fixtures before cleaning.

     

  • Deep clean grout and tiles with a strong-action grout cleaner and brush to scrub away grime. Consider using a steam cleaner for deep stains. 

Tip #8: Don’t forget to clean electronics

Don’t go straight into cleaning electronic devices and equipment.

Make sure the power to these is always off to prevent the risk of grounding or electrocution.

Here are some tips you can follow:

  • Turn off and unplug electronics before cleaning.

  • Use a compressed air duster to siphon debris in between keys. Wipe down keeps and surfaces with a disinfectant wipe or microfiber cloth dampened with a water and isopropyl alcohol mixture.
  • Use a disinfectant wipe or damp cloth for computer mice. A cotton swab dipped in isopropyl alcohol can be used to clean the sensor area.

  • Wipe down entire phone devices, including the screen, with a disinfectant wipe or damp cloth.

  • Use a microfiber cloth specifically for electronics to clean the screen and avoid using harsh cleaners or paper towels, which can cause scratching. 



Tip #9: Let’s talk trash

Practice proper waste disposal and management through a series of preventative and corrective actions.

Mark garbage bins properly

Keep the office tidy by having clearly labeled bins for general waste and recycling placed conveniently throughout the space. Make sure these bins are emptied daily and replaced with fresh liners.

Reguarly take out office trash

Don’t let bins overflow and waste scatter — they’re not just unsightly but can also harbor germs, attract pests like cockroaches and mice, and create a negative impression on clients and employees.

Avoid this by taking the trash out daily in common areas.

Disinfect and sanitize bins

Check on them weekly to ensure trash is properly sorted, and make sure to deep clean and disinfect with all-purpose cleaning solutions to eliminate lingering germs or odors.

Key Takeaway on Cleaning Offices Like a Professional

Being tasked to clean the office is not the end of the world. You can implement a few of the professional tips above to get a sparkling clean office that’s bound to attract intrigue from next-door buildings.

A clean office is not just a one-time thing — regular maintenance and consistency matter. Use this article as a guide and you won’t get lost the next time you have a cleaning job on your hands.

 

Disclaimer: This article provides general cleaning tips and information for office environments. Always prioritize safety when cleaning and follow product instructions carefully. If you are unsure about cleaning certain materials or using specific products, consult a professional cleaning service for guidance.  Additionally, some cleaning tasks may require specialized skills or equipment, and it’s recommended to seek professional assistance for those tasks to ensure safety and effectiveness.

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