Cleaning to Impress Visitors

Every day of the week, hundreds or thousands of guests walk through your doors.

By J. Darrel Hicks

It happens every big holiday. You have your family over for the annual Thanksgiving feast. When you have company coming to your house for your family or friends and family event, you always want to present a clean and orderly appearance to your guests. 

When company’s coming, things get cleaned, clutter gets put away, and trash is emptied. Your guests are impressed with the house and then they enjoy the meal along with the fun and fellowship. 

Now, let’s look at your place of employment. Rather than once a year, it happens every day. Whether it is a school, university, office building, hospital, nursing home or airport, every day of the week, hundreds or thousands of guests walk through your doors. If your guest is looking around, your facility must present a good first impression. You know what they say: First impressions are lasting impressions. 

Focus on facilities 

Guests are looking at and judging your facility from the time they pull into your property. Are the signs well-lit, or are there burned out letters? Are the grounds attractive? Is the grass nice and green with well-manicured flowerbeds? Is everything alive that should be? 

How about the parking facilities? Are there oil stains and cigarette butts on the concrete? Are the garages and parking lots well-lit? Are the parking lots and sidewalks free of chewing gum? 

As your guests come through the main entrance, how do the glass surfaces look? Is the carpet matting clean, attractive and free of spots? 

How do you define clean? Here is a good definition of clean you can use to judge every surface in your facility: Clean means no dust, no spots, no smudges and no smells. 

A standard of appearance should be developed for everything that your guest sees. The standard of cleanliness for every surface is that it must be free of dust, spots, smudges and smells. Use it for your restrooms, windows, carpet, tile, mirrors, elevator tracks and furniture. 

Include maintenance in your standards of appearance. The wall might be clean, but it needs to be painted. The carpet might be free of spots and stains, but it is just worn out and in need of replacement. The grout in the bathroom might be clean, but tiles are loose or missing. The appearance must be clean and well-maintained to present a facility that says, “Come on in and make yourself at home.” 

The Environmental Services (EVS) department’s visibility during this campaign is key. EVS attendants doing spring cleaning can become infectious. When the EVS staff is busy doing the spring cleaning and hauling away the broken furniture, surplus items and other clutter, the staff can embrace the idea that, “Company’s coming, and we need to be ready.” 

J. Darrel Hicks, BA, MESRE, CHESP, Certificate of Mastery in Infection Prevention is the Past President of the Healthcare Surfaces Institute. Hicks is nationally recognized as a subject matter expert in infection prevention and control as it relates to cleaning. He is the owner/principal of Safe, Clean and Disinfected. His enterprise specializes in B2B consulting, webinar presentations, seminars and facility consulting services related to cleaning and disinfection. He can be reached at or you can learn more at 

November 2, 2022

Topic Area: Environmental Services , Infection Control

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