Your Guide to Colour-Coded Cleaning in Canberra

Many businesses and organisations in Canberra are embracing colour-coded cleaning – a simple hygiene system designed to minimise cross-contamination in the workplace. In this blog post, we explore the ins and outs of colour-coded cleaning in Canberra.


What is colour-coded cleaning?

Colour-coded cleaning involves using dedicated cleaning equipment (identifiable by colour) for specific work areas. A business or organisation with a colour-coded cleaning system uses separate cleaning equipment (mops, buckets, cleaning cloths, brooms, gloves) for its bathroom, kitchen, and general spaces. Colour-coded cleaning reduces the likelihood of cross-contamination between areas.


Why is cross-contamination potentially dangerous?

Cross-contamination is potentially dangerous because harmful microorganisms (bacteria, moulds, fungi) – particularly those from bathrooms and toilets – can be transferred into more sensitive areas, such as kitchens and lunchrooms.


Who invented colour-coded cleaning?

Colour-coded cleaning was invented by The British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc) in the 1990s. BICSc is an independent professional and educational body representing more than 60,000 members in the cleaning industry.


What do the different colours represent?

Colour-coded cleaning systems can vary between cleaning companies, manufacturers, and countries. The British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc) system uses the following colours:-

    • Red – toilets and bathrooms
    • Green – kitchens, lunchrooms, and food preparation areas
    • Blue – general areas
    • Yellow – clinical areas and first aid rooms
    • White – Specialised or bespoke areas (for example, a computer room, data centre, hospital, or day surgery facility)

The key to implementing and maintaining a colour-coded cleaning system is consistency, discipline, and education (including staff training).


What are the benefits of colour-coded cleaning?

Colour-coded cleaning benefits Canberra businesses and organisations in several ways.

    • It improves work health and safety (WHS) for staff and customers.
    • It’s relatively inexpensive to set up (most cleaning equipment retailers sell mops, buckets, brooms, clothes, and gloves in different colours).
    • Having multiple sets of cleaning equipment reduces immediate wear and tear on equipment.
    • It enhances professional image and credibility.

As leading commercial cleaners in Canberra, we believe that colour-coded cleaning makes perfect sense.


Where should colour-coded cleaning equipment be stored?

Ideally, colour-coded cleaning equipment should be stored in a cleaning room or cupboard that’s lockable (to deter unauthorised or untrained staff from disrupting the system). All equipment, including gloves, should be grouped according to colour.


What is a safety data sheet (SDS)?

A safety data sheet (SDS) is a document (typically several pages in length) that sets out health and safety information for cleaning chemicals deemed hazardous. Given most cleaning chemicals are stored onsite, safety data sheets (SDS) should be displayed prominently in a cleaning room or cupboard. Businesses and organisations that embrace colour-coded cleaning in Canberra usually make their safety data sheets (SDS) highly accessible.


How is colour-coded cleaning implemented in Canberra?

To begin with, a business or organisation must be committed to implementing colour-coded cleaning. The relevant staff must then be trained on the fundamentals of colour-coded cleaning and the importance of maintaining the system. In relation to equipment (mops, buckets, brooms, clothes, gloves), businesses and organisations have two options: they either modify their existing equipment (by applying coloured tags, labels, or stickers) or purchase new equipment.


How is staff colour blindness handled?

Colour blindness is handled by implementing a simple numbering system alongside the colour coding.


For more information on colour-coded cleaning in Canberra and Queanbeyan, please call the knowledgeable team at Sleek Cleaning Services on 0415 147 240. Alternatively, please email