Common Break Room Cleanliness Issues

Break Room Cleanliness Issues

break room cleanliness pictureThe break room is a place for everyone to relax and unwind a bit before tackling the rest of the workday. As such, it is often the scene of light conversation, the breeding ground of office gossip, and the central stage of workplace drama. Much of the drama that occurs in the break room may be due to cleanliness issues, often punctuated by statements such as:

“Who reheated cod in here? It reeks!”

“Who spilled their hot sauce on the table?”

“Whose lunch is this? It’s been in here for weeks!”

“What IS that thing?”

Break room cleanliness is often an issue, with some of the following being the most common problems faced by employees and managers alike.

Spills: Where there’s food, there will likely be spills, and unless you work in a professional kitchen at a five star restaurant, those spills will likely stick around a while until someone takes decisive action. Encourage coworkers and employees to clean up their spills as promptly as possible. After all, it is much easier to wipe up a recent spill than one that has be left to dry for six hours.

Flat surfaces: Tables, counters, chairs—all of these come in regular contact with human hands. As such, germs may find their way around a workplace simply because everyone passes through the common break room area. Regular disinfecting is a must for keeping everyone healthy.

Microwave: Food tends to explode in the microwave. There’s no getting around it. Therefore, the microwave needs to be wiped down regularly. When the time comes to clean it out, a simple way is to heat a cup of water for a minute, then let it sit for five. After that, any spatter will come away easily with a rag or paper towel.

Fridge: Ideally, the break room refrigerator should be used as temporary storage only. However, some items tend to be forgotten in there for a week, which becomes two weeks, which becomes a month, and before you know it, you have a moldy, mutated monstrosity spreading its vile tendrils everywhere. It is best to clean out the fridge once a week to prevent this from happening.

Empty dispensers: Soap, napkins, and paper towels run out, and they often do so at the most inopportune moments. The easiest way to deal with this is for whoever used the last of them to replace them as soon as they run out. That way, you don’t have an eight-way standoff over who has to refill the paper towel dispenser.


While putting up signs, setting out policies, and encouraging employees by example can help mitigate some of these cleanliness issues, no system will be perfect. You will always have that one person who may forget to clean up a spill or take their lunch home at the end of the day. Janitorial support is crucial to keeping your break room clean.

Businesses in Atlanta have numerous options to choose from when it comes to janitorial services. The Service Fort provides nightly janitorial services while also providing replacement products, including soap, disposable towels, and cleaning supplies. To learn more or to enlist our services, contact us today!

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