Why Colour-Coding is Important for Cleaning Supplies

by | Jan 25, 2023 | Blog

You may have heard people say they use blue cloths for cleaning the bathroom and green for the kitchen, this is known as colour coding. Colour-coding is also really important in commercial settings as it reduces the spread of germs and diseases via cross-contamination. There are four main colours used for colour coding, red, blue, yellow and green. In this blog, we will dive deeper into the importance of colour-coding your cleaning supplies and what each colour is used for.

The Four Colours used for Colour-Coding

The British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc) advises the following colours are used for each of the specified areas of your workplace.

colour-coding for cleaning supplies


  • Yellow – Clinical, Healthcare use.
  • Green – General food and bar use, kitchen space or where food is prepared.
  • Red – General washrooms.
  • Blue – General lower-risk areas including offices, schools and reception areas.

While in some workspaces the colours may vary slightly, it is important that a clear colour coding system is applied and adhered to by all members of the cleaning staff.

Why is a Colour-Coding System Important?

The main aim of colour-coding your cleaning supplies is to prevent cross-contamination. For example, you absolutely do not want to be using the same cloths for cleaning the washrooms, including the toilets as you would any food preparation surfaces.

A clear system removes the risk of this happening. Another top tip for cleaning commercial areas is to work from the cleanest area toward the dirtiest area.

For example, start in the bar area, or a space where there is the least contact and do the washrooms and toilet areas last. The same applies to individual areas, in the washrooms start with the sinks, then the high-touch areas followed by the toilets and then the floors.

How to Implement Colour-Coding for Cleaning Supplies

Start by assigning colours to specific areas of your business, the above guide might not be completely applicable however, in most cases you can use it for reference.

In most office spaces you will still have kitchen or food preparation spaces and washrooms. It might also be worth having clinical cleaning supplies if, for example, a first aid incident occurs e.g. a nosebleed.

Next purchase all the required equipment in your chosen colours, here is a handy list of what you are likely to need:

  1. Microfibre Cloths
  2. Rubber Gloves
  3. Buckets
  4. Mops/ Mopheads
  5. Dustpan and Brush
  6. Broom
  7. Spray Bottles
  8. Sponges
  9. Scrubbing Brushes

The next step is to ensure all your existing staff and any new employees are aware of the colour-coded areas and which equipment should be used. This can be done by training and using clear posters and signage.

You must also remember to correctly store your cleaning equipment, ensuring that no two items touch.

We hope you have found this blog useful and have learned the importance of colour-coding your cleaning supplies. If you hire agency cleaners or an external cleaner, they should already have their own system in place but it’s important you check this with them so that you are also aware of which clothes to use for a spill in the kitchen!


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