Colour Coded Cleaning

Although not mandated by law, adhering to a color coded system is widely regarded as best practice when cleaning commercial spaces.

What is Colour Coded Cleaning?

Colour coding is based on the idea of designating particular cleaning products and processes to consistent colour schemes. It’s purpose is to segregate equipment and procedures in order to prevent cross contamination in the home and workplace.

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Colour Code Guidelines

The British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc) started developing a universal colour coding system in the 1990s. They designed this system to minimise cross-contamination when cleaning. Each area of the premises is assigned equipment with a specific colour for that area. Different shades and bespoke colours can also be added to differentiate equipment further.
The latest recommendations from BICSc are as follows:


Suitable for wash basins and washroom surfaces.

Should be used in washroom areas for cleaning all fixtures, fittings and surfaces that are not considered critical in terms of infection. These include worktops, doors, pipework, towel dispensers, sinks and basins.

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Suitable for general low risk areas.

Generally used when cleaning areas that are considered to present a low risk of infection. All equipment can be used to clean classrooms, corridors, offices, reception areas etc.

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Suitable for general food and bar use.

All kitchen areas within an establishment should use green equipment. In a commercial kitchen, there are usually toilets, offices and storerooms and in those cases, the other relevant colours should still be adopted, where food is not prepared.

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Suitable for sanitary fittings and washroom floors.

To be used in areas considered to be a high risk in relation to the spread of infection, notably sanitary fittings within toilets, washrooms, wet changing areas etc. This includes all associated fixtures and fittings.

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The Golden Rule:

Always work from the cleanest area towards the dirtiest area. This greatly reduces the risk of cross-contamination.

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