Tips to Keep the Shop Clean from Top to Bottom

Tips to Keep the Shop Clean from Top to Bottom

A shop’s appearance should be reflective of the quality of service. That attention to detail is apparent at Autowerkes Maine in Freeport, ME.  Photo courtesy of Shop Owner magazine and owner Voit Ritch.

To help automotive shops improve cleanliness and productivity, Cintas Corporation offers 10 tips for maintaining a clean shop environment.

1. Plan daily floor maintenance. Shop floor cleanliness is increasingly important as many technicians take customers into the service area to discuss their vehicle’s condition. To keep floors in the service area clean, develop daily floor cleaning protocols to remove any debris accumulated throughout the day. Create cleaning schedules based on peak business times and train employees in proper ­techniques. Maintain cleanliness by stocking important supplies such as oil containment products to handle unsightly and dangerous spills.

2. Provide effective cleaning tools. Chemical dispensing units guarantee that solutions are mixed correctly each time to boost effectiveness of cleaning programs and employee safety. These units also save time by eliminating manual mixing and providing quick access to properly diluted chemicals. Microfiber mops and dual chamber mopping buckets reduce the spread of contaminants from the service area to customer facilities.

3. Implement matting systems. Mats capture shop lubricants and fluids and prevent their spread into customer areas. Combine scraper and carpet mats at all entrances to prevent the spread of debris throughout the shop. Place anti-fatigue mats in high-productivity zones to catch any spills and reduce worker injury. In addition to placement, make sure that mats remain clean and functional by ­partnering with a professional mat laundering service.

4. Schedule deep cleanings. While daily cleanings remove dirt and debris, they aren’t always sufficient in the total removal of buildup from lubricants, antifreeze, brake and power-steering fluids. Schedule periodic deep cleanings through the entire shop to remove grime and ease daily cleaning duties.

5. Improve employee appearance. Ensure that personnel look and feel their best by implementing a uniform program. Partner with an apparel rental service to make sure that employees consistently greet customers with a freshly laundered uniform. Provide scratchless belts to ensure that customer vehicles stay in top condition while employees execute services. Promote the shop’s image with uniforms that display company logos and employee names to personalize the guest experience and boost employee morale.

6. Promote clean hands. Since technicians are constantly working with harsh oils and liquids, ensure they are greeting customers with clean hands. Provide hand-washing stations supplied with heavy-duty soaps to cut harsh grease and oil. Make sure that clean towels are readily available. Additionally, provide protective gloves for employees performing more intensive services.

7. Provide clean towels. Prevent the accumulation of unsightly soiled shop towels throughout the shop by partnering with a laundry service provider. Service providers will deliver laundered shop towels based on individual shop needs.

8. Provide a safe parts washer. Refrain from using solvent-based parts cleaners as inhalation can cause nervous system damage, lung injury and death. To keep employees safe, make sure that the washer uses bio-based and pH-neutral cleaning solutions to reduce hazards and improve indoor air quality throughout the shop.

9. Maintain waiting areas. As a customer’s first impression, this space should always remain in top condition. Develop daily cleaning schedules to disinfect and sanitize all hard surfaces including chairs, tables and floors.

10. Focus on restrooms. Whether the shop has customer-only restrooms or shared facilities, restrooms should always be pristine. Ensure that restrooms have a continuous supply of the essentials including soap, paper towels and toilet paper. At least once a day, all restroom surfaces should be sanitized and disinfected.

“When customers walk into a clean auto shop, they can be confident their vehicles are being treated with the same care and attention as the rest of the facility,” said Dave Mesko, senior marketing manager, Cintas Corporation. Visit cintas.com/industries/automotive.aspx.

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