This guide is a direct copy first published in 2003 on The Caretakers' Website. The subject of colour coding has been raised several times on our forums and I thought you might find it useful.

Colour coding of all your cleaning equipment is very important to prevent cross-contamination. In my school all equipment is colour coded (mops, buckets, dustpans and brushes, cloths, brooms etc). The most important is the cloths your cleaners use.

Gone are the days when cleaners put dirty dish cloths all together in a bucket overnight to soak. Ask yourself, Can you guarantee that the cloth your cleaner is using today to wash a pupils desk wasn't used to clean out the urinal bowl yesterday?

No hard and fast rule apply as to what colours you choose to use as long as all staff know what the system you use is.

Below you can see the colour coding system I use in my school.

Use disposable cloths that can be thrown away after 1-2 days.

Equipment with different colours must not touch each other! The way your cleaning staff keep thier cleaning cupboards is vitally important. Equip your cupboards out with clips and shelving so that your equipment can be stored within it's own colour without any risk of touching another colour. EG, Have a red wall, yellow wall etc.

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