A Lab Cleaning Checklist: 11 Steps to a Safer Work Environment

By: Diana Rodriguez-Zaba
Updated on: March 20, 2024

Very few working and learning environments on campus pose the potential hazards found in university laboratories. As a faculty or facility manager, it’s your responsibility to develop policies and guidelines that make sure these workspaces stay safe for staff and students.

You know why you should keep your labs clean and maintain equipment, but can some duties be outsourced to a commercial cleaning contractor?

As one of Chicago’s leading laboratory cleaning companies, we work closely with area schools, colleges and universities on a regular basis. We understand the importance of routine in-house lab cleaning, and we also know how your facilities can benefit from outside services.

11-Step Laboratory Clean Up Checklist

From department heads and faculty to students, everyone working in these sensitive settings needs to know how to keep a laboratory clean. Outside services are invaluable for big projects, but regular upkeep depends on adhering to rigorous in-house routines.

These eleven steps can serve as a basis for reviewing current practices and developing plans specific to cleaning and maintaining your school’s laboratories.

laboratory cleaning checklist

1. Clean Up Every Day

Post a basic housekeeping checklist for the laboratory so that staff and students can determine which duties need to be taken care of. It should include daily routines like clearing and cleaning countertops and bench tops, sweeping floors and sanitizing touchpoints.

2. Check Personal Protective Equipment

Stress the importance of confirming PPE integrity before beginning any project. Eye and face protection, gloves, footwear and hearing conservation equipment should be regularly checked for signs of wear or failure.

3. Restock Hand Washing Stations

Make sure hand washing sinks are clean, disinfectant soap dispensers are full and paper towels are within easy reach. Immediately address any sink clogs that might cause backup and contamination.

4. Maintain Emergency Stations

Maintain emergency eyewash and shower stations according to OSHA regulations. Activate components in all stations several times a week to ensure proper operation. Arrange for regular station inspection by qualified technicians.

5. Keep All Lab Equipment Clean

Before starting any procedure or project, check equipment for cleanliness. When work is finished, always clean according to established standards. Keep lab equipment in top condition by replacing worn parts, refurbishing components and outsourcing calibration services.

6. Inventory Refrigerator and Freezer Contents

Keep an inventory of items stored in refrigerators and freezers, and include important information like origin and expiration dates. Rotate contents for easier inventory maintenance and timely disposal of expired items.

7. Use Proper Glass Cleaning Techniques

A lab washer-disinfector with hot-air drying capacity can handle most routine glassware cleaning. However, make sure staff understands different manual techniques and products for properly washing glassware items like beakers, flasks, droppers and funnels.

8. Safely Dispose of Broken Glass

Designate one trash bin for broken glass and materials with sharp edges. Only allow the bin to become half-full before disposing of the contents in an outside dumpster. Apply these guidelines to all damaged or cracked glassware.

9. Establish Policies for Dangerous Waste Disposal

Work closely with your school’s safety coordinator to determine the best methods for removing dangerous waste from campus. Instruct all lab staff and students in strict adherence to policies applying to poisons, heavy metals, carcinogens and other hazardous wastes.

10. Inspect Emergency Equipment

Schedule regular inspections for the lab’s fire suppression and sprinkler systems. Keep first aid kits in easily accessed areas, and regularly check fire extinguishers to make sure all units are fully charged and properly stored.

11. Outsource Large Cleaning Jobs

While campus janitorial services and in-house cleaning routines cover most lab housekeeping duties, some jobs require outside expertise. A commercial cleaning contractor can tackle a variety of projects including:

  • Full-facility air duct cleaning.
  • Deep carpet cleaning and stain removal.
  • Post-remodel and construction cleanup.
  • Mold removal and remediation.

By outsourcing large jobs to a commercial cleaning company, you establish a partnership with a business that offers an array of services. From water and fire damage cleanup and restoration to graffiti removal, you have the reliable backup of industry certified cleaning crews.

Our Specialized Services

professional laboratory cleaning services

We enjoy working with professionals in all kinds of settings across the city. Your feedback helps us build our knowledge base, so let us know your thoughts about our lab maintenance checklist. You’re always invited to share your input through our Comments Section.

When you need help with projects that aren’t covered by your lab’s cleaning routines, give us a call. In addition to our regular cleaning services, we specialize in biohazard cleanup and industrial cleaning. ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba proudly offers the most trusted laboratory cleaning services available in Chicago and the suburbs.