Lifts / 20 May 2022

Everything you need to know about cleaning lifts effectively

When you think about the cleanliness of your building, you think about common areas: the entrance hallway, mailboxes, staircase and landings. But, have you stopped to think about the importance of keeping the lift clean? It is used by virtually everyone in the building at least a couple of times a day. It’s no wonder, then, that this small space is so prone to accumulating a lot of dirt.

How well it’s cleaned will determine if the lift operates efficiently without posing any hazards to users. In buildings with a concierge service, this task can be assigned to the doorman (who must be trained on the task). In other cases, it will be done by a specialised cleaning company.

But keep in mind that maintenance company technicians also have to get involved when it comes to cleaning.  There are areas – such as the lift pit – that only technicians can access for safety reasons. Let’s take a look!

What elements of the lift have to be cleaned?

A lift has different components, and each one is made of a different material. This means that a specific cleaning method has to be used for each:

  • Door frame. It is very easy for dirt to find its way through the door frame and, if it is not kept clean, the lift risks getting stuck and the doors may not be able to close properly. Because of this, FAIN recommends using a brush to remove any dirt attached to the frame (such as dust or small papers) and then vacuuming the area to remove anything that is left over.
  • Pit. All the rubbish that falls through the gap between the floor and the door ends up in this space, so it’s important to keep it clean. To keep the lift in good condition and ensure its components work properly together, the pit should be cleaned at least once every three months. It is worth noting that this cleaning must be done by the ILS engineer or the relevant maintenance company, since only a specialist can enter the pit and operate the equipment from there.
  • Walls and door. These are the areas we need to focus most on, since they gather grease stains and fingerprints all throughout the day. They are generally made of stainless steel and should be cleaned using neutral or specific products for this type of surface.
  • Floors and mirrors. These components are also highly exposed. To remove any bacteria and germs that accumulate on the floor, it has to be scrubbed using products suited to the type of flooring material (in many cases, it is made of rubber). Mirrors should be cleaned using the same method as for glass or windows: a window cleaner should be used first, and then a microfibre cloth to bring out the shine.
  • Lights and buttons. To avoid damage, do not clean them using corrosive products; instead, it is preferable to use a damp cloth. They should be cleaned at least once a week, since they are in constant contact with users’ hands (and also with their bacteria).

Cleaning method

The cleaning method used in the lift has to reflect the requirements of the building. The elements that suffer the most – due to foot traffic – and that should be cleaned most frequently are: floors, mirrors, walls, buttons and doors.

The cleaning should be scheduled between 10 a.m. and noon to avoid the busiest times of the day. Although it is not usually necessary, sometimes the lift will have to be “out of service” to do a deep clean (for example, after construction or if a resident moves home). In any case, the cleaning will always be done from top to bottom to save time and avoid dirtying areas that were already cleaned.

It is also important that the cleaning company that services the building check certain devices as needed for proper operation: lights, buttons, emergency telephone, opening and closing of doors, etc. If the building has a concierge service, this task can be coordinated between the two parties so that only one of them is responsible for doing this verification.

More safety for users

Keeping the lift clean is another way to guarantee the safety of all the people who use it. If cleaned on a daily basis, the risk of accidents and breakdowns is reduced.

However, we would like to stress once again the hazard that working on metallic, sharp or moving surfaces poses to the doorman or a cleaning company. As a result, they should only be tasked with keeping static areas clean, and a technician should be hired to clean specific areas.

Does your lift break down even if it passes the required lift inspections and is properly cleaned? Don’t worry! FAIN personnel are characterise by their problem-solving attitude and can adapt to each customer, their needs and circumstances. You can find your nearest office or call our 24-hour customer service line (01 419 9800). We’d love to help!