Do Your Cubicles Need Cleaning? Here’s How to Find Out

Most of us never think about cleaning our office cubicles, beyond giving the desk area an occasional swipe with a damp cloth. But when you think about the fact that we’re sitting at our desks for 40-plus hours a week, dropping food particles and kicking up dust, it’s pretty gross that we never give our poor cubicles more than a cursory wipe-down. The cloth panels alone are a magnet for dust, dirt, grime, and worst of all, flu germs.

By now, you’re probably convinced of the necessity for cleaning your cubicle. But how do you know when the various parts of your workspace need cleaning? We’ve put together a handy guide for figuring out when and how to clean your cubicle.

1. Things Are Actually Growing Out of Your Keyboard

You should never have to mow your keyboard.

You should never have to mow your keyboard.

OK, so it’s unlikely that your peripherals will actually start sprouting plant life. But if you notice a lot of crumbs or dust between your keys, borrow the vacuum cleaner from the cleaning crew or give your keyboard a going-over with a can of compressed air.

2. Your Desk Is So Sticky, Your Phone and Computer Are Actually Stuck in Place

Delicious, but deadly.

Delicious, but deadly.

If you moved your stapler right now, would there be a sticky chalk outline where it used to rest? If it looks like a bunch of toddlers have been camping out in your cube, guzzling juice and spilling everywhere, wipe down all surfaces with glass cleaner or wipes.

3. The Dust Bunnies Under Your Desk Are More Like Dust Elephants

Not pictured: tusks.

Not pictured: tusks.

This is a good one, because in most offices, it’s just a matter of alerting the cleaning crew to the missed areas. Meaning that you, yourself, probably don’t need to do much — except practice being diplomatic and polite to the nice people who pick up after you.

4. Your Dry-Erase Walls Are Dry, But They Won’t Erase

Sad whiteboard is sad.

Sad whiteboard is sad.

Did someone thoughtfully leave you a note, but neglect to use a dry-erase marker? Don’t consign your write-on walls to the garbage. Depending on the type of ink used, you can sometimes remove stubborn marker by coloring over it with a dry-erase pen, and then wiping the whole mess clean.

5. You Saw a Picture of Your Cubicle From a Few Years Ago — and the Walls Were a Different Color

There's a cubicle under here somewhere.

There’s a cubicle under here somewhere.

If the fabric walls of your office cubicle are so dirty, they’re actually discolored, it might be time to call in the professionals. There are several cleaning companies that specialize in jobs like these. They’ll steam-clean your walls and remove all traces of ink, coffee, soot, grime, what-have-you. Your cubicle will be good as new in no time.

Images: zoovroo/Flickr, mikecpeck/Flickr, kim_carpenter_nj/Flickr, Zach Welty/Flickr, Jeffrey Beall/Flickr

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