How to Clean the Common Areas of an Apartment Complex

By: Hayden Bodiford
November 30, 2022

If you manage an apartment complex, condominium, or another type of residential complex, you likely have several common areas that require regular cleaning. If these areas aren’t being tended to regularly, you could end up with major problems that affect the safety of your residents and employees.

Common areas are rooms or other spaces accessible to and frequently used by all residents. They can include any of the following:

  • Front entry
  • Lobby
  • Foyer
  • Commissary
  • Public bathrooms
  • Hallways
  • Elevators
  • Pool area
  • Other shared outdoor spaces

Regular cleaning and sanitation will pay off by attracting higher-quality tenants and creating a safer, healthier environment for your residents and staff. It can also help you maintain or even increase the value of your property. Routine cleaning is especially important if your apartment has a pool area, as these and other water features should be maintained no less than once per week.

Not sure which areas in your building constitute shared spaces? You will by the time you finish this article! Read on for your complete guide to apartment complex cleaning for all your common areas.

Or, leave the job to the commercial cleaning experts at 360clean. If you’re searching for a quality cleaning service with an unbeatable track record, get in touch today to learn about our specialized approach to commercial cleaning. We’re always happy to provide you with a free quote!

Not All Areas Require the Same Degree of Cleaning

Before we dive into common spaces and how to clean them, it’s important to note that not all common spaces require the same degree and frequency of cleaning. As such, it’s important to make a plan that includes an optimal cleaning schedule to ensure you aren’t spending more money than necessary.

For example, while it’s a good idea to clean your pool area at least once a week, you might want to clean your elevators at least once a day, as it’s likely that people will interact with the surfaces in your elevators and potentially turn them into a hotspot for harmful viruses and bacteria more frequently than those around the pool.

Cleaning the Lobby

When cleaning a lobby or welcoming area, you can optimize the cleaning process by dividing the space into separate zones. For example, you might devote an equal amount of time and effort to the desk area and floors.

Cleaning Lobby Area Floors

All of the main floors in your complex likely see lots of traffic. However, the majority of the traffic probably passes through the main lobby. For this reason, it’s a good idea to deep-clean the floors in your main lobby weekly.

When tackling the floors, you’ll want to dry mop first, then wet mop. This two-part approach will allow you to pick up loose debris before applying a cleaning solution. Once most of the debris is gone, you can mop using a liquid disinfectant to sterilize the floors.

If you live in an area that receives lots of snow and rain, you’ll probably want to clean the floors in your lobby more frequently. Doing so will promote safety by removing conditions that could lead to slips and other accidents. It will also keep the space looking nice and clean for your guests.

If you use a rug in the entryway to prevent slips, you’ll need to schedule regular carpet shampooing in the winter and replace them outright when they get too dirty. Normally, these rugs should be vacuumed daily.

Cleaning Lobby Desks

In addition to being a high-traffic area for tenants and employees, the desks in your main lobby are constantly exposed to computers and other equipment, various forms of mail, and even food items. Their centrality makes regular sanitization and organization paramount to ensure a clean appearance. As with the main floor, this type of cleaning should also be completed daily.

Cleaning the Hallways

Hallways are inherently high-traffic spaces. This means the carpets must be vacuumed, and the hardwood and tile floors must be swept and sterilized.

When vacuuming, the experts recommend using a modern HEPA filtration system, which traps dust and pollen without spreading them. This is actually part of our specialized cleaning program at 360clean!

If you’re using an older vacuum without this type of filtration system, be aware that you may be dispersing particulate matter into the air.

In this worst-case scenario, this could irritate your residents’ allergies or even increase the risk of illness in your building.

Cleaning the Restrooms

If your complex has restrooms in the main lobby or other common areas, these should be cleaned daily. And if you have a pool area with dedicated bathrooms and a sauna area, you should also clean them every day.

Beyond cleaning, you’ll also want to make sure these areas are stocked with towels, toilet paper, towels, and any other supplies your guests may need. If you have an out-of-the-way restroom area that’s used infrequently, you may not need to clean it as often as your high-traffic restrooms. Just make sure you restock any necessary supplies and schedule a regular cleaning at least once per week.

Cleaning Elevators and Stairways

Complexes with multiple floors have elevators and stairways that allow guests and employees to move from one floor to another. Consequently, these areas often become repositories of dust, dirt, trash, and illness-causing bacteria and viruses. It’s therefore imperative to clean and sanitize them regularly.

Not only will a dirty, cluttered stairwell make your building less appealing to your tenants and their visitors, but if people are unable to evacuate in the event of an emergency, it could end up costing you more than your reputation.

To keep your stairwells and elevators clean, start by checking them at least once a day. This will allow you to address any messes before they become an issue. Try to schedule a walk-through when traffic is light to avoid disturbing your tenants and ensure you have ample time to clean.

When it comes time to clean your elevators, you’ll want to first remove litter and other debris, then sanitize the doors, walls, buttons, and handrails, and finally polish the reflective surfaces.

When wiping down the elevator buttons, make sure you use an EPA-approved disinfectant compatible with electronics. Otherwise, you could end up damaging the elevator’s operational components.

Cleaning Furniture

Odds are, your common areas and pool have furniture and other decor that tenants and visitors interact with frequently. You should clean these areas as often as possible — at least once per day, but perhaps more, depending on the volume of traffic.

Start by wiping down any couches and chairs with an approved surface cleaner. Make sure you take appropriate steps to treat or remove stains along the way, as this will nip them in the bud rather than allowing them to set in permanently and potentially ruin your furniture.

Dealing with these problems early on will save you a lot of headaches later.

Once you’ve cleaned the furniture, focus on sanitizing and polishing any reflective surfaces, including all glass and metal fixtures. A thorough wipe-down will help remove bacteria, viruses, and unsightly fingerprints.

Lastly, dust all tables, shelves, and other similar furnishings before wiping them down with an approved sanitizer. If any of these items are located in high-traffic areas, you might want to consider sanitizing them once per day.

Cleaning Doors and Windows

It’s important to keep doors and windows clean since they tend to be high-touch surfaces. In all likelihood, however, you’ll need to give your doors more frequent attention than your windows.

Get in the habit of cleaning and sanitizing your building’s doors once per day, including the knobs or handles, push plates, and surrounding jambs and frames. You can probably get by cleaning your windows and their frames once per week.

Waste Management

Garbage and other waste items look and smell bad, but they can also harbor bacteria that can make people sick and attract pests.

In light of this fact, one of your top priorities should be to develop a comprehensive waste management schedule, which will tell you how often you need to collect and dispose of trash.

Along with keeping your premises tidy and hygienic, having a strict waste management system will enable you to reduce costs by eliminating the need for frequent deep-cleaning tasks in common areas that tend to get junked up quickly.

Proper signage will help you implement a solid system with both employees and tenants. That way, there will be no confusion about what can be thrown away and what should be recycled.

Don’t Stress: Hire a Professional

At 360clean, we understand that running a business requires time and energy, which can make cleaning and other maintenance tasks feel like a burden. That’s where we come in.

Our proven JaniMed System was specifically designed to keep high-traffic buildings looking their best while preventing the spread of viruses and bacteria.

If your apartment complex or condos require regular cleaning, get in touch with our friendly staff to find out more about our specific services and personalized pricing.

On top of our regular cleaning duties, we’ll work with you to ensure that your facility’s specific needs are met. Contact us today for your free quote!

Hayden Bodiford

Social Media and PR Manager for 360clean. Based in Charleston, SC

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