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Its important when incorporating 5S into your lean initiatives that you use a cleaning colour coding system properly and in a way that suits your specific requirements. Its especially

We at Lean 5S Products encourage clients to differentiate their various cells , departments, areas etc with colours. We can then use the colour coding within all our designs so everything is “standardised” (one of the 5S’s).

Here is some general information on the thinking behind colour coding.

The basic thinking behind Colour Coded cleaning is; you use colours to segregate the different types of areas you have to clean, Washrooms, Kitchens and General Areas and you then have colour coded cleaning equipment that only gets used in one area type.

Obviously if you have different colour cloths cleaning the toilet to the ones cleaning a food table, this reduces the likelihood that bacterial from the toilet will find its way to the table.

   What colours should you use?

No point choosing colours that you can’t get cleaning equipment for.  These are the colours that equipment is readily available in:

Cleaning Colour Coding for your equipment? Lean 5S Products UK


 Red, Green, Yellow & Blue



   What colour should you use for which area?

Nothing written in stone here and there are many variations used. The old BICSc universal colour code is the most popular and this is the one we would recommend.

              It is..

Cleaning Colour Coding for your equipment? Lean 5S Products UK



  What equipment should you for cleaning colour coding?

The common sense answer is whatever equipment that you can easily find in the four cleaning colours. However you should at least colour code the following:-

1.       Mops & Buckets

2.       Cloths

3.       Dust pan & Brushes

4.       Trigger Spray bottles

5.      18″ Hygiene Broom heads (Soft or Hard)


  Staff training

Whatever cleaning colour coding system you settle for, the most important thing is that your staff  know what colours are for which areas.

Best thing is to give them training and have a clearly marked poster up at eye level in the cleaning cupboard.

The bit that some struggle with is the washroom colours and segregation.

To make it clear, the actual Toilet bowl and the toilet floor should be one colour (Red preferably) and then all the other surfaces in the washroom  (the sinks, the partitions and the doors) should be another colour (Yellow in our recommended system)