Working in a clean environment is not only refreshing but also makes you more productive. Whether you are a homeowner who likes working in your garage or a woodworker who has a workshop, you need to keep your working area clean. Just like you would your home, always ensure your working area is clean and free of obstructions.
The other day my dad was away from his workshop for a few days, and when he came back, he didn’t like what he saw. Considering he is a cleanliness freak, you don’t want to know his reaction. I decided to dig into why you need your workshop clean, and the benefits are mind-boggling.
Dive in to know more about why you need your workshop clean. Will you?
Why Should I Keep my Workshop Clean?
According to evolve Cleaning your workshop makes it neat by keeping dangerous equipment like saws and drills organized safely.
Safety Regulations Compliance
Cleanliness is a mandatory safety requirement for all workshops. A dirty workshop is a disaster in waiting as injuries can happen at any moment. Besides, woodwork produces fine dust, strong paint, and varnish smell that can cause respiratory and allergic reactions to people. Therefore, workshops have to follow the regulations that govern their operations to maintain the required health standards.
Have you ever tried working with clatter all over your desk? I mean files, pens, food plates from your lunch. It’s disgusting. Right? Cleaning your workshop motivates you to work better and faster. Everything is where it’s supposed to be, making it easy for you to fetch it quickly. Your saw’s table is free from obstruction, making it easy for you to work without distractions. Try cleaning your workshop the first thing in the morning, and you will see an improvement in the size of the task you handle in a day.
Keeping Track Of Your Inventory
Your inventory includes your saws, drills, blades, and other tools and equipment that you use on a day to day work. If your premise is unorganized, it will be hard for you to keep track of your inventory. If something gets lost or stolen, it will be hard for you to trace it. However, with a clean and properly organized workshop, it’s more comfortable for you to take count of your stock and audit your inventory efficiently and fast.
A neat premise looks nice not only to you but also to your customers. Disposing of wastes ensures that it smells nice. Ensure that it’s adequately lighted. Keeping your windows open brings in natural light and allows natural air in the workshop. If your location makes it hard to receive natural light, you can use light bulbs to keep the room adequately lit.
Personal Health and Hygiene
Your workshop is your second home as you spend more time in it during the day compared to your house. Therefore, it’s essential to keep it dust-free for your health and hygiene. Many dust-related diseases like lung cancer can get averted by keeping your premise saw dust free. You could invest in a vacuum cleaner. If not, cleaning and dusting the whole place every day will reduce the accumulation of wood dust, keeping your lungs clean.
A clean and hygienic workshop is more than its physical appearance. Every customer wants to visit a place where they feel secure and valued. Keeping your work area clean has the following customer benefits.
- Customers feel secure when visiting your workshop
- Customers think the staff are competent hence increasing the brand value
- You will less likely experience shoplifting and theft of inventory
- The ambience will help retain your customers
- Customers will feel valued by a brand that cares
- Customers are more likely to give you referrals
Want to work longer and retire fit? Then you need to ventilate your workshop. A space with free-flowing fresh air improves your wellbeing and woodwork creativity. A well-installed dust collection system will go a long way in ensuring clean air in the workshop. The system consists of an air purifier, a primary dust collector, and ductwork that is connected everywhere. With this installation, be assured of continuous clean filtered air.
Imagine working in an enclosed room with high temperatures. I bet you would be eager to leave the workshop at the earliest opportunity. Maintain the temperature in your workplace by controlling the cooling and humidity factors. Using a dehumidifier will cleanse a humid and dumpy place, making it more conducive for work. How about using fans and opening windows and doors for a more natural cooling? In addition to keeping your workshop clean and comfortable, controlled temperatures protect your equipment from rust and other adverse effects of weather.
How to Keep Your Workshop Clean
There are different approaches to keeping your workshop clean. Let me share with you a few that have worked just fine for me.
- Have a Proper Design from the Beginning
When designing a workshop, evaluate the perfect layout that will accommodate all your items. Determine the number of machines and other accessories like benches and sawhorses that are necessary for the workshop. Be creative when arranging the machinery by ensuring there is enough space for maneuvering. Remember to set aside an area for holding lumber and finished products. Keep in mind that woodwork involves a lot of dust and dirty water. Therefore, you need to install a dust removal system and a proper drainage system.
De-Cluttering Your Shop
You may realize that your workshop is getting filled with duplicate and obsolete tools after some time. As a result, your shop could get clogged and harder to clean. To effectively declutter your workshop, take an inventory, and check what you need and dispose of what you don’t. You can donate or keep items that are dear to you in a separate room.
Store Your Tools Correctly
To store your tools well, ask yourself whether they should be protected or kept in the open. Some machinery may rust when exposed to the air for long. Also, determine whether some should get stored in drawers or boxes. These considerations will help maintain your tools for longer saving you money in return. Besides, the workshop will look tidy and organized.
Vacuum and Sweeping Often
An ongoing project produces a lot of sawdust and debris. This dirt should be swept regularly to avoid accumulations. Also, prompt vacuum cleaning is highly recommended to remove microscopic allergens and danders. Following these cleaning strategies ensures a clean surrounding that is free from allergies.
Engage Cleaning Service
Woodworkers are busy people. Sometimes you may find cleaning taking is much of your time. Why not engage the services of a cleaning company? The service provider will deal with all cleaning and waste and disposals giving you ample time for your creativity.
Have Tool Organizer
Are you one of the people who like neatly arranged, and easy access to tools? Then you need a tool organizer. It gives you one storage solution for smaller items like screws, nails, hands, and power tools. You can customize it to your liking or depending on how each item complements with another.
Organize Tools Depending On Projects
Do you have a large upcoming project? Then you need to rethink what you need in that workshop. Every project has specific tools that will be used to its completion. Why not remove those items that you don’t need currently? Consequently, moving around will be more fun and the area free of clutter.
Use Cord Management
Securing electrical, computer and other machinery cables seem like an afterthought in many workshops. Cables are an attraction to dust balls, which could be the reason you are sneezing. Besides, unsecured cables can cause tripping, resulting in injuries. Cable manager lifts wires off the floor, making your workplace safe, more comfortable to clean, and neat.
Want to know more benefits of an effective cord manager? Below are some of them
- a) Maximize the available space for laying wires.
- b) Saving time identifying specific cable for a particular machine.
- c) Minimize wire damages by stepping on it.
Maximizing space goes hand in hand with minimizing space wastage and clutter. Set a pegboard on the walls and arrange your tools. You will observe that cleaning the floors and dusting becomes easier. The pegboard comes in handy in storing items and makes it easier to locate something.
Have you ever noticed it’s effortless to pick and replace a tool on an open shelve when working? Shelves are easily accessible, which helps the woodworker keep the floor free from debris that clogs with dirty water and sawdust. It follows that you can work for longer hours without the need to stop to clear the floor now and then. Besides, your working space looks organized to you and your clients.
What Tools Do You Need To Clean Your Workshop?
If you don’t like involving service cleaners on your premises, then you have to arm yourself with cleaning materials. They include:
Brooms are used for sweeping floors and wiping off dust and cobwebs depending on the stiffness of its fibers. They have fibers with varying rigidity attached to a cylindrical handle and a stick. You will find it useful for routine sweeping and dusting.
The broom goes hand in hand with a dustpan. After sweeping with a brush and assembling the dirt in one location, you need a dustpan to collect the rubbish.
Automatic Floor Scrubber
This tool is the equivalent of modern broom and bucket that used at homes. It has a rotating scrubbing disk and an automated system for discharging cleaning solution and sucking back the dirty water. The scrubber is pushed around on floors cleaning debris, oil, grease, and dust as you move.
This cleaning machine employs suction to remove dust, debris, and other dirt from the floor. It’s available in different sizes and models, depending on your needs. In a workshop setting, you will most likely use a handheld or battery-powered shop vacuum.
This tool is superb in cleaning smooth areas like walls, windows, and floors. Its use comes in handy on liquid spills that can get directed to a drain.
A towel dipped in a washing solution cleans a surface quickly and efficiently.
Every operational room requires a mop for clearing stains, spills, and general washing. It works together with a bucket that contains a washing solution. The broom gets dipped into the solution and squeezed to dry then used to clean the floor.
You may dismiss it as an unnecessary item, but it works better when your surface is stained. It’s used to spray detergents directly on the stain before cleaning it out.
Sometimes your workshop may become messy and dirty for not being used, requiring you to clean the whole place. How do you go about it?
Step By Step to Cleaning Your Workshop
Workshops generate copious amounts of dirt sawdust, small woods, and dust are easy to clear. However, grease and solvents stick to the floor and are hard to remove. It follows that there’s much work to do here than you expected.
How do we start?
The general rule is to assemble what you need for the exercise. In this case, you need a vacuum machine fitted with a fine particulate bag filter. The bag will hold the dust so you can have several. Also, connect the vacuum tools like the floor attachment, crevice tool, little brush attachment, and a hose. Also, you need fibre cloth, paper towels, and a dust mask for your protection.
How do we proceed?
This step is essential but quite tedious. You have to be methodical. There will be a lot of dust, so wear the mask first. Put all equipment on wheels to move them around as you vacuum. Avoid sweeping, as this will spread the dust to every part of the room. Instead, use the dust collector to suck up all large pieces.
Where do you start?
Most people will start with the floor only to find dust molds falling from the ceiling! So it’s wise to start from the roof down to the walls and finally the ground. Expertly vacuum all parts of the roof ceiling. Remove the bulbs and wipe them with a cloth dipped in water mixed with detergent. Dry and reinstall them.
The ceiling is now sparkling clean as you attack the walls. The step will be a bit challenging as your wall holds the pictures, shelves, saws, rulers, blades, and other tools. All these materials will get cleaned along with the walls. Start from one wall to the next with the vacuum and brush attachment and progress slowly to the floor. Employ the crevice tool to remove dirt from any nooks and crannies.
Shake off the dust from the hanging pictures and papers on the un-vacuumed floor. So far, you must have come across an item that you have not used for a long time. Consider whether to de-clutter and make space for useful tools. Take great care of the doors and windows by vacuuming their tracks, mechanisms, and latches. Change to a smaller shop vacuum for the screens. Clean the glass from inside and from outside the room for the best results.
As the work progress, you can confront your TV set. You realize just how static electricity has attracted lots of dust on the screen. A soft shop towel dipped in water mixed with washing detergent works on the TV screen just fine.
Take a brief rest and have a cup of coffee as you prepare for the floor.
Since you are fresh and energetic, and the floor seems to be the only remaining area. However, the machinery is still at the center of the room. Vacuum the built-in cabinets and fixtures. Focus on the machinery’s wheels where sawdust and other dirt accumulate. Recheck whether you have left anything on final touches. Satisfied that everything is worked on, start on the floor.
The floor seems to be the most natural part as you have done it uncountable times. Apply the crevice attachment and work on the points where the wall joins the floor. Now you can use the floor attachment and start to vacuum from outside-in for best results.
Some Side Talk
Your machines are well oiled for optimal output and regular maintenance. Sometimes the lubricants get their way to the floor, especially under the equipment. How do you clean the grease?
Fill a mop bucket with warm water mixed with strong bleach. Pour the mixture on the stain and scrub with a stiff bristle brush to lift off the grease. Wait for several minutes then mop up the area. Use a clean mop to rinse and let it dry.
Arrange the machinery back to their position, ready for work. Finally, empty and wash the dust collection system for future use. Your workshop is now sparkling, clean, and available for use.
Just a reminder: cleaning your space after each working session ensures your workshop is tidy for a longer duration without a need for a significant overhaul.
A clean workshop ensures your space is clutter-free reducing chances of accidents through tripping. You will track your inventory better reducing wastage and theft. Further, it’s part of health regulation that all workshops have to comply with making it very crucial for you.