Does your business have an odour problem (and we mean literally)?

Ok, so there are some businesses that are a bit smellier than others. And when a staff member or customer walks into your place of business, the last thing you want them to do is hold their nose in disgust! Not only are offensive odours a major turn-off, they are a health and safety violation and it only takes one complaint for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to come knocking on your door. By taking the right steps to keep your workplace hygienic, presentable and fresh-smelling, you will keep your staff and customers happy – and earn glowing praise from the Environmental Health Officer too.

Here are the most common types of offensive odours in the workplace and how you can effectively deal with them.

A pile of rubbish on the street side.

Driveway Spills

Commercial driveways are used to collect and dispatch deliveries on a daily basis. Often a commercial driveway will connect to a public walkway, so it is important to keep the concrete surface clean and slip-resistant in the event of an accidental spill.

Oil and grease from leaking vehicles are the most common cause of driveway spills. But if the item being delivered gets spilled – for example, a pallet of food products for a supermarket or chemical products for an industrial site – then you need to act fast. Because when a spill is left to bask on the surface, it can permanently stain the concrete and spread a nasty odour that’ll cling to your nostrils and not let go.

Before you clean the driveway spill, be sure to cover any nearby surface drains and if necessary, put on protective clothing like gloves, masks and goggles. For small to medium oil or grease stains, cover the affected area with a detergent (i.e. baking soda, vinegar, soap, dish or laundry detergent) or a powerful degreaser and let the solution sit for at least 5-10 minutes.

Finally, thoroughly scrub the affected area with a steel or stiff bristle brush and rinse with a high-pressure hose.

Wheelie Bins and Skip Bins

Bins are meant to smell, right? Yes. But if your commercial bins are leaving behind a lingering odour – even after rubbish collection day – then you need to deal with this smelly problem. And if summer is just around the corner, the blazing hot sun will only intensify the stench and make it harder to get rid of stubborn stains.

For standard wheelie bins, use a high-pressure hose to rinse out the loose debris and turn the bin upside down to drain it. If the smell cannot take a hint, pour 1/3 cup of dish or laundry detergent into the bin and fill a portion of it with boiling water. Let the solution sit for a few minutes to further loosen up the grime, then pour out and rinse with a hose.

Ta-da! You now have a clean, hygienic and fresh-smelling bin.

For commercial skip bins, you will need some extra firepower to clean and disinfect the surface inside and out. A surface odour control foam applicator is a simple and cost-effective way to neutralise offensive odours from the source and break down the organic materials to effectively lift dirt, grime, grease, oil and other waste products off the surface.

Most foaming odour neutralisers are made up of natural ingredients (i.e. essential oils, amino acids, vitamins and complex organic extracts), so they are non-toxic, eco-friendly and can be used in any sized indoor/outdoor environment.

Grease Traps

Whether you run a business that handles food or use grease to lubricate certain machinery, you need a well-maintained grease trap to collect all of the grease, oil or grime – and the allow water to travel through the drainage outlet. This way, you’ll prevent the pipes from clogging up and the spread of offensive odours.

Be warned, cleaning a grease trap is not for the faint-hearted. Before you reach into the greasy depths, you’ll need to prepare yourself with protective clothing (goggles, gas mask and heavy-duty gloves), a bucket and scoop, crowbar (you’ll know why in a second), scraping tools, and a vacuum to remove solid and liquid waste from the tank.

First, use the crowbar to open the grease trap lid. Take a look inside the compartment and inspect each part such as the inlet and outlet points, walls and baffles. If there is water standing on top of the collected waste products, use a small bucket and scoop to collect the water and dispose of it in a nearby drain.

Then manually scrape out the solidified grease and place it into a heavy-duty trash bag to dispose of. Once you’ve reached the surface, use a combination of hot water, dish/laundry detergent and steel wool to clean the individual parts along with the walls and baffles.

Finally, thoroughly rinse the grease trap with a high-pressure hose and re-install the removed components back to their original position.

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