Elevators and escalators are indispensable in modern architecture, seamlessly transporting humans and goods through towering structures and multi-level buildings. These transit marvels serve as lifelines, efficiently ferrying people and cargo from floor to floor, enhancing accessibility, and facilitating smooth mobility within bustling spaces.

Yet, amid their constant service, the significance of maintaining the cleanliness and functionality of these integral components often goes unnoticed. So, in this article, we will delve into the crucial aspects of cleaning elevators and escalators.

Understanding the significance of their upkeep not only assures hygiene and safety but also contributes to the overall efficiency and longevity of these vital mechanisms within our built environments. Let's explore the intricacies of elevators and escalator cleaning together.

The Importance of Cleaning Elevators and Escalators

Elevators and escalators serve as arteries within the infrastructure of buildings, facilitating the effortless movement of people between floors. However, their cleanliness is an aspect often overlooked despite its paramount significance.

For one, elevators and escalators witness a constant stream of traffic, thus becoming hotspots for the accumulation of dirt, debris, and germs. Neglecting their cleanliness poses a risk to public health, potentially fostering the spread of illnesses.

An elevator floor littered with debris or a neglected escalator step can also pose safety hazards. Accidents resulting from slips or trips due to unclean surfaces can cause injuries and operational disruptions. Routine cleaning mitigates these risks, ensuring the health and safe transit for users.

When it comes to operations, keeping elevators and escalators clean is essential for the preservation of functionality. When dirt and grime accumulate within escalator tracks, for instance, the escalator might not work optimally.

Moreover, components such as brushes, combs, and pulleys require consistent maintenance to prevent blockages or malfunctions. Regular cleaning not only ensures smooth operation but also extends the lifespan of these machines.

Of course, clean and well-maintained elevators and escalators contribute to a positive user experience within buildings. A visually pleasing environment instils confidence, reflecting a well-managed and cared-for space. This positive impression can influence public perception of the entire establishment.

Last but certainly not least, cleaning elevators and escalators is important for regulatory compliance. In New Zealand, health and safety regulations often mandate the regular cleaning and maintenance of public spaces, including elevators and escalators. Adhering to these standards not only ensures compliance, but also avoids potential legal repercussions.

Thus, the importance of cleaning escalators and elevators transcends mere aesthetics; it directly impacts public health, safety, operational efficiency, and the overall perception of a building's quality. Prioritising their cleanliness is essential in upholding a standard of excellence within built environments and ensuring a seamless transit experience for all users.

Tips for Cleaning Elevators and Escalators

While the significance of maintaining clean and functional elevators and escalators is undeniable, the task itself presents a set of unique challenges. Some of the primary challenges faced when addressing the cleanliness of elevators and escalators include but are not limited to the following:

  • Complexity of Design. Elevators and escalators contain intricate components and moving parts. Cleaning these mechanisms can be challenging and often requires specific equipment or expertise.
  • High-Traffic Areas. Elevators and escalators are constantly in use. This continuous traffic makes it challenging to find suitable times for thorough cleaning without causing disruptions to users or building operations.
  • Diverse Surfaces. Cleaning elevators and escalators means having to deal with various types of surfaces and materials, such as metal, rubber, plastic, and glass. Each of these requires specific cleaning methods and products to ensure effective sanitation without causing damage.
  • Time Constraints. Cleaning staff often have limited time frames to perform their duties within buildings. Balancing the need for comprehensive cleaning of elevators and escalators with other cleaning responsibilities can be a logistical challenge.
  • Technical Expertise. Cleaning escalators and elevators requires more than just general cleaning knowledge. It involves understanding the machinery, components, and safety protocols associated with these systems.
  • Resource Management. In some cases, building management might prioritise other areas for maintenance or allocate limited resources to elevator and escalator cleaning, leading to inconsistent or insufficient cleaning schedules.

Fortunately, many of these issues can be resolved by hiring a reliable cleaning services provider like Crewcare. When you have professionals handling all the cleaning jobs, you can rest assured that things are dealt with a multifaceted approach and conducted by specially trained staff.

That being said, considering the unique challenges mentioned above, below are a few tips that can streamline the cleaning process and ensure the maintenance of cleanliness, functionality, and safety of elevators and escalators:

Establish a Cleaning Schedule

Develop a detailed cleaning schedule that includes regular maintenance routines for elevators and escalators. Consider peak and off-peak times to minimise disruption to building occupants while ensuring thorough cleaning.

Use Suitable Cleaning Products

Utilise cleaning products that are appropriate for various surfaces within elevators and escalators. Opt for gentle yet effective cleaners that do not damage the machinery or surfaces.

Train Cleaning Staff

Provide specialised training to in-house cleaning staff regarding the unique aspects of elevator and escalator cleaning. Equip them with the knowledge of specific cleaning techniques, safety protocols, and the operation of these systems.

Focus on High-Traffic Areas

Prioritise cleaning high-touch surfaces such as handrails, control panels, and buttons within elevators. Similarly, concentrate on the steps, brushes, combs, and floor edges on escalators, as these areas accumulate dirt more rapidly.

Use Specialised Cleaning Equipment

While this might not be as big of an issue if you’ve hired professional cleaners, it’s still wise to invest in tools and equipment designed for cleaning escalators and elevators. Some items you might want to purchase include a range of brushes, vacuum attachments, and specialised cleaning solutions.

Conduct Regular Inspections and Maintenance

Elevators and escalators require periodic checks to promptly address any issues, prevent operational disruptions, and ensure their proper functioning.

Communicate Cleaning Activities

Inform building occupants and users about the cleaning schedule to maintain cleanliness and safety within elevators and escalators. Transparency can help garner cooperation and understanding from users.

Evaluate and Adapt Cleaning Procedures

Regularly review and adapt cleaning procedures based on feedback, evolving best practices, or changes in the usage patterns of elevators and escalators within the building.

Safety First

Prioritise safety when performing elevator and escalator cleaning tasks. Ensure that staff adhere to safety protocols, especially when working near moving parts or electrical components.


Maintaining the cleanliness of escalators and elevators within buildings is more than a routine chore—it's an imperative responsibility that intertwines functionality, safety, and user experience.