We all have one person that we just can’t figure out what to get them for Christmas. Really, how many pairs of slippers does Uncle Joe need? And does anyone actually eat the fruitcake? But we all have that friend that is dependable and gives us a lift when we need it, and that kind of friend needs a special gift this time of year.
The problem is, what do you give to your elevator? It is a hard question to answer. Mittens? A new certificate frame? Fruit of the month club? What gift could you possibly bestow upon such a stalwart fixture in your life? Forget the bling. Give it some tender loving care. And a thorough Christmas cleaning.
Yes, the mechanic that visits you every month makes sure the mechanics are working well. But the aesthetics are your responsibility.
We recommend these cleaning “gifts” for your elevator:
- Clean the floor. Shampoo the carpets, buff the VCT, scrub the grout. Elevators have tons of foot traffic, but the floors may get skipped during regular building cleaning. If it’s looking worn or dated, consider replacing it. It’s only 30-40 square feet, so it’s a pretty quick and inexpensive facelift.
- Clean all those scuff marks off the baseboards or cove moldings. A scrub brush and your favorite all-purpose cleaner should do it, but a Mr. Eraser will take off any stubborn scuffs.
- De-gunk the sill. When’s the last time that you looked closely at the sill (that grooved aluminum strip on the floor where the elevator door travels). Vacuum it well, and break out a screw driver or ice pick to deep clean any gunk. Keeping these door tracks clear will help keep the doors opening and closing smoothly and avoid service calls.
- Wipe down the walls with an all-purpose cleaner, and polish the stainless walls and doors to remove fingerprints. A little touch up on chipped paint on doors and door frames can hide a lot of mileage.
- Check the fixtures and hand rails for grime and finger prints. Clean around the buttons as best you can. This will keep germs from spreading.
- Change out any burned-out light bulbs in the car ceiling. Replace any broken ceiling panels. Most big-box hardware stores sell translucent panels if you have the standard drop ceiling.
- Check for any burned out lights in your buttons, position indicator, or directional lanterns. Your maintenance company can change these for you, so give them a list if needed.
Remember that elevators are built to be durable so industrial versions of household cleaners and a bunch of elbow grease should work well.
Overall a good cleaning can help the elevator function better especially if the sill grooves are obstructed. But more than that, it can transform the look and feel of the building. Have you ever stayed in a hotel where the elevator carpet was worn and the doors were scuffed and scratched? It made you think less of the whole property, didn’t it? Likewise, a spiffy-looking elevator improves the image you’re showing the public. And everyone that rides it will be more conscientious about not damaging it.
Why not make a good deep cleaning an annual gift you give your elevator? It doesn’t want another fruitcake. Give it some love.