The Best Ways to Clean Office File Cabinets

organizing office papers

Office file cabinets are necessary for any business, whether it be a formal office, a home office, or a temporary workspace. File cabinets are used to keep important documents organized and accessible for viewing as needed. Nevertheless, even your office filing cabinet can occasionally become dirty, therefore routine cleaning is essential to keep your business operations tidy.


Unfortunately, filing cabinets are essentially undetectable unless you’re extracting a file—and in the age of computers, how often does that happen anymore? That being said, it should come as no surprise that filing cabinets are neglected and can get very unclean. Your eyes see them and simply tell your brain, “nothing to see here.” Fortunately, they’re about as simple to clean as they are boring to look at. After reading these pointers, get a tidy filing cabinet by putting them to use.


What Happens if You Don’t Clean Your File Cabinets?

You may not need to deep clean your file cabinets every day, but schedule your cabinet for a thorough cleaning at least twice a year – more if your office can get particularly humid or dusty. If not, these two things might happen to your kept files.


Paper-eating insects infestation

Paper-eating pests like booklice, silverfish, and carpet beetles are drawn to paper-based publications. You could have an infestation on your hands that would potentially destroy extremely vital files if you combine that with your damp workplace setting. As important as your documents are, maintaining a tidy and organized storage space for them is also critical.


Dust build-up

Despite being in a reasonably clean place, your office filing cabinet can nonetheless accumulate dust. Dust builds up over time and might hasten the decay of your files. When handled, fragile files can readily disintegrate, which is undesirable for those crucial categories like your company registration, client files, and other crucial documentation.

office paper piled up

Damaged File Cabinet

Whether or not you are using a metal or wooden filing cabinet, keeping them unclean will result in serious damage. If you happen to have a wooden filing cabinet and you overlook cleaning them then the chances of the wood getting ruined are high. Grime and dirt have the possibility of wearing down the finishing on your cabinets. If you don’t clean them, that grime and dirt can eventually find their way to the wood underneath the finish.


If you have a metal one then the most major problem would be the appearance of rust which happens if you place your filing cabinet where the sun is always at. Doing this would allow tiny bits of moisture to occur on the cabinet and if left alone would lead to rust. 


How to Clean Your File Cabinets and Drawers?

Daily Clean

These are the simplest forms of cleaning you can do to maximize your filing cabinets’ lifespan. For everyday maintenance of your cabinets, a simple dusting with a feather duster or a handheld vacuum cleaner’s nozzle attachment. Dust the file cabinets’ tops and take off any trinkets that may be there.


In particular for metal cabinets that may rust, wipe off the exterior of the cabinet with a moist cloth, being careful not to get the drawer wet. Clean the handles with a disinfectant, but avoid getting any solution on any files to keep them from getting wet. Before closing, let each drawer dry completely.


Weekly Clean

Your files and documents should be arranged on a weekly basis in the same way that you manage your workplace or business. To begin, assign the correct account to each file before sorting it based on its contents. Your files will be simple to find later on as a result. Organize the files alphabetically or by date, depending on what works best for your store or office.


Use useful organizational tools like folders, dividers, and binders to make file management simple, and browse the internet for ideas. Separate financial and money-related papers from other categories and throw away any old, out-of-date documents you’re certain you won’t need. Files should be separated into those you need and those you don’t. Files that are important should be easy to find, while files that aren’t used frequently 


Monthly Clean

This is the most tiresome clean of all since you’d want to make every nook and cranny of the cabinet spotless. For this monthly clean to be more organized try following these steps:


Transfer all files from the cabinet to the temporary container

When your files are still inside filing cabinet drawers, there is no effective way to clean them. But if you remove everything and don’t put it back in properly, you run the risk of losing all of your diligent organizational work. Container boxes come in handy in this situation. Use a sizable box or make room for them, then mark each one with a category. Then your filing cabinet’s drawers can now be removed one by one and files can be transferred.


Vacuum file cabinet drawers and files

The weekly cleaning you do to your filing cabinet isn’t enough to get rid of all that dust from inside or in between the files. That’s why vacuuming your drawers is a must during your monthly deep clean. Your cleaning task will be made easier by vacuuming the contents of your file cabinet drawers. The vacuum’s attachment hose is useful for cleaning the interior of filing cabinet drawers such as the hard-to-reach corners.

rusty office cabinets

Remove rust from steel cabinets

On metal surfaces, such as file cabinets, rust often develops over time. Although this is completely normal, it is unattractive and can be harmful if breathed or rubbed into the eyes. Rust stains can be successfully and delicately removed with a very fine steel wool pad. Just be careful not to scrub too vigorously or you risk damaging the metal’s surface in addition to the rust.


Clean out each drawer using a solution of soap and water

To get right to work, dunk a damp towel or sponge in some warm, soapy water. Any dish soap from your office’s kitchen can work here, but for filing cabinets, we advise using an unscented degreasing detergent. It also helps to have a regular bucket nearby so you won’t be rushing back and forth to the kitchen or dropping water all over the place. For removing caked-on grime, a sponge with a lightly rough scrubbing side works wonders. After finishing, thoroughly rinse everything with fresh water. Then proceed to clean the body of the cabinet the same way.


Disinfect all drawers and the body of the cabinet

Use a moderate, metal-safe disinfectant solution while cleaning your cabinet so as not to erode the metal or varnish. You can test the disinfectant on a tiny, inconspicuous spot before wiping down the entire unit. Spray the disinfectant on a piece of cloth before wiping down the cabinets.


Wipe it down with a clean and dry cloth

It’s crucial to let file cabinets completely dry before transferring everything back from the temporary containers because they house numerous vital documents. Keep everything in the temporary container as long as you can to prevent damp or warped documents. Use a dry microfiber cloth on all the surfaces, giving special attention to the moist corners, to hasten this process.


Re-organize your files

Put your files back in the dry cabinet after rearranging them for safety. To make sure that your files are structured and well labeled for future reference, consider the labels that may have been wiped out and replace these as well. To deter insects, use cedar wood or mothballs.


Cleaning out your cabinets frequently is the greatest way to keep them orderly. Continue going through your paperwork, saving the crucial ones, and keeping money separate. Items that are crucial to your business operations should be retained in a convenient location, while anything you no longer need should be thrown away or destroyed. To prevent insect infestations on your papers, keep insect-repellent materials in each drawer. Last but not least, keep your office spotless and your files organized! Choose a professional office cleaning company that will work with your office after sorting through the clutter in the workplace.


At Burgos Cleaning, we ensure that your business establishment office is in top condition, create a comfortable working environment, and pass all health and safety standards. We offer our services in Tolland, Windham, and Middlesex County Connecticut, and provide numerous office cleaning services on the commercial level from small businesses to big buildings and complexes. Contact us now to avail the best office cleaning services in town!