Cleaning Tools and Equipment

The objective of this procedure is to show you how to keep work areas and equipment clean and operational. At the end of each working day clean the tools and equipment you used and check them for any damage. If you note any damage, tag the tool as faulty and organize a repair or replacement.

Part 1. Preparation and safety


  • Demonstrate the correct procedure for keeping work areas and equipment clean and operational.

Personal safety

Whenever you perform a task in the workshop you must use personal protective clothing and equipment that is appropriate for the task and which conforms to your local safety regulations and policies. Among other items, this may include:

  • Work clothing - such as coveralls and steel-capped footwear
  • Eye protection - such as safety glasses and face masks
  • Ear protection - such as earmuffs and earplugs
  • Hand protection - such as rubber gloves and barrier cream
  • Respiratory equipment - such as face masks and valved respirators

If you are not certain what is appropriate or required, ask your supervisor.

Safety check

  • Some cleaning agents are toxic. Refer to the MSDS on any cleaning agent and follow any recommendations before using it.
  • Do not use flammable cleaners or water on electrical equipment.
  • Make sure designated walkways are kept clear of any obstructions.
  • Always wear protective clothing and the appropriate safety equipment.
  • Make sure that you understand and observe all legislative and personal safety procedures when carrying out the following tasks. If you are unsure of what these are, ask your supervisor.

Points to note

  • Clean tools and equipment work more efficiently. At the end of each working day clean the tools and equipment you used and check them for any damage. If you note any damage, tag the tool as faulty and organize a repair or replacement.
  • Electrical current can travel over oily or greasy surfaces. Keep electrical power tools free from dust and dirt and make sure they are free of oil and grease.
  • All workshop equipment should have a maintenance schedule. Always complete the tasks described on the schedule at the required time. This will help to keep the equipment in safe working order.
  • Store commonly used tools in an easy-to-reach location. If a tool, or piece of equipment, is too difficult to return, it could be left on a workbench or on the floor where it will become a safety hazard.
  • Keep your work area tidy. This will help you work more efficiently and safely.

Dirty workshop

  • Have a waste bin close to your work area and place any waste in it as soon as possible.
  • Dispose of liquid and solid waste, such as oils, coolant and worn components, in the correct manner. Local authorities provide guidelines for waste disposal with fines for non-compliance.
  • When cleaning products lose their effectiveness they will need to be replaced. Refer to the suppliers' recommendations for collection or disposal. Do not pour solvents or other chemicals into the sewage system. This is both environmentally damaging and illegal.
  • Always use chemical gloves when using any cleaning material because excessive exposure to cleaning materials can damage skin.
  • Some solvents are flammable. Never use cleaning materials near an open flame or cigarette.
  • The fumes from cleaning chemicals can be toxic, so wear appropriate respirator and eye protection wherever you are using these products.

Part 2: Step-by-step instruction

  1. Clean hand tools
    Keep your hand tools in good, clean condition with two sets of rags. One rag should be lint-free to clean or handle precision instruments or components.
    The other should be oily to prevent rust and corrosion.
  2. Clean floor jacks
    Wipe off any oil or grease on the floor jack and check for fluid leaks. If you find any, top up the hydraulic fluid.
    Occasionally, apply a few drops of lubricating oil to the wheels and a few drops to the posts of the safety stands.
  3. Clean electrical power tools
    Keep power tools clean by brushing off any dust and wiping off excess oil or grease with a clean rag.
    Inspect any electrical cables for dirt, oil or grease, and for any chafing or exposed wires.
    With drills, inspect the chuck and lubricate it occasionally with machine oil.
  4. Clean air powered tools
    Apply a few drops of oil into the inlet of your air tools every day. Although these tools have no motor, they do need regular lubrication of the internal parts to prevent wear.
  5. Clean hoists and heavy machinery
    Locate the checklist or maintenance record for each hoist or other major piece of equipment before carrying out cleaning activities.
    You should clean operating mechanisms and attachments of excess oil or grease.
Tony Ferguson,
Feb 27, 2013, 7:51 AM