When cleaning your data center, you should keep these do’s and don’ts in mind.
1. Do: clean from top to bottom
This is a cleaning best practice that is especially important in a data center. While your daily or weekly cleaning is probably heavily focused on the floor, you should still make sure that you do any necessary debris removal or dusting of equipment before you clean the floor. If you clean the floor first, then dust or clean equipment, dust and debris dislodged from the equipment could settle on the floor. Then, foot traffic through the data center could stir it up, and it could once again settle on the equipment.
The order of cleaning is especially important during quarterly or more frequent cleanings where things like the tops of server racks and overhead support surfaces need to be cleaned. Ensuring that all overhead surfaces are vacuumed and/or wiped down prior to vacuuming the equipment under them will ensure that all dust and particulate matter is contained and removed.
2. Don’t: use a broom
You probably already know how important it is to keep the floors in your data center clean. Dirt and dust on the floor can easily be stirred up by anyone walking through the space, and settle on or in equipment, ready to cause damage. But when it comes to keeping data center floors clean, not just any equipment will do. Drop that broom, and use a HEPA filtered vacuum instead.
Unlike brooms, which push dust and dirt in front of the bristles, vacuums are designed to pick up and remove dust, dirt, and other particulate contaminants. A HEPA filter ensures that all contaminants removed from the floor or other surfaces stay in the vacuum, and aren’t recirculated into the air. If anything on the floor can’t be vacuumed up, it should be damp cleaned with a wiping cloth, or mop, and cleaning solution that are approved for use in clean room or data center environments.
3. Do: clean things that you can’t see
At first glance, your data center or server room might looks spotless. You have a regular cleaning schedule to remove debris and dust, and there are no contaminants to be seen on the floor or surfaces of the equipment. But what about the spots that you can’t see?
While regular floor and surface cleaning is vital, some of the most important spots to keep clean in your data center aren’t easily visible. These include the underside of your raised floor, and the tops of racks, cabinets, doors, partitions, and other raised surfaces. If it has a surface, it needs to be part of the cleaning schedule.
Bonus: customize your schedule
Of course, you don’t need to clean all of these surfaces every week, or even monthly. Cleaning frequency should be determined by the needs of your data center. In general, if there is a lot of traffic in and out of your data center, dust and grime will build up more quickly on hidden surfaces, and they will need to be cleaned more often. If the area under your sub-floor acts as the air plenum for the HVAC system, it is doubly important to keep it clean. Not only could contaminants under the floor become air borne through the cooling system, but they could also affect the performance of the system itself.
Let us take a load off
If cleaning your data center or server room seems like a lot to keep track of, that’s because it is. At RJC Enterprises, we have a division dedicated to data center cleaning, staffed with experienced technicians specifically trained in data center cleaning. We can create and execute a custom cleaning plan, tailored to your data center’s needs. You’ll never have to worry about sub-par cleaning practices or improper equipment. Contact us today to get started on peace of mind!