The Importance Of Cleaning Public Escalators

Escalators are an important aspect of many large scale retail environments, used inside individual shops and also connecting the floors of shopping centres. In fact, their popularity is growing, as the amount of escalators being installed has seen a rapid increase recently. 

For various important reasons, these kinds of mechanical features require regular technical maintenance, but did you know that it’s also essential for them to get regular cleaning? 

It might sound obvious, but the importance of keeping these essential pieces of equipment clean can often be lost amongst general retail maintenance schedules. With a busy cleaning schedule, the escalator may get cleaned, but perhaps not as regularly or as thoroughly as is truly necessary. 

Why is it so essential for escalators to be cleaned so well, so often? Let’s take a closer look: 


All aspects of a shop and shopping centre are important when it comes to an overall attractive aesthetic, but without regular cleaning, an escalator can be where the standards drop. 

When an escalator is not cleaned regularly it can look a little dull and grimy. Debris from footwear (especially on wet weather days), hand oils, grease and other dirt, spillages and food droppage can accumulate quickly. 

By effectively and thoroughly cleaning the escalator to keep it looking its best, this large and highly visible functional feature of your retail environment will not detract from the overall visual experience your customers have when shopping with you. 

Customer Experience

Customer experience is an incredibly important consideration in any retail environment, and studies show that 84% of companies that work hard to boost customer experience see an increase in revenue. 

Multiple aspects of a shop or shopping centre encompass customer experience, including the escalator. 

Is it the most important aspect of the shopping experience? Probably not. However, if your customer repeatedly finds the escalator they use to be sticky, grimy and otherwise dirty, it will have a negative impact on their overall experience of your retail environment. Regular cleaning of the escalator ensures that this aspect of your retail experience at least, is a good one. 

Machine Maintenance

Escalators cost thousands and thousands of pounds, so they’re not something you want to be replacing very often, not to mention the disruption that would cause. 

Of course, regular maintenance and checks from qualified mechanics is a huge part of maintaining an escalator and protecting your investment.

However, cleaning does form part of that overall maintenance too. A well kept escalator is much more likely to run well, particularly because issues relating to dirt buildups are avoided. This is especially true when it comes to the speedy removal of bulky debris like litter, chewing gum and sticky labels, which can be regularly dropped in a retail environment. Shopping centres are particularly prone to food debris being dropped on escalators because of food courts and takeaway outlets. 

By removing litter and debris quickly, and cleaning away dirt and grime, many common escalator breakdowns and faults can be avoided, prolonging the life of the machine overall. 


Covid-19 has loosened its grip on the UK, but that doesn’t lessen the need to keep shared public surfaces sanitised. As well as Covid-19 and the removal of mandatory mask wearing, there are many more reasons that a shared surface like a commercial escalator has to be cleaned well, and here are just some of them: 

  • It is estimated that only 26% of bathroom visits that occur in the world with potential hand exposure to faeces, result in the hands being washed with soap. 
  • The hands, on average, carry around 3,200 germs of 150 species.  
  • 80% of common infections are spread by hands. 
  • Only 65% of coughs and sneezes are covered by hands. 

To put it bluntly, an escalator is potentially used at least once by every single person who visits your shop or shopping centre, which means a lot of potential germs being spread. 

For health and safety compliance and a healthier environment for your customers and staff to use, professional escalator sanitisation is essential. This should include liquids and techniques that ensure dirt and grime is removed, and as many germs and bacteria as possible are killed. 

Invest In Exceptional Commercial Escalator Cleaning 

Smart retail environment managers and owners understand the importance of regular and thorough commercial escalator cleaning.

Why not speak to a trusted and experienced commercial cleaning company like J & I Cleaning Services about regular escalator cleaning? It’s the best way to enhance the longevity, appearance, feel and cleanliness of your escalator, all done discreetly and efficiently at a competitive price. 

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