Don’t Forget to Brush: Your Dental Office Cleaning Checklist

dental office cleaning checklist

When people walk into your dentist’s office, the first thing they’ll see is the reception and waiting room. They’ll notice how clean it is, how bright it is, and all the aesthetics that might give them clues about your service and skills.

If you want “professional” to be the first thing your patients think of when they walk into your office, it’ll have to start way before they even get into the dentist chair. A neat and spotless office not only puts patients at ease but it’ll also help you attract more clients.

Here’s a complete dental office cleaning checklist for you to make sure your office stays in tip-top shape.

Dental Office Cleaning Procedures for Offices of Every Size

The size of your office matters. It determines how much you need to clean, how often, and how many people you’ll need to get the job done.

The best way to break down the tasks is to decide which are the areas that have the most traffic. Those are usually the places that need to be cleaned the most.

If you’re not sure where to start, put yourself in your patients’ shoes and imagine walking in for the first time. Where would you look first? Where would you go? Then list out those areas in sequence for cleaning.

Different Types of Cleaning

For your office, there are a few different types of cleaning methods that you should focus on. This is a checklist to make sure you don’t forget any of them.

1. Disinfecting

As a dentist, you probably know how important it is to disinfect and sanitize tools. But what about the space around it? Those are equally important.

In your immediate workspace, pay special attention to the following:

  • Patient chairs (armrests and headrests)
  • X-ray equipment
  • Drawer handles
  • Cabinet and door knobs
  • Faucets and sinks

In the waiting and reception areas, focus on these items:

  • Reception desk
  • Keyboards and mice
  • Phones receivers and keypads
  • Drawer handles
  • Filing cabinet and door knobs
  • Pens
  • Back of chair where people hold onto the most

As always, make sure you’re following the standard protocols outlined by the CDC and OSHA.

2. Dusting

Dusting is all about having the right tools. Avoid feather dusters because all they do is spread dust around. Instead, use dampened soft clothes, microfiber dusters, or a tiny handheld vacuum.

Try not to wait until the dust is visible either. The longer you wait, the more likely it is to carry nasty germs and bacteria around the office. And for those patients with allergies, dusting can make a whole world of difference.

3. Organizing

Organizing is key to running a smooth and productive office. Pay attention to loose paperwork, mail, catalogs, magazines, and patient files. The less clutter you can leave out in the open, the better.

If you offer your clients magazines, get a magazine bin to display them. It looks nice and keeps it neat.

As for patient files, we all know better to leave them lying around but when it’s super busy, it happens. Instead of throwing them on the desk though, buy a file organizer to put them in instead. When you have more time, you can come back and organize them.

Pro tip: leave signs around to tell people to put things back (i.e. magazines, pens). This will only save you time.

4. Restocking and Refilling

Okay, this one isn’t exactly cleaning but we believe it’s just as important. There is nothing more annoying than when you have to wash your hands and you reach out for soap but there’s nothing there. Or when you’re done washing your hands and there are no paper towels for you to dry your hands with.

To avoid these scenarios, make sure you include restocking and refilling in your dental office cleaning schedule. Don’t forget the tissues at the reception desk or the hand sanitizer if you have those too.

5. Discarding

The last but not least important part of your cleaning list is discarding wastes. When you leave garbage lying around or sitting in the garbage bins for too long, germs and bacteria can also grow there. To prevent this, make sure you dispose of waste frequently.

Clinical wastes and almagam wastes should all be disposed of according to industry standards. Failure to do so can result in heavy fines. Make sure you understand all the rules defined by the Environment Protection Act regarding disposing of dental wastes.

Dental Office Cleaning Checklist

Now that we’ve discussed all the ways you can clean your office, let’s go over what exactly you should be cleaning and how often. Below are different cleaning lists broken down into daily, weekly and monthly tasks.

Depending on the size of your office and the number of patients you see every day, you’ll have to adjust the frequency of these tasks and add any special tasks that are unique to your office.

Daily Office Cleaning List


  • Put away all patient folders
  • Discard unwanted papers and trash
  • Set aside pens, staplers, office equipment, etc.
  • Lightly dust working surfaces
  • Wipe down keyboards, mice, and the desk with disinfectant
  • Throw away any food or drinks left in the open
  • Empty waste bins and put in a new liner if full

Waiting area:

  • Vacuum or sweep all floors (rug, tile, wood)
  • Disinfect tables and doorknobs
  • Empty waste bins and put in a new liner
  • Straighten up chairs and couches
  • Restack magazines

Break rooms and/or kitchens:

  • Wipe down all hard surfaces (sink, kitchen table, counters)
  • Throw away any food or open containers left in the open
  • Check soap dispensers, refill if necessary
  • Check paper towers, refill if necessary
  • Sweep floors or at least pick up obvious litter
  • Take out the trash and put in new liners


  • Spray disinfectant on all hard surfaces (toilets, doorknobs, faucet knobs)
  • Sanitize and wipe away any residual water on sink fixture
  • Check soap dispensers, refill if necessary
  • Check paper towers, refill if necessary
  • Sweep and/or mop floors depending on how dirty
  • Take out the trash and put in new liners

Other items to mind:

  • If you have a dishwasher, load all dirty glasses and dishes into the dishwasher and run
  • If you have a coffee machine, empty used coffee liner and wash the coffee pot

Weekly Office Cleaning List


  • Sweep, mop, or vacuum all floors, read more here for vacuuming tips
  • Dust, wipe and disinfect desk surfaces
  • Shred any confidential documents
  • Disinfect frequently used items like phone, pens, staplers, copy machine keypad
  • Refill tissues papers if out
  • Empty waste bins and put in a new liner

Waiting area:

  • Sweep, mop, or vacuum all floors
  • Mop and disinfect all floors (tile, wood)
  • Disinfect tables and doorknobs
  • Restack magazines
  • Straighten up chairs and couches
  • Empty waste bins and put in a new liner

Break room and/or kitchen:

  • Mop, vacuum, and disinfect all floors (tile, wood)
  • Empty out staff refrigerator and throw away any unmarked items
  • Wipe down inside of the fridge
  • Clean the inside of the microwave
  • Wipe down and sanitize all counter surfaces
  • Disinfect cabinet knobs and refrigerator handle
  • Refill soap dispenser and paper towel holder
  • Empty waste bins and put in a new liner


  • Mop and disinfect all floors thoroughly
  • Disinfect and wipe down all hard surfaces (vanity, toilets)
  • Disinfect doorknobs and faucet knobs
  • Wipe mirrors
  • Refill soap dispensers
  • Refill paper towers
  • Take out the trash and put in new liners

Monthly Office Cleaning List


  • Disinfect all surfaces and office equipment
  • Dust all high surfaces, working top to bottom
  • Polish and buff hardwood floors (if applicable)

Waiting Area:

  • Vacuum all fabric chairs and wipe down all plastic chairs
  • Deep clean stains on fabric chairs and rugs
  • Vacuum all vents
  • Vacuum or steam carpets and rugs
  • Use glass cleaner to wipe any glass surfaces (coffee table, windows, etc.)
  • Polish and buff hardwood floors (if applicable)
  • Replace old magazines

Breakroom and/or kitchen:

  • Polish and buff hardwood floors and surfaces (if applicable)
  • Use glass cleaner to wipe any glass surfaces (coffee table, windows, etc.)
  • Clear out the fridge and disinfect the interior


  • Restock supply closet with handsoap, toilet paper, paper towels
  • Restock on cleaning supplies (disinfectant sprays, bleach, glass cleaners, trash liners, etc.)
  • Disinfect trash bins
  • Disinfect entire bathroom vanity
  • Wipe and sanitize all hard surfaces

Dental Office Cleaning Summary

Your office is a reflection of your service and attention to detail. Having a clean office is not only great for your patients but it shows that you care about your workspace.

We all know going to the dentist isn’t exactly the favorite thing to do for most people, but we can at least make the environment as welcoming as possible by keeping it clean and organized.

And a clean office is not only for your patients, it’s for yourself and your team members. After all, you’re there more than anybody else and you should treat it like your home.

We hope you found this dental office cleaning checklist helpful and will use it to keep your office shiny and clean. If you would like more tips and ideas to keep your dental practice in its best shape, head over to our blog to learn more!