How to Maintain Personal Hygiene in the Workplace

by Melinda Gaines ; Updated September 26, 2017

Though it may seem like common sense, workplace hygiene is a problem for many people. Whether they are short on time in the morning or simply forget, many people go to work without being well-groomed or performing basic hygiene routines, which can lead to embarrassing situations in front of colleagues and clients. To ensure you always maintain your personal hygiene at work, there are several things you can do.

Regularly wash and cut your hair to keep a neat appearance. If you have facial hair, you can save money by maintaining it yourself at home with a set of quality clippers.

Visit the dentist at least once a year -- twice a year is optimal. Though you may brush and even floss your teeth daily, your dentist will be able to diagnose and correct any oral health issues you have. Such issues can lead to bad breath, and some can cause serious health problems.

Bathe every day before work, or every night before you go to sleep. Bathing will not only cleanse your skin and keep it looking more healthy and attractive, but it will also help cleanse your body of odors. Simply smearing on perfume or aftershave does not help cover up body odor, and can in fact exaggerate it.

Wear deodorant or antiperspirant daily if you tend to sweat. Some people can actually get away with not wearing deodorant, but most people, especially those who have heavy duty jobs or work in warm climates, benefit greatly from it.

Keep hand sanitizer and facial tissues near your work desk. If you do not work at a desk, put travel sizes of these items in your pocket. Sanitizer and tissues will come in handy when you're ill and can also prevent the spread of germs resulting from touching dirty items, such as money and computer keyboards.

Trim your nails regularly, especially if you work in the food service industry. Some states have regulations regarding nail length for food employees, but even if you're not under such rules, trimmed nails will allow you to keep your hands much cleaner, and prevent the spread of germs to the food you handle.

Wash your hands thoroughly after each restroom visit. To prevent contaminating your hands again on the way out of the restroom, open the door with a paper towel and dispose of it at your work station or a nearby trashcan.


  • Avoid wearing too much perfume or cologne. Though it may smell nice to you, it may irritate the allergies of people working near you. To ensure you do not offend, spritz a bit of your preferred fragrance in front of you and then walk through it, as opposed to putting it directly onto your skin.

About the Author

Melinda Gaines has been a freelance writer since 2006, with work appearing online for YellowPages and other websites. Her areas of expertise include business, beauty, fashion and sports. Gaines attended the University of Houston where she earned a Bachelor of Science in sport administration.

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