Bar manager's ccleaning checklist

Updated February 21, 2017

Bars can be happy places filled with bubbly people and beverages. However, the lustre of a bar quickly fades -- literally -- when a bar isn't cleaned properly. Even small bars can become sticky, smelly and attract pests like bar flies. Therefore, a good cleaning checklist is essential to any good bartender. If a bar manager follows a cleaning checklist every day, the impression of the bar on customers most likely will improve, resulting in better sales.


Use a solution of bleach water to wash beer taps and coolers, ice bins, bar tops, speed racks, sinks and wells. After the initial wash, rinse these items in plain water and dry them. Use mild glass and surface cleaner and products like Bartender's Friend to take care of isolated problem areas.

Bleach solution

Pour bleach water down the bar sinks, floor drains and tap drains every day. This washes away residue from alcoholic beverages, disinfects the piping and kills bacteria that can cause unpleasant odours.


Scrub the dispensers and taps with a stiff bristle or wire brush at the end of each shift. This will remove the unsanitary grime that often collects on and clogs liquor dispensers, soda dispensers and taps as small amounts of beverage and dust dry together.

Surface Wipedown

Wipe down any exposed surface in the bar daily, especially the bar counters and items that are stainless steel or which are reflective, as these show dirt and fingerprints easily. Clean dust and residue off all bottles. Polish prominent fixtures as applicable.


Empty the rubbish daily. Place a fresh bin bag in the receptacle for the next shift.

Machines and tools

Empty all machines like blenders and mixers. Refrigerate leftovers if possible and wash the machines. Make sure all machines are off before leaving the bar.


Wipe down all bar stools and tables, as people drop food and spill drinks frequently. Stack or put up the stools.


Sweep and mop the bar floor once the bar chairs and stools have been stacked or put up. Vacuum any areas with carpeting.

Glass and dishware

Wash any dirty glasses and dishware used during the shift. Restock the glass and dish shelves at the bar for the next shift.


Put any scattered supplies (including cleaning supplies) in the stockroom. Make sure all supplies are stored according to safety and sanitation guidelines and that there is nothing on the floor. Lock the stockroom.

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About the Author

Wanda Thibodeaux is a freelance writer and editor based in Eagan, Minn. She has been published in both print and Web publications and has written on everything from fly fishing to parenting. She currently works through her business website,, which functions globally and welcomes new clients.