Maintaining shelving is important from a safety standpoint, since corrosion can compromise the stability of these systems.

Shelving used in high-moisture areas, in particular, should include features that provide easier cleaning, such as removable shelf mats or covers that can be clipped down over wire shelving. If panels are removable, regularly wash them either by hand or in a dishwasher.

Because debris and grease can build up on shelves, wipe them weekly using mild detergents and soft cloths. To simplify cleaning and save time, staff members can focus on cleaning different shelf levels on alternate days of the week.

Lubricate casters on mobile shelves each year.

Some issues may warrant replacing the shelves. This includes excessive rust and corrosion on metal shelving, along with wear and tear on its edges, which may compromise its stability. Also, although it is uncommon for shelves to break apart, if used improperly, bowing and bending may occur. Severe cases may compromise safety, which likely means it’s time to replace the shelving.

When properly maintained, shelving units can last anywhere from 7 to 15 years or more.