9 Professional Ways to Say “Clean Up After Yourself”

Are you trying to understand how to tell employees to clean up after themselves at work?

Perhaps you’re worried that “clean up after yourself” is a bit informal or unprofessional.

Well, you’ve come to the right place to learn a bit more about it!

This article will teach you how to say “clean up after yourself” in an email or other professional situations.

Is It Rude to Say “Clean Up After Yourself”?

It is not rude to say “clean up after yourself.” Sometimes, it’s necessary to use something like this to remind someone to take pride in the state of their workspace.

You can say it in the workplace. After all, it’s one of the best ways to encourage employees to get moving with cleaning work if necessary.

So, feel free to review this email sample to learn a bit more:

Dear Employees,

I would like you to clean up after yourself at the end of each day.

Then, we can all be proud of the environment we work in.

Best regards,
Paul Willis


  • It’s a simple yet effective way to remind people to clean their workstations.
  • It’s polite and direct.


  • It can seem rude or unnecessarily picky.
  • It’s a bit generic.

So, “clean up after yourself” works well. But that doesn’t mean it’s the only suitable phrase to include in your writing. In fact, you can certainly use a few more professional options.

Keep reading to learn a professional way to say “clean up after yourself.” We’ve gathered a list of the best synonyms to show you what options work in your writing.

What to Say Instead of “Clean Up After Yourself”

  • Maintain a tidy workspace
  • Practice personal accountability
  • Foster a neat environment
  • Demonstrate personal hygiene
  • Keep your workspace clean
  • Clean up any mess
  • Promote a clutter-free zone
  • Stay on top of your cleaning duties
  • Take pride in your cleanliness

1. Maintain a Tidy Workspace

We recommend starting with “maintain a tidy workspace” as another way to say “clean up after yourself.”

It’s professional and sincere. So, it’s a good way to encourage people to put the same amount of effort into tidying their workspaces as they do with their work.

Generally, this is a good choice when keeping employees honest. It lets them know that you expect a certain ethic from them, and you hope they’re able to deliver.

Also, it helps that it’s polite and direct. So, employees should get the message quite easily.

Here’s a helpful email sample to show you more:

Dear Maria,

I hope you can encourage your team to maintain a tidy workspace.

It shouldn’t be too difficult; I only ask for a few extra minutes at the end of the day.

All the best,
Sarah Sharpe

2. Practice Personal Accountability

We also think it’s good to use “practice personal accountability.”

This is a great one to use if you’re trying to be more formal and respectful.

It shows that you’d appreciate it if people took their roles a little more seriously. It’s a great way to demand cleaner environments from employees.

For the most part, including this in a bulk email is a great way to show employees that they need to step up. It still allows you to sound polite and direct, but it also shows you’d like a bit of respect.

Here’s a helpful example to help you see how it works:

Dear All,

I’d appreciate it if you could practice personal accountability.

Then, we can all make sure we’re proud of the workplace we come to daily.

Gerald Fitz

3. Foster a Neat Environment

If you want to know how to tell employees to clean up after themselves in the bathroom, you can use “foster a neat environment.”

Of course, it doesn’t just apply to cleaning the bathroom, but it’s a good place to start.

You can use this to encourage cleanliness and diligence. It’s direct and professional, which goes a long way when you want people to pay attention to what you’re saying.

So, you should use it when you know people will be willing to hear you out.

It shows that you’ve got power (like if you’re in a manager’s role), and you expect people to listen to you and do what you tell them.

Also, it’s worth reviewing this sample email to learn a bit more about it:

Dear Employees,

Please foster a neat environment and clean the bathroom after yourself.

It would be a great help to everyone here in this office.

Best wishes,
Jodie Kidd

4. Demonstrate Personal Hygiene

For a more polite way to say “clean up after yourself,” try “demonstrate personal hygiene.”

This works well because it allows you to put it nicely when you want people to clean. It shows you’re keen to keep the workplace tidy.

Generally, people will pick up on this and try to make more of an effort. It’s ideal when you want a team of employees to work together.

Once one (or more) employee starts to demonstrate personal hygiene, most of their team will follow suit.

Therefore, you can create a cleaner environment by sending out a simple message like this.

And here’s an email sample to help you understand it a bit better:

Dear Joel,

I’d like you to demonstrate personal hygiene and relay the message to your team.

I’m keen to see some changes around this office!

All the best,
Joanna Kerr

5. Keep Your Workspace Clean

You can also keep things formal and polite by saying “keep your workspace clean.”

After all, it’s a direct and obvious phrase that lets people know what you expect from them.

When you send something like this to employees, it lets them know they have to take pride in their workspaces.

That means they’ll need to work hard to keep things tidy and ensure they don’t leave any messes around.

It’s also good to review this email sample to learn a bit more:

Dear Martin,

Please keep your workspace clean and let others know to do the same.

It would be very handy if we could all be on the same page with this.

Carla Clair

6. Clean Up Any Mess

It’s good to use “clean up any mess” as a professional way to say “clean up after yourself.”

Generally, this phrase allows you to be polite and sincere. It gets to the point quickly and lets people know what you expect from them.

Therefore, it’s worth using a phrase like this when writing to colleagues. You might need them to clean something up after you’ve handled a project with them.

It’s a good way to sound less bossy when asking someone to be clean.

You can also review this example to learn more about it:

Dear Jessica,

Please clean up any mess that we might have caused by doing this.

I’ll be in touch when I have made some progress with the project.

Kind regards,
Benjamin Blake

7. Promote a Clutter-Free Zone

We quite like using “promote a clutter-free zone” instead of “clean up after yourself,” too.

This time, it’s professional and clear. So, it’s a good chance to remind people to spend a lot of time and care clearing up any mess or clutter.

Generally, “clutter-free zone” refers to someone’s workstation. It suggests they tend to keep things messy, so you’d like them to pick up after themselves to avoid doing that.

Also, this email sample will help you to understand it a bit better:

Dear Simon,

We are trying to promote a clutter-free zone in this office.

Please keep on top of your workstation to ensure that it remains free of mess.

Thank you so much,
Cherie Galley

8. Stay on Top of Your Cleaning Duties

We also think it’s smart to use “stay on top of your cleaning duties” instead of “clean up after yourself.”

This synonym works really well if you’re looking for something less demanding. Rather than being bossy and direct, this simply shows that you expect people to keep on top of cleanliness.

It’s a good way to be humble yet respectful when dealing with employees. It lets them know what’s expected of them and that you hope they can deliver.

Feel free to review this sample email to learn more about it as well:

Dear Team,

Could you please stay on top of your cleaning duties in my absence?

It would be very helpful if you could ensure everything is done to a high standard.

All the best,
Rosie Parks

9. Take Pride in Your Cleanliness

Finally, you can use “take pride in your cleanliness.”

This is a great way to be encouraging and direct with people. So, it lets them know what you expect from them and that you’d like them to have a tidier workplace.

For the most part, it’s formal and sincere. That’s why it works well when you’re trying to make employees more efficient and clean around the office or workplace.

Also, here’s a helpful sample email to show you more about it:

Dear Missy,

Please take pride in your cleanliness around the office.

It’s important that we all hold ourselves to a high standard.

All the best,
Josephine Millican