5S organization shine

The third step of 5S organization is shine, sometimes referred to as sweep. In this scenario, shine is synonymous to clean. This step reinforces the work completed in the first two steps (sort and set). Cleanliness isn’t just for aesthetics, it serves an important purpose in 5S organization.

5S organization visual managementVisual Management

Is it easier to detect a problem in a clean workspace or a cluttered one? The true purpose of the Shine step is to make it as easy as possible to identify issues. Dirt and debris obscure problems. Overlooking issues leads to more time and effort in rectification later on, which leads to waste. By catching problems immediately, people are able to work more efficiently.

Example: A common issue in manufacturing facilities is oil leaks. An oil leak indicates a need for machine repair, presents a safety hazard, and will require clean up by one or more workers. In messy conditions, this situation can go unnoticed for days.

5S Shine Benefits

Product Quality

Regular cleaning can prevent dirt or debris from coming into contact with products during manufacturing or packaging. Contamination can lead to rework or scrapping of product.

Preventative Maintenance

Many preventative maintenance manuals for machinery and tooling recommend regular cleaning. Removing debris can extend equipment life and prevent damage. Oftentimes preventative maintenance is overlooked, but remembering is easier if it is scheduled with regular cleaning.


Regular cleaning can provide peace of mind, especially for businesses that conduct tours or are subject to audits.

How to Incorporate Cleaning

Allow enough time for regular cleaning of each work area. Many companies schedule time for picking up each space during the last 15 to 30 minutes of each shift. This can include anything from clearing debris to wiping down equipment. Make sure that any necessary supplies are available for use. If accountability is an issue, incorporate a verification form and specify this as part of the job function.

Image Credit:pan xiaozhen Ashim D’Silva5S helps make organizations more efficient and enhances safety, but it can be tough to know where to start. Learn more about 5S