Find out the best tips by the cleaning experts from a professional schools cleaning company in our essential guide to cleaning school buildings.
Coronavirus has brought much of our lives to a standstill. As we begin to re-enter activities, such as school, we’re concerned about becoming exposed. Many facilities are now using a professional school cleaning company before re-opening. We know that it’s important to social distance, wear masks, wash hands, and disinfect surfaces. But, did you know common viruses can live on surfaces for up to 3 days?
Do you use a keyboard on a regular basis? Did you know that the average computer has 400 times more bacteria than a toilet seat? Schools bear the responsibility of protecting their teachers, staff, and students. As you read this article, you’ll learn about effective and safe cleaning procedures. This includes tips used by professional schools cleaning company experts.
Since the start of the pandemic, there’s been much debate about coronavirus survival on surfaces. Let’s examine a recent article published by the Cleveland Clinic on August 5, 2020. It discusses the survival time of coronavirus on different surfaces.
Coronavirus prefers very smooth surfaces as opposed to porous ones. This article describes the following time coronavirus can survive on these surfaces:
- Glass: 5 days
- Wood: 4 days
- Stainless steel and plastic: 3 days
- Cardboard: 24 hours
- Copper: 4 hours
It’s important to note that sunlight, temperature, and cleaning activities impact these estimates. As time passes, the live virus count decreases on all surfaces. Thus, over time, the risk of infection lessens even without intervention. Since the coronavirus doesn’t like surfaces with holes, it usually lasts less than a day on fabrics.
Benefits of Using a Professional Schools Cleaning Company
Are you in a decision-making position for hiring school services? Have you considered hiring a professional cleaning company for your school? The following describes the many benefits for your school and district. One of the real-life burdens of managing a school involves working within a budget. Hiring a professional schools cleaning company can improve your bottom line. Most companies have significant competition allowing you to pay less than when hiring janitors.
You will not pay the cost for hiring, benefits, or training. The cleaning company provides all supplies which reduces your costs further. These companies train their staff regarding the most current protocols. This includes disinfecting procedures for COVID-19, flu, and other diseases. They receive ongoing training about removing dirt, bacteria, viruses, and allergens that impact wellness.
Here are professional tips to create a healthier environment for your school.
1. Recommended Frequency for School Cleaning
The first step is to develop a disinfecting plan for your school. Monitor the implementation of this plan and make changes as needed. This plan should reflect each risk-level to determine the cleaning procedure. Continue normal, routine cleaning using soap and water to remove dirt and germs. Further disinfectants are needed for surfaces at high risk for prolonged exposure.
Examine the school schedule to determine times when specific areas need cleaning. For example, lunch tables and seats need disinfecting between classes. When eating, students and staff can’t wear masks and this increases droplet transmission. In general, outdoor areas only need regular cleaning and not disinfection. When the school remains empty for more than 6 days, it only needs standard cleaning. There’s no evidence that the coronavirus lives this long on surfaces.
2. What Are the High-Risk Areas?
Classrooms, lunchrooms, staff lounges, and any place where people gather can elevate exposure. Workstations or tables also present an attractive surface for bacteria and viruses. Stationery items represent another risk group. This includes pens, pencils, staplers, and pencil sharpeners.
Remember, smooth surfaces pose the highest risk for holding bacteria and viruses. Any surface or object that’s touched frequently represents an increased risk. This can include chairs, stools, bean bags, and couches. Today, students, teachers, and staff touch keyboards, headsets, power buttons, and computer mice. These items collect bacteria, viruses, and even molds. When multiple people use the same items, the risk increases.
Here’s a list of the bacteria counts on common items used:
- Phone: 25,127 bacteria per square inch
- Doorknob: 8,643 bacteria per square inch
- Computer keyboard: 3,295 bacteria per square inch
- Kitchen counter: 1,736 bacteria per square inch
- Computer mouse: 1,676 bacteria per square inch
- Faucets and handles: 1,331 bacteria per square inch
- Toilet seat: 1,201 bacteria per square inch
It may surprise you to see that phones rank at the top of the list. This is even worse when multiple people use the same phone. It may be equally surprising that toilets are at the bottom of the list. Other items that represent increased risk areas include light switches, handrails, and remotes. Don’t forget the floor. Bacteria and viruses can travel from one area to another on the bottom of shoes.
3. Choose the Correct Cleaning Agent
It’s important to choose the right product to kill bacteria and viruses such as COVID-19. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a list of disinfectant products to fight COVID-19. Soap and water provide an effective agent for removing dirt and most germs from surfaces. It’s recommended that you do this first and then use a disinfecting agent. Follow manufacturer instructions to clean or launder porous or fabric surfaces. Use the warmest temperature possible. Some instructions have you keep the surface wet for a set amount of time.
Always wear gloves for routine cleaning and disinfecting. Make sure you wash your hands after finishing cleaning.
4. How to Clean Different Items
Now we have identified some of the most high-risk items for transmitting germs. Let’s take a look at the proper way to clean each item.
For laminated desks, wipe them down using a cloth with cleaning solution and water. You can clean wood desks or surfaces with an alcohol-based disinfectant. Also, remove and clean desk items with an appropriate agent.
Workrooms and Lounges
In staff workrooms and lounges, clean all surfaces with a disinfectant and water. Don’t forget items such as refrigerators, coffee machines, copiers, paper cutters, and microwaves. These are often high-traffic items. Choose the cleaner recommended by the manufacturer. Unplug machines before putting any damp or liquid items on them to prevent electric shock. For moisture sensitive items, use antibacterial wipes.
Don’t use water on computer equipment. It’s usually best to use an alcohol-based disinfection or cleaning agent. If you don’t have disinfectant wipes, spray the cleaner on the cloth and then wipe every surface. Be sure to clean the screen, computer case, keyboard, mouse, buttons, and stylus. You can use a computer vacuum to remove dust or particles in the keyboard. Then wipe the top and sides of each key.
Use alcohol-based cleaners on phones. Be sure to wipe all surfaces of the phone. For desk phones, clean the receiver, headset, keys, and phone case. You can use a spray or wipes.
Spray all surfaces of chairs with an alcohol-based cleaner. You may want to leave the cleaner on the chair for a few minutes before wiping it down. If the chairs have upholstery, steam clean with a very hot, fine steam to kill bacteria and viruses.
Wipe down all parts of faucets and handles using water and a disinfectant solution. You may use alcohol-based sprays or sanitizing wipes between scheduled cleanings.
The type of flooring determines the cleaning method. Use soap and water or a steam mop for tile, hardwood, or laminate. Carpets need a steam-type carpet cleaning machine. You must also allow time for the carpet to dry before using it again.
5. Best Practices When Cleaning
There are several approaches to ensuring that areas are thoroughly cleaned. One approach is called “color-coded cleaning”. Cleaning supplies are color-coded to signify which items to use for cleaning specific areas. For example, a blue bucket, cloth, and tape on cleaning agents show the items for cleaning bathrooms. This decreases the risk of cross-contamination. You wouldn’t want to clean a kitchen and a bathroom with the same supplies. “One-way wiping” describes another cleaning technique to ensure the most effective disinfecting. This method involves wiping in only one direction instead of in circles. Wiping “around” can, in fact, increase the spread of bacteria and viruses.
Are You Ready to Find a Professional Cleaning Company?
Attention to detail is key to ensuring that your school is as clean and safe as possible. Hiring a professional schools cleaning company can ensure your facility achieves expert-level disinfection. This can also save you time and money.
ProCleanings is a minority-owned business. We focus on hiring and training employees from disadvantaged areas. For over 7 years, we’ve serviced customers in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Our experts provide commercial cleaning services, industrial cleaning, bank, and office cleaning. We work hard to provide thorough and reliable services. ProCleanings wants to earn your respect and recommendations to other business owners.
Contact us today for a personalized quote.