CloroxPro Blog – Professional Cleaning and Disinfection Insights
A blog filled with industry insights from experts devoted to public health awareness, infection prevention, and the role of environmental cleaning and disinfection, to promote safer, healthier public spaces.
Revving Up Health & Safety in Schools Through Deep Cleaning
Routine and deep cleaning are part of the overall health and safety of a facility and the people who enter it. In this blog, we will focus on deep cleaning in schools and explore what deep cleaning is, when to perform it, and what resources are available to help cleaning professionals.
In many ways, deep cleaning is like car maintenance: if you do regular checks and some deeper cleaning tasks regularly, you can often prevent bigger issues from arising. If you have ever driven a vehicle and seen the check engine light suddenly come on, you may have wondered what was going on and how it could have been avoided. To improve health and safety in schools, deep cleaning practices are essential. With foot traffic decreasing and schools moving at a slower pace during the summer months, it’s the perfect time to deep clean areas of the building to maintain a healthier facility.
Deep Cleaning Goes Beyond Routine Cleaning and Disinfection Tasks
Using car maintenance as an analogy, routine cleaning is like a drive through car wash or an oil change. Deep cleaning is more thorough and does not need to be done as frequently, like changing a car’s transmission fluid. These types of tasks are more detailed and time-intensive, focusing on larger spaces and areas that may be difficult to access regularly. In a facility, deep cleaning enhances appearance and eliminates germs, mold, dust, and other potentially harmful matter that can accumulate over time. As an example, you may frequently take out the trash, but it’s also important to clean and disinfect the receptacles too.
K-12 Schools Need a Deep Clean
As a place where children spend much of their time, K-12 facilities must prioritize deep cleaning for health and safety. When deep cleaning protocols aren’t in place, surfaces may be overlooked during routine cleaning. An example of this is window glass where harmful germs can survive for up to 12 weeks1. Like germs causing illness, exposure to indoor allergens and irritants like dust, mold, and mildew can result in missed days of school each year2. To ensure that schools are adequately cleaned and prepared for students, now is the time to establish deep cleaning practices if they are not already in place.
Tuning Up Your Cleaning Practices
To establish an effective and efficient deep cleaning program in your facility, consider the following steps:
- Conduct a facility assessment: Determine areas of your facility that may be difficult to clean regularly. When was the last time your facility’s supply closet was thoroughly cleaned, for example?
- Develop a deep cleaning schedule: Unlike routine cleaning, deep cleaning is needed periodically (monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, etc.). Determine at what frequency your facility’s deep cleaning tasks should be completed.
- Establish protocols: Create or adopt standardized deep cleaning processes that provide specific guidance on how to perform tasks safely and efficiently. Staff members should be trained and able to complete tasks to the required standard. A helpful resource to guide you through the deep cleaning process is the CloroxPro® Deep Cleaning Protocol Sheet.
- Identify necessary tools and products: Consider what products and equipment are required for the job. For example, if you are cleaning trash receptacles, use a ready-to-use broad-spectrum disinfectant. Ensure all supplies are available for a successful deep cleaning and don’t forget personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Document the time needed for deep cleaning: Consider documenting how long each task takes to help with planning for this work to be effective and efficient in the future. Keep in mind that certain tasks may require moving furniture or items which could require extra time.
As we enter the end of the school year, planning your deep cleaning schedule will help set you up for success as you smoothly cruise into a new school year, like a vehicle just outfitted with new tires.
- Wißmann, J. E, et al. (2021). Persistence of pathogens on inanimate surfaces: A narrative review. Microorganisms, 9(2), 343.
- EPA. Managing Asthma in the School Environment [Internet]. [cited 2023 May 1]. Available from: https://www.epa.gov/iaq-schools/managing-asthma-school-environment