School cleaning poses many challenges for administrators who are responsible for the health and safety of their students. Schools accommodate children of many ages, and may include daycare and kindergarten facilities, classrooms, computer rooms, gyms, kitchens, cafeterias, and restrooms. While some educational institutions handle many aspects of cleaning through their own staff, hiring a commercial cleaning company to take care of the janitorial services can provide targeted solutions to clean surfaces and kill germs, often at a lower cost.
Reducing the Spread of Germs is Serious Business
Research done at the University of Arizona conducted by Charles Gerba presented some facts about germs in school that underscored the need for specific cleaning practices to keep germs in check. As he notes:
- Contact with a contaminated surface is the main reason why germs spread. In schools, large groups of children touching the same doorknobs, restroom facilities, tables, chairs, computer keyboards, and toys, accounts for 80% of the spread of germs.
- Many viruses have a long shelf life that requires constant vigilance. Flu viruses can survive on surfaces for 72 hours, while those that lead to diarrhea exist for 2 to 4 months, and those responsible for MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus) infections persist for several months.
- Children under two put something in their mouths an astonishing 81 times an hour, while those between two and five do so 42 times per hour. While older children finally learn to put fewer things in their mouths, the average person still touches their face 18.5 times and touches 30 objects over the course of an hour.
The only hope for preventing disease in daycares and schools at all levels is by properly neutralizing contamination points to prevent the spread of disease, and by teaching children to properly wash their hands.
Modern Techniques to Kill Germs
These findings make it clear that school janitorial services must be secured to prevent the spread of germs. Commercial floor cleaning techniques previously in use, which often involved hauling large string mops and pails around the facility, dusting with common cloths, or vacuuming with upright vacuums, do not do the job of removing germs, and in fact, helps spread them.
What does work, according to Dr. Gerba, is to use equipment and procedures that will discourage both the spread and cross-contamination of germs. For example, he recommends:
- Hospital-Grade disinfectants which are proven to kill germs
- Color-Coded Microfiber towels to separate towels used on play tables, kitchens and other surfaces
- Flat Mops with Self-Dispensing Buckets that do not reuse dirty water
- HEPA Backpack Vacuums to remove 99.97% of particles
Professional School Floor Cleaning Reduces the Spread of Germs
These recommendations are incorporated into the policies that Bearcom Building Services, a Utah commercial floor cleaning company, puts into practice when servicing schools. With many areas where germs can be passed from child to child, the company has a chemical management system to oversee the use of cleaning products and uses a color-coded process to keep germs separate when conducting school cleaning. If you are looking for a commercial cleaning company in Salt Lake City to service your school, contact us for a free quote today!