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5 Ways to Maintain Cleanliness in Schools

It isn’t just up to the caretaker to keep your school or nursery clean. Everyone, from students to teaching staff, have a responsibility to keep the building and grounds tidy.

This is even more important during flu season when germs are readily spreading around groups of individuals. Dirty schools have the potential to increase staff and student absences – so keeping them clean is crucial.

With that in mind, the Crystal Cleaning Servicing experts have put together this helpful guide, providing inspiration on how to achieve a fantastic level of cleanliness in your school or nursery environment.

1. Create a “touchpoint routine”

Schools and nurseries are areas with a lot of foot traffic, with multiple touchpoints for both staff and students. It’s important to keep these areas as clean as possible, especially in the current climate.

The flu circulates every year and can survive on surfaces for up to 48 hours. But it can be easily destroyed with regular cleaning so it’s important to keep on top of this. When creating your touchpoint routine, think and note down all the surfaces in your building that are touched and used regularly.

Touchpoints in schools include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Taps
  • Door handles
  • Desks
  • Drinking fountains (if applicable)
  • Science lab equipment (gas taps etc)
  • Chairs
  • Hand dryers
  • Printers

It might seem daunting trying to keep track of cleaning all of these areas, but if you assign different areas to different members of staff, the job becomes much easier. Keep a stash of cleaning wipes, sprays and cloths in classrooms and offices to allow these to be cleaned more regularly.

Photograph of school chairs

2. Clean more often

It’s easy to let cleaning fall by the wayside when important tasks are being done in school. To reduce the time needed to keep things sparkling, it’s important to clean high-traffic areas more often, reducing the spread of germs and bacteria.

A cleaning rota for classrooms to be completed before the end of each working day, and general checks in other areas like school libraries and toilets will help reduce the time needed to keep everything tidy.

3. Emphasise hand washing

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the government and World Health Organisation stated how important it was to keep hands clean and to wash your hands properly. Though it should have been the case long before the pandemic, we now have clear guidelines to wash our hands correctly

The NHS is very clear about how to effectively wash your hands with a simple step-by-step routine that can be communicated to staff and demonstrated to students:

  1. Wet your hands
  2. Apply enough soap to cover your hands
  3. Rub your hands together
  4. Use 1 hand to rub the back of the other hand and clean in between the fingers
  5. Do the same with the other hand
  6. Rub your hands together and clean in between your fingers
  7. Rub the back of your fingers against your palms
  8. Rub your thumb using your other hand
  9. Do the same with the other thumb
  10. Rub the tips of your fingers on the palm of your other hand
  11. Do the same with other hand
  12. Rinse your hands with water
  13. Dry your hands completely with a disposable towel
  14. Use the disposable towel to turn off the tap
  15. Throw the towel away

If soap and water aren’t available, then you should provide alcohol-based sanitiser for staff and students which can kill germs instantly.

When should you wash your hands?

According to the NHS, you should wash your hands:

  • After using the toilet or changing a nappy
  • Before and after handling raw foods
  • Before eating or handling food
  • After blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing
  • Before and after treating a cut
  • After touching animals, their food and cages

Employing an effective hand-washing routine and emphasising the benefits of it to students and staff will reduce the chances of harmful bacteria and viruses spreading around the population.

4. Educate, educate, educate

Washing hands in sink
It’s important to ensure that children as well as staff know the benefits of keeping their learning spaces tidy, and crucially, clean. Creating a “cleanliness culture” means everyone has their own personal responsibility for keeping their environment sparkling.

Sharing facts about germs throughout the school or nursery environment will go some way in helping people take this more seriously. Some interesting facts about germs include:

  • Germs can survive for up to three hours on hands
  • There are between 2 to 10 million bacteria on your fingertips
  • The number of germs on fingertips doubles after using the toilet
  • When hands aren’t washed, germs are transferred to food and drinks
  • Your hands spread 1,000 times more germs when they are damp than when dry

Above all, encouraging habits of cleanliness, especially in the flu and cold season will help avoid excess absences and staff frustration.

Perhaps it would be a good idea to remind parents of the need that children shouldn’t be attending school if they have a cold or flu – especially during those contagious first 24 hours.

5. School Cleaners

As a second line of defence after speaking to staff and students about the importance of cleanliness, it’s worth investing in school cleaners to help keep the environment healthy for children.

At Crystal Cleaning Servicing, our cleaners are trained to provide school and nursery cleaning services to the very highest standard.

We have experience in cleaning schools of all different sizes, meaning you can be confident in a fantastic service. We even go as far as creating an individual plan suited to your building to maximise efficiency before starting any work.