When it comes to effective cleaning in school facilities, what most people think about first is the restrooms. In fact, studies have found that parents, when visiting a college or university their son or daughter is considering, invariably visit the restrooms to examine their cleanliness. The reasoning is: clean restrooms mean a well-run school; poorly maintained restrooms, can mean something far different.
However, many people are often unaware of the most important areas that need proper cleaning; these places are known in the professional cleaning industry as high touch areas. We’ve all seen them but probably have never heard them called this before.
High touch areas include the following:
- Light switches
- Door knobs
- Tops and sides of chairs and tables
- Elevator buttons
The list could go on and on. High touch areas can spread germs to many people. Once a surface is contaminated everyone who touches the surface can spread the germs to other surfaces. This problem is paramount in educational locations because many students fail to wash their hands after using the restrooms.
This means that custodial workers must pay extra special attention to high touch areas. An EPA registered disinfectant should be used to clean these areas. If the surface is visibly soiled, first the high touch area must be cleaned prior to disinfection. This two-step process can be avoided if using a Betco product clearly labeled that it can be used for cleaning and disinfecting. Using such a product can be a major time saver.
High touch areas should be cleaned frequently, as often as once per day. Cleaning professionals should use microfiber cleaning cloths because they tend to be more effective at removing germs and bacteria than traditional cleaning cloths. Also, the cloths should be changed frequently and used for the same purpose: never use a microfiber cleaning cloth used to clean restroom fixtures on light switches, as an example.
While students and teachers may not be aware of how important it is to keep high touch areas properly cleaned, as cleaning professionals, we must be acutely aware of how important keeping these areas clean and sanitary is to protecting the health of all building users, teachers, and staff.