The advent of COVID-19 placed a new emphasis on the need for proper cleaning and disinfection in daycare centers, pre-schools, and K-12 schools.
Many educational facilities have replaced their in-house janitorial teams with commercial cleaning services, or use them to provide additional cleaning and disinfection services. The main reason is commercial cleaning technicians are trained in the latest cleaning and infection control best practices and use top-quality products and equipment that reduce the spread of COVID-19, the flu and other viruses.
Here are some of the cleaning and disinfection best practices OpenWorks recommends for educational facilities.
Clean and Disinfect Surfaces Daily
It is not enough to pick up trash, vacuum and mop floors. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends daily sanitizing of high-touch surfaces, such as:
- Desks and counters
- Faucets and water fountains
- Light switches
- Computer keyboards
- Hands-on devices
Daycare centers, pre-schools, and other educational facilities must be cleaned thoroughly to remove dust, dirt, and grime before disinfection. After using an appropriate cleaner and rinsing and drying surfaces, an EPA-registered disinfectant should be applied to kill germs. Particular attention should be paid to the amount of time the product remains on surfaces because it normally takes three to five minutes to achieve maximum infection control.
Disinfecting wipes can be used on objects or electronics. However, it may be necessary to use more than a wipe to ensure the surface remains wet for the necessary contact time. Be sure wipes are fragrance-free and do not contain allergens.
Many educational facilities choose to include Continuous Care in their commercial cleaning service package for complete peace of mind. Continuous Care is an antimicrobial surface protectant that is applied after surfaces have been cleaned and disinfected. When it is applied with an electrostatic sprayer, it ensures 100% coverage and provides continuous protection from germs, bacteria and microorganisms for up to 90 days.
While frequent disinfection is still recommended per CDC guidelines, Continuous Care provides long- lasting protection, enhances the health and safety of your daycare center, pre-school or K-12 facility and prevents the growth of microorganisms and bacteria.
Train and Educate
You cannot overemphasize the importance of training and education. Commercial cleaning services take the time to fully train and educate their professional cleaning staff on OSHA safety regulations, how to deal with bloodborne pathogens, and the most effective use of chemicals and equipment.
Ensure your teachers, staff, and workers are trained in the best way to clean, including what to do and what not to do. For example, common cleaning products from home should not be brought into the classroom or daycare because they may not be appropriate to use around children and may cause allergic reactions or other health problems.
Many common cleaning products are also dangerous when mixed. For example, bleach, ammonia, acids, and other disinfectants can release potentially poisonous vapors if they are mixed. For this reason, every facility should have Safety Data Sheets for every chemical this is used on the premises.
Practice Green Cleaning
Poor indoor air quality is a serious problem in daycare centers and schools. EPA studies show that exposure to pollutants indoors can be two to five times – and as much as 100 times – higher than outdoors. The EPA’s Science Advisory Board ranks indoor air pollution as one of the top five environmental risks to public health, and using harsh chemicals can add to the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in the air.
Using green cleaning products and procedures creates an environmentally-friendly learning environment. It also helps cut down on the number of chemicals in the air that can cause allergy problems, asthma attacks, and respiratory diseases.
OpenWorks’ elite network of service providers practices green cleaning to help create a healthier environment. They also use low-impact cleaning equipment which reduces the amount of wear and tear on your facility and uses less water and energy.
Finding Commercial Cleaning Services Near Me
Keeping your daycare, pre-school, or K-12 school safe and healthy can be a challenge. If you are thinking about using commercial cleaning services, do not settle for the first company you find when you search online for commercial cleaning services near me. Take the time to research commercial cleaning services to ensure they have experience working with educational facilities.
These are some of the things you should look for:
- Experience: You need a commercial cleaning service that has years of experience cleaning and disinfecting daycares and schools.
- Trained, Certified, and Vetted Staff: Demand to work with a trained and certified professional cleaning staff that understands the demands of educational facilities. They should be OSHA-certified for safety procedures, trained on EPA and CDC guidelines, and know how to work with bloodborne pathogens.
- Flexible Scheduling: Educational facilities have scheduling needs that differ from other organizations. Your commercial cleaning company needs to be able to work around your school hours and break schedules and accommodate special events.
- Quality Assurance Program
You also need to have a quality assurance program in place to ensure services are delivered as needed. You may also want to ask for routine inspections and a dedicated account manager.
Professional Commercial Cleaning Services
OpenWorks’ elite network of service providers supplies commercial cleaning services that meet and exceed infection control standards to keep daycare centers, pre-schools and K-12 schools clean, safe, and healthy.
Contact OpenWorks today for an estimate or to learn more about commercial cleaning services for your educational facilities.