Classroom cleaning has always been demanding. They are one-of-a-kind environments filled with hygiene challenges. In spite (or because) of these challenges, it’s only becoming more essential to frequently disinfect in educational environments.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC has said that conducting more frequent disinfections is one of the most “important everyday actions schools can take to slow the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.” Unfortunately, considering the conditions inside most schools, frequent disinfection isn’t as simple as it sounds.
Overcoming obstacles to more frequent disinfecting
The first step to implementation is understanding the obstacles that stand in the way.
In educational facilities, the biggest hurdle is often timing. When you have only five or 10 minutes of passing time, or if you need to have materials sanitized and ready to redistribute before your students grow distracted, then fast disinfection is an absolute must.
Training everyone on safe operation
While many schools have a dedicated janitorial staff, it’s often not possible for that small team to take on all of this new disinfection work. The obvious solution has been to recruit other faculty and staff to take on the responsibility of sanitizing their own classrooms and workspaces. However, this brings fresh complications.
Cleaning chemicals can have detrimental effects on human skin, eyes and lungs if not used properly. Training staff on safe operation and PPE usage is absolutely essential. However, the more complex and demanding the routine, the higher the likelihood of a harmful error. Using equipment that is simple to learn and easy to operate, regardless of one’s training, will help to ensure safety.
Prioritizing high-touch objects and areas
Understanding the areas with the highest frequency of touching will help to direct resources where they’re needed most. Schools are all about learning, and learning often involves a great deal of physical contact with equipment, toys and surfaces. An effective school sanitization routine should pay special attention to the disinfection of high-touch areas, such as:
- Light switches
- Door knobs
- Faucet handles
- Drinking fountains
- Playground equipment
- Desks and tabletops
- Shared supplies
To make things easier, the CDC recommends that schools “limit the use of shared objects when possible.” Strive to secure “adequate supplies to minimize sharing of high touch materials to the extent possible,” such as providing each student their own set of art supplies.
Where restricting supplies to a single student isn’t feasible, the CDC says to “limit use of supplies and equipment to one group of students at a time and clean and disinfect between use.”
A fast, versatile and safe solution
When the whole of the situation is considered, it’s clear that schools need a sanitizing solution that works fast, is easy to use, and effective for a wide variety of surfaces and shapes.
Simple wiping methods are useful for reaching odd angles on complex surfaces, but they’re extremely time-consuming for large-scale sanitization. They also pose additional cross-contamination and exposure risks, as wipes can easily move microbes around and on to the hand of the person using them. Finally, it can be difficult to keep a surface wet with wipes long enough to reach recommended chemical dwell times. That is, the length of time necessary to ensure complete sanitization.
Traditional spray pumps, either hand operated or electric, allow for a safer, contactless sanitization. However, these systems can prove costly over time due to the large amount of cleaning chemicals they use. It’s also common for them to produce substantial liquid runoff, as demonstrated in this study by the EPA. That liquid runoff poses yet another risk of cross-contamination.
#1 School Cleaning Tip: Keep schools safe with electrostatic sprayers
Victory electrostatic handheld and backpack sprayers address the problems of cross-contamination, excessive run-off, wasted chemicals and more. They use an impressive 65% fewer chemicals than conventional sprayers thanks to Victory’s patented technology. Meanwhile, those chemicals are better able to adhere to surfaces and ensure dwell times are met thanks to the positive charge imparted by the electrostatic ring within the nozzle. No matter how oddly shaped the surface, the particles will seek out negative charges for evenly adhered coverage.
Victory sprayers are also capable of cutting down on cleaning times by up to 70%, while simultaneously ensuring every surface is evenly treated. Perhaps best of all, they’re exceedingly easy to fill and operate, allowing anyone, from professional janitors to classroom teachers, to take sanitization safely into their own hands.
Keeping all children, faculty and staff safe is a top priority for us at EnviroPro. You can browse our sprayers and chemicals here, to find the right solution for your institution’s needs.