School’s out! How educational facilities can make the most of the summer season

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Peter Jones, regional sales manager at Robert Scott, provides his cleaning know-how and recommended approach for deep cleaning educational facilities during the summer holidays.
 
Preparation and product audit 

The summer break provides the perfect opportunity to conduct a meticulous deep clean of facilities and buildings. It’s important to implement an initial action plan before the summer break, this will help save time and improve the efficiency of any deep cleaning programme. This should focus on completing a rigorous clean of those areas that cannot be completed as part of daily cleaning regimes during term time or have less attention due to time constraints or obstructions.

One area that can often be overlooked is where you store your cleaning products and equipment. While deep cleaning this area, it’s an ideal time to take stock and complete a full audit of your equipment – removing any products that don’t get used or that perhaps need replacing so that you can consider what equipment you should invest in ahead of the new school year. This could mean replacing disposable products with reusable alternatives, clearing out unused chemical cleaning agents, or considering where you can introduce more sustainable products into your inventory.
 
A methodical approach

Once these tasks have been completed, the next stage is to conduct a thorough deep clean of all surfaces including floors, walls and so on. A methodical approach is key to cleaning any educational facility. Ensuring staff understand and are properly trained to implement a two-stage process, firstly to clean and secondly to sanitise and disinfect, will deliver the most effective deep clean throughout. Preparation for a deep clean should include the removal of any obstructions and furniture so that any debris in hard-to-reach areas can be properly cleaned.

 
Cleaning and disinfecting 

Once preparation is complete, all surfaces should be thoroughly swept and dusted to remove debris. The V-sweeper works well in larger areas, allowing each section to be swept and dusted efficiently, and can be used with either traditional cotton mop pads or microfibre. If the removal of tables and chairs in classrooms isn’t possible, the sweeper tool enables easy dusting under and around objects.

Using a handheld tool, such as the Flexi Cleaning Tool, also works well here as it can be manipulated into shape to clean the trickiest places. Using a microfibre sleeve, this tool is designed to pick up dirt and debris and can be used with a range of telescopic handles.

For areas where dirt, such as chewing gum or dried-on grime, has built up – a tool such as a floor scraper is ideal for most hard surfaces.

Once dust and debris have been removed, all surfaces should be cleaned before being disinfected to kill germs and bacteria. This should be carried out across all areas, paying particular attention to high touch point areas.
For cleaning and disinfecting, it’s worth considering the materials used in your products, such as mops and cloths, as there are many options on the market now made from recycled materials.

Robert Scott manufactures a range of mops and cloths made from recycled yarns; microfibre cloths and flat mops are also a suitable long-lasting option as microfibre can be laundered and reused many times. We also supply a range of products made from sustainably sourced materials such as FSC-certified brush ware, as well as recycled plastic spray bottles and buckets.

We’ve also launched a new range called Ecofibre which includes the Ecofibre cloth – made from 55% recycled plastic and offering the same cleaning power of traditional microfibre, and the Ecofibre scourer – a recycled, non-scratch scouring pad for tough, eco-friendly cleaning that’s made using 40% plant fibres including nut shells and 15% recycled polyester.

The other area where sustainability gains can be made is looking at alternative cleaning agents. For example, Toucan Eco is a powerful, eco-friendly, and safe disinfectant cleaner that’s produced on-demand from water, salt and electricity. Its active compounds are hypochlorous acid and a low concentration of sodium hypochlorite, which create a powerful yet safe solution, reducing the need for over 80% of synthetic chemical cleaners and the single-use plastic bottles they are supplied in. The solution is proven to kill up to 99.999% of germs and is certified to EN antiviral and antibacterial tests.

It can be used with the Toucan Eco 1-Litre Worktop units, as well as the larger Active Plus unit that can be installed on site and is ideal for larger facilities.

Floorcare focus 

The longer holiday period presents an ideal time for deep cleaning floors using rotary machines or scrubber dryers. For deep cleaning, we recommend standard floor pads for the stripping of floors in preparation for polishes and sealants being laid, and KGS Flexis floor pads for maximum performance. They’re a good example of sustainable innovation in this area as they’re made with microcrystal technology and, when used wet, they don’t require a chemical agent. You can strip and polish using a step-by-step process with different pad types, but for maximum performance we recommend the four-step process of Flexis – red, blue, yellow, and green in sequence and each with five passes using water.

After stripping has taken place, the final stage is laying polish to seal the floor. The Microtex Kit is the perfect tool for doing this as it creates a smooth and even finish. You can also use a microfibre window cleaning sleeve and T-bar applicator which fits a handle – this is an effective and quick way of applying floor polishes.

Although facilities will be closed to pupils and staff, it’s also important to remember that risk assessments should always be adhered to, and appropriate signage used to maintain optimum health and safety standards.
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