Top of the page

School’s out – making the most of the summer to deep clean

Thursday, 27 April 2023

By Alastair Scott, sales director.

Educational facilities are fairly unique from a cleaning and maintenance perspective in that they enjoy regular long-term breaks from daily usage throughout the year, with the summer break being the longest by far.

This presents facilities managers with an opportunity to carry out deep cleaning programmes while the buildings are mostly free from students and staff – or certainly are enjoying reduced footfall.

We all know how important it is to maintain a cleaning routine that ensures buildings are safe, enjoyable spaces that are fit for learning. After the Covid-19 pandemic, much focus was put on the role of FM in maintaining safe spaces that are hygienically clean and germ-free and these practices have remained.

This is important year-round, but the approaching extended summer break gives facilities managers an opportunity to invest in a deep clean that will have a lasting impact.


Classrooms are high traffic, high touch areas and should be cleaned thoroughly as part of regular cleaning regimes, with a complete deep clean taking place during holiday periods. As per industry guidelines, cleaning should be completed top to bottom and back to front – meaning janitorial staff should start in the highest and furthest point of the room and work their way out.

It’s also important to remember that effective cleaning requires a two-step approach: first cleaning and second, disinfecting. Cleaning involves the physical removal of dust and dirt while disinfecting then reduces and destroys both bacteria, germs and viruses.

It’s important to ensure that special attention is paid to both hard to reach and high touch point areas such as ceilings, light fixtures and tops of furniture, as well as door handles, light switches, desks and chairs.

Common areas

Common areas such as hallways, lecture theatres and halls will also benefit from a more intense clean. These too are high traffic areas which receive a great deal of wear and tear throughout the year.

Again, top to bottom and back to front is the best approach. Ensure that high up areas are cleaned as well as floors, bumper rails, wall guards and doors. Door release buttons should also be cleaned and disinfected, and furniture should be carefully cleaned – both furniture that can be removed and fixed furniture such as lecture hall seating.

Floor care

Floors in educational facilities are designed for durability but are likely to need both cleaning and maintenance by the time the summer break comes around. Floor scrapers are valuable tools for removing tough dirt, chewing gum and dried on grime from most hard surfaces, while floor pads like the Flexis Ferrzon Floor Pad can follow on with deep cleaning, producing a light reflective finish which is popular in large areas.


Washroom facilities naturally require significant cleaning. Aside from the usual cleaning protocols in these areas, school breaks present an ideal opportunity for deeper cleaning, such as grout scrubbing and tile cleaning, as well as looking ahead to air decontamination. Products such as the AirCare offer a chemical-free way to improve air quality, remove odours and germs, and also disinfect air and surfaces. Using UVC light technology along with ozone and photoplasma disinfection, AirCare kills airborne respiratory viruses, removes bad odours and destroys bacteria.

The range was designed for washrooms and hard to reach areas but can be used in any space that requires decontamination. The summer holidays present an ideal time to install devices such as this.

Reducing environmental impact

As well as being proven to remove over 99.9% of dirt and bacteria, microfibre performs exceptionally well as part of a surface and floorcare routine as it provides quick-drying results which will help prevent slips and trips. This also allows recently cleaned areas to reopen as soon as possible, avoiding unnecessary closure of corridors or rooms.
Microfibre will also help facilities managers reduce waste because it offers a reusable cleaning solution. Cloths like our Exel® Microfibre Cloth collect dirt in just one wipe and can be washed and reused up to 300 times, making it a lower-impact alternative to disposable wipes and cloths.