How to Keep Your School Clean

How to Keep Your School Clean

When it comes to finding the right school, parents don’t just consider the quality of education programs, faculties, and community support. They also look for the hygiene and cleanliness of the school environment.

Did you know that more than 22 million school days are lost every year due to the common cold or flu? Schools are breeding grounds for viruses and germs, accumulating dirt from shoes, spilled drinks and food, papers, plastics, and other waste. If schools are not cleaned regularly, kids tend to get sick often, resulting in higher absenteeism.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made us more aware of maintaining hygiene in school buildings. Given the large size of school buildings and the number of students and staff, it is necessary to clean and disinfect every corner properly. However, keeping schools clean is not just the job of janitors. While they can do basic tasks like mopping floors and dusting benches, a professional school cleaning service provider is necessary to deeply and optimally clean every area of your school and ensure a hygienic environment for students.

If you are the owner of a school and need valuable guidance on keeping the school buildings and premises clean, this guide is for you! Here are 19 tips on how to keep your school clean with the help of your students and teachers.

1. Create a Regular School Cleaning Checklist

A comprehensive cleaning checklist is crucial to ensure no area is overlooked. The checklist should cover all parts of the school, including classrooms, restrooms, hallways, cafeterias, libraries, playgrounds, and administrative offices. Additionally, it should specify the cleaning frequency for each area, such as daily, weekly, or monthly tasks. Modern cleaning innovations, like robotic vacuums, can be included in the checklist to streamline the process.

2. Build a Regular Cleaning Habit

Educate students and staff about the importance of cleanliness and encourage them to adopt regular cleaning habits. Simple practices like throwing waste in trash cans, wiping feet on mats before entering classrooms, and organizing personal items can significantly reduce the workload of janitors and keep the school environment tidy.

3. Communicate the Importance of Cleanliness

Establish a cleanliness policy and communicate it to students, staff, and parents. Regularly update them about new cleaning practices and the importance of maintaining hygiene, especially in light of health concerns such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Conduct cleanliness awareness programs to reinforce the significance of hygiene practices.

4. Start with the Basics

Begin the cleaning process with the most frequently used areas, such as classrooms and restrooms. Set aside time each week for teachers and students to tidy up their spaces. Teachers can wash their mugs, and students can organize their desks and lockers. This not only keeps the environment clean but also instills a sense of responsibility.

5. Understand Cleaning, Disinfecting, and Sanitizing

It’s important to differentiate between cleaning (removing visible dirt), disinfecting (killing germs on surfaces with chemicals), and sanitizing (lowering the number of germs to a safe level using alcohol-based solutions). Each process serves a specific purpose in maintaining a healthy school environment.

6. Section Off the School

Divide the school into sections and create specific cleaning plans for each. Prioritize areas with high foot traffic and more frequent use, such as classrooms, libraries, and restrooms. Assign different cleaning tasks to each section to ensure comprehensive coverage.

7. Clean and Disinfect Frequently Touched Surfaces

Regularly clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched, such as doorknobs, desks, chairs, switches, and learning equipment. This practice is essential for preventing the spread of infections, especially during flu season.

8. Keep the Lunch Table Clean

Encourage students to clean up after themselves in the cafeteria. They should dispose of food waste and packaging properly and wipe down tables before leaving. This helps maintain a clean and hygienic eating area.

9. Avoid Damaging Displays

Handle display items, such as artwork and scientific models, with care. Regularly dust and clean them gently to prevent damage and maintain their appearance. Clean trophies and mementos with a soft cloth to preserve their shine.

10. Use Cleaning Products Safely

Ensure that janitors and staff use cleaning products safely by following the instructions on labels. Provide protective gear, such as gloves and masks, to prevent exposure to toxic chemicals. Proper training on the use of these products is essential for safety.

11. Provide Recycling Bins

Place recycling bins in accessible locations throughout the school. Educate students and staff about recycling practices and encourage them to separate recyclable materials, such as paper, plastic, and glass. Regularly empty the bins to maintain their effectiveness.

12. Install Door Mats

Place door mats at the entrances of classrooms and common areas to reduce the amount of dirt tracked in from outside. Clean the mats regularly to prevent them from becoming a source of dirt themselves.

13. Encourage Organization

Promote the habit of keeping items organized in classrooms, libraries, and activity rooms. Organized spaces are easier to clean and reduce the likelihood of lost or misplaced items. This practice also fosters a sense of responsibility among students and staff.

14. Promote Recycling

Implement a recycling program to reduce waste and educate students about the importance of environmental responsibility. Provide clear guidelines on what can be recycled and encourage participation from the entire school community.

15. Regular Disinfection

Regularly disinfect surfaces in classrooms, restrooms, and common areas to minimize the spread of germs. Break the task into manageable parts by assigning specific areas to different staff members. Ensure that fresh cleaning supplies are used each time to maintain hygiene standards.

16. Organize Cleaning Day Events

Organize school-wide cleaning events to involve everyone in maintaining the school’s cleanliness. Assign specific tasks to groups of students, teachers, and parents. Provide cleaning supplies and guidelines to ensure the event is productive and educational.

17. Hire Professional Cleaning Services

Consider hiring a professional cleaning company to supplement the efforts of janitors. Professional cleaners can provide deep cleaning services and use specialized equipment and techniques to ensure a thorough cleaning of the entire school premises.

Importance of Keeping Your School Clean

Better Learning Atmosphere

A clean environment positively impacts students’ learning experiences and academic performance. Cleaner schools reduce discomfort and distractions, allowing students to focus better on their studies.

More Productive Teachers

Healthy teachers are more productive and can deliver lessons consistently. Regular cleaning and disinfection prevent the spread of illnesses, reducing sick days and ensuring uninterrupted teaching.

Healthier Students and Staff

Maintaining a sanitary environment boosts the health of students and staff, reducing absenteeism and promoting a safer learning and working environment.

Prevention of Illnesses and Allergies

Regular cleaning and dusting prevent the buildup of allergens and dust, reducing the risk of respiratory issues and skin allergies. Proper cleaning also prevents mold growth, which can cause serious health problems.

Positive Parental Involvement

Parents appreciate a clean and well-maintained school, which fosters trust and encourages them to participate in school activities and events.

Equipment Longevity

Regular cleaning of educational equipment and materials ensures their longevity and functionality, reducing replacement costs.

Instills Good Habits

A clean school environment teaches students the importance of cleanliness and hygiene, encouraging them to adopt these habits in their daily lives.

Stronger Sense of School Pride

A pristine and well-maintained school environment instills a sense of pride in students and staff, promoting a positive and cohesive school community.

By implementing these tips and strategies, schools can maintain a clean and hygienic environment, ensuring the health and safety of students, teachers, and staff while enhancing the overall learning experience.


Q: How often should school restrooms be cleaned?

A: School restrooms should be cleaned at least twice a day, preferably more frequently during high-traffic times such as lunch breaks. Deep cleaning and disinfection should occur daily to ensure hygiene.

Q: What are the best cleaning products to use in schools?

A: Use non-toxic, EPA-approved cleaning products that are safe for use around children. Disinfectants with hydrogen peroxide or quaternary ammonium compounds are effective for killing germs without posing health risks.

Q: How can students contribute to maintaining a clean school environment?

A: Students can contribute by following basic hygiene practices, such as disposing of waste properly, cleaning up after themselves in the cafeteria, and keeping their personal spaces organized. Participation in school-wide cleaning events and recycling programs also helps.

Q: What is the difference between cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing?

A: Cleaning removes visible dirt and debris from surfaces. Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces using chemicals. Sanitizing reduces the number of germs to a safe level using alcohol-based solutions.

Q: How can we encourage staff and students to maintain cleanliness?

A: Promote cleanliness through regular communication, awareness programs, and setting clear expectations. Recognize and reward those who consistently follow cleanliness practices, and involve everyone in cleaning events.

Q: Are professional cleaning services necessary for schools?

A: While in-house staff can handle daily cleaning tasks, professional cleaning services can provide deep cleaning and specialized services that may be beyond the capability of school staff. They can ensure a higher standard of cleanliness and hygiene.

Q: How can schools handle cleaning during flu season or a pandemic?

A: Increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces, provide hand sanitizers, and encourage regular handwashing. Follow guidelines from health authorities and ensure proper ventilation in classrooms.

Q: What should be included in a school cleaning checklist?

A: A school cleaning checklist should include tasks for all areas of the school, specifying the cleaning frequency (daily, weekly, monthly) for classrooms, restrooms, hallways, cafeterias, libraries, playgrounds, and administrative offices. It should also include tasks for cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces and managing waste and recycling.


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