School’s In, Locker Rooms Need Cleaning

With a new school year upon us, here are five tips for proactive locker room cleaning.

By Gordon Buntrock

Smart cleaning isn’t just about removing soils, it’s about controlling the sources. When it comes to locker rooms, a proactive approach controls and contains so that spaces across the school don’t suffer by association. Entryway mats are a great example. With the school year having begun in many locations and soon to begin in others, here are five tips for proactive locker room cleaning.

From Clean to Dirty. It’s tempting to tackle the big stuff first, but locker rooms should be cleaned in a specific order, starting with the least dirty to the most. Organize the order of cleaning to ensure progression never crosses over previously cleaned areas. And just like at home, clean high before low — an efficient process never re-soils cleaned surfaces. Since every locker room is different, special attention must be taken to adjust best practice to the shape of the space.

Flex on Those Microbes. Quality locker room cleaning for schools should use EPA-registered, hospital-grade disinfectants to clean all touch points and floors. Look for EPA-registered disinfectants that leave less residue while still providing the superior cleaning you need for grouted tile and other surfaces. Consider electrostatic disinfection to drastically improve sanitation of crevices and other locker room locations that are hard to reach with other tools.

locker rooms
Photo: ABM

Address Those Smells. Protein-based soils can build up around floor drains, or on other surfaces, contributing to that infamous mashup of locker room smells. Supplement a facility’s cleaning cycle with periodic application of enzyme-based chemicals to break down those proteins before they can build up persistent odors.

Test Your Water. If the water used in your locker room is “hard water” that will make some cleaning solutions inappropriate. Higher concentrations of calcium, iron, and magnesium can require different solutions to achieve deep cleaning efficiently.

Keep Up With The Students. Locker rooms are high traffic areas. If cleaning doesn’t rise to the frequency of use, it unfairly impacts students using the locker room late in the cleaning cycle. This also increases the amount of soil and particle spread from the locker room to other school spaces. Efficiency in locker room cleaning can instead come from careful attention to the schedule and rigorous rooms

Buntrock is national director of service delivery for education services at ABM and has more than 40 years of experience in the facility services industry. He joined ABM in July 2016. Click here to learn more about ABM’s education facility services.