A new school year is upon us and that means it’s back-to-school time for students, teachers and educational facility managers. ITW Professional Brands offers cleaning professionals tips for establishing a clean and safe learning environment in preparation for the back-to-school season.

“The start of a new school year is an important event for students and faculty, and we want to ensure everyone comes back to a clean and safe environment,” said ITW Professional Brands Director of Sales and Marketing Rich Bucher. “Cleaning professionals must be vigilant in cleaning and disinfecting schools and universities to prevent the spread of viruses and to ensure a pleasant learning environment.”

Cleaning professionals are reminded to:

1)  Disinfect high-touch surfaces: To reduce the spread of viruses, ensure that high-touch surfaces such as pencil sharpeners, door handles, desks, handrails, drinking fountains and shared computer mouses and keyboards are disinfected regularly. Use a true disinfectant at the proper dilution and dwell time.

2)  Disinfect high-risk areas: Pay extra attention to areas of the building where food is prepared, sick children are cared for and incidents may occur such as cafeterias, nurses’ offices and athletic departments. These areas are of greater concern due to the likelihood of skin-to-skin and object-to-mouth contact.

3)  Deep clean restrooms: The buildup of harmful microorganisms in restrooms can easily transfer to a student’s or teacher’s hands and cause illness. Thoroughly disinfect restroom surfaces, deep clean in all corners and disinfect grout lines, walls, sinks, faucets and toilets.

4)  Know the difference between cleaning and disinfecting:  Cleaning removes visible soil, dirt, stains and other debris from surfaces, while disinfecting destroys viruses, bacteria, germs and other harmful microorganisms. After-school maintenance should include proper disinfection after the cleaning of surfaces. Focusing on disinfecting is important in controlling the spread of viruses.