With COVID-19, cleaning and decluttering the classrooms have both been a top priority. As well as finding ways to individualize activities to prevent sharing while trying to keep everyone in their own spaces. If you already have or are getting ready to return to school, you already know the added responsibilities you have protecting yourself and your students from illness.
Although you can expect your cleaning staff to clean daily, and if you’re lucky, clean some throughout the school day. But let’s face it, tons of cleaning responsibilities will be on you. You’ll need a routine and supplies. Education to the Core has done the research and has found your 11 Cleaning Products You’ll Want If You’re a Teacher.
Product #1 ~ Disposable Gloves
As teachers, we touch so many things that maybe we wished we hadn’t–wet shoelaces, used kleenex, clumps on the carpet… As we are now cleaning toys, materials, surfaces, etc. throughout our school day, a box of disposable gloves becomes a necessity. Gloves can be powder-free, latex-free, and in a variety of sizes. Make sure you have the box most appropriate for you. Follow correct procedures in removing the gloves after cleaning and of course, wash your hands afterward.
#2 ~ Hand Soap
Speaking of handwashing, you will continue doing a lot of it! We recommend that you find an antibacterial liquid soap with a pump. Everyone has their own favorite brand and scent. Find one that allows you to access the soap easily and is refillable will suit most of us the best. I always like to keep at least 2 of the pump bottles and a large refill bottle in my classroom so that I never run out.
Product #3 ~ Disinfectant Spray
As much as we tried decluttering and removing certain items from the classroom, we were still left with items that are not easily cleaned with soap and water or disinfectant wipes. Having a disinfectant spray handy but out of reach of the children works out perfectly for cleaning any soft surfaces still in your room. Any disinfectant brands can be checked on the EPA’s N list for their effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2. (Lysol spray is listed but you can check for generic brands and others on this list). I also like to spray any carpeted areas prior to leaving school for the day. This gives plenty of time for drying before the next day’s use.
#4 ~ Disinfectant Wipes
Along with gloves, disinfectant wipes are now the essential addition to classroom cleaning. They are perfect for doorknobs, cabinet pulls, desktops, chairs, class materials, buckets, and sensory items, etc. If possible, the CDC recommends washing items first with soap and water to remove any actual dirt then following up with a wipe or two. In some areas, the wipes are hard to find but using the spray on paper towels and then wiping items will do the trick if needed.
Product #5 ~ Paper Towels
The towels in our dispensers at school absorb nothing when it comes to spills. They are ineffective in wiping down items for cleaning. If you are in the same situation, I suggest you have families provide paper towels for the classroom. I personally like the ones where you can tear to make it a variety of sizes depending on the use.
#6 ~ Goo Gone
Kids are sticky. Kids make taped things sticky. Nothing is worse than going to wipe something off and it has a residue still left behind. Multiple brands of goo gone come in handy spray bottles. They are perfect for getting tape and sticky residues off surfaces. This spray is used when children are not present and after the sticky is gone. Then the surface must be cleaned with soap and water. This is a product you only share with your closest teacher pals because otherwise it never comes back!
Product #7 ~ Wet Ones
Did I already mention that kids are sticky? I always keep on hand several tubs of some type of hand wipes. These wipes are for quick hand wipe ups on the playground, while using messy materials, after kids have picked some body part and are never used in place of handwashing and hand sanitizer. Just a quick first step in the process before they touch everything in the room on their way to wash!
#8 ~ Hand Sanitizer
Hopefully, your school is supplying you with a lifetime supply of hand sanitizer right now. But if not, you may be one of the teachers like me that has hand sanitizer everywhere around the room that you’ve supplied on your own. Again, this product doesn’t replace hand washing and shouldn’t be used more than 2 or 3 times before actually washing your hands. But it is perfect when hand washing is not available. Like soap, teach the kids to rub it between their fingers and on both sides of their hands!
Product #9 ~ Alcohol-based Wipes
Specific electronic wipes are extra costly. But the surfaces on our tablets and laptops must be cleaned between student uses as many schools are not 1:1 with school technology. The recommendation is that wipes that have at least 70% alcohol be used on the surfaces. Then the surfaces are wiped dry immediately afterward. This is important because many other items that we clean repeatedly daily are to air dry for the most effective cleanse.
#10 ~ Laundry Detergent and Garbage Bags
After we have been at school all day, we trudge home but don’t wish to take any germs into our household. First things first, remove your shoes and spray them with a disinfectant spray. If you are unable to wash your clothes daily, the CDC suggests removing your clothes and placing them in a hamper that is lined with a garbage bag. Hopefully, your home is stocked with many of the products listed above because when taking the clothes from the bag to the washing machine, the CDC says to wear gloves if possible. Wash the clothes with your favorite detergent in the warmest setting appropriate for your items. Always pitch the garbage bag. Then spray your hamper with a disinfectant spray before lining it again with a new garbage bag. Once you’ve removed gloves, use your favorite liquid hand soap before touching anything else in your home.
Product #11 ~ Lotion
You are going to be cleaning, cleaning, and re-cleaning every surface at school and at home. You are going to be sanitizing and washing your hands constantly. Your poor hands are going to need some love after all that! Indulge yourself by purchasing a high-quality lotion with a preferred scent. Your hands are going to thank you!
We have listed out 11 Cleaning Products You’ll Want If You’re a Teacher but we are sure you teachers have already discovered some of the best brands and products out there to get the job done. If you have already come across a brand or product that you feel should be on this essential list, please leave a comment below. We are in this unusual time together and want nothing more than keeping everyone healthy as we return to the classrooms.
Written by: Suzanne Kelley
Thanks so much for stopping by! If you enjoyed this post, we’d love it if you could share Education to the Core with a friend, and BOTH of you can receive $5 off a purchase of $10 or more with the code: FRIEND5.
At Education to the Core, we provide done-for-you curriculum that is simple, fun, and engaging! In order to be an effective educator, you have to take care of yourself first! We strive to make a healthy work-life balance a reality for you each and every day.
If you enjoyed this blog post, be sure to join my email list to get exclusive FREEBIES, exclusive content, updates, deals!