By Amy Milshtein

Summer School Cleaning Tips

Baseball, hotdogs and stripping the floor, nothing says "break" to your janitorial staff like the heavy, detailed work that goes into summer school cleaning. While summer recess was the traditional season to perform these tasks new kinds of programming makes scheduling harder. "..year-round schools, wrap-around programs and the growth of recreation programs…makes it much more difficult to plan large maintenance projects," writes Jerry Enderle, editor of School Planning & Management Magazine.


While no one can complain about getting more out of our school's physical assets, it complicates executing summer projects. But a good plan is necessary even if your district's schools are vacant from June to September. Check out these summer school cleaning tips designed to help you seize the season.


Study Hard

Get to know each room and area of every building. Note the different fixtures, finishes and furniture and the best way to deep clean them. Pay special attention to the type and condition of flooring. Some floors require stripping and refinishing while others need scrubbing or detail work. Carpet should be extracted. Special attention can be paid to tile and grout.


This is the time to make repairs and upgrades that would be too dusty, noisy or disruptive to perform during school hours. Remove any ink or chewing gum from desks, chairs and tables.


Edit Ruthlessly

Summer is a great time to take stock of cleaning equipment and supplies. Organize janitorial closets and discard any chemicals that have sat too long. Clean tools and evaluate equipment. Flag anything that needs service and retire items that are beyond repair.


If your school is moving to a green cleaning protocol, summer presents an opportunity to gather supplies and equipment and train workers.


Hit the High Notes and the Low Ones

Summer is a great time to dust high ceilings, replace lights and clean fixtures. Evaluate ceilings and replace any stained or broken tiles. Wash walls and blinds. Dust and clean baseboards. Flag walls that require repainting.


Attack special areas like empty lockers and locker rooms. A spray-and-vac system will thoroughly clean and dry these spaces by removing soils and pathogens without letting mold get a toehold. Don't forget equipment like gym mats.


Change HVAC filters to keep systems free of accumulated moisture and mold.


Go Back to School

While your summer school cleaning schedule is sure to keep you busy, take time to evaluate your processes and train/re-train staff. Cleaning & Maintenance Management suggests making it a goal to become CIMS and CIMS-GB certified as an excellent way to ensure cleaning success year round.


Click here for more tools to help you with summer school cleaning.

Amy Milshtein

Amy Milshtein

Amy Milshtein covers design, facility management and business topics for a variety of trade publications and consumer magazines. 

Her work has won several awards, most recently a regional silver Azbee Award of Excellence.

She lives in Portland, OR with her family and Clyde, a 15-lb tabby cat. Once an avid hiker, these days she finds herself on the less-challenging -but-still-exciting 'creaky knees' trails.

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