In the Swim: How to Clean Pool Locker Rooms
Swim season is almost here and while everyone loves splashing in the pool nobody wants to change in an unpleasant locker room. Keeping these areas clean isn't just about aesthetics. Overly wet floors become a slip hazard, constantly damp lockers warp and humid environments encourage the quick growth of bacteria and mold.
Do you see a pattern here?
Controlling water is just as important as removing soil, sweat and organisms. Here's some tips to help you clean and dry pool locker rooms quickly and thoroughly.
When specifying flooring materials for pool locker rooms, architects and designers usually choose ceramic tile and grout. The rugged combination looks good, resists slips and can be laid continuously from the floors to the walls. To increase both slip resistance and design impact, architects often choose smaller tiles which requires more grout per square foot.
Cleaning grout, however, is a challenge. Mops actually make the substance dirtier by pulling soil and bacteria from the fibers and trapping them. The slurry provides a great breeding ground for smelly bacteria, athlete's foot fungus and slippery mold. A spray-and-vac system that fully cleans tile and grout by completely removing water, organisms and soils is a better choice.
Tile and grout aren't the only appropriate flooring options, however. Pool locker rooms also use terrazzo, rubber and even carpet, according to Athletic Business.com along with specialty products like flow-through flooring or decking. Check manufacturer specifications before maintaining these floors. Be sure to choose cleaning chemicals that will not damage or prematurely age permanent fixtures bolted to locker room floors like bench legs or stall walls.
Lock It Up
Wet environments and chlorinated air will rust, warp and prematurely age metal and plastic laminate lockers. If these are installed in your locker area try to keep them as dry as possible. Better yet, choose whole plastic or phenolic lockers. Designed for use in harsh environments, these lockers can be scrubbed and completely hosed out. Check them nightly for forgotten food or wet suits.
It doesn't matter how clean pool locker rooms are, if the air humidity isn't properly handled the space will always feel and smell dank. Very wet areas like the shower, steam room and sauna should have their own air system that exhausts directly out of the building. Changing areas should also have a constant supply of fresh air.
To keep that air moving, architects recommend installing ceiling fans. This added boost dries surfaces faster, reduces standing water and impedes mold growth.
To further control water, consider adding a wall-mounted swim suit dryer. This high-speed device spins bathing suites, taking them from sopping wet to barely moist while diverting water down a drain.
For more tips on how to clean pool locker rooms, click here.
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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.