Ultimate Guide to School Cleaning

Ultimate guide to school cleaning and reopening updated for 2023

It’s hard to believe school is almost here and with the new year comes new challenges and even the addition of a new viral threat. Commercial Cleaning Corp has put together a school cleaning guide packed with tips to help you prepare for a safe and healthy 2023-2024 school year.

Proper Ventilation Keeping School Air Clean

kids in a classroom getting instruction

CDC has recommended that proper ventilation be a primary topic of discussion in the reopening of schools this fall. Given the airborne nature of Covid19 recent research is saying that by rotating the air in the classroom this fall you can significantly lower your risk of spreading covid19. In addition to the reduced risk of spreading disease there are studies that show a lower co2 level in the classroom enhances learning.

The official CDC recommendation is to completely change the air in a classroom 6 times per hour. This is referred to as ACH or air changes per hour. When you see a recommendation of 6 ACH you can understand they are saying your ventilation system will replace the air in the room 6 times per hour.

In order to address the ventilation topic, the CDC website has added several features for schools to test and optimize their ventilation. However, you may want to call in your HVAC manager for this part as the concepts can get very technical. We tried to break it down in simple terms to easily understand in our school cleaning guide. If you would like to go down the technical road here are a few links to follow.

School Cleaning Guide Resources:

Interactive School Ventilation Tool


Single-Zone Simulations Using FaTIMA for Reducing Aerosol Exposure in Educational Spaces | NIST

Tips to Enhance Schools Ventilation

Now that you know what ACH is, what can your school do to enhance it’s ventilation process? If it is pleasant weather out, improving ventilation may be as simple as opening a window and using a box fan. However, for more difficult winter days you may need to have a different option in place.

Open school windows

Just 6 inches of an open window can improve the ventilation of a room dramatically. Having two windows open will allow a cross flow and amplify the effect.

Box Fan for ventilation Open school window and add a box fan

Your janitorial closet probability has a collection of box fans, if you are lacking these supplies you can click on the picture to be taken to our recommendation for purchasing. Putting a typical 20-inch box fan to push the air out of the window will improve your air circulation of a typical 30 feet by 30 feet classroom by 12 ACH. That is double the recommended ventilation.floor Fan for ventilation

Exhaust fan

If your classroom is equipped with an exhaust fan, make sure it is always running. Most bathrooms are standardly equipped with exhaust fans  keep them constantly running as well. There are also large floor exhaust fans used mainly for floor drying setting one up to push the air out the door would also help to increase air circulation.

Use a portable air purifier in the classroom

When the weather is bad and opening a window is not a good option, using a portable air purifier i a better option.

  • Make sure the purifier is the proper size for the room,air purifier
  • Use as directed and change the filter often.air purifier Okaysou Filtration Pre-Filter Apollo 818
  • Keep the purifier as central to the room as possibleTruSens Purifier
  • Do your research MERV 13 or higher filtration is ideal

Optimize your schools current HVAC system

  • Make sure the settings are on high circulating as much air as possible
  • Check the outside vents to make sure they are clear of debris and overgrowth
  • Run the the air system 2 hours before a after the building is occupied
  • Make sure your filters are clean and you are using the highest quality HVAC filters your system accepts. MERV 13 or higher is ideal you need to consult the manual to make sure its compatible
  • Don’t be tempted to save money by keeping settings low or turning them off on a nice day; The health and safety of the staff and student’s outweigh additional electricity expense


How do you Know Your Classrooms are Getting the Proper Ventilation?co2 reader

The easiest way to know is to purchase a co2 reader, measure the ratings in the middle of the day when the kids have been active in the classroom for a few hours. Once you have the co2 rating you can plug it into this handy calculator along with your classroom size and number of students to see if you are at a proper ventilation level.
School Ventilation Calculator

Best School Cleaning Practices

Keeping schools and universities clean and germ free can be quite a task as kids tend to touch everything without hesitation. In this guide to school cleaning Commercial Cleaning Corp has come up with the following tips for keeping schools germ free

School Cleaning Checklist and Tips

  • Make sure your janitorial staff uses a strict cross contamination policy; That means different color-coded cloth and mop used to separate the germs from the bathroom and the classroom.
  • Confirm the disinfectant you are using is rated for EVP by the epa.gov
  • For disinfection cleaning; ensure the surface is fully saturated with the cleaning solution for the time stated on the product label
  • Consider adopting a no sharing policy for school supplies
  • Limit the number of door handle touching by opting to have the teachers or staff control the door opening and closing for the classrooms
  • Use Heppa filters on vacuums ideally MERV 13 or higher
  • Keep several bus windows open
  • Consider a no touch arrival and dismissal procedure for doors by having them opened for students to just walk through
  • Make sure the restroom exhaust fans are running constantly
  • Hold high risk activities outdoors, including choir and gym
  • Visit our classroom cleaning checklist page for more info

Feel free to download a pdf version of this checklist here. School Cleaning Tips

Also check out this in-depth guide on Asbestos in Schools and related Mesothelioma Page

electrostatic cleaning for schools

New Emerging Concerns

This guide addresses the new and emerging pox epidemic and how to safely disinfect for it.

Download  Disinfecting for pox virus Guide pdf here.


Looking for a School Janitorial Service to Handle Things for You?

At Commercial Cleaning Corp we have many school janitorial clients from k through 12 to college universities. We are constantly enhancing our K-12 Schools & Universities Cleaning Services to provide a healthier clean to our schools.  If you’re looking to upgrade your cleaning level, we could be the right answer.

Clean school

    • We put health and safety first
    • 35 years of experience cleaning schools
    • We use HEPA filters, Green Certified cleaning products, and Color-coded microfiber cloths
    • Multiple layers of supervision
    • We are not a franchise we are family owned
    • Industry specific time and attendance software
    • All employees have a uniform
    • Unmatched customer service
    • Privately owned for over 40 years
    • Exceptionally trained staff
    • All supplies and equipment are provided in cost
    • Adaptable to budgets
    • Discounted janitorial supplies

Contact us today for a no obligation consultation 



Ventilation in Schools and ChildCare Programs (cdc.gov)

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