FAQ: Answers to popular school-cleaning questions

COVID-19 likely has you asking a lot of questions about cleaning and disinfecting that you never worried about before now. That’s OK.

We’re here to help with answers you need to start building a plan that keeps everyone in your school safe, meets the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines – and puts parents’ minds at ease. 

Don’t see the question you have? Just hit the submit question button below and we’ll get back to you directly – and we’ll be sure to keep this list updated regularly.

Disinfection details

What type of disinfectants should we use?
We recommend using disinfectants listed on the Environmental Protection Agency’s “N” list. These disinfectants are proven to kill COVID-19 when used properly and align with the DPI’s guidelines for Wisconsin schools.

We most often use Virex II 256, Oxivir wipes and Alpha-HP Disinfectant, due to their effectiveness, dwell times and a proven track record with the EPA. You can read more about them in this recent blog post.

What is the best way to apply disinfectants?
If you’re doing high-touchpoint disinfecting, we generally recommend spraying a microfiber cloth and then wiping the surface. Remember, flip the microfiber cloth when doing a new surface so you don’t transfer germs. You can then reuse the other side, because the disinfectant will kill any germs on the cloth.

Does our staff need to wear protection when using disinfectants?
Not when it is diluted. The same would apply with an electrostatic sprayer. If you are using a concentrate you should wear gloves and eye protection. If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 a Tyvek suit and mask is recommended. (note of clarification: if they were dealing with the concentrate only, the precautions would be correct – and dealing with a COVID case for the Tyvek suit. If uncertain, defer to the instructions listed on each chemical’s label.

Do I need to clean prior to disinfecting?
Yes. Dirt and dust prevent disinfectants from reaching the surface where germs live. If you don’t get rid of the dirt first, those germs won’t be killed.

Do I need to develop a schedule for increased cleaning and disinfecting? 

Yes. The CDC’s Readiness and Planning Tool includes a section focused on implementing plans that ensure your school is regularly cleaned and disinfected to decrease the risk of COVID-19. The CDC says daily disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces is the minimal standard, but cleaning surfaces between each use is best practice. 

Is there a simple process for teaching staff how to properly disinfect frequently touched surfaces? 

Yes. We’ve put together an easy-to-read, four-step guide you can share with your team. View it here. 

Equipment and chemical use

Do you recommend air dryers or paper towels for hand drying?
For many years, this was a great debate, but studies have shown when it comes to hygiene, paper towels win “hands down.” This is because any remaining germs, including COVID-19, aren’t dispersed back into the air at the same rate as when air dryers are used. Read more on the topic in our post, The Big Decision: Paper towels or Air Dryers.

Are touchless towel dispensers worth the investment?
Generally, yes. You’re avoiding one more surface people have to touch in the restroom. Of course, you need to make sure you have a plan to ensure the dispensers are regularly filled and serviced. The new DPI guidelines recommend the use of touchless towel dispensers and no-touch trash cans

I’ve heard a lot about electrostatic sprayers. Do I need one?
This depends. They’re excellent for thorough disinfection, because you can ensure all surfaces are treated. If you are properly staffed and can add this step to your team’s process then it’s highly recommended but not practical for daily use. See the models our teams use, here.

Otherwise, we recommend you work with a commercial coronavirus cleaning service that’s trained to use electrostatic sprayers effectively and safely. This route also means you don’t have to invest in the sprayers and disinfectants.

You can read more about how electrostatic sprayers work in this article.

Does KleenMark have access to the required cleaners, disinfectants, touchless equipment, sanitizer and other products our schools need?
Yes. KleenMark is one of the few commercial cleaning companies that runs a distribution company as well. We have premium access to the top products and always ensure our clients get what they need in a timely fashion.


How much labor support is needed to adequately keep a school clean and disinfected?
This is dependent on multiple factors but given the multitude of responsibilities in a school, it’s likely you’ll need at least two staff members for an average-size middle or high school.

Those two people should be focused on disinfecting frequently touched surfaces throughout the day, given the DPI’s emphasis on high-touchpoint disinfection in its Education Forward plan.

Companies like KleenMark offer day-porter services to supplement your internal team as well. They focus on daily needs, including disinfecting, trash removal and even basic maintenance – they’re an extra coronavirus cleaning service resource for your in-house team.

How often should our coronavirus cleaning service be doing a full cleaning and disinfecting of the school?
The DPI recommends daily cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces. Along with cleaning during the day, we recommend a full school cleaning in the evening, when students and staff are gone.

Generally, it’s more cost effective to hire a company that specializes in commercial cleaning and disinfecting when you need such frequent and thorough cleaning. They have the resources, equipment and staffing to get the job done quickly, consistently and effectively.

Do KleenMark cleaning technicians undergo background checks?
Yes. We’ve provided services for highly-regulated industries for many years, so we are well versed in ensuring our staff is appropriately backgrounded and meet all school security measures.

Do KleenMark cleaning technicians undergo special training?
You bet. We’re one of the few companies that provide an extensive training program for our cleaning teams. More than 100 of our cleaning technicians have undergone independent coronavirus cleaning service training designed specifically for disinfecting against COVID-19, including in facilities that have had positive cases.

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