About this series: In the Cleaner’s Corner, our experts address questions we receive in the field. Our goal is to provide straightforward, practical tips and information you can apply in your facility. 

Question: Other than maintaining a cadence of regular disinfection, including high-touchpoint surfaces, what tips do you have for reducing germs in a school gym, specifically when working with soft surfaces such as wrestling mats and trainers’ tables? 

Mike Staver, KleenMark’s Director of Operations: 

Whether it’s for school gym disinfection or any commercial gym, I focus on a few specific things when disinfecting mats, weight benches or similar surfaces. 

First and foremost, try to use a hydrogen peroxide-based disinfectant. When they dissipate, these types of disinfectants return to a water state. That’s important because others, like quat disinfectants, will leave a residue and cause the surface to fade. We prefer Alpha-HP from Diversey.  

Oxivir wipes are also a good choice. They’re convenient and have a hydrogen peroxide base. I will say, even when using these types of disinfectants, I recommend wiping the surface afterward with water and a microfiber towel – again, to prevent any chance of discoloration. 

Household soap products are another excellent choice but they’re not practical. Often, they create a lot of suds and aren’t an efficient way to frequently disinfect items used daily. 

Lastly, focus on dwell time. It’s tempting to wipe the disinfectant off immediately, especially when student athletes are using the equipment multiple times each day. Instead, try to find a disinfectant that has a 1-minute dwell time, so you can still move quickly but while insuring you’ve killed the germs. 

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