Cleaning for School Reopenings: Focus on Cafeterias

Back to school deep cleaning advice

Summer is nearly over, and soon, school hallways will be filling with students, teachers and staff, many for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. These last few weeks before the first day of the new school year are the ideal time for some deep cleaning, especially in your school’s cafeteria.

Cafeterias are one of the most challenging places to clean in schools because they contain so many high-touch surfaces. This makes cafeterias and kitchens more likely to harbor viruses, bacteria and organisms that cause illnesses, including the virus that causes COVID-19. Beginning the school year with freshly-sanitized spaces will set the stage for routine cleaning during the year that can prevent germs and slow the spread of disease.

Prep these areas of your cafeteria and kitchen before the first day to get the school year off to a great start:


Running a mop over the kitchen and cafeteria floors is fine for daily cleaning, but a deep cleaning is needed before students and staff return. Floors are a haven for bacteria, grime and dirt, and if you haven’t done a deep-cleaning since the last school year ended, all of that grime has been harboring all summer long. Use an automatic floor scrubber and a specialized formula to deep clean before students arrive.

The Kitchen

Give all of your kitchen appliances a thorough cleaning, inside and out. Take the time to break down your microwaves, stovetops, walk-in fridge and ovens, then start cleaning in one top corner and move across down to the bottom opposite corner. This will ensure that dirty water and soil will fall in spots that haven’t been cleaned yet. Soak anything that needs it in a powerful degreaser until dirt and grease comes loose, then scrub with a high-quality solution (ask us for recommendations!) before air-drying them.

Food Prep Areas

Any surface that makes contact with food has a high potential of transferring bacteria and germs to students. Provide your cleaning crew with all the tools they need to keep the space clean, like microfiber cloths and squeegees. Using these tools instead of sponges and traditional rags can help prevent spreading germs from surface to surface. Apply a cleaning solution to the microfiber, then wipe down countertops and other food prep areas. Then, use the squeegee to remove any remaining soil and dry off the area.

Cafeteria Tables

Your cafeteria tables are more than likely made of laminate, which is great for cleaning and resisting wear and tear! Clean down every table with a mild detergent mixed with warm water to prep for the arrival of students.

You can find all the cleaning supplies in St Louis mentioned here in our online catalog. Shop now, or contact us today for expert recommendations and to schedule a free product demo.

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