With the fall semester almost here, it's time for university facility managers to give living areas a final clean before students move in. College dorm cleaning can be an intense and exhausting job, particularly the heavily-used restrooms. But no student wants to move into a dirty, germ-filled dorm (as if a tuition-paying parent would allow it!)
Follow these college dorm cleaning tips for sparkling interiors that make the grade.
Different Approaches for Different Housing Styles
College dorms have evolved over the years. While there are still plenty of traditional residential halls—think shared rooms with a community restroom down the hall--there are also apartments with private restrooms. Suites offer an in between option, where a cluster of two or more rooms share a restroom. These newer housing styles offer greater privacy, autonomy and choice.
Including the choice to not clean their private or semi-private restroom.
Many students living in a suite-style dorm either don't know that they are responsible for cleaning their own restroom, or simply choose not to. Either way staff should build in extra time to tackle extremely dirty toilets, sinks, showers and floors. '40% of a custodian's cleaning time is spent on the shower because it's usually coated with a year's worth of grim,' according to Barry Meyer, facility manager of student housing custodial services, Johns Hopkins University.
They should probably allot extra time for the rest of the space as well.
Cleaning College Living Spaces
Deep cleaning living spaces, like bedrooms, lounges, study areas and communal kitchens, requires a variety of approaches. But with regular maintenance, that summer clean will last through winter break. Start by assessing different spaces. Are there holes in drywall that need patching? Stains that need special attention? Carpet or upholstery that requires replacing?
Then gather the tools and chemicals needed for the outlined jobs.
This is also a good time to evaluate your maintenance processes and equipment. If staff is still using mops and buckets to clean hard surface floors it might be time to look at more advanced equipment. Moving to an AutoVac will save time, money and energy. This technology cleans completely and leaves surfaces dry and ready to walk on. An AutoVac can also be used to strip and refinish flooring.
Deep clean carpets and upholstered furniture. Turn on the air conditioning to shorten drying time and stop mold and mildew growth.
Tackle window interiors by removing dirt, fingerprints and grease quickly with an advanced squeegee system. Don't forget moldings and other touchpoints like light switches, door knobs and railing.
Cleaning Dorm Restrooms
Here is where the 'yuck' factor can really hurt a college's reputation, and with good reason. Poorly maintained restrooms look bad, smell terrible and can harbor some pretty nasty biohazards from gastrointestinal viruses to athlete's foot fungus.
Protect your school and its students by cleaning restrooms with advanced tools that save time, money and energy. A Spray-and-Vac system is 60 times more efficient in removing bacteria from grout lines than traditional mops and buckets. The heavy-duty vacuum leaves the floor dry and safe to walk on. As the system dispenses fresh cleaning solution it can also be used on toilets, urinals and sinks without fear of cross-contamination.
The spray-and-vac can even remove a year's worth of dirt and grime quickly and easily from suite showers. Simply spray with appropriately-diluted cleaning chemicals, scrub with the attached deck brush and vacuum the dirt and solution up.
Showers will be clean, dry and ready for the incoming class.
Click here for more college dorm cleaning ideas.
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.