Cleaning Protocols for Germs in the Classroom

As we’re in the midst of cold and flu season, it’s time
for us to be even more conscious of the harmful germs
that pop up this time of year—which means stepping
up your cleaning conduct and approaching germs in
the classroom and at home the right way. To understand
how to properly kill bacteria on the surfaces teachers and
students encounter every day, it’s important to recognize
how they got there and how to keep them at bay. Here
are three Healthy Habits tips from Lysol and the National
Parent Teacher Association to keep in mind this time of
Know the difference between cleaning and disinfecting.
According to the CDC1, cleaning and disinfecting are part of
a broad approach to preventing infectious diseases in schools.
But what is the difference between these two methods?
SS Cleaning removes germs, dirt, and impurities from
surfaces or objects. Cleaning works by using soap (or
detergent) and water to physically remove germs from
surfaces. This process does not necessarily kill germs,
but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the
risk of spreading infection.
SS Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects. Disinfecting
works by using specialized products to kill germs on surfaces
or objects. This process does not necessarily clean dirty
surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface
after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading
infection. Lysol Disinfectant Spray and Lysol Disinfecting
Wipes can be used to eliminate germs on commonlytouched
hard and soft surfaces.
Don’t underestimate the impact of germs on a classroom desk.
According to a recent research study led by Yale University and
the University of Tulsa, harmful bacteria and fungi are commonly
discovered in indoor environments. What’s more? Our bodies are
common sources for bringing them in2. Taking it a step further,
when the researchers specifically explored classrooms and
desk surfaces, their work revealed that keeping the desks clean
significantly reduced the bacteria found on surfaces. A study by
the University of Arizona reported that uncleaned classrooms,
as opposed to those cleaned daily with a disinfectant, result
in students who are more likely to be absent due to illness3. A
more recent study published by researchers from University of
Florida reported, the frequently touched surfaces of a classroom
that are cleaned daily in the morning contained a cold causing
virus, which highlights redeposition of the virus post-cleaning,
an ineffective cleaning regimen used and the need to disinfect
high-touched surfaces multiple time during the day4. Lysol
Disinfecting Wipes kill 99.9% of germs including the cold and
flu virus, which can live on hard surfaces for up 48 hours a day.
Remember that kids bring germs home from school, too.
Just as children can bring germs into the classroom, germs can
also be transmitted from school to home– consider your child’s
backpack that sits on the school bathroom floor and then on
your kitchen countertop, or the classroom door knobs your
child touches before they use the television remote at home.
Cleaning practices at home are just as critical as those that
should be practiced in the classroom. After all, the places that
need the most cleaning are also the places your family spends
the most time—whether that’s in the house or school!
*All of the data in this document was sourced from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Learn more at This document was published in collaboration
with Lysol, Proud National Sponsor of National PTA. National PTA does not endorse any commercial entity, product, or service. No endorsement of Lysol is implied.