If the facility you manage has a locker room, you know it is a big responsibility. If a shower area is part of it, the responsibility is greater.
The constant presence of warmth and moisture makes it a perfect breeding ground for many, if not most, disease causing organisms. These villains include coronavirus, influenza, common cold virus, and all types of bacteria. Thanks to the moisture, the list grows with the additions of fungus, mold, and mildew.
Moisture is unavoidable in a shower area, especially when there are large numbers of visitors. Once the rush has passed, make sure your ventilation is operating properly.
Make sure wet clothing and towels are promptly removed.
Locker rooms are a likely place for breeding various fungi, bacteria and viruses. You know the biggest offenders by their common names: Strep, Staph, Athlete's Foot, Plantar Warts, and ringworm. The odds of being infected is greatly increased when users of the area walk around barefoot or are careless when handling wet clothing or towels.
To keep locker/shower areas as clean, safe, and healthy as possible, the cleaning effort must follow these guidelines:
Washing and sanitizing all surfaces should be done as often as needed.
Use a disinfectant that is highly rated for its effectiveness, speed, and safety. Find a disinfectant cleaner with an active ingredient of Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide (AHP®). Certification by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is recommended. Ideally, the product won't damage surfaces or users, and works quickly. After use, AHP breaks down into oxygen and water so it is environmentally friendly. These products can usually be found in bulk containers or single use wipes.
Technique is important — Cleaners should be taught to clean efficiently and safely. This means cleaning should be from top to bottom; begin at the top and clean to the floor to avoid having dirt and bacteria run down over freshly cleaned areas.
Pay extra attention to areas that remain wet for extended periods. This includes most drains and toilet areas. Grout and other crevices can harbor all types of bacteria and fungi.
Cleaning should be scheduled whenever a facility is open. Just because there is a lull in the number of users, germs and mildew are still at work. Management must pay attention to the cycle of users and clean accordingly.
Keep tools and supplies at hand. Professional cleaning services should have ample supplies on hand at all times. An in-house team will need to do the same. This could mean designating one individual to monitor and reorder supplies as needed. Don't allow the cleaning effort to slip because of a shortage of disinfectant or towels! It makes sense to assign responsibility for users needs like hand sanitizer and paper hand towels to the same person.
Outside the locker room - If your locker/shower facility is part of a gym or spa, you already know that the cleaning/sanitizing effort goes beyond the locker room. All washing, wiping, and sanitizing that is done in the locker room must be done to any and all equipment in the activity areas. This includes everything likely to be touched by a user – from machines to mats.
Electrostatic spraying In larger facilities - professional electrostatic spray treatments can deliver both superior disinfection and savings in time and money. It is a huge convenience because of its fast application time and short dry time. The electrostatic sprayer will perform equally well in the gym and the locker room, doubling their value.
No one using a gym, locker room, or shower wants to acquire an infection of any kind, ever. So, we hope this article will help in keeping your locker rooms clean and healthy.
If you are ready to turn your lockers and showers over to a professional cleaning service, think of NLC Solutions first. We are extremely flexible about the services we offer. Give us a call at (908) 753-3900.