How to clean lockers and locker rooms...

 

Cleaning Locker Rooms Blog.jpg

How to clean lockers and locker rooms...

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Locker Room Risks

Locker rooms can be a breeding ground for various types of fungi, bacteria and viruses.

 

  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (staph) is a type of bacteria that can spread easily in locker rooms, especially when equipment is being shared.
  • Fungi often make their home in dark, damp, warm environments. Locker room users can catch fungal infections like athlete’s foot by walking barefoot in these environments if they aren’t cleaned routinely
  • Ringworm is another fungal infection that can spread from person to person in communal areas like locker rooms
  • Unclean surfaces can spread respiratory infections like the cold and flu to those using the locker room, especially between October and March when flu activity is elevated
  • Plantar warts may arise if you walk barefoot, including in wet shower areas of the locker room
  • Streptococcal bacteria that causes strep throat can result in unpleasant skin infections when compromised skin encounters it on gym equipment, water bottles, towels or other locker room surfaces. This can cause blistering impetigo or cellulitis, which can be life threatening if it spreads.

 

Maintaining High Levels of Cleanliness

No health club member, hotel guest or athlete, whether professional or amateur, wants to leave a locker room with a fungal, bacterial or respiratory infection. Thankfully, facility managers can ensure these environments are clean by adhering to the below best practices:

  • Select a fast, effective, responsive and sustainable disinfectant – Look for an accredited product BS EN 1276 for bacteria kill and BS EN 14476 for viral kill. This will offer you a broad spectrum disinfectant which is proven to kill. These products are gentle on surfaces and harmless to users, and have a realistic contact time. The active ingredient breaks down into oxygen and water after use, while still being tough on pathogens. We would suggest, Advanced Surface Disinfectant, which will not only kill bacteria and viruses too.  Spray the locker down throughly, and leave it for 30 seconds.  This product has a 30 second contact time, so by following the 30 second rule, you can be absolutely sure that all bacteria and viruses are dead.  
  • Train workers on the order of cleaning tasks – To avoid re-soiling surfaces that have previously been cleaned, employees should disinfect from top to bottom. For example, start with shower walls, then clean drains. Or begin with mirrors, then move onto counters and finish with sinks, toilets and floors. We would suggest Cleanfast Washroom Cleaner, a proven chemical with a bacteria kill rate of 99.9999% in 30 seconds, which will kill Legionella whilst removing soil, limescale and body fat. 
  • Identify high-risk areas – Pay special attention to problem areas like shower drains where excess moisture can encourage the growth of mold and mildew. Floors and grout can harbor bacteria, especially if guests walk around barefoot.  Again, we would suggest, Cleanfast Washroom Cleaner, a proven chemical with a bacteria kill rate of 99.9999% in 30 seconds, which will kill Legionella whilst removing soil, limescale and body fat. 
  • Clean around the clock – Locker rooms require near constant attention, as they typically see steady use throughout the day. For instance, fitness centers may have an influx of users in the morning before office hours, as well as during lunch breaks and in the evenings. Schools host physical education courses throughout the day which require students to use locker rooms, and sports teams schedule practice sessions and games at night and on weekends. Create a schedule that accommodates busier periods so that bacteria, visible soils and moisture don’t accumulate.
  • Keep hygiene solutions stocked – It’s important that the right cleaning products and tools are easily accessible on an ergonomic cleaning cart. To prevent cross contamination, consider purchasing color-coded tools for different areas like locker room restrooms, changing areas and areas outside of the locker room. Facilities should also keep products like soap and hand sanitiser stocked so that guests can practice regular hand hygiene to reduce the spread of germs. You can find our full range of colour coded mops, buckets, brushes, etc here. 
  • Go beyond the locker room – Eliminating germs in other key areas of the building can reduce the spread of germs that can make their way into locker rooms. Task cleaning teams with disinfecting items like wrestling mats and fitness equipment on a regular basis, as many people come into contact with these surfaces.

 

Locker rooms are a place to prepare for a workout or spa treatment, or regroup after such activities. It’s essential to ensure these areas remain welcoming and clean for guests, not a source of bacterial, fungal or viral infections. By following the above best practices, facilities can continually maintain hygiene in locker rooms.

However, as reliable as they are, lets dive deeper into metal lockers which need to be properly maintained and cleaned to prevent things like dust and moisture from getting at the contents. You also need to be mindful of bacteria and viruses that may be growing on these surfaces and remember that these pathogens just continually multiply until they are stopped.

Cleaning your Metal Lockers

  • Empty out your locker first. An obvious first step, but one we’ll bring up anyway, you should always make sure to empty out your metal lockers before starting the cleaning process. This will not only help you with the cleaning process, but it might also help you identify clutter in your locker.
  • Dust the locker. Once the locker has been emptied, you should start off by dusting the locker off. Use any dry-wipe tools you can for this process, things like cloth or tissue paper, rather than anything wet.
  • Spray your locker down with an antibacterial spray.  We would suggest, Advanced Surface Disinfectant, which will not only kill bacteria and viruses too.  Spray the locker down throughly, and leave it for 30 seconds.  This product has a 30 second contact time, so by following the 30 second rule, you can be absolutely sure that all bacteria and viruses are dead.  Then take a piece of kitchen roll, or a piece  of centrefeed and dry it off completely. 
  • For really dirty lockers you may want some warm, soapy water and a sponge to really get at the grime, then a spray with disinfectant and wipe down.

 

  • Replace the contents. Once cleaned and dried out, you can put the contents of your locker back into your newly cleaned locker.

 Depending on what the locker is used for and what the environment around the locker is, unpleasant materials and crumbs and clutter can build up very quickly, so it’s important that you stay on top of the state of your lockers.



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