Cleaning & Disinfecting in Nurseries & Child Daycares

When it comes to health and safety, cleanliness and the prevention of bacteria and viruses spreading is always a major concern. However, this can become even more pressing when dealing with vulnerable individuals.

Children for example, have undeveloped immune systems, are sometimes less likely to communicate clearly, and potentially have unsafe or unsanitary habits like putting things in their mouth or, every parent's nightmare - missing the toilet. 

As a result, when it comes to businesses or buildings that focus on children, such as nurseries, daycare centres or other childcare facilities, sanitising and disinfecting become even more important.

This is especially the case for items that are shared between all of the children and commonly touched by many of them, such as toys, books, shared stationery etc. By making sure such things are germ free, you can go about your business, safe in the knowledge you have done what you can to keep the children in a safe and healthy environment.

Cleaning vs Sanitising

It’s crucial to understand the difference between cleaning and sanitising in this environment. Cleaning refers to simply removing dirt, dust and grime from surfaces. While cleaning can reduce the volume of germs present and prevent them spreading, it does not remove them entirely. In some environments this might be acceptable, but this isn’t the case in those focused on childcare.

On the other hand, sanitising or disinfecting refers to reducing the bacteria present to an acceptable level that poses risk or removing them entirely. It often involves using disinfectant, other chemicals, or even boiling water to kill germs. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean the toy or item is clean.

As a result, toys and other surfaces in child daycare facilities need to be cleaned and sanitised at a bare minimum.

How to Clean and Sanitise Children’s Toys

When it comes to cleaning, any general soap or multipurpose cleaner will do the trick. Simply wipe the surface down with hot soapy water, then rinse with clean water afterwards.

When it comes to sanitising children’s toys, you need a high-quality disinfectant. It is important to choose one that is hypoallergenic, eco-friendly, and that will not cause harm to the children, even in tiny amounts. Many of these types of products will include instructions to “leave to sit for 15 minutes before rinsing” or similar, so ensure this is followed if appropriate.

Soft, Porous Toys

This includes porous toys such as wooden blocks or cardboard children’s books, and soft toys like stuffed animals or teddy bears. Use the correct cleaning solution when dirty, such as washing with warm water or machine washing on a high temperature if suitable. Use disinfectant before washing, not after, as it may remain on the surface in small traces otherwise, which can lead to it entering a child’s mouth by accident.

Hard or Non-Porous Toys

Smooth, non-porous toys such as plastic blocks, action figures, footballs etc can be cleaned easily by washing with warm soapy water. After washing, dry them thoroughly then sanitise with hot water and disinfectant. Rinse and dry one more time to remove all traces of cleaning products.

Electronic or Technological Toys

Since this type of toy cannot be washed with water, the most economical solution is to wipe it down with disinfectant wipes. You can also use a disinfectant solution and cloth, but it is safer to spray the disinfectant onto the cloth then wipe onto the surface, as opposed to spraying the toys directly.

Commercial Cleaning Services

From hospitals and government buildings and from office buildings to schools, phs is the UK’s leading provider of commercial cleaning services. We are able to provide all forms of cleaning from washroom cleaning and high-level disinfection to COVID-19 deep cleans.

Our highly trained operatives are able to leave your school, nursery or childcare facility completely clean or safe with little to no interruption to your daily routine, leaving your staff to do what they do best!

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