Indoor playgrounds are very popular destinations for families with children, however, if not properly cleaned they can become a hazard to public health and safety. A proper cleaning schedule is extremely important for keeping your playground safe for children.
First, let’s look at the differences between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting.
- Cleaning: using soap and water to remove physical, chemical, and microbial substances from surfaces.
- Sanitizing: using chemicals or other verified methods to reduce the number of germs on clean surfaces to a safe level.
- Disinfecting: using chemicals to eliminate all of the germs listed on the product label, which may include bacteria, fungi, or viruses.
You should always clean, then sanitize or disinfect. Germs may still be present even if playground surfaces appear clean. Properly cleaning then sanitizing or disinfecting will reduce harmful germs and children’s risk for illness and disease.
Routine cleaning and sanitizing
Indoor playground surfaces should be cleaned and sanitized daily, and spot cleaned throughout the day, even if they do not look dirty. Clean and sanitize surfaces immediately if dirt is present. Clean surfaces thoroughly with soapy water before sanitizing. Indoor Playgrounds International recommends assigning a staff member to constantly spot clean throughout the structure during business hours. Not only does this ensure a clean playground, but it helps reassure parents.
Cleaning and disinfecting after body fluid incidents
Body fluids (blood, urine, vomit, fecal matter) are highly contagious and should be cleaned up immediately. The affected area should be closed so staff can clean and disinfect. Clean surfaces thoroughly with soap and water before disinfecting.
Below is a list of do’s and don’ts regarding cleaning supplies.
- Soap & Water: mild antibacterial dishwashing soap and warm water are recommended for cleaning. Use approximately 2 tablespoons to one gallon water. Never use degreaser on any plastics, domes, or windows.
- Soft cloths: clean, absorbent soft cotton cloths are best to use for cleaning.
- Soft bristle brush: use clean, soft bristle brushes for cleaning ropes and web crawls, and removing dust and debris from plastics.
- WD40: use WD40 to remove scuffmarks on plastic only. Wash and rinse the surface immediately after using to remove any residue.
- Paper towels: never use paper towels on domes or windows. It will scratch and dull the surface.
- Degreaser: never use degreaser on plastics, domes, or windows.
- Harsh chemicals: never use harsh chemicals such as bleach, chlorine, or other chemicals that may degrade or dull the plastic.
At Indoor Playgrounds International, we put safety and cleanliness of above all else. Showing parents you care about the health and safety of their children ensures they will return and spread the word.