Cleaning Policies at Preschool

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Cleaning snack tables

August 2008

Currently our preschool uses 10% bleach solution to clean and disinfect kitchen and tables for snacktime. Concerns are inhaling the bleach in the air, especially for kids prone to asthma. Any ideas for a safer cleaning process that is hygienic as well? Maybe soap and water then hydrogen peroxide? Any other ideas for ''greening and cleaning'' a preschool appreciated also. THANK YOU for your input! Green Mom

licensing strongly recommends the bleach solution for child care. that said, i am a child care provider and I use bio-kleen's all-purpose cleaner diluted and poured in a spray bottle. occasionally on weekends I'll douse the tables with something stronger, but I trust the bio kleen for everyday cleaning, and it doesn't bother anyone. stephanie

Don't despair -- there are better, safer alternatives to bleach! Peroxide-based bleach (sold at Wal-Mart, Target, Safeway, natural stores, etc.) is still a bleach, but is peroxide-based instead of chlorine-based, and is easier on the lungs (and the environment!). You can find this type of bleach by looking for 'oxi' on the bottles. I personally use the Biokleen line. Also, as far as greening preschools go, you should really check out the Eco-Healthy Childcare Program. It started in Oregon and has just recently gone national. There are tips on how to make preschools more eco-healthy and eco-healthy fact sheets will be posted sometime soon. Check it out here: anon

Vinegar & water solution. Easy. Baking soda if needed to scrub.

I would like to second the post about vinegar + water solution. Also, microwave your sponges daily for 1-2 minutes (depending on microwave strength). This sterilizes them. Also CLOROX GREENWORKS products. Non toxic, plant-based cleaners. Endorsed by The Sierra Club. :-)

A great product is CleanWell - - they have wipes, hand soap, and spray. It's antibacterial, and the only truly green product that actually disinfects. No nasty chemicals, no alcohol. I've seen it at Target, Whole Foods, and :)


Cleaning products for preschools

Jan 2006


Our preschool is interested in alternatives to the standard cleaning products such as 409 and Windex. Are there any preschools which have switched to using less-toxic cleaners and found particular products that are appropriate for use in a preschool setting? anon.

This may seem incredibly low-tech, but it's also non-toxic (good for you!!) and inexpensive: Straight vinegar. Yes, that's right. It kills germs and can also be used on windows. I use it full strength in a spray bottle - I'm not sure if you'd dilute with water for windows, but at any rate, things will get clean and the yucky germs will die.

FYI - spray your sponges with vinegar after use. It prevents the mold buildup and that horrible fungus smell that sponges tend to get. I sometimes also spray dishcloths in the winter because they can't dry out quick enough between usage and otherwise take on that bad smell. ~Annika's old nanny

try listerine in a spray bottle. Waterdown if you want it will help clean off tables and toys. No need to rinse off mom