The Five Toughest Places to Clean

5. Fitness Studios

One advantage here is that you may have a dozen or more adults to help “wipe down” their used equipment. Whether that wipe down takes place or is actually effective is a risk. Fitness studios can boast over a hundred pieces of equipment that is used by dozens of people each day. Additionally, heavy breathing, sweating, and coughs/sneezes can do more damage when in close proximity to those doing the same. Ensuring these rooms are germ-free can be a tireless battle, left to the hard working instructor without the extra time.

4. Kitchens

Food borne pathogens can be tricky. Even with food that is properly stored and cooked, there can be a variety of germs that spread during the preparation process. Being mindful of which kitchen utensils are used with raw food, where they are placed, and how they are handled are essential to keeping things clean. Be wary of what you are touching while handling raw foods: refrigerator doors, cabinets, phone, trash cans, microwave, etc. All of those places can be launchpads for the spread of bacteria.

3. Public Bathrooms

We all know why bathrooms make the list. High traffic, moist environment, and bodily fluids all attribute to the level of maintenance it requires to keep these places clean. Bathrooms can be the starting line for numerous contagious forms of bacteria and viruses. A real thorough cleaning of a bathroom requires nearly floor to ceiling disinfection and ensuring you catch all those nooks and crannies can be a struggle.

2. Locker Rooms

Take all the issues with bathrooms and add showers. More moisture means more opportunities for mold and bacteria to flourish. They have multiple high touch points–lockers, benches, doors, showers, counters–and people tend to linger which allows germs more time to spread. While not everyone may use the free weights or stop at the cardio deck, you can guarantee a high majority of gym goers will stop in the locker room. In fact, one study concluded that gym locker room faucet handles have 8 times more bacteria than a school cafeteria water fountain.

1. DAY CARE

It’s common knowledge that day cares (any space holding dozens of children) are happy breeding grounds for germs. Due in part to children’s adorable, but poor, lack of personal space or proper hygiene, and their underdeveloped immune systems. The objects around them become landing pads for any germs ready to jump ship. This includes all the doorknobs, figurines, stuffed animals, markers, buckets, tricycles, tumble pads, race cars, baby dolls, and blocks that they touch. Having worked in childcare, I know that disinfecting while they play is possible, but will ultimately result in the nearest child requesting whatever toy you are currently cleaning. It’s a vicious cycle. Not to mention that kids get themselves and toys everywhere–under tables, up the walls, on the windows, and in and out of the garbage. A full, proper sanitization of any childcare space, takes next level patience and thoroughness.