There is a laser focus on school cleanliness like there hasn’t been since the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance helped George McFly secure his lineage.

What You Need To Know

  • Janitronics cleans 30 upstate charter & private schools

  • The company’s cleaning protocols have changed in response to COVID

  • Public schools tend to have their own custodial staffs

  • Cleaners are considered essential workers

Jim Harris Jr., the CEO of Janitronics Facility Services, tells Spectrum that his cleaning protocols have changed since the pandemic hit New York in March. Harris cleans 30 charter and private schools throughout upstate.

“First thing they’ll do is go to a corner and they’ll work themselves around the room to the middle,” he said. “Then they’ll clean everything, and then spray disinfectant, and let that sit. They have to let that sit between 1 and 10 minutes, based on that disinfectant that’s being used.”

After disinfecting, the cleaners will wipe down all surfaces, including keyboards, desks, books – anything with a surface.

And, Harris says, his cleaners rotate disinfectants.

“They build up resistance to germs, so we have four or five disinfectants in our system and we can rotate through those sites.”

According to Harris, it’s the same cleaning protocol that is used to clean patients’ rooms in hospitals

“It’s very labor intensive. It takes quite a bit longer time – probably 3 times longer to do it this way, than normal cleaning.  This is a lot more detailed, and done a lot more times in a day.”

Not surprisingly, it costs schools more.  

“It could cost as much as 50 percent more,” Harris estimates, but says it depends on the school.

Most public schools have their own staff,” Harris says. “The public sector has not outsourced cleaning as have charter and private schools.”