School Janitorial: Maintaining a Clean Cafeteria

|September 21, 2021

In any school cafeteria, at best, basic janitorial methods will be enough to maintain a clean and sanitary environment for students, cafeteria staff, and faculty. At worst, perhaps after a food fight, which for the record we do not condone, traditional school cafeteria janitorial practices will not be enough. Add to this scale the heightened importance of disinfecting thanks to the pandemic, and you may see the need for school cafeteria janitorial to evolve.

This suggests that the definition of a clean school cafeteria has changed, so it’s a good idea to at least try to understand what has changed in order to figure out what more needs to be done in terms of janitorial and maintenance efforts. Let’s take a look at that, and share some janitorial tips and ideas on how to maintain a clean school cafeteria:


Due to COVID, disinfecting has become a necessary part of school janitorial and maintenance, especially in school cafeterias, where students and faculty gather every day in large numbers to eat and drink. To keep your cafeteria clean, separate your disinfecting tasks into two categories: during and after school. During school, your disinfecting efforts will be smaller but more frequent. It’s a good idea to provide disinfecting wipes, or spray bottles with disinfecting solution and paper towels, around your cafeteria, and to have staff disinfect all surfaces, including tables and chairs. After school, when all students and staff are gone, a much larger disinfecting effort is required. Luckily, new technology like electrostatic disinfecting machines can make your job easier.

Floor Maintenance

Floor maintenance is important for both sanitation and safety. During school, your school cafeteria floors will incur trekked in debris, spills, food scraps, litter, and more. Address spills and remove trash off the floor on the spot, and try to broom up or vacuum built up debris in between lunch hours. After school, make sure to vacuum and wet mop the entire floor.

High Touchpoint Areas

High touchpoint areas require more frequent cleaning efforts. These include door handles, lunch table surfaces, chairs, trays, and more. Wipe obviously contaminated high touchpoint areas on the spot, and disinfect in between lunch periods.

Food Prep Areas & Service Stations

Food prep areas and service stations also need to be addressed frequently in order to keep both the cafeteria clean as well as the food that’s served and consumed within. These areas need to be routinely cleaned during and in between lunch hours, with any spills, accidents, and other slop cleaned immediately.

Waste Removal

Garbage and recycle bins should be emptied, and liners replaced, as they fill up instead of after lunch periods are over, both in the cafeteria and in the kitchen. Food waste and garbage that’s left behind, fallen to the floor, or displaced in any part of the cafeteria should be removed immediately.

Keeping your school cafeteria clean primarily requires more routine janitorial efforts with an emphasis on disinfecting. It’s not that complicated!

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