Back to school season looks a little bit different this year. Keeping things clean and germ-free is more important than ever before. While you can have your kids wash hands regularly and take precautions, school supplies can hold a variety of dirt and germs. Don’t let the potential germs on school supplies become a stressor for you. Here are a few tips for cleaning school supplies.
Tips for Cleaning School Supplies
How do you clean backpacks and trapper keepers?
Backpacks and trapper keepers are often carried everywhere with your child. They can get thrown on the floor, left on counters, and be a landing zone for a variety of germs. Naturally, you will want to give these a thorough cleaning frequently. You will also want to handle as many of those germs as you can when your child first gets home. Here are a few tips for cleaning backpacks and trapper keepers.
- Spray with a disinfectant spray – There are many disinfectant sprays on the market that promise to kill germs while being safe for the fabric on these bags. Spray down bags with a spray like this when your child gets home each day to help neutralize some of the germs they bring home. You don’t want to soak the bag. The goal is simply to put a light coat of this spray on. This simple act can help cut down on germs drastically.
- Wipe down surfaces on trapper keepers – Use a kid-safe all-purpose cleaner on a cloth to wipe down surfaces on trapper keepers and help to kill germs. This could include the inside and outside of the trapper keeper. It can also help to wipe down the different zippers and clasps they will use to open and use the trapper keeper.
- Wash backpacks often – Another way to fight dirt and germs is to empty the backpack and send it through the wash. Washing your child’s backpack can help to remove dirt, grime, and germs. Use a zero-waste laundry detergent to get backpacks clean. It can help to turn the backpack inside out to be sure that the interior gets washed well. (check care instructions on your child’s backpack for water temperature and drying information.)
- Check pockets and backpack bottoms – When cleaning out backpacks make sure to check the bottoms and the pockets. Items can often fall to the bottom and become caked-on messes. Take the time to clean the pockets and backpack bottoms to avoid larger messes in the future. If you have a kid who gets crumbs in their bag often, it can help to use your vacuum extension to get those out easily.
What about school supplies in the backpack or trapper keeper?
Your child will probably have to bring a variety of supplies to school. Some of these will stay in class but many will make the trip back and forth. Knowing that these items are coming home, you can take a few minutes to clean them before sending them back. In fact, you can use the very same Healthier Home Products Kid-Safe All Purpose Cleaner that you use on your kitchen counters to clean those school supplies. This will help to control germs brought into your home and help you keep items clean for school use. Here are a few tips for cleaning school supplies:
- Markers, Pens, and Pencils – The best way to clean the different writing utensils is to use a wash rag sprayed with a kid-safe all-purpose cleaner. Wipe down each of these when they are pulled out. It can also help to wipe down the inside of the pencil pouch they are stored in.
- Calculators and Phones – Items such as calculators and phones go to school with children and are used frequently. Take some time to either wipe these down with a kid-safe all-purpose cleaner on a rag or put them in a phone sterilizer.
- Laptops and Tablets – The way the screens are made on laptops requires that you don’t use traditional cleaning methods. For the screen, wipe down with a microfiber cloth and then with 70% isopropyl alcohol on a wipe. For the keyboard and outer surfaces, a cloth sprayed with kid-safe all-purpose cleaner will work perfectly. This will allow you to wipe down all commonly touched surfaces without getting the device wet.
- Rulers, Glue, Fidgets, and More – Do your children use items like rulers, glue, fidgets, and other small items? Taking the time to wipe these down can be a big help to avoiding bringing germs into the home. Use a kid-safe all-purpose cleaner on a rag to wipe down these items easily.
What about all of the extras?
School supplies aren’t limited to pens, paper, and crayons. There are so many things that kids have to bring with them to school. Some of the extras can get forgotten when keeping school supplies clean. Items like computer mice, flash drives, and even masks can end up left in a backpack and forgotten about. Here are a few of the extras to clean and how to keep them clean.
- Earbuds/Headphones – Earbuds and headphones are often sent to school for computer-based work. Cleaning these doesn’t have to be difficult. Use a soft cloth sprayed with kid-safe all-purpose cleaner to wipe down the headphones and any wires. Let them dry and then put them away.
- Computer Mice and Flash Drives – While these have more intricate parts, you can still wipe down the frequently touched area with a soft cloth and some cleaner. It will help to remove germs and keep them clean.
- Lunch Bags/Boxes – Another school supply that gets overlooked is the lunchbox. It is important to thoroughly clean out the lunch box each day after school. Spray the outside with a disinfectant spray and wash the inside well with an all-purpose cleaner sprayed on a rag. It can also help to thoroughly wash any dishes or reusable utensils that go in the lunch bag/box.
- Masks – If your child is wearing a mask for school, you will want to wash reusable ones or dispose of used disposable ones. This will give you a chance to clean out the area that masks are stored, replace them with clean ones, and wipe down anywhere the masks might have been.