Regular cleaning is an important factor in keeping public playground equipment safe and sanitary. While routine sanitization has always been a priority, it’s even more so now with COVID-19. The CDC recommends that outdoor playgrounds be cleaned on a regular basis to protect people from coronavirus and other respiratory viruses.
Some of the germiest parts of a playground include the baby swings, seesaws and rock climbing walls - they have 52,000 times more bacteria than a toilet seat! The slides are also germy, though monkey bars, tunnels (surprisingly!) and big kid swings have lower concentrations of germs.
Thankfully, all you need is a few basic ingredients to properly clean and sanitize your playground equipment. Below is more information on how to keep your parks clean and your community healthy!
Playground Guardian Sanitizing Services & Products - Peroxigard
This product helps fight the spread of bacteria and illnesses. Peroxigard is our partner, Playground Guardian’s, newly selected playground disinfectant surface treatment. It is great because it isn’t expensive and is made to be used whenever needed (daily, weekly, monthly), it is extremely durable and safe, it is non-toxic and does not irritate skin, and it fights off many diseases.
Cleaning vs Disinfecting: Understanding the Difference
One of the best ways to protect people from respiratory viruses is by cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. But, cleaning and disinfecting are two different strategies. Cleaning refers to the removal of dirt and impurities from surfaces.
Disinfecting is the process of removing germs from surfaces so they can’t make people sick. Typically, not all germs are removed in the process, but many are. So, for your community’s safety, you need to follow both procedures.
Start with Soap and Low-Pressure Water
A can of Lysol isn’t going to get you far on a playground, and fortunately, you don’t need to do this. In fact, the CDC says there is no evidence that spraying a park with disinfectant decreases the risk for COVID-19.
Rather, start with a normal dish detergent like Dawn and low-pressure water from a garden hose. Avoid power washers, as they can damage the finish on the equipment. Once this process is complete, your playground should look fresh and clean!
Disinfect with a Bleach Solution
Now it’s time to sanitize your playground equipment. One of the three options listed below should work. Always check with the manufacturer to determine which chemicals can be used on your commercial playground equipment.
Household disinfectants like Clorox should work fine. However, they may not go as far as a diluted solution, and they cost more money too.
Alcohol solutions with at least 60% to 70% alcohol are best for wood play structures.
Diluted bleach solutions are safe for most equipment (not wood). The CDC recommends using 5 tablespoons of bleach per gallon of water or 4 teaspoons of bleach per quart of water.
Taking these steps to keep your playground safe and clean will benefit the whole community. Not only can you stop the spread of COVID-19 but also other respiratory viruses as well.