Since 2020, the act of washing your hands, disinfecting everything in sight and wearing a mask for many activities has become something of the norm. While things are changing slowly, keeping your studio germ- and virus-free should still be a priority. But how do you disinfect the studio and dance floor when many cleaning options could ruin your dance floor?
Don’t worry. Here are some tips to help you keep your studio, instructors, and students safe from viruses and your floors safe from damage.
Cleaning does not equal disinfecting.
As you know by now, cleaning involves vacuuming and dry mopping the floors and wiping down doorknobs, barres and similar surfaces throughout the studio. You should also use a mild dance floor detergent (such as Stagestep’s ProClean™) once or twice a week as a basic maintenance protocol. While this is fine for keeping your studio clean, it isn’t keeping germs, viruses and bacteria at bay.
Cleaning does not do what disinfecting does. Cleaning and disinfecting, however, go hand in hand, and if you want to protect your students and instructors from getting sick, you must do both. You cannot effectively disinfect dirty floors, which is why cleaning must always be done first.
Why is disinfecting so important?
Disinfecting involves actively using EPA-approved chemical solutions that rid the space of bacteria and viruses that cause illnesses like COVID-19. Disinfecting does what cleaning can’t, which means it kills up to 99.999999 percent of germs and bacteria.
Unfortunately, many dance studios are disinfecting their floors, barres and other surfaces incorrectly. In other words, if you’re not cleaning and disinfecting with the following four-step process, you will reduce the efficacy of your disinfectant. Your cleaning and disinfecting process should include:
#1. Preliminary cleaning. This includes vacuuming or dry mopping up the debris and then washing the floor
#2. Disinfecting. You must use an EPA-registered disinfectant, such as Stagestep’s ProClean D No-Rinse™.
#3. Dwell time. Allow for the amount of contact time the disinfectant must sit on a floor to kill viruses and bacteria. Dwell time varies with product and it is indicated on the label (usually two to 10 minutes).
#4. Removing residual disinfectant. Most products require you to wipe or rinse off the residual disinfectant.
Do not overlook the importance of dwell time. Always read the application instructions on the disinfectant label to see how long it must sit on the floor in order to work. Disinfectants must “dwell” on the surface for the appropriate amount of time to achieve maximum efficacy.
How often should I disinfect the studio?
While the process of cleaning and disinfecting the studio might feel intuitive, especially when adding disinfecting into the cleaning routine, it’s not. It’s difficult to determine how often you should be disinfecting a studio because there are many variables to consider, including:
- How many students and parents are vaccinated against COVID-19
- Masking requirements in your studio
- Air circulation and ventilation, including the use of HEPA filters
- Number of students allowed in classes and within the studio
- Cleanliness of the bathrooms, dressing rooms, and waiting areas
Ideally, you want to clean and disinfect before and after classes and keep the bathrooms and dressing rooms as clean as possible throughout the day. Disinfecting in between classes can be very difficult. That said, if you are using a product with a low dwell time and no-rinse requirement, you may be able to stagger class times enough to disinfect floors and surface areas. As long as we have contagious variants of COVID, do not let your guard down. At the very least, disinfect once a day.
How to clean and disinfect a dance studio and floor
Keeping your studio and all members of your dance family safe is important. Wipe down all surfaces, such as seats, doorknobs and bathroom faucets as often as possible. Keep hand sanitizer available for students entering and exiting the studios. Don’t forget to clean and disinfect your ballet barres, mirrors, tumbling mats and any fitness equipment.
Now, a warning. The household cleaners you are using on other surfaces throughout the dance studio should never be used on your dance floor.
Do not use these products on your dance floor:
- Alcohol-based products, ammonia or acetone. These contain chemicals that will break down the plasticizers in your Marley that make it flexible. Using any of these products will cause your vinyl flooring to become stiff and possibly crack.
- Vinegar. This seems surprising, but vinegar is highly acidic and will break down vinyl flooring.
- Bleach. Another chemical that eats away at the plasticizers in the dance floor and could also make the surface slippery.
- Regular household cleaners and disinfectants. You might see sprays with essential oils or all-purpose oils with lemon or orange. Stay away. These products will leave a residue, making your floor slippery. Also, most household floor cleaners are designed for finished floors. Most dance floors do not have a factory finish.
Disinfecting dance floors
What is the best method for disinfecting a dance floor? Again, always clean first. The disinfectant can’t do its job if the floor is dirty.
Next, you want to use your disinfectant with a dedicated mop and pail. Read the directions first.
Use an EPA-approved disinfectant like ProClean D No-Rinse™. It is an all-in-one solution that cleans and disinfects non-porous surfaces, as well as door handles and ballet barres. Follow the instructions on the bottle and then let the disinfectant sit on the floor for the amount of time indicated on the label. Afterward, the disinfectant can either be dried with a dry mop or towel or left to air dry, only if it is a non-rinse product.
Keep in mind that the instant the ingredients in the disinfectant meet air, the effectiveness decreases rapidly. You must work quickly. Be sure to keep the container sealed when not in use.
Getting your disinfecting supplies today
Now that you know how to disinfect your studio, it’s important to put these tips into practice. Keeping everyone safe from illness can seem difficult and time-consuming, but the four steps we outlined in this article make all the difference. Remember to clean before disinfecting your studio and floor.
Looking for dance floor-friendly disinfectants? Stagestep has formulated ProClean D No-Rinse™ to disinfect and keep your studio virus- and bacteria-free. If you need studio cleaning supplies, visit the online store at Stagestep.com.
By Randy Swartz of Stagestep.