Tips for Classroom Clean-up

We all know how time-consuming it can be to have to clean up, but it must be done.  Here are some tips for keeping your classroom nice and clean.

·         Silver polish will take off grease pencil marks.

·         Toothpaste is great for cleaning wooden desks, especially those water spots.

·         Shaving cream also cleans wooden desks.  Not only will the students have a blast using it, but they can finger-paint and make designs as they clean.  (Note:  With small children, be sure to put newspaper on the floor under the desks.)

·         When you are doing class artwork and dread the mess, cover the worktables with old newspapers.

·         Baby wipes are wonderful for wiping hands when needed, cleaning up the room, cleaning dry erase boards, cleaning spills in the room, getting off pencil marks on desks, and erasing transparencies.  Not only do they smell good, they are non-toxic.

·         Tissues with lanolin make good wipes for all chalkboards and whiteboards.

·         Hair spray cleans dry erase boards and will get ink out of clothing.  It also removes permanent marks from furniture.  If the hair spray seems a bit sticky, spray with rubbing alcohol and wipe.

·         For removing crayon marks, just use baking soda and water and rub away.

·         Some teachers keep a spray bottle of water and a roll of paper towels by the overhead projector for cleaning the transparencies.  Other teachers have suggested covering the original transparency with plastic wrap and writing on it, rather than on the original transparency.  Then, just throw the plastic wrap away.

·         W-D 40 is excellent for getting tape off walls or boards or project work.


Making classroom clean-up a fun activity for your students is another way to help keep your classroom clean. Here is a great tip from one of our readers:

“I have been trying the “lucky piece of garbage.” I secretly pick a random piece of trash on the floor.  When someone picks it up, they win a pencil/treat of some kind. Within minutes, my entire floor is clean and my kids are excited!” -Kristi

Got a great cleaning tip or idea you’d like to share? Add your tips to our comment roll!

5 thoughts on “Tips for Classroom Clean-up”

  1. Alexa Puckett

    This is a great idea to keep the classroom clean. You can make it fun for kids to clean up by providing rewards when they do clean. Also having cleaning tricks saves time and energy that teachers can be using towards lesson planning and other things. I think by establishing the importance of keeping the classroom clean at the beginning of the year is good practice every year.

  2. Alexa Puckett

    All of these ideas are great for keeping the classroom clean efficiently and effectively. Also, giving students a reward everytime they pick up a piece of trash or help out in anyway is a great way to involve the students and keep the classroom clean.

  3. Allison Fites

    I have seen these methods first hand in a Kindergarten classroom I was observing and they are quite effective and time efficient.

  4. Allison Fites

    If you make cleaning up the room exciting for the students they don’t see it as work. The 5 and 6 year olds I observed thought that this was just as fun or even more fun than playing a board game. It also helps you out by cutting down the time you would have to put aside to clean the room by yourself as well as more time to interact with your students in the classroom.

  5. Allison Fites

    The teacher also had a system that I would implement in my classroom to help keep the students and myself from getting sick. She had a hand sanitizer dispenser right next to the classroom door and also had a sanitizer pump on her desk. She asked that the students sanitize at different times throughout the day. Specific times were after blowing their nose or before they had free time and were able to play with blocks or other items that many of the students would be touching as well.

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