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Top items to clean every day when your kids get home from school

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Back to school is full of preparation, shopping, and a long to-do list. But after you settle into your new school routine, you need to be sure you are doing this one routine every day, especially if you aren’t already doing it.

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Being a cleaning fanatic mom, it’s my top priority when my kiddos get home. Now I am not extreme washing book bags daily kind of thing. But I do sanitize and disinfect their items daily. In this post, learn the top items you should be sanitizing and disinfecting to help get rid of the dirtiest germ invested items your kids bring home.

Interesting fact

A team of Yale researchers found that the bacteria and fungi overwhelmingly came from the children sitting at the desks. Samples taken 30 minutes after the desks were cleaned found that only about half of the bacteria and fungi were cleared.

After kids walk in the door, it can look like a hurricane of paperwork, gear, and school supplies. But before you allow those items into your home, take a moment to clean and sanitize those items outside or no further than you have to before bringing them into your home. Keeping your home environment uncontaminated is the object of this habit.

My favorite quick way to sanitize is to use my sanitizing gun. And after working inside my kids school for an entire year I bought one for my kids teacher too.

To help reduce the germs and to protect her too as a way of saying thank you during teacher appreciation day.


Another solution is when your kids get in the car, you spray all items overall with Clean Smart and then clean the items further after you get home.

While this may be an “I know this already,” the fact is most people don’t do it. It’s a good habit to enforce with the whole family after putting your stuff down in a drop zone and taking off your germ-infested shoes. The next step is to wash your hands before you do anything else in the home.

Now we can move on to the top items to clean every day when your kids get home from school.

Disinfect your child’s backpack

Crumpled papers, leftover snacks, learning devices/cell phones, and more live in your child’s backpack. So it’s important to start there. Keeping the backpack near a door or mudroom. Begin by wiping down the backpack or spraying it down with Clean Smart.

I will share more about Clean Smart below and why I love it, but it’s a non-toxic sanitizing and disinfectant spray.

Boys wearing backpacks

My general rule is to wash backpacks once a week. I tend to look for how bad they begin to look during the week, especially when my kids throw them around on the ground and such.

Clean Kids’ Lunch Bags & Totes

Every stuck your hand in your kid’s bag and discovered a not-so-nice sticky feeling. Yeah, that is a tall tale sign that daily cleaning out of lunch bags & totes is necessary.

Crumbs, wrappers, and unfinished food are notorious in any kid’s lunch bag. Remove all the items, shake out crumbs, and wash out and wipe down all possible areas.

For some lunch bags, you may be able to use a mild soap and handwash it. For example, the ones that have plastic compartments, such as Bento Boxes. You can wipe canvas-cased ones with a damped cloth. Again I love using Clean Smart for many of these cleaning/sanitizing sessions.

Clean Reusable Water Bottles

Reuseable water bottles and thermoses are lugged around and used daily. Cleaning them is a must, especially for kids with sticky fingers and random floating things inside their liquid that always seems to happen.

You can wash their bottles a few different ways but be sure to clean them out and make sure the straws are cleaned with a straw cleaner like this one.

Look for mold and hidden dirt in caps and crevices. Take apart all the pieces and let them air dry before we use them the next day.

Electronics and Cellphones

According to, “cell phones harbor more than three times the number of germs that dirty doorknobs do.” Pretty gross, huh.

So pull out all those electronics and your own cellphone while you are at it and clean things off. Use an electronic cleaner or Norwex cloth anything you have to kill germs and bacteria. I will spray a little ya know what I am gonna say (Clean Smart ) on it. 😜

Another neat tool that would work for older kids/teens is to use a UV cellphone sanitizer bag/device.


Change kids clothes

Growing up, I had play clothes and school clothes. When kiddos get home from school, you may want to consider having them change their clothes when they get home. If it makes sense, have them shower and get into comfy clothes.

But even the act of changing clothes can help reduce germs and bacteria that may be on them.


We don’t wear shoes in our home, and I like asking guests to remove their shoes as well. The amount of grossness that comes from shoes is enough to make you want to toss them.

Be sure to place a shoe rack to keep shoes off your floors and in an organized manner. Again I spray our shoes with Clean Smart as well to keep germs at bay.

If your kids’ shoes smell especially like athletic shoes, leave them outside to air dry. Use essential oils to help them smell better. Baking soda is great for absorbing the wetness inside and odors.


So we live in the times of Facemask. Be sure to have your child replace their facemask daily to prevent germs and yuckiness. I would toss it right into the machine or dirty clothes. And replace their bookbag with a new fresh mask.


During the cooler months, kids will be wearing gloves and touching all sorts of things. I have always bought a few extra pairs of gloves to keep in case they got lost. But you might want to have maybe 2 pairs to rotate and clean so that your child has fresh gloves each day.

Washing gloves in the washing machine is great, but the dry time can take a bit longer, which is why having additional pairs is another good reason to have more than one pair.

Wipe off Books and School Supplies

Take out all supplies inside your child’s bag daily and wipe them down. I am talking books, notebooks, binders, pens, pencils, styluses, calculators, anything they may use daily.

Don’t forget to open up pencil cases and such.


My son is required to use headphones while using his school-issued tablet. So if your child uses headphones, wipe down the earpieces and cords.

School Sports/Atheltic Gear

If your child is in any kind of sport like my kids are, they will have a whole other bag full of gear. Wipe down all hard plastic gear, balls, shoes, and anything they may use. And wash all sports garments.


Do you have a musician in the family? From mouthpieces to the outside of the instruments, be sure that you clean your child’s instruments they use. Especially it is used daily to avoid passing germs.

Little girl playing piano

In general, it’s a good hygiene price to wipe down things we use daily to clean and sanitize them.

I love Clean Smart for cleaning and sanitizing my kid’s things; it cleans all kinds of bacteria and germs. It’s safe around food. It’s EPA registered as a hard surface cleaner. It is non-toxic and has no harsh fumes. You don’t have to wipe to clean the surface. Just spray and go. Learn more on their website

I have been using them since 2014 and can’t live without them as a mom.