How do you clean your wrestling room?
For decades, wrestling coaches cleaned their mats in a way that is all too familiar for many of us. The process usually consisted of getting the dirty mop bucket from the utility closet, filling it with the hottest water the tap would provide, and dumping “eh, about this much” bleach into the bucket. From there, they would grab the stinky mop in the corner and dunk it in the bucket over and over again as they continued to add whatever the mop head picked up back into the water that was being used to “clean” the mat. Wall mats, medicine balls, throwing dummies, and anything else that wasn’t a wrestling mat was cleaned once a year if the coach remembered and got around to it.
Unfortunately, this scenario isn’t as exaggerated as it may seem to someone new to the sport or a wrestling room. Luckily, this has become a scenario of the past for many wrestling rooms and facilities. This can be greatly attributed to better education, hygiene protocols, and cleaning products, both in chemicals and applicators. The resources available to the wrestling community have been greatly improved over the years, but it has gotten even better now that cost and access to these resources have become increasingly more affordable and convenient. However, setting appropriate hygiene standards and procedures and consistently following these routines are the most effective ways to ensure a clean and safe room for wrestlers.
Best practices in hygiene from an industry leader
Over the last year, our team at Defense Soap has been working with one of nation’s industry leaders in specialty chemical manufacturing. We worked closely with their experts to explain the challenges and nuances that wrestling coaches and facility managers face when it comes to a wrestling room and find solutions that were as simple and affordable as possible without sacrificing safety or quality. The most important piece of knowledge we gained in this process was understanding the difference between cleaning and sanitizing. In the past, we offered a third-party combination cleaner plus disinfectant, but after learning more about these differences, we decided to offer our own solution to mat cleaning with two separate products, a neutral cleaner and a sanitizer.
Source: York Daily Record
Cleaning vs Disinfecting
Most people can’t identify the real difference between cleaning and disinfecting but understanding the distinction is important when it comes to hygiene. Cleaning is the process of physically removing debris and other types of soil from a surface, while disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill the microbes on surfaces and objects. The nature of both processes is what drove our decision to not use a combination product, but two separate products for higher effectiveness.
Any wrestler knows that there are things like body hair, sweat, blood, and other small traces of debris on any mat. Our neutral cleaner is mopped on to remove this debris and to prepare the area to be effectively disinfected. After the surface is dry, our disinfectant should be sprayed on using some kind of spray applicator, whether it be an electrostatic sprayer or a simple pump sprayer. The electrostatic sprayer is a more expensive option but is also more effective and much quicker because its technology evenly sprays and even “wraps” around any surface it touches. We have partnered with Victory Innovations, who manufactures some of the best electrostatic sprayers available on the market. We are able to sell their products directly to the wrestling community with our partnership. This process requires a simple point and spray application with no additional steps. Using a pump or any other kind of manual sprayer will require you to use a microfiber mop over the areas just to ensure full coverage and an even application.
Safe from top to bottom
Our hypochlorous acid based disinfectant is safe and recommended to use on all surfaces in any wrestling room, from mats and small apparatus training equipment to all touch surfaces and bathrooms. It is extremely powerful and effective with better microbe kill claims than the products we’ve offered in the past, yet is safe for virtually all surfaces and to the person applying it. It conveniently comes in an effervescent tablet form that just requires you to drop them into the cold water container of your sprayer so there is no more guessing on how much product to use, ensuring effective use and less wasted product. We are extremely excited and proud to offer these cleaning solutions to the wrestling community and want to continue to educate coaches, parents, and wrestlers on how to keep our rooms and athletes as safe as possible to mitigate infection. Please reach out to us at the contact information below on how we can help improve the hygiene and safety of your facilities.