Across America, more than 25 million children ride a bus to and from school and after-school activities. That’s a lot of kids in close proximity — and a lot of potential points of contact with germs. 
Depending on their age, children may lack certain awareness when it comes to basic hygiene, which can unintentionally make buses a haven for germs and bacteria. Failing to disinfect school buses can expose children and drivers to dangerous germs and chemicals.
It’s important for drivers, janitors and school bus fleet managers to do what they can to keep buses clean and safe, not only for the children, but for themselves, too.

‘The germs on the bus go round and round…’

With so many kids riding a bus each day, there are a lot of germs and dirt that can easily build up and carry on to their school or home. 

Drivers can’t always do a thorough cleaning between the morning and afternoon pickups, which exposes children to countless disease-carrying bacteria. Drivers can also get sick from being around these germs, which could leave kids stranded without a ride to school.

Bacteria and viruses that cause illnesses such as the common cold, influenza, MRSA and stomach bugs have the potential to live on surfaces for weeks. This is especially true during the dreaded flu season, when coughing and sneezing are rampant. 

A disinfected bus can help halt the spread of these pesky particles, both on the bus and after students and drivers leave the bus. This reduces the risk of children and drivers contracting illness from common germs and bacteria, and protects their classmates at school and families at home from further exposure.

What cleaning products are safe to use on school buses?

It’s important for bus drivers and fleet managers to use products that will effectively and safely clean the interior surfaces of their buses. 

Most conventional cleaners contain harmful chemicals, so it’s especially important to pay attention to the ingredients in the products used to clean surfaces that children are exposed to. 

There are plenty of environmentally friendly, non-conventional cleaning products that are not only eco-friendly, but also reduce exposure to chemicals like bleach and ammonia, which are used in many commercial cleaners. 

One option we highly recommend is SDVO disinfectant cleaner. SDVO is a non-corrosive, low-toxicity alternative to traditional disinfectants that requires no special handling and contains no harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This EPA-registered hospital-grade disinfectant able to kill 99.999% of bacteria in less than 60 seconds, making it both safe and effective.


Here are a few additional reasons why SDVO is an ideal cleaning product for school buses:

  • There’s no rinsing required.
  • It’s gentle on skin, yet will take out the germs and dirt children carry in from outside.
  • It eliminates odors by neutralizing them, not masking them with fragrance.
  • It helps kill mold and mildew that may build up on hard-to-reach surfaces in buses.
  • It eliminates allergens children may carry from the outdoors.

SDVO is best used with electrostatic cleaning technology, such as the Victory Cordless Handheld Electrostatic Sprayer or Backpack Sprayer. Winner of the 2019 Sanitary Maintenance Distributor Choice Award, these cordless Victory Sprayers are designed to use less product for a faster and more even coverage with hours of usage. This allows you to save time and money for the long-haul.

How to keep your school bus clean

Aside from basic hygiene practices like hand-washing and covering mouths when sneezing or coughing, the key to combating the germs on school buses is limiting the number of germ-infested surfaces. 

Here are a few ways to keep your school bus clean and limit exposure to these bacteria:

Create a bus cleaning plan and Infection Control Protocol

A detailed bus cleaning plan will help bus drivers and/or janitors keep their vehicle as clean and safe as possible. This plan should include a regular cleaning schedule, a list of supplies and products, and specific instructions on where and how to use each one.

Train drivers and janitors on best cleaning practices.

Regularly reviewing your bus cleaning plan with the individual(s) responsible for cleaning the vehicle is important to ensure they are following best practices and using the proper cleaning supplies. Be sure to provide information on controlling the spread of infection, especially during flu season. 

Know the difference between cleaning and sanitizing.

Cleaning and sanitizing each have their place in maintaining your school bus. Cleaning with a mop or rag is good for spills or easy-to-spot messes, but sanitizing and disinfecting surfaces requires specialized products and instructions. Improper sanitizing may cause further spread of bacteria, so be sure to read directions and product descriptions carefully.

Long term protection?

Don’t have time to clean and disinfect everyday? No need to worry, we have a solution for you. 

After cleaning and disinfecting process is done, most of our clients prefer an additional layer of protection to help fight the battle against microbes. Our Sd 90 or 90+ anti-microbial products act like a shield, guarding your surfaces. Once applied to common touch points and surfaces SD 90+ product can last up to 1 year! This preventative measure is for peace of mind, knowing your surfaces are being protected  24/7, 365.

Give your bus an eco-friendly cleaning

A safely-cleaned and disinfected school bus goes a long way in protecting the health of students and drivers. If you’re in need of effective and thorough environmentally friendly cleaning services for your school bus, the Scalzo team is here to assist you. Contact us at for more details.