There’s no doubt about it, places of worship have come under fire and seen intense scrutiny since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the faithful remain faithful, there is certainly an increased need to properly sanitize and clean church pews. Especially for congregations that have a strong presence of seniors and individuals who might be at high risk for severe complications brought on by illnesses like influenza, pneumonia, and even COVID-19.

This means that proper cleaning and care of your church pews should never be overlooked. It certainly needs to be included when cleaning the rest of your church, temple, mosque, or other places of worship. Even though these seating areas are likely on a regular dusting routine, all facets of the wood and fabric of the pews also need to be thoroughly cleaned as well as sanitized consistently.

This can happen in multiple phases and times. For some congregations, routine spot cleaning needs to be performed in between each service. Then a more significant deep clean can be timed to sanitize every square inch of your house of worship. This sort of methodology will go a long way toward avoiding the spreading of illnesses. So, we figured it was high time to take a closer look at how to sanitize church pews.

Spot Checking Church Pews Between Services

It’s a good idea to have a dedicated usher or two go through each row of church pews to perform a routine spot check-in between each service. Things like accidentally discarded tissues or the accidental droplets left behind by a sneeze need to be picked up and the surface needs to be wiped down with a clean rag infused with some disinfectant. This reduces the risk of transferring germs from the people in one service to the next.

Just make sure to give these ushers or cleaning volunteers the cleaning products they need as well as personal protective equipment like face masks and latex gloves.

How to Properly Sanitize Church Pews

The truth is that most church pews see a lot of traffic during a single week with the highest influx of worshipers coming and going on weekends. This includes both adults and children of all ages, who are more prone to forgetting to cover their coughs and sneezes.
Even beyond normal service, there are usually groups of people who will also use the space to meet and have events. This means that the pews need to be cleaned on a recurring dusting schedule while also checking for any trash left behind or spills that happen while occupied.
Choosing the best method for sanitizing church pews will vary depending on the type of materials your church pews are made from. If your church pews are a purely wood surface and they have been sealed, you can simply use a sanitizing wood solution mixed with a little water to wipe the wood surface down using a soft cloth or clean shop rags.

You want to go over the surface with a dry cloth as well to remove any moisture and polish the surface. Ideally, you want to give the sanitizing solution a little time to work before wiping down and it’s best to read and understand the directions to any cleaning and sanitizing product before you start.

If your church pews wood, but that wood is not thoroughly sealed, you might want to switch out to a more gentle cleanser for sanitizing the surface. Something like mild disinfecting soap mixed into warm water is typically enough to kill most surface germs.

If you feel like using something stronger to disinfect your wood pews, the cleaning compound you choose should have directions on what surface it can be used. If you’re hesitant about whether the cleaning agent is safe, try it on an obscure area first before applying everywhere. Here again, you need to make sure to wipe the pews with a dry cloth to remove any remaining moisture.

Properly Cleaning & Sanitizing Church Pew Upholstery

These days more and more church pews are upholstered for added comfort. Though this will change the methods you use to properly clean and sanitize them. Regardless, the first step of spot cleaning the church pews calls for picking up any debris and vacuuming the surface.

You want to make sure that you are using a high-quality vacuum cleaning with a multi-panel sealed HEPA filtration system. Old fashioned vacuum cleaners with porous bags tend to draw particulate matter out of upholstery and then spray it into the air. Not only does this promote the spread of germs, but all that airborne dust can cause respiratory irritation in your worshipers.

When vacuuming the upholstered church pews, you need to treat any stains that you see with a special upholstery or type of fabric cleaner that is formulated to be safe for the type of fabric covering your church pews. If you aren’t sure if your stain remover is safe, you should try to test the solution on a hidden area before using it in a visible section of fabric.

With the vacuuming and stain removal handled you can turn your attention to sanitizing the fabric on your church pews. This often calls for using specially formulated sanitizing sprays that are rated for use on upholstery and fabric. Most of them require spraying the fabric well and allowing a few minutes to work its magic. From here, it will dry and leave a clean and sanitized surface.

No-Touch Disinfection Technology For Church Pews

State-of-the-art “No-Touch” electrostatic cleaning or fogging disinfection is a great way to disinfect church pews quickly and effectively. Though it does require investing in the technology, and learning how to use it safely and effectively.

Calling In The Professionals to Deep Clean Your Church Pews

If you aren’t sure of the right way to clean your church pews, or you lack the manpower to properly disinfect your place of worship, you might want to call in a professional cleaning company like Building Services Inc. We have expertly trained and experienced cleaning technicians with commercial-grade cleaning products and equipment to clean church pews and more. This includes no-touch electrostatic disinfecting technology as well as our lineup of green cleaning products that leave your house of worship smelling fresh.