Dirtiest Wipe Contest

Student Contributor: C. Skaife
The dirtiest wipe contest is used as a tool to clean up the classroom. It is helpful because the entire class is working to try and get their wipe the dirtiest by wiping down anything that is dirty, which leads to a clean classroom. This also helps students feel motivated to clean their classroom and be proud of the way it looks.

All you need for this tool is a tube of Clorox Wipes. The expectations for this tool are set up at the beginning of the year, their volume is low, and they need to give their classmates space.At the end of the week with about ten minutes left in class each student would get a wipe. The entire class would wait until everyone has a wipe, once everyone has a wipe you can start a timer for 2 minutes and let the class start wiping down anything in the classroom. After the timer goes off everyone will stop wiping and go back to their seats, this is where I will compare all of the wipes and see which one is the dirtiest. The student with the dirtiest wipe gets a reward. Because the teacher is choosing the student with the dirtiest wipe it is pretty easy to rotate the student who wins. Not only will this help get your classroom cleaner, it will also help students build responsibility for how their classroom looks.

I decided on putting the dirtiest wipe contest in the supportive phase because I believe that it helps students learn that having a clean learning environment is important. Using this tool will encourage students to take pride in what their classroom looks like, and they will become responsible for how clean their classroom appears. This also fits into the supportive phase because the class is learning how to be a community by working as a class to clean their classroom. This tool fits into the Student Directed and Collaborative theories, because the students are doing the work, while the teacher is directing the process. This tool also fits into the preventative and corrective phases. It can fit into the preventive phase because it prevents the classroom from getting dirty, which prevents the classroom from turning into a learning space that distracts the students. It can also relate to the corrective phase because if the classroom is already dirty we can correct that by using this tool.

More Information –
Tool Source: This idea came from Kendyl York’s TikTok.


my room is so clean after this! I picked a 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place winner! #fyp #teacher #tecaherlife #teachertok #teachersbelike #teachersoftiktok #cleantok #competition #viral #foryou #endoftheschoolyear #teacherfyp #cleanclassroom #summercountdown


5 thoughts on “Dirtiest Wipe Contest”

  1. This tool has worked wonders for my students! It has been a struggle as of late to keep our classroom clean as well as motivate the students to do so. Last week, I used this strategy at the end of the day on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, specifically for cleaning our desk surfaces. The students were excited to participate and get their classrooms clean. This strategy is great because it is student-centered as well as collaborative. The students are involved directly in the strategy which is what I want to incorporate into my classroom, and the teacher and students get to collaborate and/or work together to meet the goal. I participated with the students in this contest and they loved that, at the end, we would give a round of applause to whoever won (decided by me). I will keep using this method with cleaning desks as well as branching it out to bookshelves, doorknobs, etc. If it keeps going well, we can use this “cleanest” contest for inside desks!

  2. I am placed in a first-grade classroom with 20 students in a suburban area. This tool was extremely easy to prepare for, teach, and use. A success I noticed with this tool was that the students cleaned their area even extra in order to get the dirtiest wipe. This included cleaning their seats, under their desks, and even the desk legs. Students also are able to eat breakfast in the classroom, so this can leave their desks extra grimy by the end of the day. The students understood their role with this tool because they were already expected to wipe down their desks every Friday. I noticed some students just graze over their desks with the wipe and leave them not fully clean and sanitized. This tool left everything sparkly clean which is extremely important with flu season! The only adjustment I could make to this tool is to give students longer than 2 minutes! Longer time=cleaner room!! 🙂

  3. My classroom has 15 students. We are in kindergarten and in an urban area. I would like to say that a kindergarten classroom gets dirty.. fast! That is why I believed this tool would be very fun for students as well as keep our classroom clean. This tool was very easy to teach and use often. I had a few of my students who really loved this contest and got into it to get the dirtiest wipe. The successes I noticed with the tool were that tables were much cleaner throughout the few weeks. I actually connected this with another tool. I did not want to give them any physical price, instead the winner got to sit next to me during afternoon circle time and share first. Most students did understand their role with the new tool. The adjustments I could make is probably to offer a better “price” for our winner aside from sharing first.

  4. I have been teaching in a first grade elementary school where there are 20 students in an urban area. This is the task that I decided to try because students already had to clean up their desks but now they had some extra incentive to make their desks extra clean. All we would do is check the students dirty wipes after their lunch time because they eat in the classroom and then check which teams had done a good job and give them team points. Classroom engagement in cleaning their tables was already good in the class but this made it so students were double checking that their desks were extra clean and even made it so they would give their tablemates a friendly reminder if they needed to clean more. I think that this is a great way to get students excited about cleaning up around the class.

  5. I am placed in a first-grade classroom with 21 students in a suburban neighborhood. This tool didn’t require any prep work beforehand other than having cleaning wipes available for each student to use. At the end of the day when it was time for students to begin cleaning up, my mentor teacher and I let the students know they would be wiping down their desks and around the classroom. When we told students there would also be a competition to see who had the dirtiest wipe, the students were a lot more excited to be cleaning. The students were motivated to clean their classroom and excited to participate in a game with healthy competition. Students understood their role and students who don’t usually contribute to classroom cleanup were engaged and having fun. This tool supports a greater sense of classroom community for students and the value of keeping their classroom clean. When thinking about adjustments that could be made to this tool, I think tool this is something that should only be implemented periodically, not every time students clean the classroom.


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