Proper Care Of Restrooms

By Keith Schneringer, Senior Director of Marketing – Facility Care + Sustainability at Envoy Solutions

Keith Schneringer

A clean, pathogen-free, fresh-smelling, and properly stocked restroom is a must for any facility. Whether you are responsible for facilities at a school, an office building, or any other public space, a clean restroom can go a long way towards making sure you have an overall clean facility.

Think about it — the restroom is the one place in a building that practically everyone will visit at least once during the duration of their stay, and a dirty restroom can not only negatively impact a building occupant’s perception of the facility but also serve as a “germ transfer station” if it is not properly maintained.

Unfortunately, restrooms can be a challenge to keep clean, and as a result, they are usually the No. 1 source for building maintenance complaints year after year.

So, what is the best way to take care of restrooms, and what are some common challenges that need to be addressed?

The ‘Perfect Restroom’ – A Plan For Success

Benjamin Franklin has been quoted as saying, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”

With the spirit of that sentiment in mind, an effective cleaning plan should address the following aspects of the restroom:

SURFACES: Clean surfaces make a great first impression, and when combined with disinfected touchpoints, they can help to keep building occupants healthy and safe by minimizing the opportunity for the spread of infectious diseases.

FLOORS: Clean and bright flooring can also make a great first impression, and it can also help prevent the spread of contaminants and reduce the risk of slips and falls.

INDOOR AIR QUALITY: Clean indoor air contributes to building occupant wellness by neutralizing malodors, mitigating the spread of airborne and respiratory diseases, and decreasing the particulates that can trigger conditions like asthma and allergies.

PERSONAL CARE: Clean hands play an important role in building occupant health, and having an effective Hand Hygiene protocol, which includes hand soap, paper towels, and hand sanitizer, is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Other sanitary paper supplies like bath tissue, seat covers, and facial tissue, combined with menstrual care items and baby changing stations, contribute to the personal hygiene of building occupants.

WASTE: A well-thought-out waste management and diversion strategy can help to keep building occupants healthy and safe by minimizing the opportunity for exposure to waste materials that may contain harmful microbes.

FIXTURES: Having the right building fixtures installed, such as toilet partitions, autofaucets, building signage, and lighting, can potentially assist with making a facility healthier and safer, more productive, and more sustainable.

FUNCTIONAL SUPPLIES: A facility care professional needs the right tools and supplies to get their job or specific function done, and those items, such as a “Closed for Cleaning” sign, a door stop, a ladder, and PPE, can make all the difference in completing assigned tasks in a timely manner.

PROCESSES: Pulling everything mentioned above into standardized operating procedures (SOPs) and training for cleaning workers, combined with a scope of work, will put you in the best position to achieve a successful outcome in your restrooms.

Common Restroom Care Complaints

Some of the more common challenges and complaints include:

DIRTY RESTROOMS: Visible dirt on the floors and surfaces and overflowing waste receptacles are the culprits here.

Dirt can be handled by mechanizing the cleaning process with equipment designed to remove dirt and pathogens more effectively than traditional mopping and cleaning methods.

In addition, waste can be handled by ensuring that adequate receptacles are available and emptied on a regular basis.

LACK OF SUPPLIES: Running out of supplies is a huge source of frustration for building occupants.

Higher capacity dispensing systems can help extend the time between refills and ensure that you don’t run out of paper towels, hand soap, bath tissue, or seat covers.

BAD ODORS: Odors in restrooms typically fall into two categories: transient odors and residual odors.

Transient odors are unavoidable but can be mitigated with a handheld odor-neutralizing deodorant or an automated dispensing system. Improved ventilation and use of area air purifiers can also assist with odor control.

Residual odors are typically the result of concentrations of odorous microbes in grout lines, on walls and floors around toilets and urinals, and in floor drains. These odors can be mitigated with routine applications of bioactive maintenance products which will eliminate the bacteria causing the odors. A dry floor drain is also a frequent culprit and adding bioactive drain maintainer can help to eliminate odors and keep your drains flowing freely.

You are on your way to cleaner restrooms!

Remember, you can partner with your local distributor to help identify the right supplies, procedures, and maintenance frequency that will help to make your restrooms shine!

Glenview, IL-based Envoy Solutions is a specialized distributor and solution provider serving the U.S. market through a family of regional distributors. We specialize in Jan-San, foodservice, packaging, and marketing execution. Envoy Solutions offers a broad catalog of top brands and products, along with deep expertise and advice, to help our client-partners succeed. We are driven to make facilities cleaner and more sustainable, people safer, and operations more productive, every day. For more information, visit www.envoysolutions.com.

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