Restrooms are a place where contagious diseases could potentially spread by touching things such as faucets, sinks, paper towels, doors and soap dispensers. From lobby and waiting areas, to corridors and offices, there are numerous opportunities for employees and visitors to pick up or pass along germs. In this day and age of virulent flu strains, SARS and the threat of other infectious disease outbreaks, it should be no surprise that people are concerned about cleanliness and hygiene. In fact, people go to such great lengths of performing contortionists in public restrooms – flushing toilets with their feet, pushing doors open with their shoulders, dispensing towels with their elbows and doing anything to avoid germ laden surfaces.
Clean restrooms reflect positively on employees, customers and visitors. To reach this goal, use of right chemicals in the right way helps in
- Easily removing soil from counters, floors, walls and fixtures
- Eliminating bacteria, germs and viruses
- Making the restroom appear and smell clean
- Ensuring safety to both the user and building occupants
- Having minimal environmental impact
A clean and hygienic restroom can be maintained by following a two-level cleaning schedule with a combination of regular daily cleaning and weekly deep cleaning.
Regular Daily Cleaning
Trash removal, surface cleaning, disinfection and restocking supplies need to be done daily for most commercial or office restrooms. Facilities in airports, restaurants and other high traffic sites may need more frequent touch-up cleaning and restocking of soap and paper supplies.
Routine cleaning involves the following tasks:
- Removing trash & replacing can liners
- Refilling dispensers
- Dusting high surfaces
- Cleaning toilets & urinals with a non-acid bowl cleaner
- Cleaning showers with a non-acid soap remover
- Cleaning mirrors and other glass surfaces
- Cleaning walls, ceiling, partitions, doors and light switches
- Disinfecting all surfaces and fixtures
- Vacuuming floor and wet mopping with a cleaner/disinfectant
Some products combine cleaning and disinfecting ingredients into one container. These combined products work well only on surfaces that are already relatively clean. For dirty surfaces, it is important to clean first and then apply a separate disinfectant. To work well, this disinfectant must remain in place for at least 10 minutes.
Fairly mild products are available for daily restroom cleaning. Such products are reasonably safe to use and have little environmental impact. Check the supplier’s directions and mix the cleaning product with as much water as you can. A diluted product is usually safer to use than a concentrate.
Deep cleaning needs to be done weekly in most cases. However, a deep cleaning may also be required when you do a restroom for the first time or when you encounter particularly dirty situations. High traffic restrooms may need a deep cleaning once a day, even if routine cleaning is done more frequently.
However, some deep cleaning tasks require stronger chemical products to remove stubborn deposits or stains. Examples include:
- Removing graffiti
- Cleaning stained toilet bowls
- Removing shower tile deposits
Restroom Cleaning Ingredients
In addition, discharging of some chemicals into the sewer system, such as paradichlorobenzene, phenol and tetrachloroethylene, as well as acids or bases that are corrosive (having a pH less than 4-5 or greater than 11-12), is illegal.
The five big challenges
Once the basics have been established, how clean and how often cleaning, professionals still face every restroom’s five most typical restroom complaints and the most common cleaning challenges that janitors face. They are:
- Cross-contamination hazards
- Soap and towel dispensers that don’t work
- Unsightly garbage
- Soiled or stained surfaces
- Persistent odours