Public restrooms are notorious for harboring high levels of bacteria and other contaminants. A study published in PLoS ONE journal found that bacterial microbes were commonly found on many restroom surfaces, including faucets, restroom stall and door handles, soap dispensers, toilets and floors.1
As a result, restrooms are commonly noted as being one of the highest-priority areas for maintenance and cleaning professionals in office buildings, schools, healthcare facilities and hotels. Keeping restrooms visibly sanitary while eliminating odors not only prevents the spread of germs, it also helps to improve the overall perception of a facility and, ultimately, your bottom line.
Restroom Cleaning Tips
Here are some cleaning and disinfecting tips that cleaning professionals and BSCs can use to help prevent the spread of germs and improve cleanliness and the overall appearance of public restrooms:
1. Use Wet Floor Signs
Before beginning work in public restrooms, have cleaning teams protect passersby from potential injuries or slip-and-falls by placing closed for cleaning and wet floor signs outside restrooms before beginning work. Leave wet floor signs on recently cleaned solid-surface floors until floors have completely dried before removing.
2. Use Personal Protection
Have cleaning teams use personal protection equipment (PPE) such as gloves, respirators and splash goggles for safeguarding from potentially harmful chemicals and contaminants. Properly train cleaning teams on locations and use of eye wash stations and first aid kits to ensure they are prepared should they come in contact with any hazardous materials.
3. Know Your Products
Remember to have cleaning teams carefully review product labels prior to use of any cleaning chemicals or solutions, and follow manufacturers' instructions to ensure proper use and dilution of these products. Many cleaning and disinfecting products have unique contact times and instructions required for effectively killing pathogens commonly found on restroom surfaces.
4. Disinfect and Sanitize Surfaces
Disinfect all restroom surfaces thoroughly, paying particular attention to high-touch zones. Use products designed for specific restroom areas, including toilet bowl cleaners, surface sanitizers and disinfectants, mirror and glass cleaners and floor cleaners. Having the right cleaning tools and supplies and a fully stocked cleaning cart can also improve efficiency for cleaning teams.
5. Eliminate Odors
To keep public restrooms smelling fresh and sanitary, remove odors versus masking them using odor neutralizers and disinfectants on restroom surfaces and in the air. Installing automatic air freshening dispensers can help control odors and reduce cleaning time. The use of urinal screens and toilet deodorizers can also help eliminate odors and enhance cleanliness.
6. Encourage Hand Hygiene
Proper handwashing and hand drying is as valuable in preventing the spread of germs as a comprehensive restroom cleaning program. Encourage regular hand washing with soap and warm water, then hand drying with paper towels, especially after using the bathroom. Provide hand sanitizer in restrooms and throughout your property to encourage hand hygiene between handwashing.
1 Microbial Biogeography of Public Restroom Surfaces, PLoS ONE