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Restroom Care

The Nose Knows

September 09, 2011
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One of the key areas of a building that will keep people coming back or push them away is the restroom.

A properly maintained restroom says as much about the overall status of a building as how clean the floors are.

Unfortunately, the restroom is one of the more difficult parts of a building to maintain, and even if the surface appearance is well kept, there could be something lingering in the air that serves to turn a customer''s head — and not in a good way.

Smell Is In The Air

There are the obvious odor culprits: Dirty fixtures, toilets and urinals.

Properly clean those daily and your restroom should always be smelling powder fresh, right?

Those three surfaces are merely the first thing one thinks of when trying to track down the source of an odor problem when, in reality, the source might be the second or even third item on your list.

According to Rich Bing, senior marketing manager for Cintas Facility Services, some of the less obvious causes of odors in the restroom are bacteria growth in grout lines and the floor, trashcans, drains and even poor airflow.

Attacking On Two Fronts

According to Bing, it is important that the war on restroom odors be waged on two fronts: In the air and at the source.

"There are obvious solutions to the not so obvious causes of odors," says Bing. "If trashcans are a source of odor, it is important to make sure they are clear and clean. Dusting air vents and making sure they''re clear and free of obstructions is a way to help maintain indoor air quality as well."

Utilizing an air freshener can help knock down and mask any odors that might occur outside of your control and between cleanings.

It is important, though, to make sure the air freshener you use doesn''t become a part of the odor problem.

Just as important as attacking odors in the air is attacking them at their source.

Unfortunately, not everyone who uses the restroom will follow proper procedure once they are done, and sometimes toilets are left unflushed.

When left, bacteria will accumulate, potentially creating an unpleasant odor for other patrons.

A simple solution is to perform the action for the patron by using an auto-flush system.

Auto-flush systems are ideal for heavily trafficked restrooms, but can be just as useful in restrooms that see less users, as they can be set to go off daily, ensuring there is always fresh water in the toilet.

Going a step further, installing an auto-drip system allows chemical to be regularly dispensed in a toilet with each flush, helping to prevent bacteria buildup.

A Regular Plan

Odor control and prevention can seem more complex than just making sure the obvious areas of a restroom are clean.

But, as with any prevention plan, it helps to have a program in place.

According to Bing, that plan should be three-fold:

  • Protection
  • Maintenance
  • Deep cleaning.
A regular deep clean to be sure to rid your restroom of hidden bacteria using high agitation, high pressure and extraction will ensure that you are getting to the root of potential problems, ensuring, to the best of your ability, a pleasant restroom encounter.

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