Keeping a public restroom clean is no easy challenge.
But, take it from me — a dirty restroom is the quickest way to flush your image right down the toilet.
For 35 years as the owner of Servco Industries, I have seen and cleaned literally tens of thousands of the dirtiest restrooms.
Dirty restrooms often tell a story about your store or company, and they also provide insight into how much you pay attention to detail.
After all, if your public restrooms are dirty, what other sanitizing nightmares are lurking in the non-customer areas?
A great example of an organization that sets customer service as a top priority including their customer-friendly restrooms is Disney World.
Their restrooms are often impeccable even though they have massive foot traffic and get considerably more usage than do most retail stores and other facilities.
It’s obvious that Disney World is committed to making sure that their staffs have been effectively trained to keep the restrooms spotless.
Their message comes through loud and clear that they accept nothing less than perfection.
Here are a few key elements that lead to successful restroom care and maintenance.
Each task and product plays an important role in the final outcome.
To effectively clean a restroom of any size, you will need the proper tools and a method in which you will perform the services.
Here is a 10-point list of the best ways to keep your restrooms clean and your reputation sparkling.
Always use the same workers to clean restrooms, and never use an unskilled worker to clean.
Train them on how to clean efficiently and effectively, and have management sign off on the work for quality assurance.
If needed, consult professional training videos.
Use a well-stocked custodial cart with all items to be used to clean the restrooms.
Make sure that there are buckets and mops — and only use a two-bucket/ringer combo.
All products that are used both during the day shift and for after-hours cleaning should be on the custodial cart.
Have that cart readily available and close by in the event of a restroom mishap.
Use cleaning products that are germicidal in nature on all fixtures.
Chemicals to be used on fixtures often yield the best results when they are foam-based; the hang time of the foam helps to fight bacteria and germs found on these surfaces.
Always make sure that ceiling vents and fans are immaculate and working well.
Often, these are caked with soot from months — even years — of being overlooked.
When cleaning fixtures, always remember to clean the sides and base of all items; pay special attention to undersides of urinals and bases of toilets.
These areas are normally the first place that buildup occurs, which leads to foul odors.
To minimize cross-contamination, use disposable wipes so that the same rag used to clean a toilet seat is not later used to clean a vanity top or any other surface.
Clean all paper product fixtures as you would any other restroom fixture.
Polish stainless products and don’t forget to inspect those dispensers to make sure that they are working and dispensing as they should be.
Broken restroom fixtures are an easy fix, yet a very common problem.
When washing tile walls, look out for drips, run marks and dirt that has dried on the tile and in the grout lines.
These areas are mostly found under hand dryers and under paper towel dispensers where patrons normally have wet hands.
Keep floor drains and your restroom odor-free by rinsing drains with an appropriate malodor counteractant and by flushing the floor drains often with clean, hot water.
Always mop floors first with the approved and appropriate chemicals.
Lightly “soak” floors to loosen soil in the grout.
Use a desk brush in areas under urinals where urine acidity can cause grout discoloration.
Then, use a clean mop and fresh water with a two-bucket/ringer combo to do a final pass after the heavy cleaning.
Keep a disposable wipe in your hand to trail into edges and corners.
Schedule and perform a periodic deep clean of the restrooms.
Use heavy-duty machines that can power scrub the floors and perform a detailed wall washing and grout cleaning.
This detailed restroom cleaning will help simplify daily maintenance routines because it will be easier to maintain an already clean restroom.
An Additional Consideration
In addition, please note that, if your assignment is to clean more aggressively used bathrooms in factories of manufacturing plants, you should consider the use of a no-touch restroom cleaning machine.
These self-contained units allow the operator to foam walls with the machine, power wash all surfaces and even dry the fixtures with the same machine.
The attached squeegee tool and vacuum allows all the dirt and water to be vacuumed off the floor for a spotless outcome.
These technologies are truly touchless systems that get the job done in a big way.
No matter what your business or assignment is, keeping your restrooms clean is a universal must-do to maintain a polished image.
Restroom care is a series of simple project that pack a positive punch.