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Getting serious about restroom cleaning

September 19, 2010
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One of the best methods of keeping restrooms germ-free is to use color-coded tools and keep them organized in a cleaning cart that separates clean tools from dirty ones.

Color-coded cleaning tools help prevent cross-contamination by ensuring that the tools aren’t carrying bacteria from one area of a building to another.

Along with dividing soiled tools from clean ones, an organized cleaning cart can also reassure building patrons that cleaning staff are serious about maintaining a sanitary environment.

“R” is for Red and Restrooms
Tools intended for restroom cleaning should be color-coded red to indicate their sole area of use.

Facility managers can instruct staff on which tools to use on each surface with the help of instructional DVDs and charts that use color photos and simple wording to avoid possible language barriers.

When selecting cleaning tools, remember that buckets and mop heads should be red and extension poles should have red handles.

Microfiber cloths of various colors should be used for different cleaning applications within the restroom.

Finally, sprayers should feature red decals and cleaning staff should be required to wear red protective gear.

Color coding can also be helpful when matching restroom cleaning chemicals to tools.

Selecting a cleaning cart
Cleaning carts may be used to store all restroom cleaning tools in an organized and accessible way.

A cleaning cart that is too small may cause sanitation problems if there isn’t enough room to store all the tools.

When selecting a cleaning cart, remember that its purpose is to limit the spread of harmful bacteria by separating used tools from clean ones.

A cart that is easy to maneuver can also make the cleaning process more productive for staff.

The cart should be capable of holding a dual-compartment bucket with press and should have designated areas for wet and dry tools.

Finally, facility managers should train cleaning staff to maintain their cleaning cart.

Soiled cloths or mops should never be allowed to carelessly drip down the sides of the cart as this can make the restroom appear unsanitary.

Cleaning staff should also understand that cleaning carts should not be used for resting food or beverages.

Doing so may create unsafe conditions for workers and exacerbate the spread of bacteria.

Upon entering a building, patrons expect every inch to be clean, including the restrooms.

Color coding the tools and equipment used as part of a restroom cleaning plan and taking the time to properly maintain the cleaning cart not only offers building patrons a sanitary restroom, but also the assurance that the entire facility is serious about cleaning.

Bruno Niklaus is vice president of Global Marketing for Unger Enterprises Inc., 425 Asylum Street; Bridgeport, Conn. 06610;;

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