Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Dorm Bathrooms

September 19, 2010

No area in a facility is the source of more consternation for the janitorial staff than the restroom/bathroom.

But imagine if the bathroom is frequented by dozens of students living in a college dorm.

Those employed in managing housekeeping, cleaning and maintenance at colleges and universities all across North America are charged with ensuring the health and safety of the students, while at the same time maintaining or even increasing the productivity of the cleaning staff.

Some of the biggest challenges include scheduling a time to clean that minimizes interference with residents, sanitizing bathroom surfaces, cleaning the shower stalls and — arguably the most displeasing — cleaning bodily fluids and solids found in various places in the bathrooms.

Follow a routine
The bathroom should be closed for cleaning if possible, and the crew should have a routine so nothing gets missed and the work gets done quickly.

After trash removal and restocking, cleaning and maintenance staff should focus on hard surfaces such as toilets, shower stalls, counter tops and sinks.

Products that multi-task — clean, sanitize and disinfect in the same step — can be used to increase staff productivity.

Hard-water stains and soap scum on sinks, toilets and shower stalls may require a product that is designed to penetrate and dissolve without scrubbing, and which includes a hospital-grade disinfectant to kill a broad spectrum of germs that often inhabit bathrooms.

It is also important to allow proper dwell time, especially when cleaning toilets.

Always follow recommended guidelines to enable effective disinfection.

Streamlining the process
Mirrors, paper-towel dispensers and door knobs are other hard surfaces in the dorm bathroom that take a beating through repeated use and require complete cleaning and disinfection.

To maximize productivity, instead of using separate products for hard surfaces and glass, look for an all-purpose spray and glass cleaner that includes a hospital-grade disinfectant.

As for the bathroom floor, use an anti-bacterial cleaner buffered to a neutral-pH for no-rinse cleaning and disinfecting.

Such floor cleaners are effective against a broad spectrum of bacteria, are virucidal and fungicidal, and inhibit the growth of mold and mildew.

More than just mopping
Sometimes there’s more to cleaning the floor than just mopping.

Occasionally, there will be bodily fluids and solids on the bathroom floors as well.

With safety of staff members and students being a paramount concern, it’s important to effectively remove this waste.

To ensure safety, it is highly recommended that workers wear latex gloves when removing waste.

All waste should immediately be disposed of in double plastic bags or appropriately marked containers.

Upon removing waste and sanitizing the affected area, the latex gloves need to be removed one at a time — leaving them inside out — as to not transfer germs to the workers’ skin.

The final consideration for in-house facility directors when searching for a good strategy to clean dorm bathrooms is cost.

Dispensing systems that guarantee the correct dilution rate for cleaning chemicals can be a cost-effective addition.


Mike Weber is principal scientist, Products Research, with P&G Professional. Weber helped develop the P&G Pro Line™, a full line of professional cleaning products for the JanSan industry.