What is in this article?:
- A System-Based Approach
- Starting with staff
- SIDEBAR: Cleaning systems for washroom specialists
Tips for standardizing washroom cleaning procedures.
Although restroom cleanliness is a touchstone for overall facility cleanliness, a recent survey of professional contract cleaning companies indicated that 51 percent of customer complaints are restroom-related. Clearly there is a need for improving the way restrooms are cleaned. How well is your cleaning crew doing?
The nose knows
If your restrooms have an unpleasant smell, you may already know the answer. Odors in the restroom may come from several sources: poor cleaning that fosters bacterial growth, inadequate ventilation, bodily fluids, gases and excrement, unflushed fixtures, and failure to service floor-drain traps.
First, inspect your restroom for sources of bacterial odor from improper cleaning.
When the building is unoccupied, turn off the lights and inspect the restrooms with an ultraviolet (UV) inspection light. Body fluids such as urine, blood and saliva contain phosphorus and glow under a “black” light. Note the locations, or mark areas needing cleaning with a UV (invisible) ink pen. The special ink glows in UV light, and can be removed with water or cleaning solution. In follow-up inspections, you will be able to see which areas have not been cleaned.
The best places to look for urine or other bodily fluids that feed bacteria are the exterior and underside of sinks, urinals, toilets, and within urinals and toilets.
Odor can come from unexpected sources. Colorado State University was surprised to find its ceilings glowing yellow under a black light. Why? Flushing of fixtures had dispersed an aerosolized mist of bowl water and urine into the air where it deposited on the ceiling.
Based on your inspection, train workers to regularly clean contaminated surfaces.