The goal for every restroom is to be a clean, healthy, and safe haven for every visitor.
Visitors should feel clean and comfortable because every surface is spotless, there is no debris on countertops or floors, trash cans are not overflowing, and the room is odor-free. The reason this is a hard goal to maintain? Because the restroom is one of the first stops EVERY visitor makes in your facility.
This means that the frequency of cleaning must be adjusted to hours you are open and the level of traffic. To make each cleaning count, it is important to keep a few basic points in mind:
Cross-contamination can ruin all the good work.
Making this mistake is so easy to do… a cleaning towel is a cleaning towel, right? NO!!! Make sure that towels are only used in specific areas and for specific purposes. If a cleaning towel is being used to wipe down various surfaces in the restroom, that towel should never be used anywhere else in the facility. To be more precise, if a towel is used to wipe down a toilet, it should never be used in the break room sink area.
Most commercial cleaners now use microfiber towels on their accounts. The towels come in a variety of colors, which makes it easy to know where a towel should and should not be used. Mops are another tool that need to be used in selected areas only. Those used in the restroom stay in the restroom.
While on the subject of towels and mops, always remember to put used cleaning towels in the laundry bag after each use. Make sure mops are thoroughly cleaned in a sanitizing solution and hung to dry.
Cleaning without a plan
Cleaning a restroom without a plan is a great way to waste a lot of time. It also leads to results that are way less than perfect. When left to “follow their eyes” around a restroom, custodial workers can spend a lot of time and still miss key areas. Workers who clean toilets first, then proceed to clean the rest of the bathroom, are unwittingly contributing to poor sanitary practices within a restroom.
- Wash First: Sinks, Toilets, and Urinals Wet everything down with the initial cleaning solution, give the chemicals time to work. Use plenty of water and scrub to remove stains and film. Make sure to clean the sides and surrounding floor. Once you have rinsed, towel dry.
- Walls and countertops Use a new set of cleaning towels. Work from the top. Use enough liquid, and give it time to do its job. Wipe everything with a clean, dry cloth
- Mirrors, Glass, Stainless Steel Panels and Other Brightwork.
- Save the Floors for last, mop your way out the door.
- Check paper goods, soaps and sanitizers, empty trash.
Soap, sanitizer, disinfectant — which does what?
First, what are the three goals when cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting?
- Cleaning uses any soap or all-purpose cleaner to dissolve grease and grime and wash away bacteria in the process. (We will come back to this.)
- Sanitizing is done when the cleaning process uses a fortified cleaning solution which chemically kill most virus and bacteria.
- Disinfecting happens when a specially formulated disinfecting solution is used.
This means that more than one process will be needed for a perfectly clean and disinfected result. The “ingredient” we haven’t mentioned yet is time.
Remember the early days of the pandemic? One common bit of advice was to wash hands for 20 seconds. It was seldom explained but it is very simple. The coronavirus cell is covered with a fatty layer to protect the actual virus. Soap, even a bar of hand soap, breaks down fat. So 20 seconds of warm soapy water literally melted the virus cell’s protection. End of threat.
So, when your goal is a restroom that is as clean, healthy, and safe as it can be, our advice is to use the best cleaning solution you have on hand. But, slow things down. Splashing even the most powerful solution around and quickly hosing it off lets a big percentage of its cleaning power wash down the drain. Wet down your large areas, then polish a mirror while you wait for the disinfectant to do its work.
What you don’t see can’t hurt you, can it?
Even for the most detail-oriented person, cleaning the same room time after time can get you off your game. After all, “How dirty can it be? I was just in here.”
Well, we all know that isn’t true. Restrooms are busy places. And splashing liquids are just part of the atmosphere. Dirt and grime will find its way to the most hard-to-get-to places — the back side of faucets, the underside of toilet rims, the base of toilets, especially in the back, and around the rim of any drain in the room. Wait, not done yet! It’s time for the floor. I’m sure the center of the floor gets plenty of attention. Today we are talking about the dark and dirty corners. Make sure they are paid plenty of attention.
Arm your cleaning crew with long-handled brushes and a bucket that is not too big to fit into the tighter areas. Fill your bucket with a fresh cleaning solution and have at it with plenty of scrubbing and a good rinse. Pick up the excess with a clean mop, and it is done.
If you have reached the point where doing your own business cleaning is too much to handle, give us a call at NLC Solutions Commercial Cleaners. We have been keeping business owners clean and happy since 1986. We are experienced, results driven, insured — and we guarantee all of our work.