The Very Real Problem of Restroom Maintenance
The problem of restroom cleaning is very real for many Facility Managers. In fact, keeping restrooms clean continue to top the list of maintenance challenges. Why? Restrooms simply get used by many and often so if they are not properly maintained, things can get pretty disgusting, pretty fast. Commercial restrooms aren’t like home bathrooms, they see far more traffic and thus, must be cleaned daily in most facilities in order to keep up with daily use. Office restrooms that aren’t properly cleaned at an adequate frequency get dirty, stinky, germy and decidedly unpleasant. And once restrooms go downhill, they do so quickly. And when they do, you as a Facility Manager are likely to get bombarded with complaints, as no one likes visiting a funky, unkempt restroom. So as a Facility Manager or Building Manager, how do you tackle the very real problem of restroom cleaning and assure your restroom cleaners are getting the job done?
Does Your Restroom Sanitation Stink?
If your restroom cleaning service stinks, chances are you are well aware of it. Maybe you have been inundated with complaints and requests or perhaps you have seen it yourself. Restroom cleaning is the foundation of any solid cleaning plan. Why? First, because dirty restrooms send a terrible message about your facility that can quickly overpower all that you might be doing right. Second, dirty restrooms are an actual health hazard. Disease causing germs are present in any area oft used and touched by multiple people, but when those areas aren’t being properly maintained, the risks of the spread of disease and cross contamination multiply exponentially. When health and safety are at stake, you cannot allow your janitorial services to continue to phone it in. If they aren’t getting the job done, it’s simply too important to ignore. Think that they are just restrooms and not that critical? Think again. Improperly maintained restrooms have a real cost to your image and your bottom line.
The REAL Cost of Dirty Restrooms
Sure dirty restrooms are gross, but there are much more important issues at stake than the unpleasantness. Dirty restrooms are bad for business. First, a poorly maintained restroom contributes to employee illness and absenteeism. Similarly, if your commercial cleaning company isn’t properly cleaning office restrooms, it can actually increase employee turnover. Likewise, it can lower employee satisfaction and lead to a less engaged workforce, lowered employee productivity and reduced sales. Whether you manage a facility for a business or you manage it for tenants, a subpar janitorial service doing a lackluster job of cleaning restrooms will hurt you where it matters most. That could mean higher tenant and employee turnover, reduced sales, a harder time attracting talented employees and solid businesses because the best people want to work in the best places. Unmaintained restrooms can lead to online reviews that hurt your business and facility, and an overall diminished reputation. That’s the bad news, the good news is that as critical an issue as poor restroom cleaning can be for a business, it is possible to fix and positive changes get noticed immediately.
Signs That Commercial Restroom Cleaning Isn’t Cutting It
So how do you know if you have a problem and your current janitorial services isn’t doing all they need to keep your restrooms adequately maintained? Here are some signs that your janitorial services company isn’t getting the job done.
- Supplies like toilet paper, soap and hand towels are empty or near empty.
- Trash cans are overfull with used hand towels and trash accumulating around them.
- Your restrooms smell unpleasant.
- Door handles and light switches are visibly dirty.
- Faucet and counter areas have standing water accumulated.
- Sinks that have soil, mineral deposits, and soap residues point to a lack of deep cleaning.
- Restroom mirrors are smudged, streaked, dirty or water spotted.
- Toilets and urinals have built up sediment and soil.
- Stall panels are replete with grime, fingerprints, graffiti and worse.
- Sanitary disposal containers are damaged or full.
- Restroom floors are dirty with accumulated soil, dust and debris in the grout.
Certainly even the best commercial cleaning companies will miss something from time to time, however, if these signs crop up more and more often, your commercial cleaning company just isn’t cutting it.
What Effective Restroom Cleaning Looks Like
While some janitorial companies get it wrong, some get it right. And when your restroom cleaners hit the mark with solid restroom sanitation, it makes a big difference in the overall perception of your facility as well as the health of your facility. The most effective commercial cleaning companies do more than a few things different. First, they understand how germs are spread and how they are eliminated. They are aware of the concept of cleaning for health and the science of clean. This means they are fully aware and make use of best practices that not only make your restrooms look clean, but actually clean them in such a way as to limit the spread of disease. They use best practices like dwell times, state-of-the-art cleaning equipment, Color-coded cleaning cloths to limit the risk of cross-contamination and other effective methods of getting and keeping your office restrooms cleaner. They find, screen, hire and train very good people and then equip them to do great work. How do these best practices translate into positive outcomes for your restrooms, your facility and your business? With adequately cleaned restrooms your cleaners should:
- Pay special attention to touch points like handles, dryers & knobs and the areas around these touch points.
- Leave behind a clean, fresh scent and not simply a chemical smell to masks offensive odors.
- Utilize mops and rags that are color coded in order to keep restroom germs in the restroom and avoiding cross contamination throughout your facility.
- Leave floors looking clean, with shiny tile, clean grout and no dust or debris remaining.
- Clean mirrors leaving them absent spots, splashes and smudges.
- Adequately restock all needed supplies like toilet paper, hand towels and hand soap.
- Clean and detail counters assuring corners are cleaned and any old, built up debris or sediment is removed.
- Assure stall doors are in working order and free of old grime, gum and graffiti.
- Confirm all other areas of the restroom from sinks, to toilets, hand dryers or towel dispensers and urinals are clean and in good working order.
Don’t Be Content Unless Your Restroom Cleaning Service IS Getting the Job Done
Don’t be content with less than effective restroom cleaning from your janitorial services. If they are failing to get the job done, they need to either step up or step down. If you are honest with yourself, it might be time for a clean break so that you can find a commercial cleaning company worthy of your business. Because isn’t one of the reasons you outsourced your facility cleaning so that you would have less to worry about? While there is considerable work involved in finding a new commercial cleaning company ready and willing to keep your facility well maintained and on track, it is worth the effort. Spend a little time finding a janitorial company that will be a true asset to you and your facility and remove the health hazard, business bottom line issues and headaches inherent with poorly maintained restrooms.