Detroit Janitorial & Cleaning Services Blog

Commercial Cleaning Must Combat Restroom Cross-Contamination

Posted by Mitch Hesson on Mon, Aug 03, 2015 @ 10:30 AM

cross contamination, michigan janitorial companies, dearborn janitorial, detroit commercial cleaning companies, livonia building maintenance The business of cleaning restrooms is kind of a dirty job, but janitorial companies make their business cleaning up where you and your employees do your business. Whether your facility is a school, hospital, factory, office building or really any commercial setting, your restrooms offer the most significant source of cross-contamination. Your facility restrooms see a great deal of traffic and due to their purpose, restrooms can become a veritable petri dish of communicable diseases if not maintained properly.

Restrooms get dirty for obvious reasons and certainly urine and fecal matter contribute to a restroom’s inherent cleaning challenge but there’s more that that. In restrooms we wash hands, well most of us do, and that means water. Water collects on counters and floors where it can collect dirt from shoes and more. Additionally, every time a toilet is flushed, tiny, invisible bacterial laden water droplets are dispersed in the air before settling on surrounding surfaces like stall doors, walls, door handles and more increasing the risk of cross-contamination.


How Restroom Contamination Can Set Off a Chain of Illness & Absenteeism

How does cross contamination occur and why are restrooms so often the culprit? Cross-contamination strikes when disease causing germs move from one surface to another. In a typical office restroom, there are a multitude of oft touched things like handles, paper dispenses and more. These “touchpoints” and “hotspots” represent easy pathways germs to pass from one person to the next. So let’s say Jim uses the bathroom and washes his hands, but not everyone does. So when Jim exits the restroom, he inadvertently picks up bacteria from fecal matter on the door handle. Then Jim puts his hands on the counter while chatting with the receptionist leaving a bit of bacteria behind for anyone else who touches the counter. The spread of bacteria can cause a host of illnesses from gastrointestinal issues to the common cold, flus and respiratory illnesses. Takes germs from the average office restroom combined with the amount of high touch surfaces and shared business equipment like phones, office machines and computers and you have a perfect storm for germ transmission, illness and unnecessary absences and reduced productivity.


While No One Likes A Gross Restroom, Health is Paramount

The state of your facility’s restrooms can have a serious impact on your bottom line. Employees and customers alike may get the wrong message if your restrooms are in a state of dirtiness or disrepair. But even more critical than protecting your image is protecting the health of everyone who enters your building. Keeping restrooms cleaned and well stocked serves a critical public health function by limiting and reducing the spread of disease-causing bacteria, viruses and more. A good cleaning to remove visible dirt and grime is your first line of defense. Visible stains, soiled surfaces and funky odors can signal the presence of dangerous microorganisms. By focusing on a restroom’s appearance and smell, you can target a number of germs reducing their overall numbers and dangers by limiting the places they can hide. Then a thorough cleaning of hotspots and touchpoints with an EPA approved disinfectant can further prevent cross contamination by attacking germs where they are spread most easily. If your commercial cleaning company or janitorial provider doesn’t understand the differences between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting, they may not be sufficiently cleaning for health. 

Cleaning removes germs, dirt, and grime by using a detergent, mechanical action and water to physical remove or wash away germs from a surface or object. It doesn’t kill germs but does go a long way to reduce their numbers on the area being cleaned. Sanitizing reduces the germ load on an area to a safer level determined by applicable public health standards. Finally, disinfecting kills germs on areas with the use of chemicals targeted specifically for that purpose. Disinfecting doesn’t automatically clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but rather kills them where they are.


Does Your Janitorial Service Make Use Of State-Of-The-Art Cleaning Equipment And Methods To Tackle Your Dirtiest Jobs?

Everyone knows that restrooms can be among the dirtiest places in your facility but not every commercial cleaning company knows how to truly clean for health. In addition to understanding how germs are spread and how cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting play a role in the eradication disease causing germs, a cleaning company must have the right equipment, products and the know how to use them correctly. Cleaning in your facility can’t just be about what you see on the surface, rather your cleaning company must understand and focus their efforts on areas that pose the biggest cross contamination threat and go well beyond visibly clean. The potential for cross-contamination in restrooms is high and the best defense is a solid understanding of germ, cross contamination and state of the art cleaning equipment and methods to tackle your dirtiest jobs. Even practices as simple as color coded rags can prevent restroom germs from ending up on your desks, computers and telephones.


Make Sure Your Cleaning Company Is Cleaning For Health & Reduce Illness In Your Facility

Your cleaning team can offer the best defense against cross-contamination from restrooms using the right method, product and tool for the job. Whether it’s a focus on touch points, a color coded rag system or an EPA approved disinfectant, the most professional Michigan commercial cleaning companies have the know how select and use the right products to keep your restrooms clean and your spotless reputation intact. Restrooms are arguably one of the most challenging areas of a facility to clean. Yet, your commercial cleaning professionals can be your biggest ally in limiting opportunities for cross-contamination and helping to make your facility a clean, safe healthy environment.


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Tags: Restroom Cleaning, Commercial Cleaning, Industry Best Practices

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