Facility managers are always looking for new ways to improve the appearance of the buildings they manage, as well as the bottom line. The goal is to implement strategies that will increase return on investment (ROI) through improved productivity, customer satisfaction and sustainability while protecting their brand image. While restroom maintenance is critical, some facilities struggle to consistently deliver on their promise to provide visibly clean and fresh-smelling restrooms for building occupants and visitors.
Facilities with dirty restrooms and foul odors send the wrong message to customers, residents and employees. In turn, this can result in negative impressions of the facility or even the entire company for organizations that operate numerous locations. By achieving a higher level of cleanliness in restrooms that smell clean, facility managers have the power to protect one of their most valuable assets: brand reputation.
Best Practices for Restroom Maintenance
How can you tap into the power of clean restrooms? Facility managers should ensure that employees follow the below strategies to keep restrooms looking their best around the clock.
• Keep items well-stocked. A missing roll of toilet paper may seem minor, but people are easily upset when their restroom experience doesn’t go as planned, or when they don’t have everything they need. Make sure you keep sufficient inventory of all essential products. This includes paper products like toilet tissue and hand towels, as well as soap. When air freshener cartridges are empty, change them to ensure guests are always greeted with a nice fragrance. In men’s restrooms, regularly switch out urinal screens. Take note of foot traffic patterns to be sure to conduct maintenance and restocking before and after periods when restrooms are used the most.
• Don’t forget easy-to-miss spots. A routine scrub of the floor is often rushed, causing oversight of stall corners or edges around toilets. These areas of high moisture become the perfect home for bacteria, creating build-up called biofilms. By paying close attention to every crevice, you can avoid the risk of biofilm bacteria and their odors. Additionally, cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces such as faucet handles, stall handles and entry doors helps reduce cross contamination and the spread of disease. Lastly, especially in the era of the bathroom mirror selfie, wiping down the glass will make a big difference in making the restroom look and feel truly clean.
• Address mold and mildew immediately. Another common consequence of areas with high moisture and limited light is the formation of mold and mildew. These fungi will permeate a musty smell into the air, which is both unpleasant and hazardous to the health of restroom occupants. Individuals who are sensitive to mold can experience negative side effects, like headaches, nosebleeds, respiratory problems and nausea. In the case of mildew, it can easily stain tile grout and damage paint. This causes restrooms to look dirty and neglected and can require expensive maintenance or renovation in the future. Be sure to address areas that can harbor moisture to avoid the formation of mold and mildew.
• Pay extra attention to toilets and urinals. It may seem obvious, but these are the leading culprits of an unclean bathroom. Especially for busy facilities, it’s important to regularly check on and clean and disinfect every toilet and urinal. Additionally, address toilet clogs as soon as possible, and even consider toilet paper that actively breaks down build-up in pipes. Toilet clogs are one of the leading causes of foul odors in restrooms and can result in customer complaints. For urinals, install screens that eliminate splash-back to limit messes within urinals and on floors. These tactics will not only enhance cleanliness, but also greatly decrease the presence of odors in these environments.
• Give the whole space a fresh scent. Even bathrooms that are clean can have lingering odors. These bad smells have a direct effect on business, with 93% of Americans agreeing that a foul odor would negatively impact their perception of an organization. The best way to combat malodors is with a reliable odor eliminating system that is consistent and continuous. If done right, customers will remember the restrooms for their pleasant citrus or floral scent. Set systems for 30, 60 or even 90 days to keep fragrance in the air at all times. By investing in a system that works to eliminate odors at the molecular level, facility restrooms can smell as good as they look, if not better.
Benefits of a Clean Restroom
While restrooms are often small in comparison to the size of an entire facility, they are certainly a big indication of an organization’s values. Clean bathrooms consequently show how much a company values their workforce and clientele. When employees see themselves as valued, that will reflect on productivity and morale. When customers feel valued, it results in positive feedback and loyalty. It’s already proven that nearly half of Americans would report smelling a foul odor in a facility to their family, friends or colleagues. Managers can avoid the risk of a tarnished reputation and dwindling customers by creating a welcoming environment through clean restrooms that deliver freshness, all the time.