You may recall when ABC news broke a story about hotel maids scrubbing drinking glasses with toxic Lysol, or handling other common items in restrooms, such as soap dispensers and those little shampoo bottles, with gloves they just used to clean toilets. Rightfully so, the video footage proving the practice went viral and gave millions of Americans the heebie-jeebies, and it created a major stir in the hospitality sector to, quite literally, clean things up.
While shocking, the poor practices used by some of these establishments emphasizes the need to implement and follow proper protocols to ensure the cleanliness of restrooms.
The Economic Impact of Dirty Restrooms
The importance of maintaining clean restrooms applies to more than hotels. A dirty restroom experience can impact many types of businesses, especially those that welcome guests, such as restaurants and other hospitality establishments. It’s estimated that 3 in 10 restaurant patrons who have a negative experience with a bathroom would never return again, and 50% of those with a bad experience said they would share about it with others. Such feedback can take on the form of a simple conversation, a shared photo on social media, a negative Yelp review or an exhaustive online rant that goes viral.
The impact of a dirty public restroom is evident. But what about restrooms for workers in an an office environment or or manufacturing facility?
A clean and disinfected restroom helps prevent the spread of illness-causing germs, such as Salmonella, E. coli and norovirus which are routinely found in restrooms. When employees get sick as a result, it impacts a company’s bottom line. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that productivity losses linked to absenteeism cost employers $225.8 billion annually in the United States, or $1,685 per employee.
How to Develop a Restroom Cleaning Checklist
Clearly, it’s important to have set protocols and scheduled maintenance of your restrooms, no matter what type of business you run. While your specific needs and the frequency of maintenance may vary, here’s a basic rundown of the types of duties you’ll want to make sure are covered on a routine basis.
- Inspect paper dispensers and dryers to ensure they’re in working order
- Restock and fill soap, toilet paper and towel dispensers
- Sweep floors and mop, making sure to clean around and behind toilets and other hard-to-reach areas
- Monitor trash receptacles and empty them before they’re full
- Wipe down sinks and counters
- Clean and sanitize toilets and urinals, including handles
- Disinfect and empty feminine hygiene dispensers and restock with new liners
- Disinfect door handles and stall locks, both inside and out
- Clean and shine mirrors
- Check that all light bulbs are working
- Wipe down stall doors, cabinetry and any hardware inside and out
- Dust all surfaces, light fixtures and light bulbs
- Where applicable, clean any windows
- Check faucets, pipes and toilets for leaks
- Inspect drains to ensure they remain clog-free
- Wipe down walls to remove dust and particles that cling to surfaces
- Deep clean floors and scrub any tile and grout
- Clean baseboards, trim and tops of doors
- Look up! Clean overhead fixtures such as ceiling fans, vents, lighting and sprinklers
It’s also important to encourage employees to be diligent about maintaining clean and properly functioning restrooms to help uphold your company’s reputation and ensure the safety and health of others. If they notice that a trash receptacle is full or that a stall needs attention, let them know they’re empowered and expected to bring it to the attention of your facilities maintenance team or cleaning service provider.
Asking workers to handle “bathroom duties” may not be in your company’s best interests, or that of your employees. Routine maintenance is time consuming and can detract from your employee’s productivity and overall morale. Plus, ensuring you have the right combination of cleaning solutions and supplies can be costly.
To reduce the burden on your employees, save money on cleaning supplies and maintain your company’s reputation, leave the cleaning chores to the experts at Jack’s Maintenance Service. For a free, no-obligation consultation and assessment of your needs, reach out to us. We’re always glad to help.