Public Restroom Cleanliness is Serious Business

Cleaning Dirty Restroom

The stakes are high when it comes to public restrooms. A poorly maintained restroom is not only bad for your business image, but it can also adversely affect the health of everyone who passes through it.

Regularly found in improperly cleaned restrooms, harmful microorganisms, such as Salmonella, E. coli and Norovirus, are linked with outbreaks of illness. A dirty restroom increases the chance a user will leave carrying an illness-causing pathogen, and decreases the chance that they will return to your business. A consumer survey1 showed that two-thirds of Americans would not frequent a business with dirty restrooms.

A dirty restroom is a recipe for sick guests and bad impressions. So how should you go about keeping up with one of the toughest rooms to clean?

Cleaning Public Restrooms

Public restroom cleaning is one of the most important, but also one of the most difficult jobs in the janitorial industry. Because of their function and high-traffic use, public restrooms are very susceptible to accumulating a lot of grime and odor-causing bacteria.

Try these seven simple daily cleaning suggestions from Clorox Professional, to tackle stains and odors at the source, rather than just covering them up.

7 Daily Restroom Cleaning Tips

  1. Pre-clean surfaces to remove any present bodily soils such as urine or vomit.
  2. Use an EPA registered product to disinfect surfaces and kill odor-causing bacteria.
  3. Choose disinfectants that are effective against high-level germs,such as VRE and MRSA, to help reduce the chance of an outbreak.
  4. Select products with stable, active ingredients like hydrogen peroxide to effectively remove stains and odors by breaking down uric acid crystals.
  5. Keep products handy that work on both hard and soft surfaces. Grout is considered to be a soft surface because it’s porous nature, and can easily trap dirt and odor causing bacteria.
  6. Don’t forget the floors. They are one of the germiest locations in the bathroom, with 230 bacterial species compared to 150 in other areas of the bathroom. This is where any odor issues can be tackled. For unpleasant smelling restrooms, a disinfectant with residual odor control is the best way to clean a floor. When odors aren’t an issue, a peroxide disinfectant will help reduce cross-contamination and as an added bonus, whiten grouted floors.
  7. Shine mirrors with a general glass cleaner.

Evaluate the Cleanliness of Your Public Restrooms

Did you know one study2 found that 20% of handbags contained more germs than the average toilet flush? (Note to handbag carriers everywhere: DO NOT place your bag on the restroom floor!).

Germs that start in the restroom don’t stay there. They’re picked up by items like handbags, and spread throughout the building. Evaluate the cleanliness of your building’s restrooms today and consider the benefits of a cleaner restroom: fewer germs to spread illness, and happier customers who return time and again.

Public Restroom Design Inspiration

A great restroom may start with cleanliness, but don’t forget about image. When it comes to public restrooms, people will judge a book by its cover. Your restroom may be so clean you could eat a meal off of the floor (I wouldn’t recommend it), but if the design is antiquated or misaligned with the ambiance of the rest of building, guests may assume that it is dirty anyway.

Take your image to the next level. Your building’s public restrooms should reflect the personality of your business. Check out the aesthetics of the restrooms below for some restroom design inspiration.

Follow our Public Restroom Design Inspiration board on Pinterest.


1Tackling the Public Restroom: Cleaning for Aesthetics and Health by Clorox Professional

22014 Restroom Outlook: Trends for Facility Managers to Keep in Mind by Clorox Professional

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Courtney Petesch

Courtney Petesch is the Marketing Specialist for HP Products, a distributor of 50,000 facility maintenance products throughout the Midwest. Courtney has over 5 years of experience managing e-commerce product content and merchandising, overseeing social media initiatives, executing email marketing campaigns and evaluating analytics.