Cleaning for Our Health – Common Restroom Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid

a clean restroom

Unsurprisingly, restrooms are still the most difficult facility area to disinfect, clean and maintain correctly, according to 2021-CMM in-house facility management survey. Of course, cleaning standards for restrooms have always been high. Particularly in daycare facilities, medical facilities, and similar institutions, where cleaning for our health is a prerequisite. That is why we are going to discuss common restroom cleaning mistakes to avoid, Hopefully, this short guide will help you maintain your facility safe and clean at all times.

Changing Restroom Cleanliness Trends and Expectations

Several surveys and investigations into perceptions on restroom cleanliness conducted last year note an interesting trend. Their findings suggest that cleaning trends for 2022 will be oriented towards satisfying public expectations on restroom cleaning standards arising from stringent Covid-19 regulations. What’s more, it appears these changing attitudes to restroom cleanliness standards are here to stay.

For example, a survey conducted by United Minds in March 2021 found that 73% of subjects considered improperly cleaned public restrooms unsafe in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Even more telling, as many as 80% of people surveyed from a pool of 1,012 participants expect cleaning standards for public restrooms to be higher than before Covid-19.

This means facility managers and cleaning companies will have to rise to the challenge this year. How? By ensuring that restrooms in facilities reflect these high standards and expectations. Luckily, we are here to divulge common mistakes and cleaning strategies that can be of help.

Restroom Cleaning Has to Be More Frequent and Thorough

As mentioned, the pandemic has highlighted the importance of proper restroom maintenance and disinfection. Hence, regular pre-Covid-19 cleaning practices are no longer enough. In fact, there are four common restroom cleaning mistakes that you should watch out for:

Disinfection Without Cleaning

One significant benefit brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic hygienic regulations must be the ubiquity of quality disinfectants in public spaces. People visiting various facilities now have access to alcohol-based disinfectants for their hands and personal items. This is a tremendous change for the better since it minimizes the spread of pathogens via touch. However, ensuring hygienic safety necessitates more than this.

A hand wiping a handle in a restroom
Clean all restroom surfaces thoroughly

In other words, merely disinfecting the restroom in your facility is not enough. First, it is necessary to clean your facility thoroughly before you treat it with a disinfectant. Take note that it is impossible to disinfect dirty or soiled surfaces.

Since you cannot disinfect dirt, a thorough cleanse with industrial-strength cleaning liquid is a must. When supplemented with a strong disinfectant, you can claim that the restrooms are safe for use.

And it is not only the restrooms in your facility that require cleaning before disinfection. There are other high-risk activities such as commercial relocations that require appropriate cleaning measures. In order to have your corporate relocation handled in line with the highest hygienic standards, be sure to contact a capable, trustworthy moving service that will implement them consistently during the move.

Not Keeping Track of Contact Time

Before Covid-19, most cleaning crews favored efficiency over cleanliness. Hence, hygienic standards would suffer because cleaners were adamant about cleaning the restrooms in the shortest amount of time possible.

However, the changing circumstances, tracking contact time is paramount. So, when applying the cleaning products and disinfectants, it is necessary to leave on the surfaces long enough. In that sense, make sure to adhere to the instructions on the product label without expectations.

A person cleaning a restroom wall with a cleaning product and sponge
Respect prescribed contact times.

Hence, if the prescribed “dwell-time” on the label is 10 minutes, then treat the surfaces for no less than this. Once you spray the surface and wait for the necessary amount of time, you can proceed with wiping with a clean cloth or mop.

Furthermore, make sure that all cleaning supplies are thoroughly washed before you start cleaning the rest of the facility after the restrooms. You should even consider using different cloths for different facility areas. Even though you use quality cleaning products and disinfectants, toilets abound pathogens, urine, etc. that may be transferred onto the cleaning supplies and later to other areas of your facility.

Not Practicing “Cleaning Aerobics”

This term has been coined to describe a cleaning strategy that you should use to ensure soiled areas have been properly covered with the right amount of disinfectant solution. Namely, another frequent restroom cleaning mistake is to spray the cleaning liquid insufficiently or in patches.

Since no spot should be left untreated, doing a little bit of “Cleaning Aerobics” is necessary. Bend and look closely at the light reflections on the sprayed surfaces. You will be able to see if the coverage is appropriate. The bare spots will not reflect the light. This technique allows you to pinpoint possible mistakes for correction. It is usually corners, dark areas, and small gaps that require more attention.

Cleaning the Restroom in No Particular Order

Tracking contact time and cleaning aerobics will make no difference if you do not clean the bathroom logically. In fact, not adhering to a definite cleaning plan causes the mentioned oversights.

The first areas that require thorough scrubbing are the toilet seats, taps and doorknobs. Yet, it is essential to emphasize the importance of cleaning other parts of the restroom as well. You might be tempted to skip wiping the mirrors, windows, doors, and light switches. However, even though contact with these surfaces is unlikely, sometimes it happens that people lean on them or touch them.

A person scrubbing a toilet seat
Don’t skip anything to keep your bathroom safe.

All in all, we hope this article has helped raise awareness about common restroom cleaning mistakes to avoid. It is essential not to take restroom cleanliness for granted. In line with this, system4 offers top-notch  facility management services that will provide facility cleaning in line with the highest hygienic standards out there.