If there’s one place you don’t want to be trapped in during the heart of flu and cold season, it’s a sickly work, school or public restroom. Harmful microorganisms such as Shigella, Samonella, Hepatits A, E. coli and norovirus can be lurking in dirty restrooms with outbreaks of serious illnesses not far behind.
Keeping ourselves, our families, our coworkers and our fellow citizens safe during the sickliest time of the year demands both well-maintained restroom and strong personal bathroom hygiene etiquette.
When restroom cleanliness and proper hygiene is ignored, the community health consequences can be severe. For a poorly maintained restroom can adversely affect the health of everyone who passes through it. Call it the Dirty Bathroom Domino Effect.
“Keeping a restroom disinfected can help prevent the spread of illness-causing germs to building occupants and the community at-large, especially during the winter months,” Clorox Professional Products Co. Associate Marketing Director Jennifer Case told FaciltyExecutive.com
A dirty restroom increases the chance a user with leave carrying an illness-causing pathogens. From a business standpoint, a dirty restroom is financial Russian Roulette, greatly decreasing the chance a user would return to a business. Consumer surveys show two-thirds of Americans would not frequent a business with dirty restrooms.
But the public health threat caused by dirty restrooms is the most pressing issue with a potentially dangerous fallout. Because of their natural function and high-traffic use, business, school and public restrooms are extremely susceptible to accumulating large amounts of grime and oder-causing bacteria.
Every Restroom Needs A Clean Bill of Health
There’s no greater challenge for janitorial departments than keeping restrooms clean and sanitary. Here are seven simple daily cleaning suggestions from Clorox to help businesses, schools and public facilities that can help keep restrooms clean and pathogen-free.
- Pre-clean surfaces to remove any present bodily soils such as urine or vomit. Use an EPA registered product to disinfect surfaces and kill odor-causing bacteria.
- Choose disinfectants that are effective against high-level germs,such as VRE and MRSA, to help reduce the chance of an outbreak.
- Select products with stable, active ingredients like hydrogen peroxide to effectively remove stains and odors by breaking down uric acid crystals.
- 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.
- 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.
- Shine mirrors with a general glass cleaner.
For businesses, schools, restaurants and public offices, installing hands-free germ-killing measures like B4 Brands’ Avant Hand Sanitizer and Aterra Soaps dispensers, automatic flush toilets, seat covers and automatic faucets, hand dryers and sanitary floor mats in restrooms can also keep illness epidemics at bay.
A Personal Commitment
Remember, germs do more traveling than a salesman with unlimited frequent flyer miles. We can keep the restrooms we frequent daily at work, school and our favorite restaurants and coffee shops from becoming dangerous revolving doors of germs by making personal commitments to bathroom hygiene.
Flushing toilets, coughing into our sleeves and washing our hands with soap and water after every visit can go a long way to keep our coworkers, classmates, colleagues, family and neighbors healthy during the dog days of the flu and cold season.
The risk of germ spread and infection is present every time we walk into a public restroom. But by taking a personal and professional initiative to keep restrooms a place of sanitation instead of sickness, we can feel confident we will leave them with clean health, for both ourselves and others.