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 Keeping Your Facility’s Restrooms Clean is Good For Business – Successful business owners and managers work hard to provide quality products and/or services. They also understand how important it is to make a good impression on their customers and that includes their facility’s restrooms. According to a national 2013 survey conducted by Bradley Corporation (manufacturer of bathroom and locker room furnishings), almost three-fourths of American consumers believe a dirty restroom indicates poor management.

Over two-thirds say it lowers their opinion of the company, shows the business doesn’t care about customers, and gives the impression the company is lazy or sloppy. 64 percent of survey takers said they would either think twice about patronizing the business or would never frequent it again.  Dirty restrooms are unpleasant for your customers, clients, and employees. Even seemingly minor things like a few scraps of toilet paper scattered on the floor or an overflowing garbage bin can signify that your restrooms are not properly maintained.

More than just looks, however, proper sanitation is crucial. A bathroom that is neat in appearance may not actually be sanitary. Restrooms that are not regularly maintained harbor illness-causing germs that can make people sick. According to the survey above, Americans are actually so grossed out by the thought of touching things in public bathrooms that 64% of people who use them flush the toilet with their feet, over 60% use paper towels to open bathroom doors, and nearly half of the people surveyed reported opening and shutting doors with their hips.

Based on the above statistics, It’s clear that the cleanliness of commercial restrooms is very important to customers and can impact your business’ bottom line.

How commercial restroom germs spread

Today, you expect restrooms to be clean, functional, and operational. But as anyone who has ever used a public bathroom knows, that’s not always the case. Restrooms are a breeding ground for germs, especially public restrooms that get a lot of foot traffic. Although most restroom germs predictably start in the toilet, they can easily spread to other parts of the room.

Thanks to an aerosol effect called toilet plume – which happens when you flush with the lid up – bacteria can easily land on other bathroom surfaces. In a Scientific American article, it was noted that beginning in the 1960s, an entire field of science aimed to understand the story of bathroom bacteria. Among what that research revealed:

  • When you flush the toilet with the lid up, bacteria can go up to six feet through the air  
  • Bacteria are present all over the bathroom (though they differ between wet versus dry places).
  • Toilet bowls don’t harbor the most bacteria. Interestingly, the most contaminated surfaces in most public restrooms are sinks.  

A study published in “Applied and Environmental Microbiology” assessed the microbes present in public restrooms and found traces of 77,990 bacteria and viruses. According to researchers studying restrooms at a San Diego State University, CA, within one hour of cleaning and disinfecting, the bathrooms were completely re-contaminated with microbes and fecal bacteria. Recontamination is one of the reasons why bathrooms rank high on the most challenging areas of a facility to keep clean. One researcher found E. coli traces almost 100 percent of the time on door handles. It’s stats like these that support the importance of regular cleaning and disinfecting.   

How germs enter your body

Illness-causing germs can enter your body through the nose, mouth skin, eyes, and genitals. Germs need something to move them around, which could be your hands, blood, water, or dust. Once inside your body, germs breed very quickly, and a small number can quickly become millions and create havoc. Germs and bacteria that feces carries such as Salmonella, E. coli O157, and norovirus can cause serious diarrhea and spread some respiratory infections.  A single gram of human feces, which is roughly the weight of a per clip, can contain over a trillion germs.

These germs can get onto hands after using the toilet, and people frequently touch their eyes, nose, and mouth without even realizing it. Germs can also get onto hands if people touch any object that has germs on it because someone coughed or sneezed on it or was touched by some other contaminated object. While most germs are relatively harmless, some are not and can create serious illness. That is why it’s so important to reduce their impact by regular cleaning and disinfecting your facility’s restrooms. 

Preparing to clean your commercial restrooms  

It is important to begin any cleaning procedure with the proper tools, cleaning supplies, and personal protective equipment. You want to always clean from top to bottom, from wet to dry and work from the inside of the area/room out towards the exit. The equipment, materials, and supplies you will need to properly clean and maintain your facility’s restrooms include the following: 


  • Custodial cart
  • Waste collection receptacle
  • Trigger sprayers for both harsh and corrosive chemicals
  • Mild cleaning chemicals
  • Tank/pump-up sprayers
  • Floor squeegees
  • Mop buckets and wringers
  • Wet mop handles and holders
  • Brooms
  • Dustpans
  • Dust mop
  • Signage


  • Sponges
  • Bowl Mops
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Wipes
  • Gloves
  • Goggles
  • Wet Mop Heads


  • Neutral/General Purpose Cleaners
  • Acid Cleaner
  • Bowl Cleaner
  • Cleaner/Disinfectant
  • Drain Opener: Acid or Enzyme
  • Window/Glass Cleaner
  • Metal Polishes
  • Deodorizers
  • Trash Can Liner
  • Toilet Tissue
  • Paper Towels
  • Toilet Seat Covers
  • Sanitary Napkins
  • Hand Soaps

Commercial restroom cleaning procedures

When cleaning commercial restrooms, personal protection equipment (PPE) should be worn such as gloves, respirators, and splash goggles to protect cleaners from chemicals and contaminants. Before getting started, always knock on the door and announce that you are about to begin restroom cleaning procedures. Check the restroom for any guests and make sure that there’s no one inside before entering. Block entry to the facilities by posting “restroom cleaning in progress” and “wet-floor” signs outside the entry. 

Start by removing any debris from in and around the toilet and urinals and place any urinal strainers in a bucket of disinfectant solution. Remove all visible soils with a multi-purpose cleaner or cleaner/disinfectant. Pretreat the toilet exterior and allow it to stand for the recommended dwell time on the surface to effectively kill organisms listed on the product’s label. Next, apply cleaner/disinfectant to all high-touch point areas: toilets, urinals, sinks, dispensers, and door handles. Allow the solution to sit on the surface for the recommended dwell time. 

When cleaning the toilet, flush and use a bowl brush to force water over the trap to get rid of excess water. Apply bowl cleaner to the inside of the bowl starting at the rim. Allow the cleaner to remain for the recommended dwell time. Non-acid bowl cleaners are recommended for everyday use as you should not experience hard water or mineral stains on the bowl. Use an Acidic cleaner for periodic deep cleans to get rid of stubborn stains, mineral buildup, rust, or tarnish. 

Next, dust the above-the-floor surfaces first, then dust mop or sweep the floor from the innermost corner to the door. Make sure all debris and soil are removed so the floor is ready to be wet-mopped. After that, refill dispensers such as paper towels soap, toilet paper, and any other dispensers as needed. Empty sanitary napkin bins, trash receptacles and collect the sharps container for proper disposal. Apply a disinfectant to the inside of the trash receptacles and allow to air dry before replacing the liner. 

Spot clean bathroom walls and stalls to remove visible soils. Use disposable microfiber cloths to apply the cleaning/disinfecting solution. Disposable microfiber cloths are recommended throughout the restroom to reduce the chance of cross-contamination. If you are using reusable microfiber cloths, be sure to use different colored cloths for each different surface to avoid cross-contamination. 

Apply metal polish or glass cleaner to any metal fixtures. Wipe the polish to avoid any build-up. Then wipe mirrors and glass surfaces using a glass cleaner. For larger glass areas, use a squeegee for better reach and speed. Clean floor drains next. There are two types of drain openers: acid and enzyme. Acid drain openers typically use sulfuric acid to dissolve blockages and unclog drains. They should only be used periodically and not be used for facilities that have septic tanks. Enzyme drain openers are not as harsh and are safe for facilities that have septic tanks.  

Return to the high-touch areas that you applied cleaner/disinfectant solution to and wipe from the top of each of the surfaces or fixture to the bottom, with a microfiber cloth, Make sure you have disinfected all dispensers, toilets, sinks, and any other touchpoints you may have missed. Now, check to make sure all dirt and loose soil were removed when dust mopping. Then, mop the floor with a microfiber flat mop and cleaner/disinfectant. Avoid slips and falls, and other injuries, by making sure the area is completely dry before removing wet floor signs.  

How often should your facility’s restrooms be cleaned?

On average, commercial bathrooms should be cleaned and disinfected every day. Public restrooms in high-traffic facilities such as restaurants, hotels, airports, shopping malls, sports venues, or educational facilities may need to be cleaned several times a day. Maintaining hygiene and sanitation in your facility’s restrooms is essential to the health and well-being of your employees and the public.

By consistently following the above cleaning procedures, your facility’s restrooms will be cleaner and more hygienic and will provide a more satisfactory guest experience. Business owners and managers can handle the issue of cleaning their facility’s restrooms in an efficient and effective manner by hiring a professional janitorial service.

Cleanstart Commercial Cleaning & Janitorial Services

Call Cleanstart today for more information about our quality services or to request a cleaning visit at 253-921-2593.

At Cleanstart, we have the knowledge, tools, equipment, and trained workforce to keep your commercial facility clean and looking its best. For over 25 years, we have been delivering high-quality, customized cleaning solutions for a variety of commercial facilities in greater Puget Sound. We can put together a cleaning and maintenance program tailored to meet your facility’s specific needs.

We guarantee the quality of our services and your complete satisfaction with every clean. Flexible scheduling, including daily, weekly, monthly, and after-hours cleaning is available. Our high standards and attention to detail are what our customers appreciate most about our commercial cleaning services.  

✓ Over 25 years of experience in the commercial cleaning and janitorial industry
✓ Thoroughly trained and vetted cleaning professionals
✓ Commitment to the highest quality clean
✓ Local, licensed, bonded, and insured
✓ 24/7 cleaning options & support
✓ Customized cleaning solutions
✓ Quick response times
✓ One-time and recurring cleaning services
✓ 100% Satisfaction guarantee
✓ OSHA, HIPAA, EPA, CDC, AORN compliant
✓  A+ BBB-rating

Call Cleanstart today to learn more about our high-quality commercial cleaning services at (253) 921-2593 or request a free online cleaning quote now! We proudly service the following greater Puget Sound locations:

Auburn, Bellevue, Bellingham, Bonney Lake, Bremerton, Factoria, Fife, Gig Harbor, Kent, Lakewood, Olympia, Puyallup, Renton, Seattle, Tacoma, Tukwila, University Place, King County, Kitsap County, Pierce County, and Thurston County.

5013 Pacific Hwy E unit 16 Fife, WA 98424 • Phone: 253.921.2593 • Email: Caleb @ thecleanstart.com

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