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clean public toilet room

Is Your Office Washroom Hurting Your Reputation? 4 Tips to Improve Hygiene

We have all read articles giving tips on how to improve washroom hygiene and the same old tips apply. Regular cleaning, disinfecting and using the correct products - these are all well-known techniques.

But what if you are doing all the right things but your washroom still does not pass the test? What could you be doing wrong? 

Every minute that your employees are displeased with the washrooms decreases their morale. They will avoid going to the washroom during the workday. This may cause health problems and decrease overall productivity

Basic cleanliness may not be enough to raise the standards of your washrooms. It may take a more user-centric approach.

Before moving on to less obvious ways to keep your washroom clean, make sure you have the basics covered. 

Basic Ways to Keeping Workplace Washrooms Pristine

1. Clean in Sequence

Regular cleaning is essential for all public restrooms. The office's foot traffic will determine the frequency of cleaning. 

The sequence of cleaning also needs to be standardised and implemented. Make sure your cleaners do not inadvertently re-contaminate surfaces.

Follow the below sequence when cleaning the restroom:

  1. Place cautionary signs at the entrance to the washroom. 
  2. Inspect and note all damaged equipment.
  3. Empty all trash cans.
  4. Sweep floors.
  5. Refill all dispensers (tissue, soap and feminine hygiene products).
  6. Pre-treat urinals and toilets.
  7. Clean countertops, sinks, taps and mirrors.
  8. Scrub toilets and urinals.
  9. Mop the floors.
  10. Disinfect cleaning equipment.
  11. Report damages in the washroom.

2. Disinfect Washrooms

Depending on the products used, cleaning may not necessarily mean sanitising. Cleaning tools can simply move germs from one surface to another.

It is important to use a separate disinfectant to make sure surfaces are germ-free. Studies show that disinfectants lower the level of germs on surfaces to a level that is safe for humans.

The surfaces should be left to air dry before wiping with a disinfectant solution. This is usually a bleach-based liquid which is able to kill the disease-causing germs.

Some of these include coronavirus, E-coli, salmonella, hepatitis A and norovirus. Disinfecting reduces the chance of illness and precious time off work.

3. Restock Consumable Products

Hygiene can only be maintained if workers are given the correct products.

There needs to be a sufficient supply of consumables at all times.

Commercial tissue paper is easily available and orders can be made online.

Modern dispensers make it possible to provide two rolls of 3000-sheet tissue paper. There is no longer any excuse for this necessity to run out.

Drying hands is as important as washing them.

To make sure employees do not spread germs, provide them with paper towels.

By using paper hand towel dispensers, workers have easy access to paper towels.

Other products such as handwashing soap and hygiene products also need to be kept in stock.

Georgia Pacific - Cormatic Paper Dispenser with lock

Cormatic Paper Dispenser
with lock

Georgia Pacific - Cormatic Paper Hand Towel

Cormatic Paper Hand Towel

Georgia Pacific - Cormatic Paper Hand Towel

Cormatic Paper Hand Towel

4. Provide Sanitary Cleaning Equipment

The equipment used should be in line with the purpose of the cleaning. To reach joints and corners will require specialised tools.

Sanitisers and agents vary according to the type of surface they clean so make sure to use the correct one.

Woman wearing yellow rubber gloves holding cleaning productsSource: freepik

Equipment such as mops, brushes, wipes and brooms need to be properly disinfected.

After cleaning, supervisors must ensure the cleaner uses the correct agents to clean the equipment. This will get rid of unsavoury smells and bacteria.

Further Steps to Improving Washroom Hygiene

After taking care of the basics, keep reading for a few more not so obvious tips on how to improve your office washroom hygiene.

1. Influence Good User Behaviour

Toilets do not get dirty on their own. There is a human element in the process of making a bathroom dirty. Natural body functions can sometimes be messy and there is not much one can do. 

You can, however, influence how people use the washrooms and the state they leave them in.

There are some subtle ways to improve how people use the restroom as shown in the table below.

Restroom Design Element
How to Improve the Space
Impact on User Behaviour
Lighting
  • Warm lighting
  • Creates a comfortable atmosphere.
  • High visibility to reduce mess.
Building Materials
  • Colours on surfaces
  • Smooth, non-textured surfaces
  • Creates an appealing environment for users.
  • Makes it easy for the user to clean up their own mess
Smart Technology Incorporate smart/automatic devices in equipment
  • Reduces chances of contaminations.
  • Offers convenience and efficient use of resources.
‘Looscaping’

Place decorative elements such as:

  • Easy to maintain plants
  • Waterproof pictures
  • Free-standing ornaments
Makes for a pleasant environment which users want to keep clean.

2. Use Public Education Signs

 A study in 2017 showed that people were more likely to wash their hands after seeing a sign instructing them to. This applied to 44% in men and 34% in women.

Office washrooms can use educational materials to make sure that cleanliness is top of mind for users.

have you washed your handsSource: pixabay.com

When designing the message, use simple visuals that are eye-catching. The language used should not be higher than that of a grade 6 student. Avoid the use of negative words such as ‘don’t’. Instead, focus on polite prompts.

Some examples are:

  • Please keep the toilet clean.
  • Remember to wash your hands.
  • Please put all litter into the rubbish bins.

Humour is also a good way to get the message across as readers won’t forget the cheeky reminder.

“ Treat Me Well and Keep Me Clean, I’ll Not Tell Anyone What I Have Seen.” — thefreshquotes.com

Delivering the message will help it become internalised. Delivery methods include posters and stickers on the walls and doors.

They can also be audio or via feedback panels. The correct delivery and positioning will maximise the effectiveness of the message. 

3. Promote Good Ventilation

A fresh smelling washroom is indicative of a clean space. Although it does not mean the bathroom is 100% clean, it makes visiting the toilet a more pleasant experience.

Promoting proper ventilation will aerate areas and get rid of malodours. Ideally, there should be natural ventilation from open windows and inlet grilles.

An easy way to allow for the free flow of air is to use a doorless entrance which leads to an entrance maze. If you must use doors, let them be easy to open and close so even workers can control the flow of air.

If possible, provide aerosol sprays for workers to use before they leave the washroom. Invest in automated sprays to regulate the amount of air freshener used.

4. Take Advantage of Smart Devices

Managers can use technology to support efforts to improve hygiene in their businesses.

There are numerous devices which are designed to reduce contact within washrooms. Ideally, they are supposed to minimise cross-contamination between surfaces.

Take a look at these and decide if they are an option for your organisation.

  • Touchless sink faucets

    Research has shown that sinks are the most contaminated surface in shared washrooms. Touchless bathroom faucets reduce contact and contamination of users’ hands. They also save water by automatically switching off.

  • Touchless soap dispensers

    Apart from reducing contact, these dispensers control the amount of liquid dispensed. Dispensers generally limit germ exposure more than bar soaps which harbour bacteria. This is especially important if someone who is sick uses them.

  • Touchless paper towel dispensers

    It has been shown that bacteria prefer wet surfaces and will spread easily via wet hands. Providing touchless paper towel dispensers reduces this risk. It also controls the amount of paper dispensed to prevent misuse.

  • Light sensors

    black theme toilet purelySource: pixabay.com

    More organisations are recognising the savings offered by using lighting sensors.

    The market for sensors offer a wide range of products which remove the need for switches. These can be placed inside washrooms and only switch on when human activity is detected.

  • Automatic ventilation

    Good ventilation reduces the amount of moisture in washrooms and inhibits the growth of harmful organisms. By automating ventilation systems, there is a constant flow of fresh air which vacates bad odours out of the washroom.

  • Self-flushing toilets & urinals

    Fewer levers and buttons means less opportunities for germs to spread in the toilet. These toilets use motion or heat sensors to determine when someone has been using the toilet and automatically flush.

Take the First Step to Improving Washroom Hygiene

All of these may seem overwhelming and you are probably wondering where to begin…

It’s always easier to tackle the smallest issues first. In this case, it would be to ensure daily cleaning with the correct products.

The easiest change you can make is to provide the correct consumables and paper products.

Australia Linen Supplies offers bulk tissue paper and you can be sure of never running out. Designed to fit in the double roll tissue dispenser, this is a simple way to improve your washrooms.

Paper towels are also available in bulk, along with a reliable paper tissue dispenser.

Take your workplace hygiene to the next level and contact ALS today.



Source: myjanitors

toilet signage beside green leaf

How to Make Your Office Washroom Safer for Everyone

In the wake of COVID-19, the need for safe washrooms is garnering lots of publicity all over the world.

Washrooms are high-risk areas for the spread of germs, infections, and diseases. Office washrooms, in particular, have high traffic because they serve staff, clients and visitors.

Yet many organisations give little thought to washrooms.

Managers will admit that it is easy to overlook office washrooms.

Why?

Perhaps because it isn’t a direct or tangible productivity metric when compared to sales.

But ignoring your office washrooms is at the peril of your business. Poor toilet conditions influence the work environment and affect employee productivity.

Research from the UN states that the lack of adequate sanitary facilities at work can lead to:

  • Poor health
  • Absenteeism from work
  • Attrition
  • Reduced concentration at work
  • Exhaustion
  • Decreased productivity

These have a negative impact on your business.

When workers are healthy, they are productive. When they are unhealthy they take sick leave, which halts productivity at work.

Closer to home, a 2019 survey, shows the average Australian worker is absent from work for 11.2 days per year. This ends up costing the economy over $35 billion in wages and loss of productivity.

Now more than ever, managers have to ensure office washrooms are safe for everyone.

Wondering where to begin?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Here are some ways you can ensure your office washroom is safer for everyone.

1. Supply Good Quality Hand Soap

One of the most important steps your staff can take to avoid falling sick is to wash their hands. Managers can facilitate this basic practice of good hand hygiene by providing clean water and soap. It curbs the spread of germs, including coronavirus.

In Australia, it is a legal obligation to provide suitable hygiene facilities in the office. Clean water, a hand basin and soap in the washrooms are a basic necessity in every office washroom.

Should you offer your employees anti-bacterial handwash or regular soap?

To answer that question let’s have a look at the pros and cons.

Antibacterial handwash

Pros

  • It combines the elements of antibacterial protection with moisturiser. This leaves your hands feeling soft.
  • It can be used in a soap dispenser, preventing theft.

Cons

  • Anti-bacterial handwash is more expensive than regular soap.

Regular soap

Pros

  • Non-perfumed regular soap and water are also effective for killing germs and bacteria. Studies show that it reduces bacteria by 82%
  • It is cheaper than antibacterial handwash.

Cons

  • It may cause skin irritation and leave your hands feeling dry.

The Code of Practice provides guidelines on handwashing facilities in the workplace. Business owners ought to provide non-irritable soap, if possible from a soap dispenser.

Your budget will determine the soap you choose for your workplace. It need not be expensive or antibacterial. Buying soap in bulk will enable you to enjoy a good discount and save on cost.

If soap and water aren’t available, choose alcohol-based hand sanitizers. To ensure its effectiveness, make sure the product contains at least 60% alcohol.

Offer your employees enough paper towels to dry their hands. Wet hands provide a breeding ground for bacteria.

Get the Georgia Pacific-Cormatic Paper Dispenser with a lock from Australian Linens Supply. It dispenses one paper towel at a time. This is efficient and prevents wastage.

Research shows that paper towels are a better option in comparison to hand dryers.

2. Display Handwashing Guidelines and Posters

Stop Germs! Wash Your HandsSource: cdc.gov

Did you know there is a correct way to wash hands or use hand sanitisers? This may seem obvious, but don’t assume everyone in your office knows this.

Educate your staff and customers on the proper way to wash hands. Stick printable handwashing guidelines on the toilet walls. 

The Centres for Diseases Control and Prevention recommends these guidelines when washing hands.

  1. Start by wetting your hands. Use clean cold or warm water, then turn off the tap and apply soap.
  2. Apply soap on your hands and lather well. Rub your hands together with the soap, starting with the palm then the back of your hands. Next rub between your fingers. Don’t forget to clean under your nails.
  3. Scrub the palm of your hands for 20 seconds.
  4. Use clean running water to rinse your hands.
  5. Take a clean paper towel and dry your hands. You can also air dry them.

Watch this video to see the recommended proper handwashing by World Health Organisation

Wash your hands. You know where you’ve been!Source: Alsco NZ

Follow these guidelines when using hand sanitizers.

  1. Pour some sanitizer on one of your palms. Always check the recommended amount to use as indicated on the product label.
  2. Rub your hands together.
  3. Spread the sanitizer over the back of your hands and fingers

Posters are a good way of reminding your staff to maintain hygiene in the washroom.

Keep them quirky. Some humour at work brightens the work environment and drives the message home with ease. 

3. Provide a Reliable Supply of Consumables

Nothing is more annoying than a washroom without toilet paper.

An important part of proper washroom hygiene is to replenish toilet consumables. To avoid the risk of running out of them buy bulk toilet paper.

Install a double-roll coreless dispenser in your washrooms. It is ideal for work washrooms with high traffic because it has the capacity of holding two rolls.

It is also durable and ensures a regular supply. This reduces the time between roll changes.

Do you need a single or multiple toilet roll dispensers?

Busy toilets should have multiple toilet dispensers to ensure regular supply of toilet paper.

Factor in the space in the washrooms. If there isn’t much space, the double-roll coreless dispenser works best. Get it from Australian Linen Supply. They will install it for you free of charge.

Also, provide disposable toilet seat covers. Toilets carry many invisible germs and viruses.

The seat covers allow you to line the toilet seat before use. This protects your staff against germs and gives them peace of mind when using the toilet.

4. Have a  Regular Cleaning Schedule

Household cleaning productsSource: Freesctocks

To ensure your washrooms to remain good condition, have them cleaned at least once a day. This works for washrooms that have less foot traffic.

Busy office washrooms accessible by the public need cleaning several times a day.

Ensure the cleaners follow a regular cleaning schedule, that way you can guarantee deep cleaning for all surfaces. 

To get the best results, train your cleaners on the standard of cleanliness you need for your office washrooms.

Here is a sample of a cleaning schedule you can follow.

Daily Tasks
Weekly Tasks
Fortnightly Tasks
  • Wash and disinfect toilet seats and lids
  • Mop the floor
  • Empty the dust bins
  • Clean the sinks
  • Wipe the counters
  • Clean the mirrors
  • Clean the exterior of the toilet paper dispensers
  • Scrub the sinks
  • Clean the soap dispensers
  • Replenish toilet paper and soap
  • Sanitise sinks and clean drains
  • Polish mirrors
  • Machine scrub the floors
  • Empty sanitary bins

Provide perfumed toilet cleaner and automatic air freshener. It helps in getting rid of malodour and keeps the washrooms smelling fresh all day.

Don’t forget disposal bins for female sanitary products and bins for used hand paper towels.

Bins should be cleaned and emptied on a regular basis. This goes a long way in keeping the washroom looking clean and tidy.

You need time to do regular checkups to ensure your washrooms are in good condition all the time. If your workload can’t allow you to do this, consider outsourcing the service to a cleaning company. It is more efficient.

ALS Helps Keep Office Washrooms Safer

Toilet paper is key in keeping your office washrooms safe.

For an office washroom with large traffic, jumbo toilet rolls are the best option. They are durable and will save you the cost of restocking every now and then.

You can buy these in bulk from Australia Linen Supply.

Contact them today for all your toilet paper needs. You’ll wish you called sooner.



Source: Pexel

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