Clean restrooms are one aspect of customer service that will not go unnoticed.

Restroom Cleaning: How to Do It Right

Customer Experience Cleanliness

Restroom cleaning must be a top priority for every retail and small business where customers gather. Here’s how to do it right.

If you have any doubt that restroom cleaning should be an important element of your business’s overall cleaning strategy, consider these findings from a consumer survey of more than 2,000 adults conducted in 2015:

  • 85 percent of respondents wouldn’t use a business that has negative online reviews about the cleanliness of its facilities.
  • 81 percent of adult women wouldn’t go to a restaurant with reported cleanliness issues.
  • The top five businesses affected by negative online reviews of facility cleanliness are restaurants, hotels, doctors’ offices, hospitals and hair/nail salons.

“With the increased use of consumer review sites, consumers form a perception of a business long before they set foot in the door,” says David Mesko, Cintas vice president of product development. If your place of business (including the restrooms) are dirty “and someone mentions that in an online review, it will have a negative impact on your bottom line.”

In terms of customer perceptions, there’s too much at stake to settle for anything less than a truly clean restroom. Pristine facilities put customers at ease with your business as a whole, and encourage more confidence in the quality of your customer service. When you consider all the surfaces and touched objects in a typical restroom — including toilet seats, urinals, door handles, sinks and faucets, soap dispensers, counter tops, paper and feminine hygiene dispensers — it’s clear that significant work is required to get the job done right. Keep these tips in mind to keep a clean restroom at your facility—every day.

Assign and Educate

Make sure your team features specific employees who are ready and able to take on the task. More consistent cleaning results are likely if the same employees are responsible for cleaning the restrooms each time. They should be trained in all aspects of cleaning, including the importance of both cleaning and disinfecting. You should also make sure they know your standards and exactly what is expected of them.

Armed for Success

A truly clean restroom depends on high-quality cleaning and disinfecting products, so be sure your team is well-equipped with the right gear and supplies to get the job done right. Employees should be armed with a fully-stocked custodial cart, containing germicidal cleaning products, a professional toilet brush or wand, disposable wipes, glass cleaners and other multipurpose products.

Concentrate on Hard-to-reach Areas

All the obvious surfaces, objects and fixtures should be kept clean, of course, but it’s in the hard-to-reach areas where grime and dirt build up and lead to those “mysterious” odors you don’t want customers to encounter. Such areas include:

  • Toilet base
  • Underside of urinals
  • Grout lines
  • Ceiling vents and fans

Be sure employees know the best ways to tackle these areas, and don’t neglect them in their cleaning routine.

Use a Two-bucket/Ringer Combination

Mop with the appropriate chemical cleaning products and do a “gentle” soak of the floors to get at any soil in the grout. Then, using fresh water, a clean mop and a two-bucket/ringer combo, complete a final pass. Disposable wipes are useful in getting at awkwardly situated edges and corners.

Conduct Regularly Scheduled Deep Cleaning

Proper ongoing maintenance will ensure that customers have a favorable experience when they use your restrooms, but to guarantee the best possible degree of cleanliness, it’s advisable to schedule regular deep cleans. Heavy-duty equipment designed specifically for this purpose can incorporate power-scrubs of the floor and detailed cleaning of walls and doors. Best of all, these deep cleans make it easier for employees to maintain a desirable, ongoing level of cleanliness.

It’s not enough to clean your facility restrooms and forget about it. Basic cleanliness is what your valued customers expect. If you commit to truly clean restrooms, customers will always encounter surfaces free of stains or puddles, fresh liners inside trash cans, fully stocked paper products, no sign of dust on vents, sparkling clean mirrors and absolutely no unpleasant odors. By committing to a process that actually exceeds expectations, you’ll enhance the quality of your brand and your facility where customers and/or patients gather. You can also be sure that they’ll spread the good word among their friends.

Lee Polevoi
Lee Polevoi

Lee Polevoi is an award-winning business writer who specializes in the challenges and opportunities facing small businesses in the U.S.A former senior writer at Vistage International (a global membership organization of CEOs), Lee regularly contributes articles, white papers and blog posts to a variety of small business websites, including Paychex, Intuit Small Business, ADP, Hewlett Packard's™ The Pulse of IT, Catapult Groups, Avalara TrustFile and many others.