Restroom cleaning in a lodging facility can establish total credibility or deter a customer from ever coming back. Keep in mind that in the lodging industry, as far as can be determined by a number of various market studies, the only cleaning standards that exist are for the housekeeper to clean a specific number of rooms in a specific period of time and pass an inspection for appearance before the room is resold.
The good news is that certain hotels are looking at outside contractors to help establish better cleaning routines for the common areas, hallways, banquet rooms, convention halls, etc. These areas have large carpeted or hard surfaces that require special cleaning and maintenance products and procedures to protect and increase the life expectancy of the materials specified.
No other area of a facility is as prone to creating health problems as the restroom. The cleaning techniques outlined in this article will provide a clean, healthy, and safe restroom. Unfortunately, techniques differ greatly between companies and cleaners within the same facility. A list follows of the prime items that need to be watched and corrected when observed, (some of these items may be repeated):
Important Restroom Notes:
Using Wipes: Use only line free wipes for cleaning restrooms. Paper hand towels are not designed for surface cleaning. The wipe used to dry the toilet bowl and urinal should not be used to wipe the seat.
Disinfectants: All human contact surfaces need to be cleaned with a disinfectant detergent. The “QUAT” disinfectant cleaner is acceptable for all restroom cleaning. Bleach should never be used in cleaning the restroom.
Hand Soap: Great care must be taken when refilling liquid hand soap dispensers, as mistakes are often made filling them with the wrong product. An excellent recommendation is the use of sealed soap systems whenever possible.
Floor Drains: Restroom odors are often caused by floor drains drying out and can easily be corrected by placing one quart of water down the floor drain each week.
Metal Cabinets: Do not use metal polishers on stainless steel waste containers, unless they are water based.
Powder Cleaners: No powder cleaners should ever be used in restroom cleaning. Use either liquid cleaner or a cream cleaner to avoid abrasion, but mainly to reduce particles being placed in the atmosphere.
Gloves: Gloves should be worn for all restroom cleaning.
Fully Clean Restroom
Restroom cleaning requires the following steps:
- Preparation: the cleaning cart should be taken into the restroom, if possible, and a sign placed on the door showing the restroom is being cleaned.
- Place a small amount of bowl cleaner in the toilets and urinals. This will give the chemicals time to work while other cleaning processes are being performed.
- Empty all waste hand towel containers and sanitary napkin containers. Refill all dispensershand towel, toilet paper, seat covers, hand soap, and sanitary products.
- Spray cloth or sponge with restroom cleaner and wipe the counter tops and sinks. This includes the wiping of metal fixtures.
- Using a bowl swab, clean inside the toilets and urinals. Use a smooth circular motion so as not to splash the cleaning chemical. Wipe the outside of the toilets and urinals using a cloth or sponge and dry with a separate cloth.
- Spot wipe the partitions and dust the tops. Wipe the towel holders and spot clean the wall light switches and the doors. Cleaning material should be sprayed onto the cloth and/or sponge, not the surface to be cleaned.
- Clean the mirrors using the glass cleaner and a lint free cloth.
- Dust mop the restroom floor using a lobby broom to remove debris from the corners and edges, and behind toilets and partitions. Then use a swivel action dust mop to dust mop the center of the floor.
- Damp mop the entire restroom floor using disinfectant cleaner. Mop out from behind the toilet stalls and then use a side to side action for the open areas.
Restroom cart, mop, bucket, wringer, bowl swab, cloths, spray bottles, gloves, paper supplies, liquid soap, 24 or 32 ounce mop, gum scraper.
Disinfectant detergent, glass cleaner, restroom cleaner, non-acid bowl cleaner.
Clean Restroom Vents
Vents need to be wiped using either a hand held cloth or a dust wand covered with a cleaning cloth. The dust needs to be held in the cloth and not spread around. Care must be taken to insure each vent crevice is dusted by placing the tip of the duster in the crevice and moving it back and forth.
Dust Wand, Cloth
Using a sponge or cloth wipe the sides of all partitions in the restrooms. The action should be from the top to the bottom and not in a circular motion. The cloth or sponge should be sprayed with the approved disinfectant detergent.
Sponge or Cloths, Spray Container.
Policing restrooms requires the following steps:
- Preparation: the cleaning caddie should be taken into the rest room, if possible, and a sign placed on the door showing that the rest room is being policed.
- Check the waste paper dispensers, and empty all waste hand towel containers and sanitary napkin containers. Refill all dispensershand towels, toilet paper, seat covers, hand soap, and sanitary products.
- Spray a cloth or sponge with rest room cleaner and wipe the counter tops and sinks.
- Check all toilets and urinals, and wipe any stains that are present. If any stains are present, wipe the outside of the toilets and urinals using a cloth or sponge and dry with a separate cloth.
- Spot wipe the partitions and dust the tops. Wipe the towel holders and spot clean the wall light switches and the doors. Cleaning material should be sprayed onto the cloth or sponge, not the surface to be cleaned.
- Spot clean the mirrors using the glass cleaner and a lint free cloth
- Use a lobby pan and broom to remove debris from the corners, edges and behind the toilets around partitions and from the open floor.
Restroom caddie, bowl swab, cloths, spray bottles, gloves, paper supplies, liquid soap, dust pan, broom, gum scraper.
Disinfectant detergent, glass cleaner, restroom cleaner.
This task is normally done with a slow speed (165 R.P.M.) floor machine. A higher speed machine could be used if it contains a spray guard. The first step would be to dust mop the floor. Then using a mop and bucket, lay down a general purpose cleaner, or a disinfectant cleaner. Scrubbing would be done by using a mildly aggressive pad, either a green, brown, or blue pad. Corners and edges and the area around pillars may need to be scrubbed by hand. The cleaning solution should be picked up using a wet vacuum or mop.
Standard floor machine, bucket and wringer, 16, 24, or 32 ounce mop, gum scraper
General purpose cleaner, floor finish
Material Safety Data Sheets
MSDS sheets must be easily accessible to cleaning management as well as being kept in the client’s office. All chemicals in ready-to-use containers must have a label which will tie the product back to the concentrate container.
The removal of spores is still a difficult process. Exposing them to a suitable disinfectant is not always practical. Unlike bacteria, which will stick to a surface, spores are easily airborne. This means the method of collection would be different from bacteria. Where mopping with a disinfectant detergent is totally adequate for bacteria, spores are better collected with vacuuming. It is for this reasonwhen health is the issuethat vacuuming hard surface floors is the method of choice.
One prime area for spore growth is in warm moist areas. Ceiling tiles are an area that must be watched. Wet tiles must not be left to dry out. Wet tiles must be removed and replaced with new/dry tiles. The warm area in the ceiling, coupled with wet tiles, create the perfect condition for spore growth.
In a typical building cleaning the most common area for bacteria growth is the restroom. The process of choice is a disinfectant cleaner of the chemical type quaternary ammonium. It is preferred because it is the most pleasant to use and, therefore, is more likely to be used. The use of a “QUAT” will kill most bacteria strains, but must be applied so that is remains wet for a period of time. Damp wiping with a QUAT cleaner is also necessary on counters, sinks, toilets, urinals, partitions and for the damp mopping of the restroom floor. Medical areas of any building should also be cleaned with a disinfectant cleaner as a protection against bacteria.
Carpet disinfectants are also now available from several companies. They should especially be used in child care centers and fitness areas. The carpet disinfectants can be applied with a topical spray or combined with a shampoo and then applied as part of the carpet cleaning process.