No matter the facility, we have an expectation that restrooms be safe, properly working and, most importantly, clean. The condition of your facility’s restrooms creates a strong impression for visitors and clients, and a dirty space can mar your reputation.
Data reveals that many restrooms are less than ideal in the cleanliness department. According to the journal of Applied and Environmental Microbiology, over 77,000 types of viruses and bacteria can thrive in restrooms. Yes, you read that correctly — 77 thousand.
This is just one of many statistics that underscores the importance of regularly cleaning and disinfecting your restroom, no matter your industry. Unfortunately, cleaning alone can’t keep restrooms germ-free; a research team from San Diego State University found that within just one hour of disinfecting and cleaning, restrooms were totally overrun once again with fecal bacteria and microbes.
Ask any manager which area of his or her facility is most difficult to clean, and the restroom will probably take the top slot for this reason.
What types of viruses and bacteria are common in restrooms?
Among the 77,000 types of bacteria and viruses are E. coli, fecal bacteria, shigella, salmonella, norovirus, hepatitis, streptococcus, influenza and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
Let’s be real though — restrooms are so full of germs that it isn’t really possible to remove all contaminants. If you are a facility manager, the best approach is to plan on treating as many contaminants as possible, and the first step is to understand which restroom surfaces harbor the most germs.
Where are the most highly-contaminated areas?
Most people think first of the toilet, but there are actually nine areas that are more contaminated in public restrooms, according to researchers from Biocote. In order, the most contaminated spaces are:
- The sink
- The radiator
- The faucet
- Toilet paper dispenser
- Side wall
- Waste receptacle
- Toilet seat
Most people guess the toilet first, but toilets only measure about 150 colony forming units (CFUs) of bacteria. If that sounds like a lot, consider this — sinks measure a remarkable 50,000 CFUs!
Where to Focus Your Cleaning Efforts and Janitorial Supplies in Detroit
Knowing this information helps managers prioritize their cleaning tasks and guides staff toward the most contaminated spaces in the restrooms. Because bacteria cannot be seen with the naked eye, information like this is crucial for making cleaning decisions.
Now that you know the worst spaces in your restrooms for germs, come back for next month’s blog to learn how to tackle them and how our janitorial supplies in Detroit can help!