When nature calls, we expect restrooms to be safe, functional and, above all else, clean. The condition of your restroom leaves a strong impression on customers and visitors, and an unkempt space can tarnish your reputation.
Research shows us that many restrooms are lacking in the cleanliness department. According to the journal of Applied and Environmental Microbiology, more than 77,000 distinct 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 what industry you work in. Unfortunately, cleaning alone can’t keep restrooms germ-free; a research team from San Diego State University found that within just sixty minutes 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 lurk 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 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
If you’re shocked, you’re in good company. 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 Efforts and Janitorial Supplies in Boston
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 Boston can help!