When one of your responsibilities is arranging the maintenance and cleaning of your facility, the issue of keeping your public restrooms hygienic and fresh can be a constant concern.
This guide will help you identify the chief causes of those annoying unpleasant odours and provide some tips to help you understand how they can be successfully managed by your commercial cleaners.
Simple Cleaning Techniques Are Not Enough
Public restrooms tend to be one of the areas in a building with the highest traffic and even restrooms that are mopped and cleaned daily can have a lingering odour. Regular cleaning methods with detergents and water are not sufficient to remove the cause of those distinct and annoying odours.
What Causes The Odour?
The major source of restroom odour is urine. Bacteria grow and feed in any lingering spots of urine, no matter how small. This undetected urine changes from an acid to a salty alkaline state and attracts moisture that allows the bacteria to grow. The bacterial growth keeps renewing and producing stronger odours until it is destroyed.
This is why air fresheners can attempt to mask the odour for a short time, but because they cannot eliminate the bacteria, the smell will still remain.
Sanitization Is Paramount
To thoroughly counteract the odours, the urine salts, being the food source of the bacteria, need to be neutralised.
Using An Acid Neutraliser
An acid-based neutraliser will effectively break down the alkaline salts. For cleaning crews:
- The solution can either be mopped or sprayed onto tiles and grouting
- It should be left on the surfaced for a minimum of ten minutes to ensure effectiveness
- The surface can then be rinsed down
PAA (Peroxyacetic Acid) is an effective sanitiser and is environmentally friendly as it breaks down into oxygen, acetic acid and water.
Special attention should be given to wall and floor grouting, as this provides a perfect environment for the bacteria to grow and flourish.
Using An Enzyme Based Product
If you prefer not to use strong chemicals, you can specify that an enzyme-based product is used. It will work effectively, but needs to be used daily and its results will not be noticed for several days. The enzymes will digest the food source as well as the bacteria. Look for a product with a combination of enzymes: cellulose and protease are both well known to effectively digest bacteria and protein.
Cleaners should be made aware that they should not use an enzyme-based cleaner in conjunction with a disinfectant. The disinfectant will destroy the enzymes before they have a chance to start digesting the bacteria.
Once the source of the odour has been successfully eliminated, a regular cleaning routine using the right mix of cleaning products can then be maintained. Only then can some pleasant deodorising techniques be employed.
A variety of deodorising techniques can be used, according to preference. They are available in time release sprays, solid deodorising blocks to be placed in individual toilet cubicles and others that are applied with each flush. For best results it is usually to choose one that can absorb humidity and filter the air, rather than one with a strong invasive fragrance. Deodorisers made from glycol are very effective. They operate by combining their molecules with the molecules of the odour to form a new non-odoriferous molecule.
Ultimately a restroom with no distinct smell, apart from a clean and fresh scent is ideal.
Odour From Drains
Floor drains can be often overlooked but need regular attention. Gases escaping from the drain can cause unpleasant odours. Pouring a cup of water mixed with enzymes into the drain on a weekly basis will prevent it from drying out and producing odours.
Arranging for deep cleaning at regular intervals with the powerful steam machines operated by commercial cleaners is an ideal method of keeping tiles and grout sparkling fresh and bacteria free.