Top Restroom Cleaning Challenges

Top Restroom Cleaning Challenges

The cleanliness and smell of a restroom can add a level of professional appeal to your business or send customers running for social media to complain.

Top Restroom Cleaning Challenges

The Top Restroom Cleaning Challenges Facing Businesses Today

An odd linchpin that unities both public-facing and private businesses alike are the cleanliness and smell of their restrooms and how that impacts their bottom line.

Foul odors, as well as unpleasant sights and smells, can repel customers, never to return, and lead to severe health and safety issues for facility workers.

When it comes to landing repeat business, having a well-maintained restroom is vital.

If someone's touch, smell, or sight senses something is awry, that individual is remarkably less likely to visit that restroom again, or, consequently, that entire facility.

Most building occupants have encountered something so visually unpleasant in the restroom that it makes their stomach churn, but when it comes to upsetting visitors, it's foul odors that most often cause discomfort.

Top Restroom Cleaning Challenges

The issue with restroom cleanliness is so pronounced that, according to a recent Bradley Corp. research, more than half of the nearly 1300 respondents said they were unlikely to return to the business again.

When a customer encounters a messy restroom, their perception of that business and its products and services are tarnished.

Even worse, 55 percent are unlikely to return to a business after a bad restroom experience, which can have a devastating effect on sales.

Keep that toilet tidy. Americans choose businesses based on restroom cleanliness, survey says

The issues are not limited to customers, either.

According to prior research conducted by Bradley Corp., office workers believe that the condition of their restroom directly correlates to how the business and its management value their employees.

[...] 83 percent of Americans believe the condition of restrooms in the workplace indicates to employees just how much their company values them.

Survey: Clean Workplace Restrooms valued by Employees

However, the most significant challenge regarding restroom cleanliness is not that business owners and facility managers are unaware or do not care; it's that the custodial staff finds the job disgusting and intolerable.

According to a recent article published by Cleaning Business Today:

  • 67% of cleaning professionals ranked removing urine stains and odors as the most challenging task.
  • 49% of those who responded stated that the job they instruct their staff to do most often was clean up urine stains and odors.
  • 61% reported that if a restroom were self-cleaning, they would love to never clean and disinfect urinals and toilets again, and;
  • 56% of those surveyed stated they found cleaning up bodily fluids, such as blood and vomit, more tolerable than removing urine stains and odors.


Complicating the matter is the rise in the installation of low and no-flow toilets in California's drought-stricken districts.

Urine and feces require water and gravity to force waste down pipes--the absence of which can, and has, led to the intolerable buildup of foul restroom odors.

So, how do we address these challenges and keep everyone happy, healthy, and productive?


Addressing the Top Restroom Cleaning Challenges

Maintaining the health and hygiene of public and private restrooms does not have to be, nor should it be a herculean task.

The first step is to assess the restroom.

  • Identify and repair malfunctioning equipment.
  • Determine peak-use periods and determine if the absence of personal hygiene supplies are sufficient.
  • Verify that trash buildup is not an issue leading to waste being discarded onto the floor instead of the trashcan, and then;
  • Design a cleaning and maintenance schedule in accordance with the observed occupancy and use.

Next, train and provision your staff.

  • One of the most significant challenges facing businesses is the gap in training and education for their custodial staff, so make certain they are well trained on, not just what to clean, but how to clean it and when.
  • Ensure your staff possesses all the necessary protective gear to ensure their safety and reduce the chance of exposure to dangerous germs and bacteria, as well as potentially deadly chemicals.
  • Provide your custodial teams with updated equipment to simplify the onerous chore of removing unpleasant stains and odors and ensure they are thoroughly trained in the proper use, care, and maintenance of the equipment.

Finally, use the right products.

  • Don't use perfume sprays to try to mask odors; it just makes it smell worse, and will likely lead to illness and complaints.
  • Follow manufacturer guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting low and no-flush toilets.
  • Keep in mind that commercial cleaning products can create dangerous chemical clouds if used improperly, as well as leave unpleasant odors, so consider switching to safer, environmentally-preferable cleaning products and disinfectants.



Dirty, foul-smelling restrooms are repulsive and unappealing to customers and office workers alike.

However, cleaning up the mess in those restrooms is ranked as one of the most undesirable tasks in the professional cleaning industry.

To address these challenges, business owners and facility managers must ensure that their custodial staff is well-trained, properly equipped, dedicated to the task, and properly motivated to do a good job.

Unfortunately, specifically regarding in-house custodial staff, accomplishing that feat is easier said than done, and the industry is plagued by high turnover numbers, which underscore that fact.

Outsourcing addresses all of these issues while managing ongoing costs and reducing management overhead.

If you would like more information regarding the benefits of outsourced infection prevention and control services, or if you would like to schedule a free, no-obligation onsite assessment of your facility's custodial needs, contact us today for a free quote!

In Bakersfield CA, call (661) 437-3253

In Fresno CA, call (559) 206-1059

In Valencia CA, or Santa Clarita CA, call (661) 437-3253

In Palmdale CA, or Lancaster CA, call (661) 371-4756