Tips for Keeping Restrooms Smelling Fresh and Clean

There's nothing that says your cleaning company is doing a great job more than when your building's restrooms are not only clean, but fresh-smelling. After all, when employees or visitors enter a restroom they "hope" to be confronted with a pleasant scent - pine, citrus or just a clean smell. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Often when individuals enter a restroom they are assaulted with an overpowering scent or even unpleasant odors.

Looking through any janitorial supply catalog there is a wide range of products to combat odorsĀ  - urinal screens and cakes, air fresheners of all shapes, sizes and fragrances, air sanitizers and commode and urinal mats. As a cleaning contractor, where do you begin?

To get a clean smelling restroom the first thing you have to do is remove any foul odors. Begin by assessing the restroom. Odors can come from many sources - restrooms do have their own share of "natural" odors and in addition dirt and bacteria can cause even more offensive smells. Check and monitor drains as they are a well-known source of fostering odors.

The first step to keeping odors under control is thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting restroom surfaces. Also consider using enzymes in drains to help break down materials that are decaying and that can lead to problem odors. Proper cleaning should remove not only the dirt you can see, but places that catch dirt and bacteria that can lead to offensive smells.

Odors can thrive in tile floors in men's restrooms as urine can easily get into the grout. Mopping every day can get the surface dirt, but dirt and urine that have penetrated the grout need more aggressive treatment. You may need to use a floor machine or vigorously scrub the grout to remove any build-up.

Use a neutral cleaner/disinfectant/deodorizer when cleaning floors, urinals, toilets and the partitions between stalls. If you mix up your solution in a mop bucket, you can pour the water down the drain after cleaning the restroom to help keep the drain smelling fresh. Check under toilet rims, countertops and other areas where soil may have collected.

Proper employee training is also critical in keeping restrooms odor free. An employee who rushes through a bathroom with a squirt of disinfectant and quickly sloshing a mop across the floor is going to be creating rather than solving odor problems. Employees must know how to use cleaners and disinfectants properly and be sure to allow the right amount of dwell time.

Once you have a restroom clean, putting the right products in place will help keep it smelling fresh. Urinal and commode mats are gaining popularity. Place these items under urinals and around toilets to collect any urine that drips on the floor. Besides capturing liquids, the mats also contain a deodorant that helps cut down on odors. Once full, simply toss the mats into the trash.

Air freshener dispensers come in all shapes, sizes and fragrances. Take care in choosing fragrances that are not overpowering. Strong smells, whether they be of pine, vanilla, cinnamon, green apple or citrus, can be offensive. Also remember when choosing fragrances to make sure that air dispensers, urinal cakes and others, all emit the same scent. Competing scents can interact and make your restroom odor problems worse.

There are many variables when it you are first trying to rid a restroom of foul or unpleasant odors. Because of increased scrubbing, when you first thoroughly clean a restroom more odors may be created as you are stirring up dormant smells. However, this is a sign that your cleaning will remove the problems and your customers will end up with a clean and fresh smelling restroom. The overall benefit of a "fresh smelling restroom" will make your cleaning clients happy and your cash register ring!