Best Practices for Cleaning Public Restrooms

We all want to promote a good image of our facility by keeping public restrooms clean. The condition of our restrooms communicates to our customers how much we care about their health, safety, and comfort. It’s not just about smelling and looking pretty. Most of all, it is about the health & happiness of your customers. A fresh, clean restroom promotes health, hygiene and lowers risk of spreading infection and disease. Practice the following tips for cleaning public restrooms.

Essential Tips for Keeping Your Restrooms Clean

Janitorial staff need a strategic and informed procedure in place for consistent restroom cleaning. In general, public restroom surfaces should be cleaned with a multi-purpose cleaner,
followed by targeted disinfection of certain surfaces. Cleaning should always be completed before disinfecting. The initial cleaning removes surface dirt, allowing disinfectants to reach and kill germs. Follow the steps below to keep your restrooms in tip top shape!

1.) Gather Supplies

Be sure you have your cart, cleaning products, sanitizer/disinfectant, refills for soap, paper towels, etc., trash bags

2.) Cleaning Public Restrooms in the Proper Order

Clean from top to bottom, working your way to the exit. Arrange your cleaning procedures step by step, from cleaner surfaces to dirtier surfaces to reduce the spread of germs from one area to the next.  Scientists have studied bacteria in public restrooms and found that the largest concentrations of bacteria are found in “high touch” areas.

Germiest Areas in Public Restrooms Include:

  • toilet flush handles
  • door handles, latches, panels and edges
  • faucet handles
  • soap dispenser levers
  • baby changing table

3.) Pre-clean Surfaces

First, clean up dirt, debris, & soiled matter with a multi-purpose cleaner. For low touch surfaces such as floors, walls, and benches, a general cleaning may be all that’s needed to keep the area hygienic, unless bodily fluids have contaminated the surfaces.

  • Dust from top to bottom (Recommended once a week)
  • Spray down surfaces and wipe with clean cloth
  • Sweep or dust mop the floors to remove trash before wet mopping

4.) Sanitizing & Disinfecting Surfaces

Disinfect surfaces with an EPA-registered products that kills virus and bacterias like E. coli & MRSA. Sanitizers are generally used in food service areas. Whereas, in public restrooms,
disinfectants are more likely to be used. Disinfectants need time in contact with germs to kill them, so read & follow the directions on the product you’re using. Allow product to stand as directed.

Cleaning Public Restrooms Toilets & Urinals

  • spray disinfectant, complete other tasks while you let product stand, and return to disinfect them after the disinfectant has had time to kill germs.
  • Flush toilets before cleaning
  • Clean inside the bowl and scrub under the flush rim

5.) Wipe Water Drips

Using a glass and surface cleaner, remove water drops, marks, and streaks from mirrors and around hand-drying fixtures.

6.) Frequently Replace Cleaning Cloths

Minimize cross contamination by changing clothes between each restroom. Microfiber cleaning clothes tend to be more absorbent than cotton or rayon cloths. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends changing a mop head daily or after cleaning up blood or body fluids. Another recommendation is to allow the mop heads to dry between

7.) Stock Toilet Paper, Soap, Paper Towels, Toilet Seat Cover, Etc.

Remember, when you’re restocking supplies, take time to clean dispensers. Restock all supplies. Make sure you always have toilet paper, soap, and paper towels stocked to encourage hand washing and good hygiene.

AeroWest offers a great replacement for paper toilet seat covers. Check out our in-stall toilet seat sanitizer & your customers will never have to fuss with messy toilet seat covers or squat again. 

8.) Eliminate Odors with Air Freshners & Restroom Deodorizers

Keep odors away by using high quality air fresheners. There are urinal screens and toilet clips that release high levels of fragrance in the stalls, drip systems that release cleaning fluid & fragrance, and odor neutralizer into the flush water, and a huge variety of air freshening devices to mount on the walls. Keeping your restroom smelling great in between cleanings will always give the impression of being clean. Replace your air fresheners as directed or look into deodorizing service such as AeroWest, where all the deodorizing needs are handled for you. We also offer hand care services, where we keep high quality soap & sanitizer in stock for you.

9) Use Touchless Fixtures Where Possible

To prevent the spread of germs, use touchless technologies where ever you can, from the toilet flushes, soap dispenser, faucet, and hand dryer. This also makes it much easier for you to keep restrooms clean.

10.) Empty the trash

Remove trash every day and don’t forget to empty the feminine hygiene disposal. Before replacing the liners, spray with inside receptacle with disinfectant.

11.) Wet Mop

Mop carefully around and BEHIND toilet & urinal fixtures. Work your way out, towards the exit.

12.) Post Wet Floor & Hand Washing Signs

Put up wet floor sign when mopping. Posting a sign encouraging customers to wash their hands has been shown to improve restroom hygiene and prevent the spread of germs.

Cleaning public restrooms is an essential task that must be done properly to build the reputation of your business. Try these tips and the check out the resources below for more info:

Resources for more information:

Minnesota State Guide for Cleaning Restrooms

How to Clean Restroom by Supply Works