E-coli outbreaks. Resistant bacteria. New infectious diseases. People today are confronted with news about the consequences of poor hygiene and the spread of germs on an ongoing basis. And one of the places where hygiene can be improved is the restroom.
While proper hand washing is the most effective means of preventing germ transmission and cross-contamination, numerous studies have shown that large numbers of people don't wash after using the restroom. As a result, someone who is infectious can potentially spread germs to others via restroom fixtures, surfaces, faucets and product dispensers. So it stands to reason that when your staff comes to work, they deserve nothing less than a clean and sanitary restroom. A clean and sanitary restroom lets staff know that management is paying close attention to one of the building's most important areas. Conversely, a dirty or disorderly restroom is not only an eyesore but may heighten fears of germ transmission.
While it can sometimes be difficult to achieve restroom hygiene, particularly in high-traffic locations that require frequent restocking, there are systems on the market that can greatly assist property managers in reaching this goal. Among them: No-touch systems.
A vast array of products are available today that require no-hands operation or contact only with the product, not with dispenser handles or levers. No-touch systems can include everything from sensor-activated faucets and toilet flushing devices to card-entry devices that allow someone to enter the restroom without even touching the door.
Other types of no-touch products include enclosed bathroom tissue and paper towel systems that enable users to touch only the product they will be using. These enclosed systems reduce the potential for cross-contamination because users touch only the product they use. Since the product is enclosed it is also protected from dirt and moisture. In addition, towel and tissue products that offer controlled dispensing reduce litter and paper debris, which, while not necessarily unsanitary, conveys the appearance of an unclean restroom environment.
Another important area that can impact restroom hygiene is soap. Even though soap is a small cost component of a restroom, it is frequently a prime area of complaint. One study of people's hand washing habits found that nearly half the people who did not wash with soap after using the restroom had no choice — there was no soap. This can be particularly disconcerting to the person who wants to “do the right thing” but can't. So it's important to offer high-capacity or dual cartridge soap systems that last longer and work properly.
Using a concentrated, clear antibacterial soap can help reduce germs while adding level of comfort for people accustomed to using similar products at home. A thicker, concentrated soap provides a rich feel, adding to an overall impression of quality that can improve perceptions of the restroom. And, here too, no-touch systems can be used to help prevent the spread of germs via cross-contamination.
As restroom products manufacturers have moved to touchless products and systems, so, too, have manufacturers of cleaning systems. Some systems provide on-demand sanitizing and cleaning of fixtures based upon flushing. There are also no-touch cleaning products that enable housekeeping professionals to clean without touching any surface in the restroom with their hands. These systems are also simple to operate as they consist primarily of electrical pressurized spraying systems mounted on a cart with a spray wand. In addition to physical cleanliness, the systems help restrooms look and smell fresh and clean.
With these and other tools it is easier than ever before to create a hygienic, sanitary restroom environment for your staff. When you consider how much time the average person spends in the restroom — more than three workdays a year — doing anything less just doesn't make sense.