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WASHROOM HYGIENE An Inconvenient Truth


Public washroom maintenance is an important daily task with which most cleaning industry professionals are familiar, since washrooms are a frequently used area in any facility and their upkeep can affect public perceptions. But Clorox Professional Products Co. wanted to uncover what it takes to keep this critical area in top shape from cleaning industry professionals themselves, so they conducted a survey in cooperation with ISSA to fi nd out about tough jobs in the restroom.


“These survey results underscore some of the restroom cleaning challenges that are often neglected and show that industry professionals may not understand as much as they think they do,” said ISSA Sales Director Anthony Trombetta. “At ISSA, our goal is to arm our members with the knowledge and educational tools they need to help them perform their jobs optimally, and this survey endeavor with Clorox Professional allows us to gather valuable insights so that we can continue to fulfi ll that need.”


Visible Dirt and


Unseen Germs When it comes to public restrooms, cleaning industry professionals have two important jobs: cleaning for appearance and cleaning for health. Maintaining a visibly clean restroom is important for infl uencing consumer perception, but harmful microorganisms, such as Shigella, Salmonella, Hepatitis A, E. coli, and norovirus are routinely found in restrooms and are associated with outbreaks of illness.


“Maintaining public restrooms is certainly a tough job, but it’s so much more than that,” said Clorox Professional Products Co. Associate Marketing Director Jennifer Case. “Keeping a restroom disinfected


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can help prevent the spread of illness-causing germs to building occupants and the community at large, especially during the winter months. Clorox Professional views these survey results as an opportunity for the cleaning industry to see where there may be knowledge gaps among cleaning professionals and address them to ensure more optimal restroom cleaning. We too are committed to helping them fi ll these gaps through educational tools, resources, and product solutions.”


According to survey results, most cleaning industry professionals (85%) are fully aware of the importance


of this dual relationship of cleaning for appearance and health. The vast majority (95%) also believe that restroom cleaning has an impact on overall public health by helping to prevent the spread of disease.


However, this understanding may not trickle down to all employees; almost half of respondents (49%) believe their staff are aware of all the risks associated with the spread of germs in the restroom. The survey also found that one in fi ve respondents believe that the general public may think their facility’s restroom harbors germs, while most cleaning professionals believe that restroom handles carry the most illness-causing germs and bacteria, particularly restroom door handles (65%), tap handles (38%), and toilet or urinal handles (36%). However, secondary research shows that this is false and that door handles pose the least risk for germs, while the feminine hygiene bin, which only 12% of professionals believe to be germy, has one of the highest concentrations of germs.


Continuing Education


“These survey results underscore some of the restroom cleaning


challenges that are often neglected and show that


industry professionals may not understand as much as they think they do.”


Needs Keeping on top of restroom cleaning needs can be demanding, and although only 15% of respondents report a lack of education or training as a challenge to performing optimal restroom cleaning, far more (68%) say their staff don’t understand or only somewhat understand the differences between cleaning, sanitising, and disinfecting.


When it comes to educational tools, it was revealed that almost all (94%) cleaning professionals rely on product usage instructions to train staff, but 43% of those think these tools could be improved, while 90% of cleaning professionals use restroom cleaning protocols or guidelines, but 45% believe these tools could be improved.


www.tomorrowscleaning.com


Everyone knows the importance of keeping the washroom clean and hygienic, but in a study conducted by ISSA and Clorox Professional Products, a surprising truth was revealed about common misconceptions not just from washroom visitors, but from cleaning staff as well.


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