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are now also touch-free, further reducing cleaning needs and helping to prevent cross-contamination.


Paper towel dispensers: Select systems that automatically dispense a prescribed amount of paper so there’s no need for users to pull and tear off pieces. Again, such systems are more cost effective and help keep washrooms cleaner.


Trash receptacles: More and more people today are using paper towels to open washroom doors while exiting so as not to resoil their hands after washing. For this reason, consider installing trash receptacles both near sinks and near exit doors. This will encourage users not to toss used paper towels on the fl oor.


Toilets: Although they can be diffi cult to source, toilets with lids that close help prevent the dissemination of microbes onto partitions, walls, and fl oors during fl ushing. This will keep washrooms more hygienically clean.


Floor drains: More than one fl oor drain should be installed, especially in larger washrooms. Having multiple fl oor drains makes cleanup much easier should a urinal or toilet overfl ow.


Countertop colors: Light-colored countertops tend to camoufl age soiling and water stains better than dark ones. While the ideal situation would be to keep counters hygienically clean at all times, they do inevitably become soiled during the course of the workday – light-colored materials make this less noticeable.


Countertop materials: Smooth or less-porous countertops resist soils, and water-impervious surfaces tend to be easier to keep clean.


Hand dryers: While some users do not like these machines, electric hand dryers are less costly over time than paper towels, and can help reduce cleaning times and labor expenses. Many of these systems


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Outlets: Power outlets should be installed high enough on the wall to prevent moisture infi ltration and to keep the equipment cords off the fl oor.


Bathroom fl ooring materials: If tile and grout fl oors are to be installed in washrooms, a medium to dark grey color is preferable. Light-colored fl oors typically show more soiling and wear-and-tear over time. Further, epoxy- or urethane-based grout should be selected because it is usually easier to keep clean.


Floor Concerns Floors are of particular importance in washrooms, and this is an area in which concerns about appearance often trump practicality. Although no one wants an ugly fl oor, the fi rst consideration when choosing any fl ooring material must be safety


factors – always select fl ooring materials that are considered nonslip.


Tile and grout are often selected as fl ooring materials because they are generally the safest type of fl ooring for a washroom setting. However, as cleaning professionals know, grout is diffi cult to keep clean in general and tile can easily become soiled due to its porous nature. Of course, if tile and grout is used, there are things cleaning professionals can do to make maintenance easier.


Several cleaning chemicals and tools are now available that are specially designed to clean tile and grout. These items are especially useful when it comes to removing soil buildup in grout areas, however, some of these chemicals can be very powerful, possibly posing a health risk not only to cleaning workers but also to building users. Safety precautions must therefore be followed carefully when using these products, and traditional mops should be avoided, as they can spread contaminants into fl oor pores and grout, causing them to discolor.


Spray-and-vac (no-touch) or dispense-and-vac cleaning systems are a useful alternative when it comes to cleaning tile and grout – these systems tend to be less dependent on potentially dangerous chemicals. Imbedded soils are removed either by pressure washing the fl oor or brushing, before moisture and soils are vacuumed up. The entire process is also faster than traditional cleaning methods, reducing cleaning times and labor costs.


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