THE INVISIBLE ENEMY Businesses are judged on the cleanliness of their washroom, but unseen factors are just as

important as eliminating visible dirt. Here, Cleanology explains how to ensure that the smallest room makes a big impression.

It may or may not be the ‘smallest room’ in the building, but the washroom is used by everyone, says Cleanology co- founder and CEO Dominic Ponniah.

He said: “For most companies and other organisations, the washroom is the one room in the building that all staff and visitors use. And it is the one facility that many – if not all – organisations are judged on, especially restaurants.”

Few issues in commercial and institutional buildings, therefore, provoke as much debate as washroom hygiene. Increased concerns about cleanliness have led to more scrutiny of washrooms. In turn, many cleaning managers have reassessed their approach to washroom products to ensure they are better placed to specify the best products to meet ever more challenging hygiene demands.

Cleanology is an award-winning family business with bases in Manchester and London. Its core service is commercial contract cleaning, but it also provides all 'soft' services such as waste, recycling, washroom and hygiene services, pest control, and property maintenance. Clients include some of the world’s most famous brands such as Skyscanner, Hermes and Harrods.

Ponniah continued: “Regardless of client, the major challenges in the washroom fall into two categories: the 'seen' and the 'unseen'. Ensuring your washroom looks pristine throughout the day is crucial to the former. Most washrooms are only cleaned once a day, so having a full-time, daytime housekeeper can help to maintain 

The 'unseen' challenges are germs, and these can be found in the unlikeliest of places – especially around electric hand dryers. Moisture left after only partially drying your hands with an electric dryer makes the spread of bacteria more likely. Hands are occasionally not cleaned as well as they might be, and the air blows these droplets from hands to wall panels, taps, door handles and every other washroom surface, where they will then be touched by others.


Ponniah explained: “Rubbing your hands together while drying them may release more bacteria from the surface of the skin after washing. For this reason, electronic – be they ultra-rapid or conventional warm-air – dryers are one of my least favourite washroom facilities. Sometimes I

think using a hand dryer after washing your hands is so unhygienic it might be better to not wash at all.

“So, I would go for paper hand towels every time. Although paper has an environmental cost, much of the wood used to make the paper now comes from sustainable commercial forests, so the impact of paper towels has become minimal. Unlike an electric hand dryer which will take thousands of years to degrade, towels are either recyclable or quickly biodegradable.”

Another plus point for paper towels is environmental sustainability. The electricity used to run hand dryers clocks up CO2 emissions and running costs for the client. Also, often overlooked by clients is the issue of productivity: electric dryers may decrease overall productivity because only one person can use a hand dryer at any one time whereas paper towels can be taken by several people.

Ponniah added: “Regardless of washroom products, the best way to ensure good washroom hygiene is through regular maintenance, ideally intermittently during the day, but certainly no less than once a day. The key issue for clients is that they want washroom facilities to be spotless. Cleanology always allows plenty of time to clean washrooms to ensure high standards are kept or exceeded.

“We encourage clients to put preventative planned maintenance (PPM) in place periodically – certainly not less than once a year but, ideally, quarterly. In terms of what   friendly equipment. It will also improve reporting and real-  

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