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other facilities, encouraging behaviour such as washing hands, do have a positive impact.


While the researchers found that restroom odours and cleanliness were issues, they did not make recommendations. Speaking about restroom odours, especially in schools, Marc Ferguson, Vice President of Global Sales for No-Touch Cleaning system developer Kaivac, said: “[This] means bacteria have been building up on floors; it’s even worse in schools because so many schools in the UK have tile and grout floors.”


What happens, according to Ferguson, is that the tile and grout floors and walls are porous, absorbing moisture like a sponge. Sometimes we can see problems developing, as the grout areas become darker, but very often there is no noticeable sign. In restrooms, this ‘moisture’ is often urine, which can cause serious malodour issues over time. Ferguson added: “With urine, bacteria, even mould and mildew build-up, invariably restroom odours are the result.”


As to rectifying the situation, Ferguson suggests mops be avoided. We have known since the early 1970s in hospital studies that mops can spread contaminants. However, for


years, cleaning professionals have had few alternatives when it comes to cleaning floors.


However, Ferguson continued: "[Today] more schools now use no-touch or spray-and-vac cleaning systems. While the water pressure generated by these machines is safe for walls and fixtures, it's powerful enough to deep clean and remove bacteria from tile and grout floors."


He suggests that the final step in the cleaning process must also be performed, and that is to use the machine to vacuum up all moisture and soils, and concluded: "We want the floors completely dry after cleaning. This also allows the restrooms to be open for use immediately after cleaning."


Ultimately, the researchers concluded that improved hand hygiene could also help reduce student infection rates and lower school absenteeism. Further, promoting the importance of handwashing through information apparently was setting a good example for all students to follow. Together with proper handwashing, the posters, the ‘handwashing’ reminders from teachers, as well as effective and thorough cleaning are steps that should make the restrooms healthier and help protect the health of the


www.kaivac.com


“Studies have found that posters placed around


schools and other facilities, encouraging behaviour


such as washing hands, do have a positive impact.”


50 | WASHROOM HYGIENE


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