Keeping the cleaner in mind

Essity’s Liam Smith looks at washroom systems from the cleaners’ point of view and considers solutions that make them easier to clean, service and replenish – while at the same time reducing costs.

When visiting an away-from-home washroom, we tend to take it for granted that the facilities will be clean, hygienic and uncluttered.

We also expect to find a constant supply of consumables such as soap, toilet paper and hand towels on site. But ensuring that this is always the case takes a great deal of time and effort on the part of the maintenance team.

However, it makes good business sense for facility managers to ensure that all washrooms are easy to clean and replenish. An easy-care washroom will reduce the number of hours required to clean them, bringing down labour costs and frees up staff for other chores. So, how can this be achieved?

The design of a washroom can make a major difference to the cleaning burden. For example, dirt will inevitably collect in the grout lines of tiled floors and walls. The use of large tiles or a continuous, smooth surface instead will alleviate this issue and help to speed up cleaning.

The choice of dispensers for soap, hand towels and toilet tissue can also make a difference to the cleaner’s lot. High- capacity dispensers that can be topped up at any time will cut the number of maintenance checks required and allow staff to refill the unit at their own convenience.

Many modern dispensers have refill indicators that allow the cleaner to see, via a viewing window, how much product remains inside. The aim is to speed up washroom maintenance – but our research has revealed that many cleaners open the dispenser anyway, whether this is out of habit to double-check the refill levels or to cram in more paper, in order to postpone the next maintenance check.


All dispensers should therefore be quick and easy to open, either with a universal key or via a push-button in environments where pilferage and vandalism are not a problem.

Systems that enable cleaners to monitor refill levels remotely will also significantly ease their burden. For example, Tork EasyCube allows cleaners to check via their smartphone or tablet which dispensers are running empty so that they can plan their maintenance visits. And sensors can also be placed inside the washrooms themselves to alert staff when a particular facility or cubicle is attracting a high footfall, which could indicate that extra cleaning might be required.

Bulk fill soaps need to be manually refilled – a task that can be both messy and time-consuming. Any spills will also have to be quickly removed, which will add to the cleaner’s workload. Soap should therefore be supplied in sealed cartridges, since these can be snapped quickly into place. Tork Foam Soaps are all supplied in sealed cartridges that can be replaced in seconds.

Air dryers require no refilling or checking – but they can lead to extra cleaning. As air dryers blow water away from the hands, this inevitably leads to puddles on the floor, and if visitors trample the water around with muddy feet, the floor will need to be cleaned more frequently.

A high-capacity hand towel dispenser is therefore a good solution because it will keep refill checks to a minimum. Tork PeakServe makes life easier for cleaners because it caters for over 1000 washroom visitors between refills – 600 more than most other dispensers. The towels inside

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