Cleaning Older Restrooms

Cleaning Older Restrooms. Age Has Nothing To Do With Clean.

Are you cleaning older restrooms? Everyone loves new, especially when it comes to cleaning restrooms. When floors and fixtures are new, except for some construction clean up, they are, well, clean. But as we know, it doesn’t take long before they are put to use and it’s all downhill from there right? It does not have to be.

The fact is though, new is the exception to the standard. While we would all love to replace restroom floors and fixtures at the first sign of stubborn stains and odors, the goal is to keep them looking new for as long as possible. I have heard it for years, “New is easier to keep clean.” My theory is “Clean is easier to keep clean.” As I have talked about a lot in the past, the key to restroom cleaning, especially cleaning older restrooms, is maintenance. Taking the time to do daily cleaning properly will lead to consistently clean facilities.

Restroom Cleaning Amazement

Cleaning Older RestroomsDuring a family road trip, we stopped into a truck stop along I-80 in Wyoming. I must say, it was amazing. Little America is in the middle of nowhere. 20+ miles from the nearest town, this oasis in the middle of the high desert had by far, the cleanest public restrooms I have ever seen. The really crazy thing about these restrooms was that they were nowhere near new. Like a flashback to the 60’s and 70’s, the tile on the floors and walls were turquoise in the men’s and pastel pink in the women’s. (I got the report from my wife.)

The grout lines were spotless. The men’s room, under the urinals and the floors were not even sticky. The chrome on all of the fixtures was shining and best of all, there was no odor. Zero. It literally smelled like nothing.

Although I wasn’t able to speak with the custodial staff, I did make a point to track down an employee and leave a complement for them.

Cleaning Older Restrooms Can Be An Asset

Many view restroom cleaning as a necessary evil with no real return on investment. In the example of Little America, it would be easy to say “Where else are they going to stop? Why put time into cleaning older restrooms?” The long-term impact of maintaining the “like new” state of restroom facilities has more than likely paid for itself over and over through the years.

Restoring is the expensive part of restroom cleaning and cleaning older restrooms that have not been maintained is even more difficult. But, by allocating the resources to keep facilities clean on a daily basis, restoration or “deep cleaning’ becomes a thing of the past. This reduces overall costs when it comes to renovating and replacing too. It is surely good for business as well. I know that the cleanliness of the restrooms affects my choices on where to shop, eat and buy gas.

Restroom cleaning can be an asset with a much greater return than most businesses think. Whether you are cleaning older restrooms or new, think long-term everyday. And if you find yourself on I-80 in western Wyoming, make sure to check out Little America. Let me know if you agree!

2 replies
  1. Ken the Janitor
    Ken the Janitor says:

    Perhaps they use spray and vac equipment (e.g. Kaivac)? I wish we used them in my school district. We’re stuck with cotton string mops with single compartment buckets, and the results show it. The upshot of it all is that we’re using nice quality, “green” chemicals, but old fashioned processes and tools, like huck rags that smear, and manual dilution because “backflow preventers are too expensive.”

    “Our buildings are very clean,” boast the admin. No. No they aren’t. I’m man enough to admit we could do much, much better.

    I was excited when our director of custodial services announced we were piloting new cloths to replace the huck rags we’re using. “Finally, we’re switching to microfiber!” I thought. Nope. Flimsy cotton rags, apparently reused (I found one that was labeled “ER” with a marker), sloppily cut by the distributor, which started fraying after the first laundering. Complete waste of funds. The admistration clearly cares more about short term savings.

    I’ve shown the rags to a couple teachers and our nurse, and said, “This is the value our district places on cleaning.” Hopefully we can agitate for true change. After all, if the teachers are using 21st century technology in the classrooms, why can’t the custodial staff in our cleaning operations?

    Sorry, I went off on a bit of a tangent. I would love to see ALL restrooms that clean. It CAN happen.

    • BaldGuyClean
      BaldGuyClean says:

      Great news Ken! Microfiber will make a big difference for you. I just don’t understand why administrators can look at the labor budget and not want to make it the most efficient as possible.


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