Clean urinals make for a user-friendly commercial restroom

Maintaining User-Friendly Commercial Restrooms part 2: Urinals and Air Quality

Restrooms can have a lasting impact on how a customer feels about your place of business.  As a result of Covid-19 we’ve all had to rethink what it means to be clean. Now and for the foreseeable future, cleanliness will now be at the forefront of many people’s minds.   Customers using a dirty, unkempt restroom can return to the lobby with a little less enthusiasm than they had before.  This negative energy could overshadow the rest of your operations.  Unsanitary conditions and malodors can be both distracting to customers and reduce employee productivity.  This post aims to help business owners avoid cleaning pitfalls.  In this post we continue our sojourn into restrooms with a look at maintaining urinals and air quality. 

Clean urinals make for a functional, user-friendly commercial restroom.
Clean commercial restrooms are vital.

Maintain your Urinals with Urinals Screens

We recommend urinal screens for a variety of reasons, here’s why:

  • They can mask odors by emitting a more desirable fragrance.
  • Some models prevent odors by releasing optimized and beneficial bacteria. This does more than mask the problem, it fights the bad smells.
  • They reduce splash back, which cuts back on cleaning time and is more sanitary.
  • They screen larger debris such as chewing gum and cigarette butts from getting down the drain.  Avoiding drain/flow problems is a money saver!
  • Transparent models allow you to see into the drain.
Urinal screen with deodorizing block
Urinal screen with deodorizing block

Things to keep in mind: your janitors will still need to swap the old screens out for fresh ones every 30 days on average. They will also need to lift the screen up from time to time to clean underneath it.  The urinal drain/throat will still need to be cleaned out per usual.

Urinal floor mats.

We recommend them for high-traffic facilities.  They are placed directly below the urinal on the floor. Here’s why they are a good call:

  • User error: many of your customers will miss(!) the urinal and dribble on the floor. Having a floor mat is more sanitary and cuts back on cleaning time.
  • They protect your floors.  Urine is acidic, and overtime puddles of urine will slowly damage your floor no matter what the material.  Vinyl, tile & grout, concrete, etc. can all be stained and corroded with frequent urine spills.  If you’ve ever noticed white spots or brightening on the floor below a urinal this is most likely bleaching from urine. 
  • The mat can prevent slip hazards. 
Commercial floor mats place below the urinals can prolong the life of your floors.
Urinal floor mats can prolong the life of your floors.

Things to keep in mind: your janitors will have to keep an eye on these mats each night.  Consider the disposable models as they will need to be swapped out every 30 days on average.  Your janitors will still need to clean the floor underneath.

Maintaining Air Quality with Air Fresheners/deodorizers

In the future air fresheners will get their own post (there’s a lot of ground to cover) but for now a quick primer. Wall mounted air fresheners are the way to go. These units emit a pleasant aroma that can be adjusted to your preference. This is vital if your restroom has poorly functioning fans. Some wall mounted units simply operate via a cartridge that constantly emits a mild, pleasant aroma. This is a low-maintenance option.

Battery operated units can be adjusted to periodically release aroma like clockwork.  These can be longer lasting.  However, keep in mind that the batteries need to be checked on a regular basis and are an added cost. 

Some battery powered units have internal fans and are motion-activated.  They can be programmed to emit an aerosol spray each time motion is detected.  Some models have LCD screens that let you know when the battery is getting low. Convenient.

Wall mounted commercial air fresheners can improve air quality
Wall-mounted air fresheners are recommended over countertop units or hand-held spray cans.

Other Air Freshener Options

Countertop air Fresheners: effective, but less than ideal.  Often times they are placed away from the toilets (the source of the malodor).   They can be knocked over, get splashed, and children can play with them. 

Individual Aerosol spray cans placed in stalls.  Our verdict: a hard pass.  On the surface, they would seem like a great addition and it shows consideration for your guests.  The problem is, some people will overuse it and some will walk away with it (unfortunately!). 

 Additional things to keep in mind: oil based aerosol or pump-spray air fresheners are strongly discouraged.  Oil-based products will remain on hard surfaces such as stainless steel and ceramic tile. As the product settles, it coats whatever it lands on. It then attracts dirt, dust and hairs.  This greasy film doesn’t go away until the janitors wipe everything down.  If your business only receives 1 x week janitorial this is a substantial concern.   Oil build up on the floor is also a considerable slip hazard. 

Aerosol hand-held air freshener spray can.

Maintaining Air Quality

Ventilation: air quality is important.  Air fresheners can mask malodors and deodorize within limitation, but there is no substitute for a strong-functioning HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system.  To properly manage your indoor air quality you must bring in fresh air, which helps circulate stagnant air.  Adequate air circulation reduce temperatures, moisture, and it removes airborne particles, allergens, and pollutants.  To maximize air quality we recommend regular changes to your HVAC system’s air filters. Regular cleaning of your air ducts is always a good call. Lastly, every coupe of years you’ll want to schedule routine inspections by a certified HVAC contractor.

Maintain good air quality with efficient HVAC systems

We hope this post will help you better understand some of the dynamics behind maintaining urinals and air fresheners in your commercial restroom.  At Business Cleaning Solutions we’re committed to helping you maintain a clean place of business.  For more information, you can talk with one of our service consultants.