Tips to keep your restrooms user friendly

Tips on Keeping Your Restrooms User Friendly, part 1.

The commode, the water closet, the lavatory, the bathroom: call it whatever you’d like, but remember to keep it clean and easy to use.  In this post we’ll offer tips on keeping your restrooms user friendly. It would seem simple enough, right?  Only you’d be surprised at how often we come across dirty restrooms when consulting companies on the cleaning of their business.  All too often we stumble upon bathrooms with mystery smells, unsightly stains, and other problems that could have been avoided with a few simple adjustments.  We’ve helped many businesses improve their facilities by helping them see their bathrooms through a fresh set of eyes.

As the old adage goes, there’s never a better time to start than now. No matter how bad (or good!) you think your restrooms currently are, chances are improvements can still be made.  Even for brand new restrooms, consider taking the following steps to retain that fresh, clean look for years to come.

Placement of trash receptacles

A clean, well organized commercial bathroom.

In a commercial restroom it’s always a good idea to place a lined trash receptacle in two places: directly underneath the paper towel dispenser and a second, smaller sized can placed right next to the exit door.  Now, we’re not being facetious here, but common sense isn’t always so….common.  With trash it’s easy: people will use it if they see it.  If they have to hunt for it, they might skip it, or take a shortcut and shoot a jump shot.  Folks pretending that they’re Lebron James will inevitably miss, where it gets kicked and tossed around.

Many times small bits of paper will be torn away from paper towel dispensers.  They’ll often fall, like gentle snowflakes directly below the dispensing unit.  This is a great spot for your primary trash can.

When it comes to touching public door handles the germaphobes out there will take a paper towel with them for use on the exit door.  These people need a quick, no-look spot to dispose of it before hitting the exit.  This is a great spot for a secondary can.

Traveling with wet hands

We recommend mounting your paper towel dispensers as close to the sink as possible.  And place your soap dispensers as close to the faucet as you can.  Remember that wet hands drip while reaching for soap or paper towels.  They drip in search of the trash cans and doors.  For busier restrooms this will quickly create pools of water on the counters and floor.  Not only can this become a safety hazard in the immediate, but it can also create water damage to your countertops, walls, and other surfaces further down the road.  

Side note on faucets: if you have shallows bowls, make sure the water pressure is turned down. This will not only avoid splash back but will be more efficient on your water usage.

Toilet paper: hang it over or under?

The age-old debate over hanging toilet paper over or under was apparently settled years ago.  Who knew?! Spoiler alert for those that didn’t get the memo:  the winner was… over! Truth be told, according to a study conducted by the University of Colorado germs and viruses can be transferred via the very bottom of the toilet paper feed. It’s easier to get a clean, even break if the toilet paper is fed over. When fed under you end up with snags, uneven tears and even bits of paper on the floor.

 And why does this matter, you may ask? Good question! When you leave those shredded bits behind at the bottom of the feed, you’re more likely to leave your germs and bacteria behind along with it.  The study identified 19 strains of bacteria that commonly linger in restrooms. One of the most popular groups? E. coli of course!  As you’re taking care of your bottom business, your fingers and hands transport the bacteria, leaving behind traces of these icky things on the next jagged TP square.   

Partially used toilet paper rolls

We could probably devote an entire post to this subject matter (okay, in the future we likely will) because we’re so passionate about it.  When it comes to paper products, we know that cost is always a factor and this is important for you as a business owner.  

Do: advise your cleaners to change out a toilet paper roll when there is less than a quarter (25%) or less remaining.  

We understand the instinct to get the most out of each roll, but the worst thing for your customer’s to experience while using your facilities is for the toilet paper to run out.  Of course, the exact percentage can vary depending on how much traffic your restrooms receive.  But generally speaking, with less than 25% remaining you run the risk of running out during the next business day.  Not good. 

Partially used rolls: dispose of them properly.  More often than not, people will not use them if they’re placed atop the toilet tank, dispenser, ADA bar, or other surface.  And again, germs. 

Extra rolls, we generally advise not to leave them out on the same aforementioned surfaces. They can get knocked onto the floor, stolen, or get splashed upon in various ways.  Again, germs!


We hope this information can help you plan or improve upon your restrooms.  For more information, contact one of our services consultants. Believe it or not, they’re passionate about this kind of stuff! In the next post, we’ll talk toilets, air fresheners, and urinals.  We can’t wait!