Does white & clean washroom mean zero bacteria?

Cleanliness of the washroom has been a common topic and concern among users and public. Usual complaints among users in Indonesia are often around bad odor, slippery wet floor, dirty cubicles, uncleaned litters and rubbish, poor ventilation and insufficient washroom facilities such as hand soap, toilet paper, toilet seat cleaner and appropriate sanitary napkin disposal bins.

While most businesses, retail, services and hospitality environment have raised their washroom standards, paying attention to overall cleanliness and keeping it dry and well scented, and enhancing the experience to suit today’s lifestyle and expectations such as introducing décor and value added facilities such as sofa and vanity area, the question is: “are these visibly white clean washrooms enough? Are they hygienic?”

Answer: Cleaning alone does not create a completely hygienic and bacteria-free environment. Surfaces may appear white and clean, no visible traces of dirt or grime, but the actual fact is, the washroom may still be contaminated with microorganisms, thus increasing the risks of cross contamination and infection.

What exactly happens in a washroom that causes these contamination and spread of germs and bacteria?

Flushing toilet increases spread of germs and bacteria

Imagine how we sneeze and harmful germs and bacteria are transmitted in the air, spreading among people around us? Flushing the toilet or otherwise known as “Sneeze Effect” produces the same risk concept, by sneezing bacteria into the washroom. Worst of all, they can cover the environment in less than a minute, and surviving for up to 24 hours.

  • Tip: Flush with the lid down to prevent spreading the “Sneeze Effect”.
  • Solution: Install a proper sanitizer to minimize these harmful bacteria and cross contamination risk.

Exposed sanitary napkins or inappropriate disposals

A common complain among female users, is the unhygienic handling of used sanitary napkin. Either they are left undisposed from the bin, or are dropped into bin without a lid or worse of all, used napkins lying around in the cubicle. Besides emitting foul smell as a result (and a common complaint), improper disposals increases cross contamination and infection risk, and attracts flying insects and pests.

  • Tip: Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and sanitize after washroom use.
  • Solution: Provide proper feminine hygiene unit with sensor facilities to minimize contact with surfaces and ensure regular servicing and emptying of these harmful wastes.

Tissue or toilet paper litters on the floor

It could be a fully-loaded waste bins, poor washroom habits by littering on the floor, or unavailable bins around the washrooms; these used tissues and paper are littered on the floor, toilet cubicle and wash basins or counter tops. These used wastes contain harmful germs and bacteria, especially if they are used to clear our runny nose or cough phlegm. We would not want to come into contact with this unhygienic garbage.

  • Tip: Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and sanitize after washroom use.
  • Solution: Install or provide waste bins for proper disposal and ensure regular emptying of bins. Do your part by not littering them and dispose appropriately.

Toilet Seats are soiled or contaminated by germs and bacteria

Imagine the toilet seats are regularly used daily around the clock, particularly in high traffic area. In some cases, there may be uncivilized manner of using them by stepping on the seats, or staining with urine and faeces. This places us a high risk of contracting bacteria and diseases such as E. Coli, Staphylococcus, Shigellosis, and Salmonella.

Symptoms include food poisoning, fever, vomiting, and diarrhea, inflammation of intestine and respiratory diseases. While toilet surfaces may look white and clean, there may be traces of germs and bacteria through “Sneeze Effect” as well, and we should not take chances and place us at risk of health and safety.

  • Tip: Clean the seats with a Toilet Seat Cleaner before use or lay the seat with toilet paper for protection.
  • Solution: Provide Toilet Seat Cleaner facilities in every cubicle to value add your washroom users’ and enhance their safety.

Contaminated surfaces that we always come into contact with

Do you know the top 4 common hotspots that are highly contaminated and also the common surfaces that we will come into contact with? Answer: The flush button, toilet seat, cubicle door handle and washroom door handle. Imagine on average, a person visits the washroom around 2,500 times a year, which equates to 6 to 8 times a day. This also means, we are constantly exposed to germs and bacteria and only takes seconds for our hands to get contaminated by touch.

  • Tip: Always make sure to clean your hands adequately in the correct manner, and sanitize your hands for the additional protection.
  • Solution: Install hand soap, hand drying facilities and / or place hand sanitizer outside the washroom for additional sanitization. Download these useful washroom education tips and posters to adopt the right washroom hygiene habits.