According to a recent Harris poll survey, 86 percent of U.S. adults equate the cleanliness of a restaurant's restroom with the cleanliness of its kitchen. The survey also revealed that 75 percent of U.S. adults would not return to a restaurant with dirty restrooms. Regardless of industry, clean restrooms directly impact a business‚ ability to attract and retain customers. Cintas Corporation recently issued a checklist of best practices to help business owners and facility managers keep restrooms clean and leave a powerful impression on guests.

Best practices for maintaining clean restrooms include:

1.    Develop a restroom maintenance program. To sustain clean restrooms, develop a program that outlines cleaning tasks and frequencies. Cleaning frequency largely depends on restroom usage. However, it's critical that organizations thoroughly clean restroom surfaces at least once a day. In addition, management needs to train, reinforce and inspect the execution of the program so employees know exactly what is expected of them.

2.    Give restrooms frequent attention. Beyond daily cleaning, assign specific employees to spot clean the restroom frequently. This is especially important during high-traffic periods. The goal of spot cleaning is to keep a restroom dry and free of debris, not to conduct a true cleaning. Spot cleaning ensures messes and spills won't be left unattended and will also make routine, daily cleaning easier. Employees should keep surfaces dry and stock supplies consistently throughout the day. They should also regularly check toilets, urinals, sink areas, mirrors, dispensers and baby-changing areas, as well as check to ensure everything is functioning properly.

3.    Equip staff with the right tools and chemicals. Pairing the proper cleaning tools with the right cleaning chemicals enable employees to clean with less effort while still producing quality results. Also, arming staff with chemical dispensing systems ensures they use correct dilution and controlled portions to optimize cleaning performance and reduce waste.  

4.    Deep clean restrooms on a routine basis. Many businesses only perform a spot and daily clean. However, deep cleans should also be performed on a routine basis. Deep cleaning will remove tough built-up soils left behind from normal daily cleanings. Deep cleaning should include all surfaces including walls, floors, toilet areas, sinks and mirrors. All surfaces should also be treated with disinfectant, followed by a fresh water rinse and extraction to make sure contaminants are gone for good. Doing so lifts away old grime and dirt making surfaces look like new and day-to-day cleaning easier.

5.    Work closely with the facility services provider or in-house department manager to develop a customized program designed to meet specific needs. This will ensure restrooms always have full and functioning dispensers and that staff is armed with the proper cleaning tools and chemicals to make restrooms look clean and fresh.

"Restrooms can make or break a customer's impression of a business," said Dave Mesko, Senior Director of Marketing, Cintas. "Business owners should review their restroom maintenance program to ensure they allocate the right resources to the right tasks. Doing so will enable them to save time and money while providing users with a positive experience."