A reader writes: “Most of my customers expect the restrooms to smell like bleach and/or pine scent. When I discontinued using these products, they complained.”

Upon closer inspection of your custodial run, it was determined that you were not using the best procedures to clean the rest rooms in a satisfactory manner; but the bleach and pine scent gave your customer a false sense of “cleanliness” that is not supported by fact. Please remember that you should NOT mix bleach and pine scent for any reason since it creates dangerous fumes, can be corrosive and in some cases, deadly.

Bleach is NOT a cleaner; rather it is a very potent disinfectant that loses its efficacy rather quickly if there is a soil load. To use bleach effectively, one must first clean the surface with a detergency and then proceed to apply the bleach mixture to the surface and allow sufficient dwell time (usually ten minutes). In most cases, you should make sure the surface remains wet during this time which may require more than one application in a well ventilated room . Remember that it is a corrosive and should be promptly rinsed from metal and even painted surfaces to avoid possible damage. It can also be an eye and respiratory irritant.

Pine oil is a very expensive disinfectant in that it must be mixed 80% product to 20% water to be effective. I realize there are “pine scent” products that pine oil mixed with a detergent that can be used even though you still have to deal with the fumes and vapors that are an eye and lung irritant to many people, myself included.

Try to educate your customers on the fact that clean does not have to smell to be clean. There are far better products out there that have a nice odor or no odor at all that you should test.

Your comments and feedback are always appreciated. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.