Periodically I like to get back to the basics of cleaning since we all need reminders along the way of the steps necessary to clean a facility effectively and safely. Remember to use PPE's correctly, knock/announce and note apparent odors upon first entering room.

1. A rest room can have offensive odors for many reasons including poor cleaning and maintenance. Failing to use the correct cleaning solutions to deal with the different types of soil can result in urine or ammonia odors as well as odors from a poorly maintained floor drain or little used sink or shower drain. The floor drain is an easy fix in that pouring water or a mix of cleaning solution or enzymes can deal with it by deal with the odor while blocking sewer gas.

2. Cleaning grout lines can be more difficult since it may require use of different types of cleaning including ones with sodium hypochlorite (bleach) and/or disinfectants. Of course, using a solution of enzyme and water can deal with many odors if given the time to work. Remember to refrain from using any disinfectants or other products that could possibly neutralize the enzymes in use.

3. The best way of keeping grout and ceramic tile clean and odor free is to rotate the chemicals used to attack regular soils as well as urine before it accumulates and becomes more difficult to remove. Realizing that grout is porous sand that needs to be cleaned and sealed is very important if odors are to be controlled in a rest room.

4. Upon first entering, conduct a brief inspection noting condition of floor, paper supplies, vandalism and any work requiring special attention. This will help in determining the next steps.

Servicing a rest room is simple in many ways but requires training to be most effective.

Your comments and questions are important. 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