A reader asks: "I am frustrated with complaints from my customers that the restrooms are not clean. I cannot control odors that have built up over time, nor can I restore damaged grout. Any thoughts?"

Although restrooms do not have to smell good, they should not smell bad immediately after cleaning. We all know that if a restroom is only serviced once in a 24-hour cycle, it can become soiled, trashed and just plain dirty before the next cleaning occurs.

Some restrooms are going to soil sooner due to higher traffic or abuse by users. On occasion, it might be wise to schedule in a policing service which checks for supplies as well as wipes off the sink and takes care of any spills. During that time, the first inspection point should be smell. Workers can be trained to determine the difference between a recent use of the facilities and odor that has built up over time.

Too many of us try to mask the odors instead of cleaning them correctly. Deodorizers and scented urinal screens can give off a pleasant odor but does not really deal with the problem that something is being missed by the cleaner.

It may be as simple as switching out your chemicals so that the soils are removed correctly and safely. Consider rotating your cleaning on a weekly or bi-weekly basis by using a cleaner/disinfectant and then an enzyme cleaner product. The disinfectant can do a great job sanitizing the surfaces but may not be effective in dealing with the urinal build up in grout and along walls.

Remember that many enzymes are neutralized if applied over a disinfectant. Some are sensitive to hot water or other cleaning products and of course, remember to pour water or a enzyme solution mix down any floor and shower drains on a regular basis.

We will look at grout in a future article. 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 CTCG50@comcast.net.