The third part of this three-part article examines the time savings from using a restroom machine to clean fixtures.

The decision on when to use a restroom machine and when to clean by hand becomes a little grayer when considering each part of a restroom individually.

For example, “Cleaning Times & Tasks” says (on pages 28-29) cleaning one toilet with a 500-psi spray-and-vac restroom machine takes one minute. To treat a toilet with a disinfectant and clean it with a toilet brush takes 0.25 minutes. Even weekly cleaning with an acid toilet bowl cleaner and mop agitation takes just 0.5 minutes. As one might expect, however, the comparison isn’t actually that simple.

The restroom machine was originally created to make restroom cleaning a little less disgusting, says Walker. If using a restroom machine means a worker doesn’t have to get down on his or her hands and knees and scrub a toilet, then it might present a better solution, even if the book says it’s not technically as fast.

Cincinnati-based Scarlet & Gray Facility Services, Inc. has been cleaning school restrooms for 21 years. The BSC uses restroom machines in about 30 of its 60-plus school buildings on any given night, says President Mark Cappel.

“From a worker moral standpoint, the only way to clean it is to [use a restroom cleaning machine], so you’re not touching anything,” says Cappel. “And you can squirt the urine out from the flush valves and off the walls, where it’s all over the wall partitions.”

Yet, in other instances, Cappel maintains it’s necessary for a worker to go in and wipe something down by hand. For example, Scarlet & Gray uses an aerosol glass cleaner to get the hand prints off of the urinal partitions.

Perhaps the best way to approach this dilemma is to use the restroom machine when everything, or almost everything, in the restroom needs to be cleaned, but clean by hand when only a few pieces of the restroom need cleaning.

And, of course, restroom machines can’t be used when water could cause damage to the walls or floors, as would be the case with drywall or old, fragile grout.

Cappel is aware of the times listed in “Cleaning Times & Tasks” and says they’re accurate. In some instances the book may point to cleaning by hand as a time savings — and in some cases that’s advice worth heeding — but not every decision is made based entirely on direct time savings.

“Hopefully your time isn’t that tight,” says Cappel. “I mean, our bids aren’t based on one and a half minutes per fixture and if it’s two minutes we’re losing money.”

When comparing the cleaning times of a restroom machine to cleaning by hand or with a wet mop, the results depend on myriad factors, including the number of fixtures, the age and gender of the restroom’s patrons, and the person performing the cleaning.

“These sometimes are seen as an exact measure, and they’re not,” says Walker. “They’re the best average estimate based on all of the available data that we’ve received.”

previous page of this article:
Restroom Cleaning Machines Can Improve Level Of Cleanliness