Waterless urinals have a unique set of cleaning requirements as compared to the conventional urinal. It is important that front-line workers understand the difference between cleaning various types of urinals.

Waterless urinals do not take longer to clean than traditional urinals, but they do need to be cleaned with specific chemicals that will get the job done without being too harsh on the surface. Waterless urinals usually have a polished, liquid-repellant bowl surface to aid the drainage of urine and to prevent bacterial buildup by keeping the urinal dry. Harsh cleansers can harm the surface as well as the trap cylinder.

Use a mild cleanser or disinfectant with a soft cloth such as microfiber, says Kent Edwards, project manager at ABM in Stanford, Calif.

“You don’t scrub them down every night like you do with the traditional urinal,” Edwards says. “They’re just wiped clean with a neutral cleaner/disinfectant. Then once a month they have to be flushed, changing the chemical and flushing it out. It’s just a different process.”

Some manufacturers produce cleaners specifically for no-flush systems. With no metal surfaces to clean, no water mineral deposits and no scrubbing, these fixtures can be cleaned quickly. Maintenance-wise, BSCs do need to make sure liquid sealant is replenished when needed, and that the trap cylinder is changed regularly.

Waterless urinals will likely become more popular with the rise in societal concern over water consumption, especially in desert and drought-affected areas.

“It does save water, there’s no doubt about it,” Edwards says. “It will become more and more prevalent as it becomes more accepted by users.”