This article was written by Sara Schafer, executive director at Mower County Senior Center in Austin, Minnesota.

After working at Mower County Senior Center for 10 years, I’ve seen my fair share of different cleaning and maintenance issues. Our facility is a “one stop shop” for seniors ages 55 and older and offers seminars and programming as well as medical transportation, senior advocacy and senior chore programs. With so many ongoing activities and more than 200 elderly visitors per day, one of our toughest areas to keep clean is the restroom, especially the men’s urinals.

Challenge: Customer Urinal Complaints
Mower County Senior Center is a 15,000 square foot, multi-purpose space with a coffee shop, dining facilities, pool room and board room. But for two years, we struggled with removing persistent urine stains and odors in our men’s restroom. In fact, it was an issue our male clientele would bring up and complain about frequently. Mower County Senior Center’s goal is to help keep seniors healthy and encourage them to be vital members of the community and the last thing I wanted was the condition of our restrooms to influence their decision to come to the Center.

One of the challenges of serving an older population is that advanced age can contribute to men “missing” the urinal, making it easier for urine stains and odors to build up and become trapped in porous surfaces like grout. With just two bathroom stalls and one urinal in our facility, there are often daily urine issues in the restroom.

I brought in different vendors to look at the problem and kept switching from product to product to deal with our discolored grout and urine odors. However, this just made the problem worse. Certain enzyme-based cleaners left white specks on the floor and we would get a white mold that could not be easily removed.

Our goal through this entire process was to find a smarter solution to take care of our biggest patron complaint without creating any additional problem areas.

Solution: Finding the Right Product for the Job
In July 2014, I was introduced to a new hydrogen peroxide-based product, Clorox Urine Remover. After numerous vendors and products could not solve our urine problems, this product did and did it well. It eliminated our restroom grout stains and urine odors. Since then, we’ve incorporated it as a standard part of our daily restroom cleaning process.

The improvement in our men’s restroom appearance and smell has not gone unnoticed. Our patrons frequently ask what’s changed and comment on how the restroom looks great and smells good. In fact, the product has worked so well that we may begin using it on our chairs and furniture that are the victims of patron “accidents.” It is truly amazing to have a product option that can clean so many urine problem areas, including hard and soft surfaces.

The addition of a new, effective product option absolutely helped save my facility time and money. It offered a real solution to our problem and did not require extensive training for staff to use. Now I can move on to deal with other facility problems and lay urine stains and odors to rest.

If your facility faces similar challenges, the solution may be to take a closer look at your cleaning process and products to evaluate the smartest options. 

About the Author:
Sara Schafer has 10 years of experience in the senior care industry and is currently the Executive Director at Mower County Senior Center, a 501(c)3 non-profit business located in Austin, Minnesota, that provides senior seminars, activities, programming and services for those 55 years and older in the community. Her maintenance team recently implemented a successful urine odor and stain intervention in their men’s restroom using Clorox Urine Remover.