unhappy young boy pinching his nose for sign of bad odor, sticking out his tongue for humor and mischievous childhood

Courtesy of Clorox Professional Products Company.

Almost 50 percent of cleaning professionals experience spills of blood or feces every day. Bio messes like blood, feces and vomit can contain a variety of pathogens, and as people move throughout the environment, they interact with different surfaces and move germs from surface to surface. The impact can be tremendous and not just on public health, but on reputation, as well.

It comes as no surprise that people are most offended by the odor and mess of bio soils like feces (56 percent and 76 percent) and vomit (44 percent and 72 percent), more so than garbage (30 percent and 32 percent) and food odors and messes (3 percent and 5 percent). But the impact of odors and messes extends beyond dislike and can impact facility reputation, business results and drive complaints to management and facility maintenance. In fact, survey results indicate that:

• When exposed to certain bad odors, consumers feel concerned for their health and safety. When entering a room that smells like feces (31 percent) or vomit (32 percent), a third of consumers would be concerned for the health and safety of themselves and others. One-in-five (22 percent) would feel concerned for health and safety when entering a room that smells like urine.
• To most, bad smells are stronger indicators of cleanliness than stains. Most consumers (62 percent) say they are very sensitive to smells, both good and bad, but are much more likely to notice a smell if it is bad (72 percent) than good (28 percent). In particular, if entering a space that smelled of feces or vomit, consumers would:
 • Think the facility is unclean (38 percent and 37 percent)
 • Have a negative view of the facility (36 percent and 28 percent)
 • Think the facility does not value cleanliness (24 percent and 28 percent)
 • Never return to the space or facility (20 percent and 15 percent)
  The impact is even greater depending on the type of facility. Most consumers believe that odor is the strongest indicator of cleanliness in hotels (61 percent) and long-term care facilities (67 percent), while half believe it is the strongest indicator of cleanliness of schools (49 percent) and offices (54 percent).

• Consumers generally have low tolerance for bad smells and messes in commercial facilities, are vocal about their concerns, and expect staff and management to address them immediately.
 • Three quarters of consumers (76 percent) think facilities should clean up smells and stains related to urine, feces, vomit and blood immediately, and 17 percent would want them cleaned up within five minutes.
 • If confronted with a bad odor:
   • In an office setting, almost three quarters (70 percent) would complain to management
   • At their child’s school, six-in-10 parents (60 percent) would complain to a teacher (61 percent), principal (59 percent) or facility manager (59 percent)
   • In a hotel, 74 percent would complain to hotel staff
   • In a long-term care facility, a majority would complain to administrative staff (78 percent) or a nurse (62 percent)