I am sure we can all agree, nobody wants, or likes, to use a dirty toilet or dirty sink.
Of course, at the same time, nobody enjoys cleaning the amenities area… especially the toilets or urinals!
Is it because we all know that this is an area that has to do with unpleasant things?
Is it because we know that simply put it is a “biohazard transfer station”?
Or is it that it’s just plain hard to get someone to properly clean this area?
Yes, we all can get annoyed and disgusted when toilets run out of toilet paper or the soap dispenser is empty, and yes there is nothing worse than when foul smells are wafting in the air.
So, if no one likes to clean toilets, yet we all like to use clean amenities, who is best to tackle this task?
Also, does the question come to mind - “how often should these areas be cleaned?”
And don’t forget that keeping your amenities clean can prevent mould, germs, bacteria, and viruses from growing and becoming a health hazard for you, your employees, and your clients.
So, how should a washroom be cleaned? What tasks are actually involved? How can I tell when my amenities are cleaned properly?
The team at In-Tec are very familiar with this topic and we know it better than the back of our gloved hands (by the way, we don’t wear gloves, and below we’ll explain why). To give you a little hint, cleaners often don’t change their gloves between different areas of the site. What does this mean? Well, the gloves they had on their hands to clean the toilets and urinals, have also been on their hands to clean the kitchen and office area….yuck.
So, we’ve decided to answer any questions you may have in this article and pass our knowledge to you of exactly what is involved in amenities cleaning so you’ll know what tasks your cleaner does or should do when cleaning this area of your site.
What are the standard things that are cleaned in an amenities area?
A good commercial cleaning company will clean the following standard parts of amenity blocks:
Hand basins (sinks)
But don’t be mistaken, there’s a lot that goes into cleaning all these standard parts of a washroom. Plus, there are other small, yet important, tasks that commercial cleaners should be carrying out as you’ll soon see.
What are the 6 main tasks a cleaner should do in amenities?
So, how hard can it be to clean an amenities area?
Is it just a quick wipe and scrub of the toilets? Or maybe some quick wiping down of surfaces and glass mirrors?
Well, the straightforward answer is no, it’s not that simple.
There are 6 main tasks a cleaner should be performing when they clean amenities. And although they may seem quick and easy to do, there’s a lot of detail required as you’ll soon find out.
The 6-step process is as follows:
1. Emptying bins
First and foremost, our commercial cleaners start by emptying the bins and picking up any rubbish off the floor. As they’re checking each cubicle and the general area (for rubbish or debris), our cleaners are also looking at the stock of the toilet paper, hand towel, and soap. If they notice, for example, an empty toilet roll needs changing, they’ll open the dispenser and remove the empty roll, placing it into the rubbish bag. This is a time saver for the cleaners as they don’t have to worry about going back and forth clearing rubbish.
Something that a good cleaner will also do is keep an eye on the actual bin and lid, cleaning it as needed, wiping away spillages or leaks from any liquid that has not been contained.
As the cleaners are working through completing this first task, they’re also taking mental notes of how much toilet paper and hand towel they’ll need from their trolley to restock the consumables.
Which takes us to the next task a commercial cleaner does in washrooms.
2. Re-stocking consumables
Have you ever gone into a bathroom and there’s no toilet paper, hand towel, or soap left?
It can be really frustrating, right?
If you have a cleaning company, you may have experienced the stock running out and asking yourself, “why? It can't be that hard, can it?"
Well, if the cleaners are trained to follow a routine it shouldn't be. This is why the next step is retrieving the consumables they need from the trolley (as it’s fresh in their mind - remember the cleaner was mentally taking stock when collecting the rubbish) and begin to re-stock. They’re also closing up all the dispensers so they’re ready to be wiped clean in the next step.
On a side note, the team at In-Tec can if asked, actively monitor the inventory levels of the amenities items and re-order and stock consumables such as toilet paper, paper towel, and soap.
This extra service provides you with an itemised list of consumables on your invoice which allows you to keep track of what items are and are not being used. In-Tec ensures that all essentials are sufficiently stock taken on an as needed basis.
Good commercial cleaners will split this task into two sections – toilets and urinals, and then the rest of the washroom.
Why is this?
Do you remember the reference above to these areas being referred to as a “biohazard transfer station”?
If we take this approach it makes sense to clean the areas that are likely to be the dirtiest. This is why a trained cleaner will always start with the toilets and urinals.
This includes a full wipe down of: the outside of the cistern, the bowl, the toilet seat (including underneath), and cubicle walls. Most importantly, a well-trained cleaner will get on their hands and knees to thoroughly scrub the inside of toilet bowls and completely wipe the outside surfaces - it is really the only way to ensure a toilet is cleaned properly.
In addition to these steps, in female toilets, our cleaners will wipe the tops and sides of sanitary bins to remove any stains or spillages (bodily fluids).
Additionally, for male toilets, the outside of urinals (including the front and underneath), the rose that covers the drain, and other fixtures such as chrome taps on walls are all completely wiped down.
Lastly, in disabled toilets, there are usually support handrails that need to be cleaned, including the underside of them.
After the toilets and cubicles have been cleaned, our cleaners then move on to the other parts of the washroom. This includes cleaning sinks, outside of hand dryers and paper towel dispensers, mirrors, walls, etc.
A side question - do you know what colour cloth should be used in these areas?
Cleaning these areas requires a changeover of microfibre cloths. At the least, the red cloths that have been used on the toilets and urinals ARE NOT used to clean anything else.
We certainly don’t want the cloths that have human waste on them used on the areas where we wash our hands. Changing cloths will help eliminate or at the least reduce the chance of cross-contamination.
One thing people may not realise is that a good commercial cleaner will not use a broom anymore especially when cleaning amenities.
You may ask, “what, why is this?”
Well, the major reason why amenity floors should not be swept is because of dead skin cells. Sweeping would actually lift the dead skin cells from the floor into the air – they would stay airborne, at least long enough to not be effectively captured in the cleaning time. Whereas vacuuming removes the cells straight off the floor. At In-Tec, we use Pacvac's commercial backpack vacuum cleaners. They have a HEPA 4-stage filtration system and can eliminate 99.95% of dust and allergens.
Vacuuming also allows our cleaners to get into the nooks and crannies of the washroom to make sure nothing gets missed, especially behind toilet bowls, sanitary bins, and the like.
Did you know that a good commercial cleaner will also vacuum exhaust vents?
At least once a month (but it can also depend on how often washrooms are used), our team of cleaners will vacuum the exhaust vents in toilets by taking the vacuum head off and removing all the dust (dead skin cells). It’s the little things that go a long way.
Vacuuming is always followed by mopping.
But were you aware that there is only one way to mop a floor?
At In-Tec, our cleaners mop a floor edge to edge, corner to corner. We also make sure that our cleaners have a sufficient amount of quality microfibre mop covers so that they can be changed when need be - of course red covers are used in amenities.
The other option our cleaners can use is an i-Mop. The i-Mop has the ability to get right to the edge and under obstacles which virtually eliminates the need for manual mopping. An i-mop is used to scrub the main floor area, and then a flat mop is used to mop the edges.
6. A final check
When we leave our office, home, or holiday accommodation, we tend to do a final check of everything, just to make sure that we’ve got all our stuff, locked the doors, or done a clean if need be.
Did you know that commercial cleaners follow a similar process? As in, they also do a final check before they leave your site?
At the end of cleaning your amenities, our cleaners make sure all toilet seats are down, and that any marks that may have been missed are taken care of with a pre-moistened cloth.
What about end-of-trip facilities?
What do you mean by ‘end-of-trip?’
End of trip facilities are designated places that support people who cycle, jog, or walk to work, rather than driving or taking public transport.
These facilities include showers, locker rooms, and change rooms. All 3 areas are cleaned from top to bottom and follow the same 6 step process above. Within showers, our team of cleaners use specific chemicals that cut through body fat – you know, that slimy, greasy, oily stuff you see and feel.
At In-Tec, the cleaning frequency of these areas depends on how often they’re used by employees. The more often they’re used, the more frequently they will be cleaned.
What are some of the little things a cleaner should be doing?
When it comes to amenities cleaning, there are a lot of little things that need to be taken care of regularly. Think about how many employees and clients constantly visit the bathroom every day – on average, a person goes to the toilet 4 times a day! Thus, amenities must be cleaned properly and regularly, particularly the following little things:
Cleaning the outside of toilets
Cleaning behind toilets
Scrubbing inside the urinal rims
Scrubbing toilet brush holders
Scrubbing the grout from showers
Polishing taps to remove soap scum
Cleaning door handles
Cleaning front and back of cubicle doors
Supply urinals mats (requested by the customer)
Clean outside of toilet paper dispenser
We work with the belief that as long as the little things are taken care of, the big things will take care of themselves – this is what makes us different from any other commercial cleaning company.
Feel free to download our printable checklist that includes all the tasks your commercial cleaner should be doing in your workplace amenities!
What does quality commercial amenities cleaning achieve?
You walk into the toilets and see your cleaner wiping and scrubbing the toilet bowl. You notice that they’ve got their gloves on, but you don’t think anything of it cause that’s what most, if not all cleaners do.
You head back to your desk to continue working and 20 minutes later you see the cleaner exit the amenities and head over to clean the kitchen. All of a sudden, you start to wonder whether they have changed their gloves after cleaning the toilets...
This is the issue with cleaners wearing gloves - most cleaners don’t take their gloves off after cleaning a particular area. In this instance, the cleaner cleaned the toilets and then moved on to cleaning the kitchen. If you think about it, all the germs and gross stuff that they were cleaning in the amenities has now been brought over to your kitchen where you eat...how gross! This is known as cross-contamination - the act of transferring germs and bacteria from one place to another.
At In-Tec, our cleaners don't wear gloves for this exact reason. Instead, our cleaners wash their hands in between tasks, rather than taking gloves off and putting new ones on (it's difficult to put gloves onto wet hands).
When our cleaners have finished cleaning one area (let's say the toilets), they wash their hands and then move on to the next area (the kitchen).
“Are my amenities actually clean?”
To put it simply, amenities are biohazard disposal centres. They are a breeding ground for dust (dead skin cells), dirt, germs, and bacteria which is why they need to be cleaned properly and regularly.
Cleaning a washroom may seem to be a straightforward and easy task to some. However, it’s not just a quick wipe of the toilet and sink. And it’s also not just a quick vacuum or mop.
There are a number of crucial steps and processes a commercial cleaner must follow to ensure amenities are kept clean, and most importantly, hygienic for your staff and clients.
At In-Tec Commercial Cleaning, we provide exceptional amenities services that can be tailored to suit your bespoke requirements. Whatever it is you need, we’re here to help and get the job done.
Are you looking to get further clarifications on amenities cleaning and what we can do for you? If so, schedule a callwith us. We’re happy to have a chat with you to discuss any queries you may have.