I recently participated in a LinkedIn discussion based on this article about disinfecting restroom touch points. The article starts with the question “Which is more important: disinfecting a floor in a restroom or disinfecting the stall latch?” It’s an interesting question with an answer that might not seem so obvious. The answer is the second one, disinfecting the stall latch. The reason is because it’s a touch point – an area that people frequently touch. Yes, restroom floors can get gross, but as I commented on LinkedIn, “High-touch areas need to be a priority. I don’t know anyone who uses the bottom of their shoes to eat, but everyone I know uses their hands.” I have previously written about the increase in so-called touch-free restrooms; the bathrooms where you don’t need to touch faucets, soap or paper towel dispensers to get your hands clean. However, no
People don’t generally go into public restrooms with their bare feet, and even if they do, they aren’t going to sit down and eat with their feet. There’s no question that you need to clean and sanitize the floor. Of course you want to clean any obvious dirt/debris/messes that you see. However, your floor will only stay sanitized until someone comes in and walks across the space. You are better off focusing your more frequent sanitation efforts on those touch points that can cause the spread of germs and diseases.
As part of employee training, it’s important to focus on cleaning germ hot spots in your restroom:
- Door knobs/handles (including those to get in and out of the restroom and in and out of stalls)
- Inside latch of each stall
- Balance rails
- Toilet seats
- Toilet flush handles
- Faucets and knobs
- Light switches
- Soap dispenser levers
- Paper towel dispenser levers/knobs
- Hand dryer buttons
So how do you clean these surfaces?
- Spray surfaces with an approved disinfectant
- Let disinfectant sit for several minutes (read the label for proper dwell time)
- After dwell time, use a clean, dry cloth to wipe the surface
Also note that even touch-free dispensers need to be disinfected to reduce cross-contamination.