Many of us walk into public restrooms and grab the toilet seat covers. What most of us don’t realize is that when it comes to public restroom contamination, the toilet seat isn’t necessarily the most contaminated object. Microbiolgy experts from Biocote took samples from various surfaces in public restrooms and found sinks had higher levels of contamination than did toilet seats. Researchers say this might be because many people touch the sinks and faucets after using the toilet, but before they have the opportunity to wash their hands.
So what does this mean when it comes to restroom cleaning? Just because it looks clean, doesn’t mean it is. Cleaning is about more than just getting rid of visible dirt; it’s also about disinfecting and working to kill germs, bacteria and pathogens that might be living on a surface. Since most of those germs are spread through touch, it’s vital in a restroom to clean germ hot spots. Faucets, knobs, door handles, paper and soap dispensers, light switches, sinks, etc. all need to be cleaned and sanitized regularly. They might not look dirty, but most bacteria are not visible to the naked eye. It’s vital to train cleaning staff on how to properly clean and sanitize surfaces to kill as many of those bacteria as possible. The more you disinfect surfaces throughout the day, the fewer germs and bacteria remain that can cause cross-contamination and illness.
Additionally, proper handwashing is a vital resource in preventing the spread of germs and bacteria from a restroom. Studies regularly find that people don’t keep their hands under the faucet long enough to properly kill germs and bacteria. That’s why adding a handwashing reminder can help. Posting information about how best to wash hands can improve the process for both your staff and your customers. That in turn will reduce the risk of spreading germs and bacteria, keeping everyone healthier.
Deb Group: What is the Most Contaminated Object in Public Wash Rooms?
BioCote Restroom Study: Are public restrooms full of bacteria?