3 Common Restroom Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid

Restroom Cleaning Mistakes

Despite more frequent and thorough restroom cleaning and disinfection spurred by the pandemic, Gary Clipperton, president of National Pro Clean and Pro Clean College, said he still sees cleaning personnel make three mistakes in cleaning and applying disinfectant to surfaces. He explained:

1. Not cleaning before disinfecting

“First, areas that contain light soil or biofilms are not properly cleaned before treating with a disinfectant. Remember, you can’t
disinfect dirt.

2. Not following recommended contact time

Second, the contact time is often shortened due to a rush to keep moving ahead in the cleaning process. Cleaning staff want to get in and out of the restrooms. The disinfectant label contact or dwell time must be adhered to. There is an easy fix for this malpractice.

If the dwell time for the disinfectant is say five minutes, then keep spraying or treating all the surfaces that are nearby in five or more minutes before returning to the starting point to wipe dry. However, to treat another five-minute section, you may need to break halfway through wiping and drying the first section to apply disinfectant to the next section. It is all about the proper timing for a sequential workflow.  

3. Not practicing ‘cleaning aerobics’

The third mistake is a failure to practice cleaning aerobics. This is a term we have applied to view hidden soil that can only be observed with light reflections. So, this requires a little exercise of bending the knees, swiveling the hips, and moving the neck.

Cleaning aerobics is also necessary to catch the light reflections to determine if the surface has been covered 100% by the disinfectant application process. Bare spots reflect that areas have not been professionally covered with the application.”

RELATED STORY: Restoring Restroom Confidence

Posted On August 4, 2021

Gary Clipperton

President of National Pro Clean Corp.

Gary Clipperton, president of National Pro Clean, is a 50-year industry veteran. He is an author, consultant, trainer, and chairman of the IICRC/ANSI S400 committee developing an official standard for commercial cleaning. Contact him at 719-598-5112 or [email protected]. 



Amy W. Richardson

Managing Editor, Cleaning & Maintenance Management

Amy W. Richardson is managing editor of Cleaning & Maintenance Management. She has more than 15 years of experience editing and writing for trade and consumer publications, community newspapers, nonprofit associations, and websites. Richardson holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication studies with an emphasis in journalism from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).

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