The Importance of Clean Toilets and Handwashing Facilities at Work
Access to clean toilets and handwashing facilities is one of the basic health and safety requirements for any office. A regular toilet cleaning schedule can help you maintain toilets in a sanitary condition. This is important during normal times and even more so during a global pandemic.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to provide all employees with sanitary and immediately available toilet facilities. OSHA restroom requirements also say that each toilet must be provided with the following:
- Hot and cold, or tepid, running water
- Handwashing soap or similar cleaning agent
- Warm-air hand dryers or individual hand towels made of paper or cloth
- Garbage receptacles that can be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized
A hand-sanitizing station isn’t enough, handwashing facilities must be provided.
In this article, the following points are explained:
Advantages of a Toilet Cleaning Schedule
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sanitation guidelines recommend that toilets should be cleaned daily – at a minimum. If someone in your office is sick or you’re in an area at high risk for COVID-19 transmission, you should do more. A toilet cleaning schedule can help you assign employees to do their part and ensure that standards are maintained.
Your toilet cleaning checklist should include cleaning and disinfection tasks. Cleaning means removing dirt and contaminants from a surface. It is usually done with soap and water. Disinfection means killing any germs that might remain on the surface after cleaning. The World Health Organization lists the following as common disinfectants that will kill the COVID-19 virus:
- 0.05% bleach solution
- 70% ethyl alcohol solution
Simply spray the solution until the surface is wet and let it sit for ten minutes. Other disinfecting solutions have been approved for sanitization purposes as well. Here are just a few:
- Discide Ultra Disinfecting Spray
- Oxiclean Laundry and Home Sanitizer
- Clorox QS
- 66 Heavy Duty Alkaline Bathroom Cleaner and Disinfectant
- Lysol Disinfecting Wipes (All Scents)
- Lysol Disinfectant Max Cover Mist
- Lysol Brand All Purpose Cleaner
- Lysol Disinfectant Spray
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides a complete list of disinfectants that have been approved for use against Covid-19. You can search the list by a variety of parameters, such as contact time, surface type, etc.
The Toilet Cleaning Checklist in the Age of COVID
Clean and sanitary restroom facilities are vital to employee comfort and productivity. With the pandemic, we all need to make the extra effort to ensure that our workplaces are safe and healthy. Toilets should be cleaned and disinfected every day. High-touch surfaces (which will be covered in more detail later on) should be cleaned more often. The floors should be swept, mopped, and disinfected daily.
If someone in your office gets sick, further precautions are necessary. Your toilet cleaning checklist should reflect these heightened requirements. For instance, it’s a good idea to seal off the areas they’ve used, including the toilet, for 24 hours. Then you can have someone go in and thoroughly clean and disinfect the area. They should wear the proper personal protection equipment. They should also open the windows or turn on exhaust fans to ventilate the area. Many disinfectants are toxic to breathe for any length of time.
How to Be Safe When Cleaning Toilets
A disinfectant’s job is to kill germs. Because of this, these strong chemicals can be dangerous to humans and pets as well. In fact, mixing bleach with other cleaning solutions can create a deadly gas or even cause explosions. So it’s important to be safe. Besides setting up a toilet cleaning schedule, you should educate your employees on the proper use of disinfectants:
- Check the label for the “contact time” – the length of time the solution has to remain on the surface in order to kill germs
- See what protective equipment is needed – gloves, goggles, masks, etc.
- If the solution needs to be diluted, use room-temperature water unless the label says something different
- Always label the bottle of diluted cleaning/disinfecting solution
- Never mix products or chemicals
- Keep out of reach of children and pets
- Don’t eat, drink, breathe, or inject disinfectants into the body – this can be very dangerous
- Disinfecting solutions are for surfaces only, not people or pets
- People with asthma should be especially cautious when using disinfectants
When they’ve finished cleaning, the person should wash their hands for at least 20 seconds.
What Should Be On My Toilet Cleaning Checklist?
A good toilet cleaning checklist should contain checkboxes for all the assigned tasks on your toilet cleaning schedule. It should also indicate the time these tasks were completed and who did them. Your toilet check sheet could list the following tasks:
- Check the stock of products such as toilet paper, paper towels, soap, hand lotion and so on.
- Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces
- Wipe the sinks and mirrors
- Pick up trash
- Empty the trash cans when necessary
- Sweep, mop, and disinfect the floor
There should also be a space on the toilet cleaning schedule for the supervisor to check that the tasks have been done.
You might want to specifically list all high-touch surfaces on your toilet cleaning checklist so that people don’t forget. These should be cleaned and sanitized several times a day, depending on how many people use the restrooms. The high-touch toilet check sheet might look something like this:
- Clean and disinfect doorknobs, stall handles, locks, and plates
- Clean and disinfect light switches
- Clean and disinfect toilet handles and seats
- Clean and disinfect faucets and sink bases
- Clean and disinfect countertops
- Clean and disinfect push handles for soap dispensers and hand dryers
- Clean and disinfect toilet paper dispensers
Streamline Toilet Cleaning With a Digital Tool
Creating and tracking toilet cleaning schedules can be tedious for responsible employees. Analog cleaning schedules hanging in toilets in workplaces and public spaces can easily get lost. This leads to gaps in cleaning records and can result in quality deficiencies. In addition, responsible parties must always first collect the documents or go on-site to check that all cleanings have been done.
Maintaining the toilet cleaning schedule is essential to providing sanitary and ready-to-use toilets for workers and guests. Lumiform’s mobile app, with its digital checklists for reliable logging, streamlines the tracking of continuous cleaning processes. The digital solution makes it easy to perform any type of quality control on-site via tablet or smartphone. Afterward, the restroom cleaning schedule can be viewed by any responsible employee via the dashboard.
Profit from further advantages of a digital solution for a toilet cleaning schedule:
- Using the flexible form builder, any custom paper list is transformed into a digital checklist in minutes.
- With the intuitive mobile app, team members can complete each check effortlessly and save time.
- Send and receive notifications for scheduled toilet inspection checks.
- Reports are generated automatically – eliminating the need for complete follow-up.
- Comprehensive analytics help uncover inefficient areas in the restroom cleaning schedule faster, helping to continuously improve cleaning processes.