Once upon a time, a young man started a contract cleaning business in Northern California. to provide restroom cleaning help One of his first customers was a tugboat company with an office located by the San Francisco Bay. The office was open 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Tugs were streaming to and from the office at all times, and invariably, as soon as they arrived, the crew would make a mad dash for the office restrooms.
These weren't ordinary restrooms. In those days there were few women working for tugboat companies, so there was just one ladies' restroom with one sink and one stall and nothing else. But the men's restroom was an entirely different story. This restroom had 10 urinals and 10 toilets, five showers, and a counter with three sinks.
And the men who used it were not walking in wearing tuxedos as if they were getting married. They were decked out top to bottom in work clothes that got pretty darn wet and soiled by the end of their shifts. When they walked into the restroom, it looked like they brought half the mud in San Francisco Bay in with them.
The cleaning contractor was to keep those restrooms clean. He went in twice a day at 4 p.m. and again at 10 p.m. seven days per week. The men's restroom took about two hours to clean—sometimes more—using the standard cleaning tools: rags, sprayers, mops, and buckets. However, there really was no way to stay on top of the soiling with these methods. Plus, dirt, mud, and grit had a funny way of getting just about everywhere—even up the tiled walls. One time there were fingerprints on the ceiling, although no one knows exactly how they got there.
Complicating things, the tugboat company thought that twice a day service should be frequent enough to keep the restrooms clean and they were not going to pay him any more money. Even with as much time and effort as the contractor put in, it was a thankless job, and he was usually met with one complaint or another on a regular basis.
What restroom cleaning help would you give this young man?
- Should he spend three or more hours in the restrooms each visit, even though he is not charging the client for this much time?
- Should he convince the customer he needs to come in—and be paid for—more times per day to stay on top of the soiling in the men's restroom?
- Should he throw in the towel and quit one of his first clients?
- Or should he look for a different way to clean the restrooms?
Answering yes to this last question is likely the best restroom cleaning help you can offer. For instance, switching to a no-touch cleaning system might be the solution. According to ISSA studies, a no-touch cleaning system is as much as two-thirds faster than conventional cleaning. That means instead of taking two hours or more to clean the men's room, he'll probably be able to clean it in about 40 minutes.
As to the grime finding its way up the walls, these systems are designed to be used like indoor pressure washers. Along with cleaning fixtures, counters, floors, and showers, cleaning tiled walls—even ceilings— are jobs they do best. And study after study finds no-touch cleaning is more effective overall than mops, buckets, and rags.
Now that we've helped this young man, why don't you see if a no-touch cleaning system is the restroom cleaning helper you can use too.
Robert Kravitz is a former building service contractor, having owned, operated, and then sold three contract cleaning companies in Northern California.
He is the author of two books about the industry and continues to be a frequent writer for the industry.
Robert is now president of AlturaSolutions Communications, which provides communications and marketing services for organizations in the professional cleaning and building industries.