It is common knowledge that toilets in a public restroom can be infested with germs and bacteria, but many people forget that the same can be true for a restroom sink. Here's why you should never leave toothbrushes or other personal items on a sink.
How Restroom Sinks Get Contaminated
According to studies conducted by the University of Arizona, sinks in commercial and residential settings can have dangerous bacteria on them if they are not properly cleaned on a regular basis. In this study, researchers found everything from staphylococcus and listeria to E. coli and salmonella in drains and on faucets.
There are many different ways that restroom sinks can get contaminated. When customers wash their hands after using the facilities, they can bring the germs from the toilet along with them. A restroom sink can also get contaminated when customers, who may have dirty hands, walk into a restroom to simply splash some water on their faces or wet their hair. There is a risk for cross-contamination in both of these situations. Similar risks exist for custodial teams when cleaning restrooms. If cleaning crews do not wear gloves and use an advanced cleaning system, they may expose themselves to illness or transfer the bacteria to other rooms or areas.
The Danger of Keeping Toiletries on a Restroom Sink
If you drop any personal items in a sink, you run the risk of contaminating these items. You may risk just as much by placing a toothbrush next to the faucet or wearing contact lenses that were in a case left on the sink. When removing these items from the sink area, you may be taking a host of contaminants with you. Though most people wash their hands before putting in their contact lenses, few people wash their hands afterward, and this can lead to further cross-contamination.
Some of the most bacteria-infested areas in restrooms are old-fashioned soap dispensers, faucets, sink handles, paper towel dispensers and hand dryers. Since all of these tools require the touch of a hand, they can be a transfer point for dangerous bacteria. Transitioning to hands-free faucets, soap dispensers, and hand driers can remove some of the risk of cross-contamination.
To further prevent cross-contamination, your cleaning crew can use a no-touch cleaning systems. Unlike traditional tools, like mops, which can spread soil around, these more advanced cleaning systems can remove soil quickly and efficiently. Custodians can also prevent the spread of bacteria by always wearing gloves and cleaning a restroom sink before any other areas of the restroom.
To learn more about no-touch restroom cleaning, click here.