Whether relaxing by the pool with family, hitting the road for an epic camping trip or just getting a good workout at the gym, summer is the season for fun. However, nothing slams the brakes on the good times faster than a bad experience with the facilities. Clean public showers make for happy guests. Dirty ones can result in complaints, not only to business managers but to the world at large on social media and review websites. Is your staff doing a good job cleaning public showers?
The Struggle is Real
All shower areas are warm and moist, providing the perfect breeding ground for germs, fungus and mold. Public showers add a constant flow of foot traffic to the mix, upping the opportunity to track in more dirt and germs.
WebMD lists a variety of contaminants that could be lurking in restrooms and showers. The roster includes: norovirus, E. Coli, salmonella and staph including antibiotic resistant MRSA. There’s dermatophitic fungus which causes athlete’s foot along with mold and mildew which may exacerbate asthma and allergies.
There’s also evidence, published in the NY Daily News, that points to high levels of Mycobacterium avium in shower heads. This group of bacteria can lead to lung infections when inhaled or swallowed and might be the cause for the recent spike in pulmonary infections in the US.
Plan of Attack
With your guests’ health--and your company’s reputation--at stake adhering to a clear public shower cleaning protocol makes good business sense. As bacteria multiplies quickly consider checking and spot cleaning touch points every hour and disinfecting shower areas every 12 hours during the busy summer season.
Instruct janitorial staff to remove litter and obvious soils before disinfecting. Allow the cleaning agent to dwell on surfaces for the recommended time to kill microorganisms. A quat-based or bleach disinfectant both kills bacteria, viruses and fungi but bleach is highly caustic and smells strongly. Scrub floors, walls and shower knobs before rinsing. Drying immediately removes water spots, shines chrome fixtures and helps prevent mold from re-growing.
Don’t Forget the Flip Flops
A sparkling clean public shower will delight your guests but even the most rigorous disinfection schedule can’t do it all. Common sense dictates that guests take precautions by wearing flip flops or another open, water-resistant shoe in and around the shower. Footwear like this will protect them from both athlete’s foot fungus and the less common human papillomavirus (HPV) which causes plantar warts. Consider suppling shower shoes if your budget allows it.
Click here for more information on how to clean public showers.
Image source: Flickr
Amy Milshtein covers design, facility management and business topics for a variety of trade publications and consumer magazines.
Her work has won several awards, most recently a regional silver Azbee Award of Excellence.
She lives in Portland, OR with her family and Clyde, a 15-lb tabby cat. Once an avid hiker, these days she finds herself on the less-challenging -but-still-exciting 'creaky knees' trails.