Got Odours? Get a Plastic Bag
How to Bag Restroom Odours;The Trick is in the Bag
To eliminate malodours in restrooms, often cleaning professionals will use stronger and stronger cleaning solutions on walls, counters, fixtures, and the floor. This can be called “hit all the bases,” since we are not sure where the odor is coming from. It can also be unhealthy for the cleaning worker, building users, and the environment.
However, if the floor in the restroom is tile and grout, there is an excellent chance you’ve just located the source of the malodour. Tile and grout floors are porous. This means urine, especially in men’s restrooms, can seep into these floors. As it does, odours build up.
Another cause for odours in tile and grout floors is mold and mildew. Many restrooms have a much higher level of humidity than other areas of the building. This is especially true in school locker rooms. Once again, as the mold and mildew build up, an unpleasant, musty odor can develop. Increasing air circulation can help prevent this, but that is not always an option.
Another “odor causer” can be some of the powerful cleaning solutions we mentioned earlier. If not rinsed thoroughly from the floor after use, they can leave a residue. This residue attracts soils, moisture, and bacteria into the porous tile and grout floors, with odor issues often the result.
There can be a host of other odor causers, but let’s talk about eliminating them. Mike Watt, who presents the Masterclass Podcasts Series for Avmor, has a surprisingly simple but effective way to address this “smelly” situation.
But before we begin, Watt says we need the following:
- Safety glasses and gloves
- A “wet floor” sign
- Plastic bags – the star of the show
- Sprayers or a fresh mop and a clean bucket
- A bristle brush and/or a nylon grout brush
- Microfiber cleaning cloths
- Tap water
- A microbial or enzymatic cleaner, which will be our “odor killer” workhouse
With protective gear on and wet floor signs posted, liberally spray or mop on the microbial/enzymatic cleaner over one section of the floor. Be sure and follow the manufacturer’s dilution recommendations. Always remember more chemical is not necessarily better.
Now here’s the trick:
Cover the now wet floor area with a plastic bag. Allow the bag to dwell over the floor for 15 minutes. In a larger restroom, this is plenty of time to move on to another floor area and repeat the entire process.
Here’s why the plastic bag covering is so key.
The bag will prevent the cleaning solution from evaporating, giving it more time to eat away at the odor-causing particulates.
After the dwell time, the floor may need to be brushed, and the grout scrubbed with the grout brush. This helps work the cleaning solution into the floor.
If the restroom is large enough, a low-speed floor machine or even an auto scrubber can be brought in to handle this task.
Now, with a clean mop or microfiber cleaning cloth, remove any cleaning solution from the floor and then rinse the floor thoroughly with the tap water. Allow the floor to air dry.
In more challenging situations, it may be necessary to repeat the process. However, in most cases, this one step will do the job. The restroom will smell fresh, clean, and your customer will be impressed.
Check out our video called Tough odours? You need garbage bags. Here’s why!
Avmor’s Masterclass Podcasts Series is non-promotional and designed to teach effective cleaning solutions to everyday cleaning challenges.