The restroom is by far the least liked area in any school yet the most visited. Constant scrutiny of cleanliness or complaints due to lack of supplies is just a few things facility managers, maintenance staff, and janitors face on a daily basis. The ultimate challenge for schools is transforming restrooms into areas that users desire and respect.
In this article, we’ll explore the most common problems and issues with restrooms, and how students and the public perceive restrooms in these conditions. Then we’ll provide practical solutions that will ensure cleanliness, improve hygiene, and create a positive restroom experience for students and the public.
Healthy Hand Washing Survey, they found that 68% of students surveyed said that school restrooms that are poorly maintained or unclean tells them that the school doesn’t care about their students. This reflects poorly on school management and lowers the overall opinion of the school.
GP Pro’s Market Research found that “85% of consumers say an unclean public restroom is a reflection of the overall cleanliness of an establishment.” This shows just how much an unclean restroom can negatively impact student’s perception of their school. A clean restroom not only increases student’s confidence in the overall cleanliness of the school, but it also creates a positive restroom experience.
Solution: Clean and disinfect regularly
In GP Pro’s market research, it found that running out of toilet paper ranks third among all public restroom issues. Another study found that the number one reason students don’t wash their hands at school is that the restroom is out of soap or paper towels.
Not only is running out of supplies in the restroom frustrating, but it's also a public health concern. The lack of basic hygienic supplies increases the risk of illness and the spread of disease.
Solution: Keep it stocked
Did you know that 32% of students don’t use school restrooms because it’s smelly? Foul odors are the number one thing that bothers students about their school restrooms, according to the Bradley Corp. study.
In GP Pro’s public restroom study, it found that 74% of consumers assume the entire establishment is dirty if the restroom smells. It just goes to show how much the smell of the restroom matters. Users don’t trust that your restroom is clean if it smells bad.
Solution: Freshen it up
According to a 2014 study by Statista, “the majority of consumers, ages 15 and up, strongly or completely agreed they felt guilty when doing something deemed not environmentally friendly.” Students and other restroom users want the restroom to be clean and want to practice proper hygiene, without the added waste.
It reflects poorly on the overall institution when sustainable solutions are not implemented throughout the school, and decreases the trust of students and the public.
Solution: No touching
In an article published on CMM: Cleaning & Maintenance Management titled “Shift the Commercial Restroom Paradigm”, points out that “more than ever, users want their public restroom experience to be at least as pleasing as their at-home experience, complete with privacy and positive sensory experience.”
Broken or missing locks or large gaps between stall panels and doors are just a couple of reasons students will avoid using the restroom. When the installed hardware for the little privacy that’s provided is lacking or broken, it’s left users feeling exposed and unsecured. This will reflect poorly on your facility as just another act of not caring.
Solution: Make privacy a priority
Creating a restroom that users desire and respect is a challenge but can be done with the right planning and equipment. Although some of the suggestions listed above may not be in your budget right now, there are affordable solutions that can be implemented right away. Maintaining a consistent and thorough cleaning regimen, frequent monitoring and stocking of supplies, and performing regular, timely maintenance is a great starting point. This will go a long way toward improving any school or public restroom environment.
Your restroom users will notice and appreciate these efforts, and this will increase their confidence in the management of your facility. The public's opinion, as well as your students, will be reflected by the presence of your restroom. Therefore improving conditions is important and should be treated as a priority in your facility management plan.
We hope you found this article helpful. To learn more about solutions to common school maintenance concerns, please visit the School Fix® Blog.
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