Identifying the Source to Determine the Best Solution
By Briana Smith
Restrooms are notoriously difficult to keep clean -- especially when it comes to odor issues.
Bad odors can negatively impact the customer experience, particularly in places which receive high foot traffic such as sports arenas, movie theaters, airports, train stations, amusement parks, etc. Perceptions of cleanliness can either increase or deter business, and noxious smells have a way of sticking with you longer, which leaves a bad impression.
Determining the type and source of the odor problems is key to any solution, as bad scents in restrooms can be caused by numerous things. Thankfully there are many more sustainable options available that are highly effective at solving will these issues.
Improper Cleaning of Grout Lines
PROBLEM: Urine & other organic compounds that get lodged in the grout lines around urinals and toilets are one of the easiest odor areas to tackle. Sure, you are mopping down your tile floors daily, but the tool you’re using may not get everything. Grout lines are notorious for harboring mold, bacteria, dirt and other gunk, especially if it is not sealed due to its porosity.
SOLUTION: A bioactive microbial cleaning product that specifically targets organic materials, such as urine, oil, etc. works wonders to clean up grout lines and remove these nasty odors. Naturally occurring micro-organisms like to feed off of these materials in a process known as the Krebs Cycle. Many microbial cleaning products, such as WAXIE-Green Liquid Microbes, are even third-party certified, so they are safer for building occupants & the environment.
Poor Air Flow & Ventilation
PROBLEM: Depending on how your restroom was designed, normal bathroom smells may permeate & linger throughout with nowhere to go due to lack of ventilation and static air flow. Using the wrong air freshening product may not help improve the situation. Many times scents just mingle with the offensive odors, causing patrons to assume that your restroom is dirty even if it was cleaned within the hour!
SOLUTION: Neutralizers, time-metered air fresheners and other deodorant systems can vastly improve the scent in areas that don’t naturally get much air flow. They work to neutralize and then freshen instead of attempting to mask bad smells. In fact, a full odor elimination program can include everything from urinal screens, deodorizing floor mats & clips.
In terms of air neutralizers & fresheners there are many options to choose from, including our vendor partner Vectair’s V-Air® SOLID. V-Air® SOLID is a passive scent diffuser that does not distribute fragrance via a spray and is VOC exempt making it better for the overall indoor air quality of the restrooms! The dispensers are also fully recyclable and they don’t require any batteries which frees up the maintenance staff to tend to other tasks.
In extreme cases, the use of a vapor unit that converts a liquid odor eliminator & disperses it as a mist can be used to great effect to eradicate or treat persistent malodors.
EXAMPLE: Last year, WAXIE worked with ABM and vendor partner Fresh Wave IAQ at Los Angeles’s Union Station to solve a foul odor emanating from one of the men’s restrooms that maintenance staff had been battling for quite some time. Check out the case study here.
Sewer Gas Emissions
PROBLEM: Gas emissions from drains are always unpleasant and the most difficult foul odor in the restroom to diagnose.
SOLUTION: Green Drain™ is a one-way silicone floor drain trap seal that lets water to flow down the drain, while reducing the evaporation of the contents within the trap. This also aids in providing a physical barrier against the emission of sewer gases, sewage back-up, and pests. Easy, effective and economical.
Briana Smith is WAXIE’s Social Media & Product Branding Specialist and spends quite a bit of time skimming the news for what’s new in cleaning, sustainability and technology while managing all of WAXIE’s social channels. She especially loves posting about #teamwaxie activities & conversing with customers on Instagram. Briana has a Bachelor's Degree in Communication Design from California State University, Chico.