The new reality of restroom cleaning

We’ve all had the same frightening experience at one time or another: you walk into an establishment having to use the restroom, only to discover it’s an unsightly mess that leaves you wondering if you were better off seeking the privacy of a back alley. Needless to say, your desire to ever re-visit the premises hits an all-time low.

An unattended washroom. <Photo credit:>

While in the past the worst-case scenario was leaving with a bad taste in your mouth, or perhaps even excluding the establishment as your go-to for food or any other goods or services offered, today is a much different playing field.

The COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated that clean facilities are no longer a luxury, but rather a necessity. Setting aside the relevance of public perception for a moment, there are now more significant risks at stake to any facility manager.

First and foremost, there are cleaning standards that are expected to be met. Previously we relied upon paper-based forms to track who and when cleaned a restroom or a public area, and what activities were performed during the cleaning process. The same tired, forlorn, sheet of paper hung haphazardly on the inside of the restroom door awaiting an illegible signature to indicate the restroom was clean and up to the standards of the facility and the general public.

Today this approach is no longer acceptable. COVID-19 has affected the entire planet and proper cleaning is no longer just about perception, but personal safety and potential liability if cleaning standards are not met. The cruise line industry is already facing this reality, and winning customers back after the COVID-19 curve flattens out will be a tough proposition without convincing them that new measures are in place to ensure the highest of cleaning standards. Otherwise, the risk to public and personal safety is simply too high.

Technology is increasingly becoming the answer to the new reality we face in light of COVID-19. And specifically, IoT or Internet of Things technology which facilitates data collection on all aspects of cleaning and meeting high standards. Real-time information on what was cleaned, when, by whom, the resources used, and the amount of traffic observed is now available through products like Visionstate’s WANDA solution. It provides protection to both the customer and the facility.

Visionstate’s WANDA™ is installed at public spaces to help facility manager better control the effectiveness and efficiency of the building

Of course, the movement toward IoT is also driven by public perception, which in most cases is the determining factor between success and failure. In the past we may have left a poorly maintained facility with a bad taste in our mouths; today we ask ourselves if perhaps we contracted a disease that will affect our well-being.

Clearly, the investment into IoT far outweighs the alternative. In fact, it’s a cheap price to pay considering it affects both lives and potential liability.

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