A washroom is a necessity for businesses but it’s often underestimated. A washroom has the potential to influence the perceptions and behaviours of a captive audience, whether it’s employees, visitors or customers alike. And yet so few businesses are aware of the benefits a welcoming washroom can bring, such as an increase in productivity, overall brand impressions, and better health.
That’s if people use them. Our Demographics and Hygiene Behaviours Report revealed that 46% of adults refused to use a public washroom in the previous six months. There is a simple explanation. Our research indicated that the majority of people only trust their own environments and their own personal hygiene. Away from home, we are vulnerable to the hygiene habits of others.
When a washroom is needed, smell tends to be one of the first things people notice on entering, and malodour – a foul or unpleasant smell – can negatively influence perceptions when a person enters a commercial washroom.
In light of this, our Air Care study focused on any washroom that could be used by members of the public, including those at restaurants, shopping centres, train stations and bars. The following results show the importance of maintaining a clean washroom:
By tackling route causes, businesses can reduce the impact malodour can cause, including reputation. On average, over a third of office workers (35%) felt embarrassed or ashamed by the smell in their company’s washroom when a client or visitor needed a comfort break. In retail stores, 67% of people say that an unpleasant smelling washroom in a business would make them less likely to shop there. Businesses need to do more to control malodour in their washrooms, acknowledged by nearly half of respondents (47%), so what’s the solution?
Malodour typically stems from dirt and bacteria build-up in urinals and toilets, while a lack of air ventilation and waste not being removed often enough will amplify the problem. To help make any washroom environment more hygienic and welcoming, you should follow these six simple steps to combat malodour:
Many people won’t return to a business if washroom malodour hasn’t been dealt with. Establishing good hygiene practices to combat malodour is paramount. By checking ventilation, adjusting flush settings, cleaning walls and all exposed surfaces, educating the user, and using adequate disposal systems, you’ll effectively eliminate the causes of malodour.
Once persistent odours have been tackled, investing in the correct air care solutions will help neutralise bad odours and intelligently fragrance the air throughout the washroom. This will reassure users that the washroom is clean and cared for, encouraging return visits and positive feedback while reducing the chance of reputational damage.
Initial’s holistic approach to hygiene solutions ensures businesses are covered in all key risk areas.