Restroom Odor Busting Techniques for Educational Facilities

clean and sterile looking public restroom

Corvus of Chicago Janitorial Franchisee Marquette Dewitt and Corvus of Chicago Director of Operations Mario Rodriguez collaborated to provide perspective and tips on some of the most challenging and important aspects of providing outsourced janitorial services to schools, daycares and education oriented facilities.

To address restroom odor, Start with the floor

No facility, regardless of its mission, wants any type of odor within their four walls and certainly not in the restroom areas. Yet as it relates to pre-schools, day care facilities, or schools at large, odors in restrooms can foul the feel of the entire institution, impacting students, and teachers, as well as prospective students and their families. According to Mario and Marquette, a major obstacle to ensuring an odorless restroom is connected to the technique used in addressing flooring in those areas.

Because of high traffic and the need for a strong material to manage traffic patterns and heavy use, most school restroom floors are comprised of ceramic tile and grout. The trouble is that waste, liquid and other odor generating materials seep into porous grout, taking up permanent residence. In such cases, typical damp mopping won’t do the trick, nor will wet mopping.

The key to reducing, if not eliminating, ongoing restroom odor has more to do with four essential cleaning techniques:

Pick Up

What is meant by this?

Proper Cleaning Technique Matters

  1. “In order for a cleaning product to be effective, you’ve got to let it interact with the soiled area and material”, remarked Mr. Dewitt, “most people dunk their mops in their buckets, run the fibers over the area and call it a day…but that doesn’t really take care of sanitizing or killing the odor”. Instead, janitorial contractors need to apply the chemical – in an appropriately diluted manner – and let it sit, engaging the target, for 3 – 5 minutes. “With my accounts and my team, I’ll make and apply the diluted cleaning product to areas around toilets or commodes, then address trash, mirrors, dusting or surface areas, giving the chemical time to attack the soiled area”, Marquette said.
  2. It’s critical to use the proper cleaning chemicals when eliminating odors. According to Mario, “a typical floor cleaner or even specialty sanitizer won’t do the trick. That’s because, in most cases, urine is the culprit of odors in restrooms…and to be honest and frank, it’s usually the gent’s restroom that causes problems. ” Employing a product with an enzyme that consumes any type of “organic” material is the key to destroying odors produced by those materials. “We tend to use Spartan products like ‘Digester’ or ‘Nature’s Way’, as we’ve used the line for years and have a great relationship with our supplier, Seaway, but all the other major brands carry a similar type of product,” offered Mr. Rodriguez.
  3. “You have to get in there and deck brush the area,” stated Marquette. Manually agitating the area to ensure the enzyme mixes and consumes the organic matter is critical. In fact, without forcing the interaction, the product remains on the top surface of the soiled area, and does not seep into the porous areas. Especially as it relates to grout floor material, or any material with any degree of permeability, one has to agitate, which in turn can be done with a deck brush, smaller hand-held brush or a more robust slow speed floor machine.
  4. Clean Water and Chemicals for Clean Floors The last step to successfully eliminating odor is a thorough “pick up process”. Janitorial contractors have to change out mop water and chemicals, filling a new bucket with the clean solution. They must “pick up” and rinse water, mopping the area to absorb the chemicals and the now reduced organic material. “Ideally one can wet or “flood mop” then either use a wet-dry vac to pick up the soiled waste water or squeegee excess liquid into the drain which ought to be available in the restroom environment. With my franchise, that’s the method we use for picking up, but occasionally the time frame or window for cleaning won’t allow for that method”, offered Marquette.


While many other methods and techniques exist to help battle urine odors and restroom odors in general, those four keys will significantly help bust restroom odor! Time, Enzyme/Chemical, Agitation, Pick Up.
Thanks to Corvus of Chicago Janitorial Franchisee, Marquette Dewitt and Director of Operations, Mario Rodriguez!

Corvus of Chicago – 773-276-2227

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