The Foolproof Guide to Commercial Restroom Hygiene

Employee cleaning to preserve commercial restroom hygiene.


Commercial restroom hygiene impacts public health. Your facility needs to have an effective strategy for keeping these spaces clean and germ-free.

Did you know that simply flushing the toilet expels infectious aerosols into the air? Roughly 60% of the contaminated air in the restroom is from flushing. 

While you cannot control all the hygiene issues in a commercial restroom, there are some things you can do to improve commercial restroom hygiene at your facility.  

Key Takeaways:

  • A significant number of people do not wash their hands after using a public restroom. Finding ways to reduce the spread of germs will ensure the health of those using your facility.
  • Installing touchless fixtures in a commercial restroom reduces the number of surfaces a person must touch when using the lavatory. You can also incorporate antimicrobial surfaces around the restroom to reduce cross-contamination.
  • The debate over whether to use paper towels or hand dryers in the bathroom makes it difficult to know which one is best. Ultimately, whichever you choose, opt for the hands-free options.
  • Commercial restroom design and layout matter when it comes to hygiene. For example, if you use paper towels, place the dispenser near the door so that people can use the towel to open the door.

Why Commercial Restroom Hygiene Matters

Most of the germs found in a facility are in the restroom. More importantly, the pathogenic germs that cause the spread of viruses and diseases are in this space. That means there is more susceptibility to cross-contamination in the restroom than in any other place within your facility.

The main contributing factor to spreading germs in a commercial restroom is the lack of proper handwashing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you should wash your hands for more than twenty seconds to eliminate all the germs on your hands.

Sadly, nearly half (42%) of the people who use public restrooms don’t wash their hands or don’t use soap when they do. Roughly 5% say they rarely or never wash their hands when using the restroom. 

5 Foolproof Ways to Improve Commercial Restroom Hygiene  

Nothing causes people to be more aware of the dangers of infectious diseases than a global public health crisis. The H1N1 outbreak in 2009 and the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020 are two perfect examples. 

The scrutiny of public restroom hygiene grows during these times. Roughly 94% of people say they avoid doing business at establishments that have dirty restrooms. 

What can you do to improve commercial restroom hygiene and mitigate public health concerns regarding your lavatories? These six foolproof methods will help.

1. Touchless Fixtures  

A doctor on social media made a claim stating that people transmit 80% of communicable diseases through touch. 

While other medical professionals have debunked this claim, they all agree that diseases like diarrhea and gastroenteritis spread from touching contaminated surfaces. These two diseases are also most commonly found in restrooms.  

Therefore, you can improve commercial restroom hygiene by installing hands-free fixtures. Touchless faucets, sensor toilets, and automatic dispensers are excellent ways to reduce the spread of germs. 

2. In-Wall Systems 

No one wants the job of cleaning a public restroom. Some of the toughest cleaning tasks workers must do include:

  • Urine removal
  • Odor control
  • Restocking supplies
  • Trash removal 

Infograph of the toughest cleaning tasks in a public restroom 

One way to reduce the amount of time spent cleaning is to install in-wall plumbing systems. These concealed cisterns keep all the unsightly plumbing hidden behind the wall, making the space easier to clean and look significantly tidier.

3. Restroom Partitions   

Do your bathroom partitions provide enough space for people to get in and out of the space in the cleanest manner possible? Make sure that your restroom layout accommodates the needs of all of your patrons.

People in wheelchairs or those with large body structures need to be able to use your facilities without struggling to avoid contaminating surfaces like partitions.

4. Paper Towel Dispensers   

People have long debated paper towels versus hand dryers in public restrooms. Some experts say that you should eliminate paper towels and advocate for hands dryers. 

Some statistics show that hand dryers are better for the environment and help keep restrooms looking tidy because paper towels aren’t clogging the trash cans.

However, some studies show that hand dryers don’t offer any environmental advantages as paper towels tend to break down easily and are compostable. Also, hand dryers require electricity to operate and are not environmentally friendly because they do not conserve energy.

As for hygiene, studies show that each has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, Healthline published a study proving air dryers contaminate surfaces by spreading pathogens around the restroom.

However, in that same published study, experts say there is no significant difference in hand-drying methods in terms of contamination. The choice is up to you on how you want to run your facility.

Whichever one you choose should be a hands-free option so that people don’t have to touch contaminated surfaces after washing their hands. 

5. Restroom Design    

ADA compliance is necessary to assist with the hygiene of those with disabilities. There are strict ADA regulations regarding the dimensions of your commercial restroom layout. The chart below outlines what these dimensions should be.

Infograph of ADA-compliance for public restrooms

Although, people with disabilities are not the only reason to consider how restroom design will impact the hygiene of your patrons. For example, you can eliminate the number of surfaces a person must touch by placing towel dispensers near the exit. That way, users can keep their hands covered by opening the door with a paper towel.

Geberit's Touchless Actuators for Commercial Restroom Promote Better Hygiene  

You've heard how touchless fixtures like hands-free faucets, soap dispensers, and paper towel dispensers are the best way to reduce cross-contamination and the spread of germs. At Geberit, we offer touchless dual flush actuators that eliminate touching dirty surfaces in the restroom.

The best part about our products is that they are as environmentally friendly as they are health conscious. They conserve water, and our sustainable manufacturing practices are also eco-friendly.

Is it time to upgrade the restrooms in your facility? Contact us here to learn how our touchless actuators and in-wall plumbing systems can help you improve commercial restroom hygiene.