School Restrooms: How to Eliminate and Prevent Odors

Chances are good that at some point—perhaps even right now—you’ve noticed an offensive, lingering odor in one or more of your school’s restrooms. Interior of boys restroom in an elementary schoolBathrooms are a huge challenge because even with frequent, diligent cleaning, odors can persist. It takes special, precise methods and products to prevent school bathrooms from becoming problematic.

Odors in the restroom can be classified into two basic groups: new/temporary odors and old/ongoing odors. Here’s a plan of action you can use to prepare your janitorial team to eliminate each type of odor…

For new/temporary odors:

  1. Use effective air freshener/deodorant products. Check the batteries of existing freshener systems.
  2. Increase airflow by opening windows and turning on exhaust fans.

With transient odors, the key is in managing the airflow. While you work on improving airflow, masking the odor helps.

For old/ongoing odors:

  1. Apply a high-quality bacteria enzyme cleaning product. Even better, find one that’s a combo enzyme cleaner and deodorant. These products target the most common cause of ongoing bathroom odor—organic waste.
  2. Consult with your cleaning staff to ensure they are following the manufacturer’s instructions precisely. If you leave out a step, you may not get an effective result.
  3. Reapply the enzyme cleaning product daily (or as the manufacturer of the product recommends) for up to a week to remove the build-up of organic waste in your restroom.
  4. Implement ongoing use (once per week perhaps) of enzyme chemical product to remove organic waste before it has a chance to cause odor.

More ways to keep your bathrooms smelling fresh:

  • Make sure floor drains aren’t blocked or clogged.
  • Regularly clean and seal grout lines—an area where bacteria can easily accumulate.
  • Keep the bathroom cooler and dryer. Excess moisture and warmth creates a breeding ground for bacteria.

Let the experts at Pollock solve your school’s bathroom challenges. We’ve been solving our clients’ biggest challenges since 1918. Pollock is the awarded janitorial supplier for Texas NIPA/TCPN, a cooperative procurement program that ensures schools and other eligible organizations have access to quality, competitively-priced suppliers.

To request pricing or to schedule a free janitorial evaluation for your school, contact Pollock at: 800.843.7320, or at: