Stopping Bad Odors at Their Source

It’s always nice when you can use a public restroom and not encounter bad odors.  Bad odors mostly come from three sources:

Environmental: this is usually the quality of the air circulating (or not) inside a building.  Bad environmental odors can come from other places in the building and from sources outside the building as doors and windows are opened allowing outside air to come inside.

Human Occupants: This could be odors from clothing, perfumes, colognes, and of course body odors we all manufacture as a bi-product of our digestive systems.

Bacteria: In much the same way humans create gas and odor from normal digestion, bacteria do the same as long as they can find food.  Studies and experience indicate that the number one place where bad odor comes from is that floor drain in the restroom floor.  What happens is that the small amount of water inside the U-shaped pipe evaporates.  Once this happens, all the bad gas from the sewer rises and escapes into the restroom.  Pouring water down the floor drain is a simple way to keep those odors where they belong—in the sewer!

But there’s more…urinals and toilets are the next target.  Anything not cleaned off becomes food for bacteria and we already learned what they can do…make more bad odor!  Toilets and urinals must be cleaned and swabbed daily including the areas around them, so bacteria has little chance to find food.

Two other areas of concern are feminine product receptacles and the trash container.  This is where paper and plastic liners are helpful.  If you do a good job of placing your liner, most of the food for bacteria is removed when you take the full liner out and replace it with a new one.  If your trash can becomes contaminated, it will need to be washed inside or bad odor will result.

There’s another area in many offices where bacteria love to hang out and that is the kitchen or breakroom.  Now that you know how odors get started, you can follow the same best practices in those areas.

Remove the source of bad odor in your restrooms and kitchen areas, and bad odors will be kept to a minimum.


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