Have you ever been to a music festival and had to wade through seas of mud to get to the toilets – only to find that they were even nastier and dirtier than the mud? Strangely enough, people will pay large amounts of money to hear Coldplay, Metallica, or Bjork, but it will be the state of the portable loos they’ll tell their friends about.
If you’re managing a site that’s hiring portable toilets, you’ll want to keep them clean to avoid negative worker or customer comment. You also need to keep your portable toilets clean because if you don’t, they could become a health hazard. You’ll need to comply with health and safety standards or you could be in trouble.
Fortunately, keeping a portable toilet clean isn’t rocket science. It’s actually quite simple, as long as you’ve set everything up properly in the first place, with good access for vehicles, and a regular cleaning schedule.
Removing the waste
This is your biggest priority. Human waste is nasty stuff and can spread infections. Fortunately “we have the technology” – a suction unit with a big hose that attaches to a socket on the toilet unit and simply sucks the waste out into its tank. It’s a similar principle to a vacuum cleaner, just working with liquids rather than dust.
To do the job properly you next need to think about disinfecting the toilet. There are two methods for doing this. First, a high-pressure hot wash sterilizes the cubicle as well as removing dirt – particularly important if you’re on a muddy site where toilet users bring mud into the cubicle on their boots. Boiling water will kill bacteria at the same time as the high pressure removes the dirt.
Secondly, the anti-bacterial spray will stop bacteria from spreading. Be particularly vigilant about those little corners and cracks where germs like to hide, for instance under toilet seats, or behind taps. Make sure you also clean the places people will be putting their hands – on the toilet flush handle, taps, and door knobs.
Make sure that after each clean you refill the toilet with chemical fluid. If you don’t, you run the risk of your facilities rapidly becoming smelly and, worse, a health hazard.
Keep track of your stocks!
Managing your stock of chemicals is crucial when you are looking after portable toilets and portable shower units. For instance, you need to make sure that you have enough toilet chemical fluid for your needs. This fluid helps to break down waste and stop the germs in it from multiplying and creating a health hazard. You will need enough fluid to add to the toilets and refill the system after each clean.
Make sure that as well as calculating what you’ll need in advance, you monitor the rate of usage continually. Then you can re-order if your projected stock levels look like they may not last before you’re in danger of actually running out.
Cleaning the cubicles
Even when the portable toilets themselves are nice and clean, if you don’t ensure there’s always enough toilet paper in the cubicles, users will be annoyed. You need to establish a good system of inspection and replace toilet paper before it actually runs out. The same goes for other consumables; if you have handwash dispensers, make sure that they always have liquid soap in them. Paper towels for hand drying, too, need to be replenished on a regular basis.
Some people stop there. A clean toilet is a good toilet. But by using an odor remover you can turn it into an excellent toilet – better than some plumbed-in facilities!
Admittedly no one will ever buy a ticket to a festival or choose to work on a particular site because it has the best toilets. But making your portable toilets spotlessly clean will at least ensure that when users “do what a men gotta do,” the experience is a happy one.