Black (Light) Friday – Identifying Malodours

You would think in an enclosed space like a washroom, identifying where a smell comes from would be easy?  Well not so.  Identifying the source of any bad smell is key to the remedial action needed to resolve the issue. Here is how we do it.

  1. Urinals.  The usual suspect is urinals which are partially blocked or have reduced water flow.  If the water flow is too low then there is no liquid air lock to prevent smells backing up the waste pipe.  The solution is to insert a proper waterless urinal trap and service it regularly OR increase the water flow to ensure that there is an air trap being created. One of these solutions is more environmentally responsible but both work.
  2. Floor drains.  Many washrooms have open drains which may or may not have some form of trap to prevent smells rising from the waste tank or drain.  This needs a bit of expertise to resolve but your local plumber or washroom specialist should be able to resolve by inserting a trap of some description.
  3. Black Light.  You may think that your cleaner is doing a good job but

urine stain black light

black light allows us to use CSI technology to identify bodily fluids – which luckily for us are florescent under certain frequencies of UV light.  By identifying where the uric acid is building up you can ensure that the cleaning schedule is adjusted to minimise the odour causing bacteria.  The way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to use a ‘biological’ washroom cleaner – We recommend Delphis Eco Bio Washroom Cleaner. This will create a barrier that stops the uric acid from clinging to the surface and lets the clever little microbes in the product to eat away at any uric acid crystals leaving a pleasant smell. Black lights can also identify Scorpions and Bed bugs (too much information?).

Air Fresheners are do not resolve odour issues but mask ‘temporary’ odour issues that you get in the washroom area.  Odour neutralisers or citric fragrances work best, in our opinion, but really the fragrance that works best is an individual choice and will only work if the washroom facility is clean functioning properly.  People smells we can do nothing about. If your timing is bad – just find another toilet!

Christmas Cheer in the Washrooms

Christmas Toilet

So the Bah Humbugs might wish to swap the toilet paper for Holly but here are a few simple things to help get your washrooms feeling a bit christmassy!

  1. Add a little fake snow to the mirrors – either use a template or go freehand it can have a stunning effect if used correctly.
  2. A little bit of tinsel can go a long way.  Use some double sided tape to make a little Christmas decoration around the toilet door symbols for example.
  3. Recycle old Christmas cards. Cut and paste an old Christmas card on the cubicles doors.
  4. Change the toilet door symbols to Mrs Claus and Santa Claus (a favourite of mine).
  5. Change the air freshener to a Christmas fragrance.   If you have an independent washroom company ask them to put in a Christmas smell – Our favourite is Apple and Cinnamon.
  6. Stick a sprig of mistletoe outside the toilet door – you never know who will be passing.
  7. Install a ‘potted’ Pine tree great decoration and pine fragrance.
  8. Smile. Sharing a smile is the best gift you can give and do it every day!

Happy Christmas,

The toilet Fairy

Christmas toilet ideas

So as a business instead of sending Christmas cards and dropping in a few bottles of wine why not do something a bit different this year?

There are a few charity toilet ideas (yes I know you can buy a classroom and a goat, etc. But I am a toilet expert).

Here is my favourites and recommendations

  1. Toilet Twinning.  The great thing about giving a customer a ‘toilet twin’ is that it last all year and every year.  Once a toilet is built then it is theirs as long as it still stands.  Your customer gets a lovely framed print of the actual toilet – the toilet itself gets a plaque so the users know where its come from and you even get the GPS co-ordinates so that you can look at it on google earth.  What’s not to love?  Prices start at £60 for an individual toilet up to £240 for a school toilet block.  What’s not to love? A gift that saves lives. More info here.  (Toilet Twinning)
  2. Oxfam Unwrapped.  The original Charity gift scheme and probably still the biggest. There are 3 ‘hygiene’ options that are suitable.  Again choice is yours and budgets amounts are smaller so you can share the love a bit the costs are as follows and are available online ( here. Or pop into any Oxfam shop – here is a break down of my 3 favourites (but I also love the goat).
    1. A compost toilet costs only £20
    2. Fix a well costs £22
    3. Safe water for a village £50
  3. If you find any more Christmas toilet ideas be sure to let us know!


Wet floors in washrooms

Wet Floors used to be restricted to around the urinal area.  Us boys can be messy creatures, but there are other sources of moisture in the washroom that may need to be addresses  Her are some problems and possible solutions:

P: Wet floors around urinals from high water pressure.  A:Turn the water pressure down or alternatively fit a urinal screen to minimise splashback.

P: Excessive mopping. A: Keeping a washroom clean is excessive but traditional kentucky mops can leave a lot of moisture on the floor.  Have a look at microfibre flat mopping it wll leave the floor 70% dryer than traditional mopping.

P: Leaking pipes around urinals or cisterns.  A: Try to identify where and when the leak occurs then call the plumber!

P: Dyson Airblades.  A: Other high speed dryers are also guilty of transferring water from hands to floor.  If it is an issue you can fit a drip plate  available from or seak to your local washroom supplier about fitting a washroom mat below to catch excess water.

P: Winter weather.  A: If you are getting wet feet into the washrooms ten your entrance matting to the building isn’t doing its job.  Trapping moisture at entry.  Look at increasing entrance matting over the winter months or installing matting at the toilet entrance/exit to minimise risk bot ways.

Too many holes in your toilet walls or cubicles?

Many Public toilets change equipment. whether that is because the old style is obsolete or maybe a change in supplier means a change of equipment (not unusual).  However it can look terrible with parts of rawplugs left in walls or worse holes in toilet cubicle partitions that allow folk to peek right through.

This was an issue for a client of ours last week.  Having looked around we have come up with a simple answer to partially reline the toilet cubicles to hide the various holes left from previous systems.  The colour will match their corporate colour scheme and by completing a ‘band’ around the cubicle including the door we will create a design feature which should blend in perfectly with the branding and the building.  Simple and yet effective.  You can source suitable materials from local sign companies who will make light boxes or external signage from thin lightweight material. It is also an amazing way to add a splash of colour to a drab or plain washroom facility.

Something a little different

I had a great meeting today with a local company – we are going to supply them logo and branded entrance matting for their clients and they are going to supply us with toilet doors. Standard washroom symbols are fairly small as you can see from the image below.
cropped-toilet-symbols.jpgOur plan is to provide a complete toilet door with the image screen printed directly onto the door.  Any door any size. Amazing.  A great part of my job is finding little bits of innovation to make washrooms better and that includes finding them!

Toilet paper sales soar in Japan

My eye was drawn to an article on the BBC website claiming that sales of toilet paper were up even though the population

Toilet paper
Vendor Vision toilet roll dispensers

was in decline.  Several reasons were given but the most plausible in my opinion is the trend for manufacturers to develop 2 and 3 ply paper options.  The perceived ‘luxury’ of a 2 or 3 ply paper is up to the individual but when you use warm air techniques to ‘quilt’ toilet paper you inevitably reduce the amount of paper on the roll.  The actual diameter of a roll of toilet paper is consistent to the manufacturer – the ‘thicker’ the paper the less there is on the roll, so be carefull when you are in Sainsburys and check the sheet count for value for money.

The same issues occur within the commercial sector and the variant of dispense are huge from single sheets to maxi jumbos – each manufacturer trying to create a unique dispense system that locks out the competions – lets face it toilet paper is a basic commodity we all must buy it?  So in the commercial market what is best? Well each to their own really.  We recommend Vendor Vision range. Why?

  1. the units are well designed and can be made in 3000 colours
  2. each dispenser holds up to 200m of paper (about 8 domestic rolls)
  3. you just top up when convenient so you should never run out
  4. the paper is EU Ecolabel and Nordic Swan certified
  5. cleverly they have a built in ‘brake’ which allows us to adjust the tension and reduces waste