The Holidays are coming – part 2

Christmas is nearly upon us and the toilet or washroom area can be a tricky place to deal with over the festive period – depending on what type of business you have.

In part 2 of this Christmas Blog I will look at the businesses that close down for two weeks or longer over the festive period and some of the things you need to do to ensure that your toilets are clean, fresh and still working when everyone returns to work.

  1. Check your service company schedules.  If you have a service due over Christmas contact your service company explain you will be closed and arrange an alternative date (preferably before you close).
  2. Urinals – if you don’t have water management systems installed – install them. Instead of wasting water down the drain they can be adjusted to flush down once a day. This prevents the u-bend drying out and the drain smells coming back from the sewer
  3. Ensure that the washrooms are cleaned prior to holidays starting and pay special attention to:
    • Toilet bowls. Clean inside and out and leave lid down to prevent evaporation.
    • Waste paper bins. Ensure they are empty: they make great nests for mice.
    • Any leaks are fixed. A small drip could be a torrent after two weeks.
  4. Heating. If you are planning to switch the heating off, drain down the pipes but this is a lot of work.  Much better to keep the heating on low to prevent any pipes freezing should here be a cold snap.
  5. Stocks.  Just make sure you have enough essentials to last the first week back.  Deliveries are notoriously unreliable the first week back after the holidays.

There you have it five easy steps to ensure you have hassle free washrooms before, during and after the Christmas break.

Merry Christmas!

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The Holidays are coming – part 1

Christmas is nearly upon us and the toilet or washroom area can be a tricky place to deal with over the festive period – depending on what type of business you have.

Therefore I am going to concentrate in this blog on the hospitality sector who will have already placed orders for food, drink and organised staff rotas, etc.  Of course the same goes for consumables for the toilets and most decent washroom or janitorial businesses will give their customers a call to ensure that they have sufficient stocks and are well aware of delivery dates over the busy spell.

After saying all this, we still get calls from businesses that have been let down over the festive period and need an emergency service call or delivery of something essential.  So for all the bars, restaurants, hotels destination venues that rely on this important time of the year here is my Christmas list for you.

  1. Stock up! Washroom consumables never go out of date so ensure you have enough to get you to the 6th of January.  Courier companies always have a back log post Christmas so deliveries can be delayed just when you need them most.
  2. Use space saving systems so stocking up doesn’t mean you lose an office. See previous blogs on foaming soap and toilet paper
  3. Increase toilet checks. Toilets need more frequent checks when you are busy – don’t rely on a customer to tell you when something is wrong.
  4. Try to build in at least one extra ‘clean’ during the day. Using a biological washroom product will reduce smells and a build-up of organic material.
  5. Act on a problem. If a urinal is blocked don’t just put it out of use and wait until January to fix. If one goes, others get used more and this exacerbates the issue so get someone in to fix it.
  6. Ensure you have an emergency contact list that includes your Plumber, Electrician, Supplies and Services and let staff know where it is.
  7. Check with your service company when they will be in over the festive period. And make sure they stick to it. It’s important to your business – it should be to theirs.
  8. Set up a donations jar. Christmas is a time of giving so why not ask customers when they spend a penny to make a donation to a worthwhile cause such as Toilet Twinning or a local homeless charity.

In next week’s WC I will talk about the issues regarding the other extreme – those toilets that are discarded for two weeks and left cold and dark and what you can do to ensure there are no nasty surprises when you return from the Christmas Break.

Sign up for our regular newsletter full of toilet tips and humour.  Follow me on Twitter @thetoiletexpert

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 (http://www.oxfam.org.uk/shop/oxfam-unwrapped) 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!